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7 tips when choosing an online tutor or online school for your child

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Are you overwhelmed by the explosion in online education? So many tutors. So many schools. Every day there seems to be an increasing number of education providers taking to the internet. Here are a few tips to look out for when navigating the maze of information:

1) Which country are they based in?

If there are live classes being offered, make sure you check the time zone, or your child may have to get up at 3am for a Maths class!

2) Are the classes private, group or whole class tuition?

Decide which is best for your child and for your budget. Note that some whole class tuition can include students of up to sixty or more, so do ask about the class size.

3) How new is the school? If it is newly established (and many are), know that your child will be a guinea-pig (an experiment) for the school. New online schools are more likely to experience technical issues.Conversely, they are more likely to have comparatively lower school fees...

4) Is the tutor qualified in their subject?

If yes, great! BUT this doesn't mean they know how to teach! Ask the tutor for references from previous students.Moreover in the UK, teachers need to have been DRB checked in order to check that they are suitable to work with children.

5) Internet safety

With children spending more time online these days, there is an increasing risk of possible addiction to the internet and distraction, when in online classes. Ideally have your child's tablets/ laptops/ devices placed in the main living room area of your home, so that they can be better supervised. Check on in your child's classes at regular intervals, talk to your child about what they learnt online and if anything unusual happened.

6) Accreditation

Many parents ask whether the online schools are accredited in their home country. They are concerned that their children may take a course which does not produce a "recognised" certificate at the end. If this is a concern for you, check with the online school/ teacher/ tutor directly about this and then check with the Education Department in your home country. If in doubt, stay away or you may regret all the money you spent!

7) Online School or Online Tutor?

An online school can offer many subjects whereas an online tutor may only specialise in one. Tutors who offer many subjects may not be subject specialists, so may be better suited to younger children rather than older ones. A school may also offer extra curricular activities, similar to regular school, such as a chess and/or art club. Schools are more likely to have fixed schedules whereas tutors may be more flexible. School may have set monthly or termly fees; most tutors are paid hourly.Think about how flexible you want your payment schedule to be. This will affect your choice.

My family have used online schooling for the past nine years so I know that online tutors and online schools can benefit your child at different stages of their education.

Remember however, that online schools work for some children but not all. Some children prefer the face-to-face tuition which only a parent may be able to provide. If you are able to read this, then you may be able to learn any subject that your child wishes to learn and teach it to them, or even better learn together with your child!

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