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Online vs. In-Person Tutoring: Which is Better?

The pandemic really changed a lot for education. I know first-hand because I taught kindergarten virtually when the world shut down. And let me tell you, it was interesting! Although many parents may have negative flashbacks to that time, in my opinion, online tutoring is just not the same as Covid-19 teaching. However, some assume that since their child didn't do well online during the pandemic, they won't do well online with a tutor.


I remember teaching virtually. Kindergarten. I had nearly 30 faces on a screen, and I was trying to engage them all with screen share, videos, songs, stories, interactive exercises, questions, and breaks. My school's goal was ambitious: at least 90% of students engaged at all times. I was trained and monitored in how to keep student's attention. Despite all of my efforts and training, students still fell asleep, interrupted the class, used the chat to send emojis to the class, and lacked parental monitoring as parents were also working from home.


Even though that might sound discouraging (and maybe it was based on your own experience!) online tutoring one-on-one is not the same as a classroom full of students during pandemic times. I have one student, yours! I use screen share, interactive worksheets, games, videos, questions, mini breaks, and conversation to keep your student engaged. They talk, I listen! I talk, they listen! I model, they practice! It is completely interactive and engaging the entire time. No one will unmute and interrupt them, they can ask as many questions as they want, and no one will use the chat to distract them. You can even pop in to ask questions or follow up with the session.


Online tutoring is also convenient because you do not need to host a tutor in your home or drive to a location to meet the tutor. This means that if you are a traveling family or live in a different city, state, or country from your tutor, tutoring works wherever you are! As long as you have reliable internet access and a laptop or tablet that makes it easy for your student to see and engage with the material, online tutoring is super flexible.


However, I also have to say that although online tutoring has the same benefits as in-person tutoring, some students do better when someone is right beside them. Students can get distracted by switching tabs or playing on their phone or a computer game and the tutor might now know it (although I can tell if something else has your child distracted!).


Another downside to online tutoring is that students may not have a reliable internet connection or well-functioning technology to host a Zoom platform, causing frequent glitches and interruptions to the tutoring session. I have also had students log in using a phone in noisy locations, which is inadequate for optimal learning. Although it may serve to get the job done as a one-off when in-person and all other technology fails, it's certainly not ideal.


So which is better: online or in-person tutoring? It depends on your child, the tutor and the technology, but in my opinion, either method can be very effective to inspire your student to make progress one step at a time. That's what I'm all about through Progress Tutoring. Progress through inspiration and celebration, one step at a time until it all comes together.

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