August 11, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – TutorOcean, a global platform where learners and tutors engage on their terms for the best possible outcomes, has some vital tips for parents and guardians faced with another disruptive school year.
Due either to the adoption of a hybrid learning model by local school boards, or parental concerns for their child’s safety, most students across North America will likely not return to school, as usual, this fall. Many families will continue to wrestle with the challenges of home-schooling and distance education.
One recent research paper suggests the disruption for K-12 students of transitioning to distance education has been significant. It finds that the average student will likely return to school this fall having retained only around 65 per cent of their learning gains in reading and as little as 37 per cent of their learning gains in math compared to a typical year.
A recent “Stress in America” survey from the American Psychological Association found that 46 per cent of American parents are experiencing a high level of stress during the pandemic. That compares with 28 per cent of non-parents. Similar trends are being noted in other countries. In Canada, a survey by Mental Health Research Canada found that those with children at home were 41 per cent more likely to report feelings of anxiety.
Parents need a break and an alternative as they face the prospect of continuing to play a more direct role in their children’s education.
One option to consider is a private tutor. There are many different tutoring platforms online where caregivers can find a tutor, and where tutor and student can engage remotely for their sessions. The trick is to make the right connection with the right tutor, on the right platform.
How can a busy and stressed caregiver trust that they are finding the right fit? Here are seven criteria to guide this important decision:
- Consider this a long-term investment: Tutoring shouldn’t be viewed simply as remedial. Instead, the right tutor can become a mentor who will deepen a child’s love of learning and their capacity for personal growth. Viewed through this lens, working with a tutor is a caregiver’s strategic investment in their child’s future. Pandemic or no pandemic, the value of a great tutor cannot be overstated.
- The best option for your child likely is not just down the road: In today’s online world, it’s become increasingly common for student and tutor to never meet face to face, or even live in the same time zone. Given COVID-19 health concerns, it’s unlikely that your child will meet in person with their tutor even if they are just across town. To find the best tutor, a parent has to be comfortable with the fact that they will likely be dealing with someone distant from where they live.
- Rely on user reviews: Given that this will be a remote relationship, a caregiver’s best assurance of quality and reliability is user reviews. Any online tutoring platform that connects student to tutor should track user reviews and ratings for every tutor.
- Don’t settle for a poor fit: Any tutoring referral service should make it easy to search for the ideal tutor by subject and expertise, user reviews and ratings, cost, and even affiliation with a particular post-secondary institution. If you can’t find your perfect fit, take your search somewhere else.
- Plan for after Grade 12: As stated earlier, tutoring should be viewed as a long-term investment in your child’s future. The perfect example is preparing for their post-secondary education and the entry exams to get into their college or university of choice. What better tutor for the task than one who is affiliated with that particular institution? Again, wherever you turn online to find the right tutor, it should be easy to filter your search results by this criterion.
- Effective remote tutoring takes more than a video conferencing service: A committed tutor would be the first to say so. Whether the subject at hand is math, science or language, student and tutor alike need digital collaboration tools that allow them to interact as if they were working side-by-side for the most effective learning outcomes. Some tutoring platforms do a better job of this than others.
- This must fit your budget: When a tutor signs up with any online tutoring platform, they are subject to its terms of service. This extends to how they can set their fees and what percentage will be taken by the platform. All of which ultimately impacts what the caregiver must pay per session. The ideal scenario keeps the host platform out of the equation as much as possible, so that tutors have more freedom to set their rates and caregivers benefit from variable pricing to find the right fit for their budget.
TutorOcean is offering special bundle discounts to help families get started. We help caregivers find the right tutor to accelerate their child’s learning and ease the home-schooling burden during the pandemic. Learn more at www.tutorocean.com.
TutorOcean (www.tutorocean.com) is a global marketplace and virtual learning platform where learners and tutors engage for K-12 subjects, university preparation, peer-led mentoring, and instruction in a variety of arts and hobbies. Through TutorOcean’s intuitive and integrated online classroom, tutors are able to cultivate the internal motivation and potential of learners, and thus help them achieve their goals. It’s a place where the connection is made instantly, knowledge is shared and acquired in real-time, and community is created while breaking geographical boundaries.