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Everything You Need to Know About Online Tutoring for Kids

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.

If you are a parent looking to help your child in school, you may be considering online tutoring.  Here you will find information about how tutors can leverage technology to work online with students, how near-peer tutoring can help your child, and why online tutoring is often a convenient option. 

New Trends in Online Tutoring

Students are understandably grateful to be back in the classroom with their peers, engaging in group learning and socializing in person. But when it comes to academic material where students are struggling, personalized one-on-one online tutoring offers benefits students can’t access during their regular school day. 

Despite their eagerness to return to school, over 15 months of online learning many students found components of the digital classroom that worked for them: moving at their own pace, pursuing topics of particular interest, and being able to focus without distraction in their own private study space at home. The good news is that with convenient and affordable online tutoring, families can keep the best of what the digital classroom has to offer even though regular classes are back in brick-and-mortar schools. 

How does online tutoring work? 

Students are now accustomed to learning online with tools like Zoom and Google Meet that allowed them to attend classes during the pandemic. GoPeer tutors utilize familiar tools like video streaming and screen sharing, as well as GoPeer’s innovative shared whiteboard tool, to meet students where they are at and tailor instruction to their needs. Trained and experienced tutors, all of them students at selective colleges and universities, can hone in on any learning gaps that students were left with in the wake of distance learning, helping students catch up quickly and preventing them from falling behind again this year.   

Unfortunately, without their usual in-school support, many students did lose ground during the 2020-2021 academic year. While some of these supports are back in place now that students have returned to school buildings, the continued need for masking and social distancing can present a disadvantage. The majority of students rely on that personal, face-to-face connection in order to make their learning stick. Although this may not be happening at school, it’s easy to come by via on-line tutoring. With a national pool of tutors to choose from, students are also able to connect online with tutors whose expertise and skills dovetail perfectly with their own interests and needs, all from the comfort of home. 

The benefits of near-peer tutoring

With select college students working with your K-12 student, they will get the benefits of near peer tutoring, which studies show to be as effective as expert teaching in medical education. Near peer tutoring can be defined as a more advanced student tutoring another student, rather than both students being true peers in ability. With GoPeer’s college-aged tutors, your tutor will be close enough in age to your child to understand their perspective and foresee misunderstandings, but with the experience and maturity that allows them to maximize their effectiveness as a tutor. As most parents have experienced, there is such a thing as too close for tutoring. When we were all trying to teach our kids at home at the start of the pandemic, it felt like trying to mix oil and water! Teaching and learning relationships benefit from just enough distance to make them productive. 

College students also make appropriate mentors for your child. You can, for example, find a tutor who is studying topics your child is interested in, or who is attending a school where your child intends to apply. Tutors may have overcome some of the same obstacles your child is facing and have tips and strategies to share with your young learner. 

Online tutoring allows you to be selective without sacrificing quality or convenience 

Online tutoring offers a one-on-one learning experience that allows students to overcome challenges and master difficult material. GoPeer even has the new technological capability of allowing two tutors to work with a student at the same time if your situation calls for it. 

With online tutoring, you are not limited to the knowledge base of tutors available in your area at the distance of a convenient commute. With minimal interruption to their schedule, your student can catch up on learning they may have missed due to the struggles of the pandemic and be certain not to fall behind with the current challenges presented by social distancing. Students looking for enrichment learning to supplement their schoolwork will also find tutors eager to engage their curiosity. With personalized online tutoring, you will find a tutor whose expertise matches your child’s individual needs, setting the stage for a successful and productive relationship. 

How to Find the Perfect Tutor for Your Child 

Finding the right tutor to meet your child’s needs can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. An online algorithm can simplify this process. 

girl doing online tutoring on computer

When you first begin to look for help for your child, you will likely be faced with a bevy of individuals and agencies vying for your attention, some of them peddling services at outrageous cost. You may wonder if spending more money is necessary to get your child the help they need. Teachers who haven’t been able to reach your child may recommend interventions that simply aren’t feasible. The laborious process of locating and vetting available tutors would require many hours of time that you simply don’t have. 

Simplifying the task of finding the right tutor

With GoPeer online tutoring, you are able to select from a diversity of tutors available across the country to work with your child’s specific needs—and the best part is that you don’t have to do the footwork on your own. GoPeer’s algorithm will use your child’s age and the subject or area in which they need help to find the best available tutors for them. You will have the opportunity to interview a tutor prior to signing your child up for a session, and once you feel good about a match your child and their new tutor can get right down to work. 

Online safety is always a concern for parents, who know that not all kids understand the permanence of their digital footprints. With GoPeer, students can use private chats that don’t leave their communication exposed. Parents are able to use family portals in order to protect their privacy. 

Best of all, by selecting from the large number of tutors available with GoPeer, you will be able to find someone who perfectly matches your child’s temperament, interests, and needs, whether those are for remediation or enrichment. 

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. 

young boy doing work on computer

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:

  • Math
  • Writing
  • Algebra I & II
  • English
  • Reading
  • Geometry
  • 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:

  • SAT
  • ACT
  • PSAT 
  • SSAT
  • 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. 

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GoPeer is the easiest way to find your next tutor! GoPeer pairs K-12 students with qualified college students from top universities for 1-to-1 lessons. Students and tutors communicate through GoPeer’s secure online classroom, using tools like real-time face-to-face video conferencing, photo/document sharing, and a virtual whiteboard/notepad to collaborate or edit essays. Not only can a near-peer mentor provide personalized, up-to-date academic guidance, but also they can do so with the empathy that only someone who has recently been in the student’s shoes can provide.

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