Building confidence during online tutorials

A fantastic by-product of the online tutorial is the child gaining confidence to ask valuable questions as they learn

I have noticed over the years that when a child first starts being tutored, they are very reserved and often hesitant about either saying they don’t understand, or asking any further questions.

This is understandable and is a challenge for the online tutor.

This generally improves over time, but one excellent way to bring this forward asap is to get a child to ask ME a questions.

For example, I might ask a child to work out a percentage or a fraction division relating to money. After I think they’ve got the hang of it I ask them to ask me a question.

On the iPad they might write something like 1/4 divided by 3/7. I tell them in advance that I might get it wrong (on purpose hopefully) and they have to check my working out and let me know how many marks I deserve.

This is a great way to up the dialog and to make sure they can answer their own question. It is often a bit of fun and very engaging for the child.

Sometimes I like to make an obvious error to make sure they’re fully engaged.

The by-product of this is increased questioning from the child which anecdotally also transfers into the classroom which I see as a huge win for the child.

Check the Marks and Plan the Answer

It is vitally important to know how many marks a question is worth and to think how to pick up all those marks

Some questions on an exam paper are worth one mark. For example an 11+ paper that might be a questions such as 1.5 x 3. For such questions it is fine to write down the answer.

If a question has two marks available that normally means the person doing the marking wants to see some working out or articulation of an intermediate result. For example if the question is how much change would you get from £10 when buying two pens at £2 each.

Most exam papers progress to longer and more complex questions as they go along. If a question has four marks available it is worth a child checking that first and then spending literally ten seconds working out what they need to articulate on the paper to secure all four marks.

Think of it as a game.

You’re driving Super Mario along the road and you want to drive over the coins as you go picking up as many points as you can.

I’ve seen very clever children lose marks on mock tests I’ve run because they’re sometimes “too” clever. They can work out the answer to a four step question (see the example below) in their head and just write down the answer. Unfortunately the answer is only worth one mark. It’s all the working out and sub-totals which score the other three marks.

As part of my tutoring I focus strongly on exam technique, including making sure you’re picking up all the points as you go.

Contact me using the form below for a free introductory online maths tutorial:

Online Maths Tutoring Hours for the UK & Ireland

Online maths tutorial times for the UK & Ireland are 7am to 10pm seven days a week (depending on availability).

The Tutor Dragon is based in London and with is team able to deliver online maths tutorials in the UK & Ireland from 07:00 to 22:00 seven days a week.

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

Bespoke Online Maths Tuition

Bespoke online maths tuition can significantly improve your child’s ability by focusing on the topics he or she needs to focus on the most

At school a maths teacher has to work with a lot of children across a broad range of abilities. This works in general, but if a child is struggling with one particular topic – e.g. fractions and percentages, the teacher may not be able to give the child all the help they need to master the topic.

This is were online maths tuition is so valuable.

The Tutor Dragon can focus on the one topic your child has been struggling with to make sure they master that topic.

The outcome is three-fold;

Firstly, your child will be much more confident in the classroom. It cannot be overstated how important this psychological aspect of learning is.

Secondly, by overcoming one topic, it raises your child’s numeracy in general. Learning how to work out percentages involves a lot of multiplication, division, addition and subtraction as well as relating maths to the real world.

Thirdly, higher scores in the exams. A high or low score in a few questions relating to fractions for example can make the difference between an A and a B, or a B and a C for example.

A Free Introductory Session with the Tutor Dragon

For a free introductory session please contact us using the form below.

Reminder: You’ll need an iPad or touch-screen and a stylus – free Tutor Dragon notepad and Dragon stylus when you sign up for your first paid tutorial.

Primary School Clock and Time Tuition

Analog and digital clock & time tuition is a great way to develop problem solving skills for children at Primary School.

The advantage of running this tuition online is the ability to solve similar but different problems using analog and digital clock faces on which the tutee can draw, work things out, erase and try again.

Initially it is best to steer clear of the 24 hour clock, using instead AM and PM.

