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Coronavirus & Online Tutoring

The Benefits Of Online Tuition For Younger Students

Online tuition for younger students is nothing new. Families in rural areas, through geographic necessity, have experienced the advantages of online tutoring for many years.  However, more recently, the widespread travel and human interaction challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought it to the attention of a far larger audience. As a result of the global pandemic, the traditional at-home 1:1 tuition market will probably never revert to form. Why? Quite simply, as a result of the availability and flexibility of online tutoring.

 

Technological advancements have ensured that our ability to communicate and educate online has never been easier. There is an outstanding choice of immediately available (and typically free) online tutoring platforms, including; Zoom, Skype, Bramble, Google Meet, Blackboard, GoToMeeting, Webex, Moodle, Microsoft Teams…and many others!

 

Younger students, from 5 years old and upwards, are increasingly within their comfort zone online. They are becoming more comfortable and capable in using online technology, and, more importantly, enjoying it, using it to communicate and learn effectively. Is this a good thing?  Of course! The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced almost everyone to embrace online learning, and to expand their understanding of what can be achieved online. The future use and day-to-day impact of online activities, particularly with regards to education, has been altered irreversibly. Younger students should be encouraged to engage with education online; it is their future. Most university lectures have been delivered online since the first lockdown and most schools have provided online teaching, to varying degrees, during this same period. It is essential that students, from an early age, are encouraged to become online specialists – it will broaden and accelerate their learning like nothing else before. For an example of the online capability that opens new horizons for students, take a look at the free App ‘Google Arts & Culture; it is a great example of a ‘game changer’ in online education.

 

Younger students, who may find it difficult to ‘keep up’ in class, now have exceptional resources available to them at any time online, with the vast majority costing nothing. This is a massive resource!  So many parents are desperate to help their kids to keep up in class, but things may have moved on so far that they are often not able to keep up themselves!  

 

Many parents of both primary and secondary school students report struggling with supporting home learning. Almost 60% of the parents of primary school children and nearly half of the parents of secondary school children report that they are finding it quite or very hard to support their children’s learning at home.” (source: joint IFS & IoE survey, May 2020). Providing regular 1:1 online tuition takes the pressure off parents and provides them with the peace of mind that the fundamental educational stepping stones are being accurately and effectively addressed.

 

1:1 online tutoring has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity ever since the first lockdown. It was the only way available to 1:1 tutors to immediately overcome the stringent social distancing rules. What it also did was to force a swathe of older tutors who had never contemplated online tutoring to try it…and they love it! Feedback from tutors who have engaged in online tutoring for the first time is overwhelmingly positive. They have been surprised and impressed with the ability of younger students to focus and retain their interest online. Many tutors have developed their own ‘tricks of the trade’ to help younger students to remain engaged. These have included introducing a couple of 3-minute general knowledge quizzes, swapping jokes at the end of a topic and discussing the celebrity they would most like to invite to tea! These relaxing interludes also help to develop a positive and motivational bond between the pupil and the tutor. Increasing the use of exciting pictures and bright colours is another way of retaining interest during an online lesson. Reducing the typical one-hour lesson to 40 minutes is another option some tutors promote.

 

Online education and tutoring also tends to be less stressful; no last-minute rushing around to tidy the house before the tutor arrives, no requirement for tutors or pupils to drive across town to attend lessons. It is safe (all tutors should have an Enhanced DBS certificate) and comfortable to partake in online tuition, and younger students will often feel more relaxed and confident in asking questions when they are in their own home. Mum and Dad also have the option of sitting-in on online sessions if they believe this would benefit the student.

 

The 2 most powerful benefits of online tutoring for younger children of 5 years and upwards are:

  • Teaching is focused specifically on their individual abilities, with the goal of developing their skill set at the optimum pace.
  • One-to-one focus completely eliminates distractions experienced within a classroom setting.

 

With the immense changes that have been forced upon us, these adaptations are not going away any time soon. Online tutoring at home has turned a negative into an overwhelming positive, opening up new opportunities and avenues for learning, even for students who find a traditional classroom setting challenging. Home Tutor Connect are experts in this new rapidly expanding field, and can help your child find the perfect tutor to help them thrive in this new environment.