Everything You Need to Know About Online Tutoring for Kids
Here’s what you need to know about online tutoring for kids, from new trends in online tutoring—including peer-to-peer tutoring—to how to find a good tutor for your child.
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Reasons to hire a tutor
People often assume that tutoring is only for students who have fallen behind in their academic work. While tutoring can be just the remedy for such situations, needing to catch up isn’t the only reason to seek a tutor for your child. If your child expresses boredom or disinterest, they may need an academic challenge, or the opportunity to pursue activities or topics that don’t often get addressed during the school day. Sometimes showing a student how exciting one kind of learning can be is all that is needed to boost their motivation in other subject areas, even those that aren’t favorites.
Nathan, for example, is a fifth grader who doesn’t need any support with his school subjects, but who enjoys the mentorship of his tutor as they work to polish his public speaking and creative writing skills. “He gets pretty bored in class,” says his mom, Sarah. She also reports that he has said he wishes he could do tutoring every day.
“I really enjoy it and I really look forward to it,” says Nathan. “Right now things are kind of easy, like math and stuff, and so I like that I can expand and it can teach me new things.” Nathan is also planning on going to the university his tutor attends: Harvard.
Nathan’s older brother, Jackson, who is 12, has learning differences and a diagnosis of dyslexia. He works with his tutor on homework assignments, study skills and test prep. “It’s been a great mentorship,” says Sarah, adding that Jackson went from being “that kid who hated school” to one who was eager to go. “Those struggles to get him out the door in the morning have completely dissipated,” she says.
“It’s easy learning for me,” says Jackson, who explains that he appreciates the help he gets with his homework. “It’s good to have days that I can do it and just get it done and checked before I have to turn it in.” Another bonus? Improved grades. “At the beginning of the year I got, like, 70s and stuff, and now I’m at 95s and 100s, which I’m happy about.”
By having such a variety of tutors available, and the algorithm to match kids with just the right tutors for them, GoPeer is able to meet the diverse needs of Nathan, Jackson, and hundreds of other students across the country.
Read the magazine version of GoPeer's guide to Everything You Need to Know About Online Tutoring
The Advantages and Benefits of Online Tutoring
Why choose online tutoring? In addition to being more affordable and convenient than other tutoring options, GoPeer tutoring brings many of the advantages of in-person tutoring to the digital space. Students get the personalized one-on-one attention of their tutor for the entirety of their session, and, unlike in a classroom, where a student’s focus will naturally peak and ebb throughout the class, students remain engaged for their entire tutoring session thanks to the innovative design of GoPeer’s digital classroom.
The virtual classroom
Once logged on, students will see the screen divided into four parts. Two small video streams will show the faces of both tutor and student throughout the session, while the remainder of the screen is divided between screen sharing and a virtual whiteboard space. Students can use the screen-sharing to reference problem sets or texts, and tutors can also use this space to share videos with students. The virtual whiteboard acts like a chalk or whiteboard that both student and teacher can access to take notes and solve problems. Rather than being limited to the back and forth of a Zoom call, students and tutors can collaborate using the whiteboard. By watching a student work through a problem, for example, tutors can see exactly where students are getting stuck or making mistakes—and, hence, how to help them.
Tutoring sessions are recorded and saved in the family portal. This way, students can go back and watch parts of the session again to refresh their memory, and parents can access the recorded sessions if they want to learn how to provide direct support to their student at home. As tutors are matched with students based on age and the topic or class in which the student needs support, all tutoring activities are tailored to meet the student where they are at and help them meet their individual goals.
Helping students get back on track
Unfortunately, with the widespread disruption to teaching and learning caused by the pandemic, many students were not able to keep up with the general curriculum. According to a McKinsey and Company study, elementary school students ended the 2020-2021 academic year an average of five months behind in math and four months behind in reading. For older students, particularly those already disadvantaged by socioeconomic status, the impact was even more damaging. Students at black high schools lost an average of six months of ground in math, while students in low income schools were set back by seven months. With rates of high school graduation and entrance into post-secondary learning also down, the impacts of this year may last a lifetime for some students.
For all students, now is a critical time to address these learning gaps in order to get back on track for the 2021-2022 academic year. Because online tutoring is affordable, convenient and individualized to the needs of each learner, it is an effective way to bring students back up to speed so that these learning deficits do not grow, eventually becoming insurmountable.
Select from a multitude of subjects
A GoPeer tutor can help your student raise their grades and boost their confidence. With over 150 topics to select from, you’ll be able to find just the right tutor to meet your student’s needs. The following are some of the most commonly requested areas of focus:
- Algebra I & II
- Computer Science / Coding
- Foreign Languages (many languages available)
As students at selective colleges and universities, GoPeer tutors have mastered the skills needed to reach peak performance on standardized tests. If your student is preparing for a high-stakes test, GoPeer tutors can work them to review material and practice the test-taking skills they will need to succeed on exams such as:
- AP tests, various subjects
Whether your student needs help with a particular subject or class, remedial instruction, general academic support, homework help, test preparation, or enrichment instruction, GoPeer will match your child with just the right tutor to help them reach their goals.