Getting a tutor for my girls isn’t something I’d ever considered in all honesty. The company MyTutor contacted me, and asked if I wanted to give their service a try and I was intrigued to hear more. I wondered, could an online A-Level tutor be the solution to some of the things my eldest daughter and I had been chatting about during recent weeks whilst we are in lockdown?
Nia – Tutor A Levels
My eldest daughter will begin her second year of A-Level studies in September. When lockdown happened and the schools closed at the end of March we really didn’t know how long or what to expect education-wise. I think the way secondary schools have handled it has been different school to school. My daughter has been happy to work remotely but has missed the one to one interactions face to face that you have with teachers.
How does My Tutor work
So let me tell you a little bit about My Tutor firstly. They are a way for you to choose from a large pool of people who are experts in particular subjects who will tutor your child. It’s incredibly simple to navigate the online system and if you have any queries you are able to give them a ring to chat in more detail or indeed email them.
Once you’ve made an account, you can look through tutors to choose one that is likely to be the best fit for your needs. Of course, if you needed a tutor in several subjects you could choose different people who were best suited for the job. You can see their qualifications and the University they either are at or did attend. Also, the price is clearly stated as they vary for each of the tutors. Booking can be made very flexibly and at the pace, you decide to go at. We were considering it weekly at first and then move to monthly. You don’t need to commit to this pattern though as can pay as you go.
Why we chose to have a tutor in more detail :
Nia and I chatted and these were our objectives. I think its important to understand what these are whilst considering a tutor, and we kept them in mind both when choosing a who we would have and when we had that initial 15-minute meeting.
- Nia (17) has consistently been getting B’s in English Literature and wanted to learn new techniques and improve her essay writing to get those B’s to A’s.
- Because of the lockdown, and the lack of face to face interaction with teachers, she would like to exercise her debate and analytical skills more as this is something she wasn’t getting as much practice with.
- During lockdown, her English Literature work has now included new texts eg The Bell Jar. Jack her tutor on MyTutor has great knowledge of this book having studied it himself, along with the majority of the other texts.
- To use someone who had the same examining body would make a massive difference, so we tried to look for this.
- Nia has aspirations to go to a University that requires high-level grades. She’s very determined and wants to try and make sure she gets those grades.
- When you are looking for a place at University one of the key parts of the application process is the Personal Statement. The person we chose actually specialises in this, so it will be something we will also take advantage of. This is the kind of thing that is invaluable, and may even help her to get unconditional offers.
Let’s get started
Before you start your session with the tutor there is a test page to make sure everything is set up correctly such as your microphone, sound and connection speed in order for the session to go ahead without any technical issues. We then had an initial meeting with our tutor Jack, it was a quick 15 minute to check that Nia and Jack were suited and because we were wanting English literature help it was important to know if he had studied or had knowledge of the particular books that she was studying. He actually impressed my daughter, and I could really tell she felt confident with him going forward, even after that short meeting. So we booked in straight away for her first full hour later on that week.
I do think there are a lot of advantages to having a tutor, especially for my daughter she is the kind of person who works well when she gets to talk through and discuss things, rather than studying on her own. I believe it would also work well with a child or teenager that’s shy or anxious as its a one to one session. Because the tutors are from all over the country it also means there such a large pool there has got to one that is perfect for you.
Jake had read or tutored on all of the books that Nia wanted to concentrate on. On her first session he had already prepped with extracts ready for them both to analyse. Nia said she felt rusty at first, but by the end of the session was back in the swing of it.
Anything either of you does on the whiteboard can be seen by the other. The tutor can upload documents and draw/write on them whilst explaining things. The board can be written on, drawn on, links can be added etc and the student can click to save everything to their computer from the board for use later on. The session is recorded, so you can look back, something that I can imagine for subjects like science and maths would be particularly handy.
In between the lessons Jack offered to look at an example essay that Nia had written. Which he analysed for the next session, in order to improve her essay technique. Again this is something that Niamh wanted to concentrate on in her need to up her grades from B’s to A’s.
Once the session was over I received a report from Jack. I’d actually not realised this would happen, and it felt like such a good idea. I felt involved and I could if need be chat to my daughter about things afterwards.
As a parent, I could also book a session to get help whilst homeschooling too. I think its also important to note that there are fantastic safeguarding measures in place, as I can see (via email) all of the comments that they make to one another before and after the sessions. It feels like both a versatile form of tutoring and really safe and accessible.
Who do I think My Tutor is suitable for?
I’ve put a lot of thought into this, and really in the current climate, I believe pretty much anyone. I think perhaps age and concentration are important at the lower age range, but from 9/10 plus should be fine. You know your child though. My other daughter is back at school now as she is year 6, however, I wouldn’t hesitate doing it for her (or even to help me) now I understand how MyTutor works.
I can imagine there are a lot of people out there who could really benefit from the My Tutor. Whether its to help you to guide the learning of your children from home. Or to compliment the teaching they are already receiving. I appreciate that it is at an added expense but in our experience so far, the year before my daughter anticipates going to University, with very specific needs and goals, we feel that it is worth it.
Read the reviews
The site has lots of reviews and each tutor also has a review section, so you can read about how former and current pupils have found being tutored by them as well, which can be reassuring for parents.
We never even considered a tutor before we had this opportunity, in fact, I’d go as far as saying we would have never tried it. However, now that we have, we will absolutely continue using MyTutor moving forward.