Tutoring increase amid the pandemic

Parents are hiring tutors to supplement virtual learning
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 5:06 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Many schools across the nation are opting for a virtual start to the school year. While the teachers are doing their best to teach online parents are turning to tutoring for extra help. Brian Galvin is the Chief Academic Officer for Varsity Tutors, one of the country’s largest online tutoring companies, said it’s seen a dramatic increase in tutoring request since March.

“In a traditional year, we’re a little bit skewed more heavily to high school. Now it’s actually skewed that much younger toward even elementary school. Families are finding that when it’s personalized and small group younger kids really take to the technology. We know they crave screen time, but we don’t want to give them mindless screen time so tutoring is a way to keep them engaged that way,” Galvin said.

He added that a lot of families have been choosing a group tutoring session to help split the cost and give the kids some social time with others. Parents reaching out have voiced concerns about the ‘COVID slide’ a term educators are calling the idea that students could fall behind in their academics because of online learning during the pandemic.

“Teachers can convey so much in a few seconds in person, that kind of in person personalized attention fell by the waist side in the spring and probably will in the fall so one benefit of tutoring is it’s personal attention, it’s a chance to ask questions, it’s someone who’s job it is to look out for that child’s potential, thought process and those kind of things,” Galvin said.

Virtual can be effective and successful if done right Galvin added. “Assignments can be adapted, so that students who need a few more repetitions on the fundamentals before moving on get them, but then those kids who would be bored if they had to do an extra ten or fifteen minutes of things they already know can move on. So everybody’s working but at a level where they’re challenged but not bored. So online education when done well can be really powerful, really effective and really personalized,” Galvin said.

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