Simple hour and minute additions and subtractions are are great way for children to gain confidence in time numeracy before moving on to more complex problems such as train timetables!

If you’d like a free tutorial session please email the Tutor Dragon (note: you’ll need a touch-screen device such as an iPad or similar and ideally a stylus).

What to do over the summer holiday before starting Secondary School

In the UK the beginning of Secondary School is Year 7 when children are typically 11 years old. Here are a few ideas on how to prepare over the summer holiday before starting.

Read a lot

A visit online or to your favourite book store is useful to start reading books which are a notch more difficult than what your child may have been used to. Of extra value are non-fiction books such as encyclopaedias covering subjects such as Geography and History.

Audio Books

Following on from the point above, listening to audio books (fiction and non-fiction) aimed at early teens is a useful way to help increase vocabulary and the complexity of sentence structure.


Yes I hate to say, but buying a few Year 7 / KS3 workbooks is a good idea – not to finish but at least to have a go and to understand some of the key concepts especially in Maths. Always useful is to start working on more complex algebra and geometry.


It almost doesn’t matter what a child wants to write about, but it is worth a child spending a good amount of time every week over the summer holiday writing about anything. It’s useful to mix this 50/50 writing by hand and writing on a computer. This is also a useful time to build vocabulary and practice more complex sentence structures.

Get Organised

Compared to Primary School there’ll be a lot more work at school and home work, so you’ll need to figure our what works best for your child in terms of keeping track of everything. I’m a fan of using post-it notes on the wall above a child’s desk to keep track of Mon-Fri and also Sat & Sun for the homework schedule. A whiteboard is also a great idea which enables the child to draw out their own organisation.

The power of drawing during a tutorial

When a child draws on their touch-screen their mind lights up connecting visuals with maths and understanding.

More useful even than writing on paper, a drawing on a touch-screen can be erased and redrawn lots of times with clarity.

If a child makes a mistake it is easy for the tutor to draw over it, correct it, then rub it out and ask the child to redraw and explain it as they go.

I have observed many times that by drawing a fraction, a percentage or a chart makes a huge difference in the child’s ability to not only understand a concept but to also recall it later.

Online maths tutorials for children moving to an English Speaking country

If your family is moving to an English speaking country we can help with online maths tutorials which will help with numeracy and English fluency.


The Tutor Dragon has experience tutoring children where English is not their first language.

The maths tutorials are mostly numerical using a shared whiteboard with the tutor and the child talking via WhatsApp (or similar application such as Skype of KakaoTalk).

Before or After Moving to an English Speaking Country

Whether you are about to, or have already moved to an English speaking country, the Tutor Dragon can help your child with mathematical numeracy and English fluency using the vocabulary your child will be using at school and with their homework.

The sessions are all online and you will ideally need an iPad or device with a touch-screen and a stylus.


Please contact the Tutor Dragon for a free introductory session.

Online maths tutorials before the Korean school day starts

The Tutor Dragon is now offering 30 minute online maths tutorials to Korean students scheduled in the morning before leaving home for school

Targeted Online Maths Sessions

These 30 minute sessions are targeted to help a child with any problems they may have had with maths homework.

Korean & English Languages

The lessons are conducted in English by a native English speaker but a Korean speaker is on hand if you have any questions as a parent and wish to speak Korean.

Free Introductory Session

Use the form below to contact the Tutor Dragon to set up a free sample session.

How many marks is that question worth?

When a child is working through practice papers it is VITAL they pay attention to how many marks are on offer for each question.

A question with one mark on offer only requires an answer – for example what is 13 x 67.

A question worth two marks requires the child show some working out.

Questions typically towards the end of a paper can be worth up to four marks. These are typically multi-stage questions where the child is required to show working out, mid-calculation results and how multiple results combine into the final answer. Marks can also we awarded for getting the answer in the correct format – e.g. in km instead of metres.

The Tutor Dragon Recommends: Always look at the number of marks for each question so you know what level of detail is required in the answer.