Ask the Education Team (March 2021)

With Dr Junaid Mubeen, Director of Education at Whizz, mathematician turned educator and former Countdown winner.

Q. What should I look for in a tutor? I’m thinking about getting a private tutor for my child (Elena), who is aged 9. I’m worried she’s falling behind in maths because of all the disruptions from Covid. What should I look for in a tutor, and how can I make sure I get value for money? I don’t want it to be too stressful for Elena. (Sue, Telford)

A. Hi, Sue. It feels like every parenting decision is more prominent these days, doesn’t it? I think it’s great you’re so invested in your child’s learning. I’ve spent almost 20 years tutoring children of all ages and the first thing I’ll always ask is: what does success look like? Every child is different and requires a tailored approach – that starts with a clear understanding of their needs.

It sounds like Elena (great name, by the way – it’s an anagram of my 2-year-old Leena) may benefit from a tutor who has the following traits:

  • They make learning fun for your child – Elena should look forward to her sessions rather than be stressed out.
  • They have a reliable way of identifying Elena’s specific knowledge gaps.
  • They can prepare a learning plan that is tailored to Elena’s specific needs.
  • They can help Elena set learning goals and motivate her to achieve them.
  • They can measure Elena’s progress and report back to you in a detailed and timely manner.
  • They are flexible and can work to your schedule

It’s always worth considering whether a human or virtual tutor is best. You can read all about the benefits of virtual tutoring here. Maths-Whizz in particular has been designed with all of the above in mind, and it’s also a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.

In the end it’s about what works for your child – so I might suggest putting Elena in the hot seat and letting her decide with you!

It’s a difficult period for us all but knowing you have done your best for your child is both reassuring and uplifting. Thanks again for reaching out, Sue, and let us know how you get on.

Find out more about virtual tutoring

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