- Maths – A Level/GCSE/iGCSE/13+/11+/Dyscalculia
- Physics – A Level/GCSE/iGCSE/13+/11+
- Chemistry/Biology – GCSE/iGCSE/13+/11+
If your child is struggling with maths or Science then they need a professional 1-on-1 private tutor. I have been tutoring face to face for 10 years and online for over 4 years. My online tuition system is simplicity itself. The student will just need a computer or tablet with a stable internet connection. I use a virtual whiteboard called BitPaper which needs no installation and runs on a web browser. It is a fun, interactive whiteboard and learning space.
Having tutored for a few years online, I believe well delivered online tuition is better than in person or face to face tuition. Following is a summary on why that’s the case:
- Student engagement : In teaching, active engagement is king. When a student engages and starts writing, or speaking they start processing and learning. Different students absorb differently. With online tuition the student engages straightaway and starts writing, reading and explaining things back to me. They are active right from the very start and are teaching themselves with my guidance. For many students the lack of social pressure in a classroom setting or a tutor in person makes them more active in a way that has pleasantly surprised me.
- Closely related to the above point is that the children of today are growing up in an entirely new environment than any child has ever grown up before. They are using and interacting with screens daily. Not only that, but every parent knows how attentive and glued to a screen children can be. I had a student diagnosed ADD and she was more attentive to what I had to say to her and ask her to do when we went online on screen compared to when I met her in person. But not to worry if you think they will be glued to the screen for hours. My method involves only occasional glances at the screen, most of the time the student also make their own notes on pen and paper.
- No social pressure : “I’ll do the past paper later when you are not watching me do the paper as I will get stressed if I start getting things wrong” my in person student told me so very honestly! An adult sitting next to a student and watching a student write and work things out can be awkward for students. Of course the best tutors can make that process more comfortable, but in many cases students want to mull over and make mistakes in their own space. With online tuition I only see the student’s written work when they feel absolutely ready to show me their work either on the online whiteboard or on their paper. What a relief for the student not to feel the pressure of someone watching their mistakes.
- Students are more relaxed : This is perhaps repeating the previous point in a different way. In Salman Khan’s book “One World Schoolhouse” (founder of the Khan Academy), he starts off talking about how he started tutoring his niece, and one day his niece just said something along the lines of “I prefer you on YouTube than I do in real life because I can rewind/pause you and work things out in my own time”. I have tutored exactly the same student one day face to face and the other day online. They are so much more relaxed online than face to face. Something about the distance and the lack of my physical presence in the room really helps. To a 10 year old I am a large adult twice their size, but on a screen I am a tiny moving and talking picture. I have had some students be like almost different people when I tutored them online compared to when I tutored them in person.
- Taking ownership of learning : Online the emphasis is on the student to take the initiative, write out things and Google search videos or facts that I ask them to do. This is far more powerful than me doing it for them, which is what I do when tutoring face to face. I spoonfeed students less, and trust them to work things out themselves. Even with students as young as 12, I am finding students absolutely relish taking the driver’s seat as I become their guide and navigator. I ask them to google “Manhattan” on maps to see the grid like cartesian coordinate structure of the city and when they do, they feel like they made their own discovery.
- Available even at school or on holiday : Students can be taught during their homework time, even if they are boarding or have some free times in lessons like many sixth formers do – And indeed with the school’s full consent, I tutor many students while they are still at school. To look at maths issues as and when they arise is far far more effective than waiting until the holidays to then tutor students. In effect, the school and online tutors can be partners in teaching.
- Bitesizsing lessons is a breeze : I homeschooled an A Level student an hour at a time every 4 days. Previously I could have only done two hours twice face to face to save on my travelling time. I have found that regular bitesized lessons are more effective than heavy but less frequent sessions.
- Find the best tutor : The first 6 points were about why online tuition is better for the student. However, the student-tutor system must be taken into account, both the convenience of student and tutor. Why settle for a tutor who is ‘good enough’ within the 10 mile radius around you? Get the very best tutor you can find online instead, your choice of the very best tutors out there is now practically unlimited. You can now get the best tutor for your child irrespective of geography.
- Cutting out travel time means you get straight to business : Travelling to get to face to face tuition is tiring for the tutor, or for the student if they travel to the tutor. It is sunk and wasted time, and takes energy. Public transport and roads are unpredictable, so timings can get messed around. Online tuition is zero fuss in the comfort of both the tutor’s and student’s own home.
- Be saved from colds and germs : Students pick up germs and colds from school, which helps them spread even faster. Of course tutors can also have colds and colds can be passed on without even the student or tutor realising since the cold was still in its incubation period and neither party were aware of its onset. Germs cannot be transmitted online. Additionally, if the student is recovering from a cold, but not good enough to have a face to face lesson, an online one works like a charm. I had one student who unfortunately struggled with unexplained headaches, face to face it was very hit and miss tutoring her. Online she could be relaxed in her own space and still be learning. While not ideal, this turned out to be far better than face to face tuition.
Online tutoring is the future and any new students I take on are only for online tuition. In a few decades online education will change the face of education completely and it is still merely in its infancy. I have tested out online tuition thoroughly and am in a community of global online tutors.
Want to know more about my online tuition? Just contact me and send an email.