Heading into the 2020-21 school year, the term that keeps popping up is uncertainty. At a time when everyone usually settles back into a familiar routine, students, parents, teachers, and administrators alike are now unsure of themselves. Confused or conflicted about how to manage the time needed for homeschool, school districts can’t seem to figure out what to do. Parents want answers, but there is so little that can be stated with any certainty.
Nothing seems definite now as school officials scramble to figure out just what education will look like in the upcoming school year. Due to this hesitation, some families are turning to homeschooling. After having gone through a crash course on remote learning in the spring, some parents feel like they have a better handle on what to expect. What many of them have recognized, however, is that they need significant homeschool help in order to provide quality education for their kids.
Tutoring websites are blowing up with requests for homeschool tutors. Some parents are coordinating to create “homeschool pods” where several children from different families can meet together for learning. Many, many families turn to webinars from educators and school districts to help them organize their ideas around homeschool. Others are seeking an experienced private tutor who can work one-on-one with their children on a regular basis.
We compiled a huge guide to all the homeschooling resources on The Wyzant Blog, so head there after you’re finished with this article for more useful info you can start using today.
If parents have learned anything from the shutdown late last school year, it’s that students need personalized educational instruction and help. And it’s tutors who are best positioned to provide those.
Tutors provide remote learning help for homeschool families
The word homeschool sometimes evokes a sense of confusion or even negative association, but it’s really just referring to education that takes place in the home rather than in a centralized school building. If you’re a parent who has never considered homeschool, then you most likely experienced a baptism by fire back in March when states had to close all the local schools. Now that you have a somewhat better grasp of what online learning is, you want to know how to get started homeschooling.
How do tutors help homeschooled students?
Not only do they have years of experience to draw on, but they also provide a level of teaching expertise that the average parent does not have. No matter what age range or subject within the K12 homeschool spectrum, there are tutors with that area of specialization who can assist parents.
The task of overseeing the online education of multiple students in the home is a daunting task for those parents who never signed up for conventional homeschool. By bringing on an expert tutor, parents can ease their anxiety with the assurance that their kids’s educational needs are being met.
Expertise and experience are the primary benefits of a personal tutor
What’s the biggest value of a tutor? More than anything else, it’s expertise. There’s a saying that’s been floating around for years that people “don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” While there is some truth to that statement—and there certainly are times when it should be applied—the reverse is often true when it comes to educators. First and foremost, tutors and teachers establish trust through their ability to explain things. Many people may be familiar with a certain topic, but only a small percentage of them can teach it effectively.
Expertise is developed through both training and experience. The more extensive the training and experience, the more effective the tutoring techniques that can be implemented during lessons. Those familiar with homeschool instruction will also be able to provide insight on which homeschool curriculum to use and what additional resources are available. You may feel as if you’re flying blind, but there are a host of skilled tutors out there eager to offer guidance.
Before you consider any other factors when looking for a homeschool tutor, make sure the person you hire can explain concepts, methods, and strategies in a way that your children understand. While it’s definitely important for tutors to build relationships with students, nothing can be built if the foundation is faulty: the nicest person will be ineffective if he or she can’t actually teach the material.
Homeschool tutors can also help with assessment, time management, motivation, and communication
Once you have landed on a personal tutor with the necessary level of expertise, you’ll reap the many additional benefits of having regular access to a professional educator.
Evaluation and feedback
Tutors know how to use both formative and summative assessment to accurately evaluate your kids’ progress. By utilizing projects, interviews, portfolios, self-reflection, and conventional tests, your homeschool tutor will provide essential feedback on how the students in your home are faring.
Familiarity with educational objectives
Every state has its own academic standards for each subject, and keeping track of them is a nightmare. Thankfully, an experienced tutor can help you understand the homeschool requirements for learning and develop a plan that make sure your children’s education meets those standards.
Management of courses and schedules
As a parent, you know that there are many other concerns in the home than simply your children’s education. Maybe you’re already working from home, or you have little kids that need special attention. Then there’s preparing food, doing the laundry, keeping the house clean and safe—you know the responsibilities of raising a family. Trying to keep track of your homeschool students while tending to all those other things can be mentally and physically draining. If any of that rings true, you’ll be glad to know that a homeschool tutor will take care of the “classroom management” so that your kids are working on the right subjects at the right times.
Academic authority and motivation
If you’re like most parents, you probably noticed that your kids don’t really respect your “teaching.” When they were all home during the spring shutdown, they just couldn’t receive instruction from Mom and Dad. Tutors can provide a degree of authority that parents can’t because they oversee only one area of students’ lives. Moreover, they are able to tap into your kids’ inner motivation by appealing to clearly defined goals, rather than demanding, asking, or begging them to do their work just for the sake of getting it done.
Peace of mind
Do you recall that feeling of confusion and helplessness you had when schools were closed earlier in the year? Now is the time to get out ahead of things and avoid those feelings. Knowing that your children are being cared for by an experienced, skilled personal tutor will alleviate much of that anxiety.
Strong relationships drive more effective learning
Remember that saying from before? People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Well, this is where it absolutely does apply! While expert instruction is the foundation of the tutor-student connection, the relationship doesn’t end there.
Because tutors provide personalized sessions, they are able to develop a keen understanding of what makes each student tick. As relationships grow, tutors can provide your children with the individualized attention that their regular teachers aren’t able to give them. In time, a strong tutor will become a part of your kid’s social support team, providing encouragement in more than just the scholastic realm.
While the tutor-student relationship is of primary importance, the tutor-parent relationship is also critical. As a parent, you will grow to cherish the streamlined communication you’ll have with your homeschool tutor, as it cuts out the confounding factor of school administration. Tutors appreciate this as well, for it allows them the convenience of only answering to you the parents.
Long-term relationships offer the additional convenience of smooth transitions from grade to grade. Instead of adapting to a new instructor every year—the way things are in most schools—you can keep the same tutor for multiple years. As your children get older, an experienced tutor may be able to provide homeschool test prep in addition to regular course instruction. By the time that happens, the tutor-student relationship will already be established, making for a seamless transition to SAT, ACT, or ASVAB test preparation.
Decisions about tutoring today can positively impact your students’ future
When you learned about the plan (or lack thereof) that your local schools had for the 2020-2021 school year, you may have begun to wonder just how to approach another period of remote learning. Now you’re asking yourself, “Should I hire a tutor?”
Obviously, there are many considerations that go into such a decision. The benefits are significant, though. Online tutoring was already on the rise before COVID-19 hit, but the last six months have kicked it to another level. Now there are more tutors than ever ready to provide quality online instruction. With the technology of online platforms continually improving, obtaining real tutoring expertise for your homeschool students is more convenient than ever. Tutors work for you, so they will adapt to your schedule, thus saving you the stress of having only a narrow window of access to expert instruction.
Leaders in education from around the world are already saying that remote learning is the future, and that the pandemic has forced educators to rethink assessment. While the full effects of this impending academic revolution won’t be felt for several years, now is the time to get out ahead of it. As schools in general turn to increased levels of online instruction, you will want a regular connection with someone experienced and skilled who knows how to navigate that changing landscape.
Homeschool tutors offer more than just expertise and direction: they provide peace of mind for the future.