We thought we’d let a parent do the talking this week. Mum, Claire, shares the highs of online tuition for her and her Year 7 daughter, Lucy.
Working from home (or WFH, as the cool kids say) requires a lot of careful timetabling, a balancing act that requires us to wear our teacher, PE and playmate hats all in one day – and that’s in between work calls. Those of us who can timetable more morning breaks or lunchtimes into our diaries to be with our youngest kids still need to leave them on their own for several hours each week. To give them a motivational push and keep on top of school work, it’s worth finding a relatable, reliable, youthful tutor they can spark off.
MyTutor was coming to our rescue even before the pandemic, but during lockdowns it’s been the friendly crux we all needed. It took me a year to sign up, I’ll admit. Surely tutors were meant to sit next to your child? I duly found a neighbour to come to the house, I’d clear the clutter from the hallway and kitchen table, make tea and conversation… but Lucy would fidget and look bored. A day trip to Cambridge changed my misconceptions.
We were walking past one of the many beautiful colleges, when it hit me: what better way to inspire Lucy (who was then declaring she wanted to be a lawyer), than to enrol a charming Oxbridge Law undergrad to tutor her maths, a subject she “hated”. That was 3 years ago, and we haven’t looked back. “More online lessons?” you ask. Well yes, but being with people younger and cooler than us can be inspiring. I mean, Lucy now likes maths!
The beauty of online tuition with MyTutor is having the country’s best students at our fingertips. These wonderful young humans spent their formative years committed to nailing their A/A* grades, to get into the leading universities. Sends the right message to our kids, don’t you agree? Sow so shall ye reap.
This year’s been a lot more testing than previous lockdowns. The sun hasn’t been blaring, for starters, and the conflicting debates hitting our daily feeds have felt relentless. While we adults have been managing those grown-up feelings, our kids have been dropping balls, some out of choice, some not. Our parent friends are divided, many have convinced (“bribed”) their charges to keep up with the core subjects, at least, while others have had to be inventive and look at alternative ways to boost learning mojos. Lucy writes for fun, so we found a Creative Writing expert at MyTutor – who also writes songs and plays the guitar, extra cred points – to discuss plotlines and storytelling. Saturdays have turned from a groundhog, can’t-see-my-friends day into a highlight of the week. Other children we know meet online tutors to talk about their passions – animal welfare, art or space – and the social connection seems to have been pivotal for their wellbeing and development, too.
Online lessons have been more productive than home tutoring for us for so many reasons. Tutors are switched on to the current curriculum and they seem to cheer Lucy on from the side lines. Their enthusiasm has changed the narrative of a doomy lockdown into a more optimistic one. MyTutor’s platform is super slick, everything feels so… tidy. Lessons are jazzed up with visuals, tutors switch between screens and topics, sometimes they review homework or practise tests together, and we know that in the future we can ask for advice on sketching out revision timetables. Best of all, Lucy’s focus is immediate from the moment she launches the video link. She comes off lessons beaming. Result!
School kids are big on Greta and saving the planet right now, so this paperless digital trail gets a big thumbs up from them. There’s also no driving halfway across town and back to get to your tutor’s house (or for your tutor to get to yours), so you can feel nice and smug about reducing your carbon footprint.
So what if children are spending more time on their phones/iPads/laptops/consoles… the naysayers purporting that too much screen time is unhealthy are targeting kids who spend all day gaming. Life’s about balance. A day of lessons (online or not), fresh air, good food, attentive debate, a little gaming or social media time, a task or two, an hour with an engaging tutor, followed by family TV, social catch ups, and a good old-fashioned book, makes for a well-rounded, box-ticking spread of activities. In other words, we just need to help them choose their content wisely, drilling in the fact that moderation is key and breaks are a must.
If you’re looking for a place to start with online tuition, check out MyTutor’s YouTube channel. If you’d like to find some 1-1 learning support to get your teen ready for real school again, you can begin your journey by booking in fortnightly lessons – that’s how we started! Whether your child wants to keep high grades or secure a pass, or if they need a few friendly-faced filler lessons on topics that interest them, there are tutors out there who they’ll look up to. Good luck and keep on keeping on, you’re doing great!
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