Homeschool Help with an online tutor from Tutorful #ad
DISCLAIMER: We received credit from Tutorful.co.uk to enable me to write this post. All words, images and opinions are my own.
Let’s face it if we had wanted to be a teacher or to homeschool our children, then we would have taken a different career path, or our children would already be out of mainstream schooling. This past year has been what many would describe as a baptism of fire (and that’s putting it politely).
I have had mixed feelings around the whole thing if I am honest. It certainly hasn’t been easy but at times I have enjoyed it, particularly so when I have helped one of my children to understand a new concept they were struggling with. Of course, 10 minutes later someone would knock a glass of squash over or look the wrong way at a sibling and all hell would break loose but I am holding onto those small wins.
My biggest concern for my children has been whether they have slipped with their education as they have all worked hard to get where they are already. Before Christmas, I had spoken to Albie’s teachers, who had said that he was a little behind in a few areas, so I had made it my mission to help him during this lockdown to catch up. When Tutorful contacted me to review their service, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Who are Tutorful?
Tutorful is your online answer to private tutors at the touch of a button. They have more than 11,000 tutors who can provide online for children and adults of all ages and stages from Primary School to University and beyond in every subject you can imagine.
Finding the right tutor
I began by speaking to Albie’s teachers to gather their advice on where Albie could use some help the most. This enabled me to pinpoint a tutor who would cover the areas that Albie was struggling in.
You can scroll through the profiles for each tutor when on the dashboard, or you can answer a series of questions to help narrow down the field of tutors available to you. Questions include:
- Which subject
- Which level (Primary, KS3, GCSE etc)
- What time of day are you available for lessons
The tutor profiles tell you all about the teacher and their teaching experience to date. The tutors can be fully qualified and/or retired, or graduates and students who are teaching online to build up experience whilst they study.
Each profile tells you whether they have repeat students, how many hours they have taught through Tutorful, how quickly they usually respond to messages and if they are available for a free video chat to discuss your needs.
You can also read reviews to see what other students thought will give you a feel for whether this is the right tutor for you or your child. For peace of mind, a green shield next to their name will tell you whether the tutor has a current background check in place.
Each tutor sets their own rates with prices varying from £15 an hour up to £75 an hour dependant upon their experience and subject.
Albie’s experience with online lessons
Once I had chosen a tutor for Albie, I emailed them to tell them what his teachers had said were their areas of concern and I explained a little about Albie and how he works as a student. The teacher very kindly offered a lower rate for a taster session, I cannot guarantee that this is something all tutors would do.
Giving background information helps
For Albie’s first lesson, they focussed on his English. I had explained to the tutor that Albie is an ‘idea’s boy’, his mind works very quickly, and he is very imaginative, but he can’t always portray that in his writing. It’s as though his hands are too slow for his head. He also has a habit of writing really long sentences (about the length of a paragraph), forgetting to use punctuation to break it down for the reader.
Before the lesson, you receive reminders via email to log in. When you head over to the Tutorful website and click to join the lesson, you will see a countdown banner at the top of the screen telling you how long until your lesson begins. You are also taken through a series of checks to ensure the system is working properly; you will check your speakers, microphone, and camera.
His tutor was able to share her screen online with the worksheets she had prepared. The screen’s left side showed two video screens, one of the tutor and one of Albie. I really liked that the teacher could make the sheets shareable so that I could download the worksheets Albie had completed so I could see what he had been doing during his lesson.
When the lesson began, I sat to Albie’s side as he said hello to his tutor and settled into the lesson. Once he was comfortable, I stayed close enough to listen but far enough away that he didn’t feel I was watching him. His tutor quickly made him feel at ease and had a lovely patient approach with him. She had geared all the work to help him slow down his thinking and make it easier to get the words out of his mind and onto the worksheet.
Afterwards, he asked if he could have another lesson with his tutor, so I booked another session later in the week where they looked at Maths. Again, they worked really well together; I loved how patient she was with Albie when he didn’t get an answer right or struggled to complete a task. Teachers have a way of explaining things that we parents haven’t quite grasped!!
What we thought to Tutorful
As a parent you always want what is best for your children and sometimes you have to accept that try as you might, you can’t quite deliver on all fronts. Handing over the reigns to a tutor isn’t failure, it’s doing the right thing and I can honestly say I felt great that I was able to hand that learning aspect over to someone else last week. Albie felt empowered that he had accomplished what he did during his lesson and he was keen to show me what he had done too.
I have already spoken to my husband about the possibility of continuing with Tutorful lessons for Albie when he returns to school. Albie works hard but if his teachers still feel there is a learning loss then I wouldn’t hesitate to book him further lessons.
To find out more head over to the Tutorful Website.