During a tutorial a child learns a lot because they’re listening, learning and most importantly DOING…
In a classroom a child will listen, hopefully learn and then during homework recall.
In the classroom it is not possible to each each child to come up to the front and show whether or not they’ve understood how to work out perimeter and area of an irregular shape. Only when the teacher marks their homework will any lack of understanding become apparent.
In an online tutorial however, a child will be called upon continually to show they’ve understood and to recall this by solving a similar but different problem.
The aim of every online tutorial is for the child to be able to understand a topic more deeply and to use recall and experience to solve similar but different problems.
Learning fractions addition and subtraction visually is a great way to secure fractions numeracy
Fractions lend themselves to be taught online very well, enabling both tutor and tutee to colour in boxes, rub them out, add them up and simplify the answers.
Below is a screenshot from a recent tutorial I had with a Y3 child who has just begun to learn about fractions.
It is great to see a child suddenly understand that four eighths is the same as a half.
Often a couple of fractions tutorials BEFORE a child starts to learn fractions at school gives them a HUGE advantage in understanding the basics which will enable them to not only keep up with the class, but often to lead the class and the homework.
Between each tutorial a child should practice what has been taught in the tutorial and try working on a new topic to be covered in the next tutorial.
A tutor should give two types of homework for a child to do between tutorial sessions. The first is a series of questions to make sure the child has secured what has been taught in the last tutorial session. This gives the tutor a good idea if that topic (e.g. percentages) needs any further work.
Secondly, the tutor can cover new work in the tutorial and give an example say on how to convert a percentage to a fraction, then give the child some questions covering that new work.
This gives the chid an opportunity to try out a little bit of learning over some new questions and prepares them for the next tutorial.
Only a few questions are required – I suggest a maximum of 5 to tests the previous subject has been secured, and 5 to test new territory.
Please contact me if you have any questions or are interested in an initial free session.
Maths tutorials are not cheap so you have to make the most of every session. Do this by planning ahead based on your child’s current school work.
It is tempting to “hand over” control of tutorial sessions entirely to a tutor. This is a mistake. Ideally the tutorial sessions should be in-sync or just ahead of what your child is learning at school.
If the tutorials are a week or so ahead of the curriculum schedule then when your child is taught a subject, say fractions, your tutor should already have covered the basics. This means the child has a much better chance of understanding everything in class and being able to do their homework exhibiting a good level of understanding.
The advantage of this approach is that the child is always “primed” for the lessons at school.
As I have mentioned in other posts, it is also useful to use tutorial time to review any topics or specific homework questions which the child found difficult. This helps secure the understanding which in turn better prepares the child for SAT’s and entrance exams.
Please contact us with any questions and for a free introductory session:
Most tutorials are an hour, but we should question why this is, considering most group lessons in a school environment are 50 minutes.
A tutorial session should not be taken up with the tutor sitting there marking work while the child attempts new questions from a workbook – all of that should be done between sessions. Beware of tutors who do this.
When a tutorial session is one-to-one less than 50 minutes should be enough to address a topic and for the child to have learned something, understood it and applied it to a question or two which they haven’t seen before.
We find that 30 minutes is a good amount of time to address a specific issue – for example a child not understanding how to multiply and divide fractions and then simplify the answer.
For more general tutorial sessions such as reviewing percentage in general, forty five minutes works well.
Remember that it’s up to you and your child to bring to the tutorial session what you want to get out of it. Specifically, email your tutor ahead of time saying “Tomorrow we’d like to focus on angles and types of triangles because John doesn’t understand how to do his homework”. The more specific you can be, the more your child will get out of their tutorial sessions.
If your child needs any help please contact us for a free introductory session: