With "school" barely resembling the school we have all known and experienced for years, things are plenty different now.
That includes not only where classes are held and how they are carried out, but also how kids are doing homework, what they are doing to keep busy when classes wrap, how they can supplement learning with after-school enrichment activities, and more.
It all points to this: The need for one-on-one tutoring and instruction has never been greater.
Actually, let me rephrase that...
Tutoring has always been hugely important, but many parents now seem to be looking past the stigma and unfair belief that tutoring is reserved for struggling students, and are seeing tutoring for what it is—a valuable educational activity used to supplement what kids are learning in school, while also being an outlet for kids to get involved in topics they can't learn in school.
What is one-to-one instruction?
One-to-one instruction describes a student learning from and interacting with a teacher individually, with instruction tailored to the student's own personal pace and learning needs. This is opposed to the typical classroom setting, or a one-to-many experience with one teacher who is teaching to a large group of students.
As you can imagine, there are a number of benefits to students being able to have individual access to their instructor, and vice versa.
One-on-one tutoring benefits
Specifically, one-on-one tutoring helps students focus on a specific task or subject, and allows them to experience a different kind of learning to potentially reach new skill and confidence levels.
Of course, it all depends on the student and their unique circumstances, but one-on-one tutoring can be extremely beneficial for the following reasons.
1. Gives kids an outlet
School can be downright frustrating. Subject matter can be difficult to understand, teachers may not be accessible in class, and then might not be very welcoming even after class or during office hours.
So, tutoring gives kids an outlet. For example, a math tutor can help lift a big weight off of a student's shoulders, as kids now realize they have someone completely dedicated to helping their learning and answering of their questions.
2. Offers deeper learning
Perhaps the most traditional, widely-known benefit of one-on-one tutoring?
There could be so much that needs to be learned in a given school year, and with traditional topics that carry so much complexity and depth, it may be difficult for teachers to spend extended periods of time diving deeper and deeper.
With tutoring, though, students can hit the "pause" button; settling in with one specific topic and going as deep as they need in order to develop an understanding, or as deep as they want in order to satisfy their interests.
3. Offers wider learning
While the above benefit is focused on going deeper into a particular subject, this benefit has to do with extending learning to different subjects altogether. Meaning, while we all have had to learn all the different types of math, and have probably struggled at times, there are different types of tutors out there.
For instance, a student wanting to learn to code can find an online coding tutor, while another can find help with something like building an adventure map in Minecraft.
And this isn't only a benefit of tutoring. From summer camps to after-school programs and all the different types online learning, there are a variety of experiences available for those interested in getting involved in something not traditionally taught in school.
4. Offers personalized learning
Regardless of whether or not your child needs to go deep or wide with their learning, the point is, it’s going to be a personalized experience at the end of the day.
School is great, and many students flourish in the traditional classroom, but students can also get a lot out of lessons tailored to their specific learning needs. Capturing both of the points above, this personalized learning approach can help a student focus on a particularly troublesome area, or, can allow them to explore something new and different altogether.
Not to mention that the learning can be customized and built around those things students already enjoy, like sports, music, or video games, for example. Such an approach can even make math fun and engaging, and any topic or subject students generally might not be thrilled about.
5. Encourages questions
As alluded to above, asking questions in class isn’t always the easiest thing to do for some students. Especially with classes held online with 30 students on a screen and more or less muted, asking questions draws attention, which isn’t easy for some young minds to deal with.
Plus, while there are many great teachers, there are some who, frankly, can make a student feel really bad about asking a question.
With one-on-one tutoring, both of those challenges are accounted for. There aren’t 29 other students ready to stare daggers and potentially call names, and, most tutors would want and expect questions in order to help guide their sessions.
6. Improves confidence
Going back to the first point on giving students a new and potentially much-needed learning outlet, that in itself can be an uplifting experience that can clear the mind and allow for greater successes.
Then, beyond that, as success is experienced, confidence grows and grows. Not only can students begin to feel more comfortable with what they’re learning, but they might also be motivated and encouraged to tackle more, and different opportunities. Not to mention the boost it can provide in terms of their confidence when they find themselves back in their classrooms.
7. Introduces accountability
Yes, school offers accountability too, but this is different.
For instance, the measures of accountability a teacher has with their students come mainly through homework, participation, and exams. If a student misses a homework assignment, it might not even be mentioned until it becomes a pattern. And with participation, it might not require a student to do much to grab their points. Exams do help with accountability, but they only come around so often.
With tutoring, though, you usually have a student who is one-on-one with the person instructing them and challenging them. The person putting in their time and effort to help the student improve themselves. In such a situation, students may feel more compelled to perform. It’s not just “for fear of,” but also because they feel empowered, and are holding themselves accountable, too.
The goal is to help
I state this because, when it comes to students and learning, and the many different opportunities to do so, each of those experiences was created with the goal of helping students.
So, the question isn’t so much "does one-on-one tutoring help students?" Or "does online learning help students?" But rather, "which learning activity helps my student the most?"
All of it should help, and most of it is probably better than doing nothing at all, but kids have different needs and personalities, and thus might respond more favorably to one experience over another.
Ready to get started? Check out iD Tech's online tutoring for kids—virtual learning in coding, math, Minecraft, Roblox, and more.