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7 Benefits Of One to One Tutoring: What Parents Should Know (Apart From That It Works!)

Would your child benefit from one to one tutoring? Like many parents, you may be asking yourself this question. 

Maybe your child struggling in primary school. Or they’re doing really well and starting to feel a little bored in class. Maybe they’re a little nervous and you just want to help build their confidence in lessons. 

Whatever the case, if you decide they need additional support, you’ll very quickly find out that there is a world of choice available for parents.

What about the alternatives to one to one tutoring

Before you even consider one to one tutoring, you’ll find lots of other options to support children from primary to secondary school, and right up to GCSE and beyond.

Your choices tend to boil down to three options:

1) The purely digital with online websites like Khan Academy.

The advantage is that it’s easy to sign up and not expensive – there are plenty of free options. The disadvantage is that it’s hard to navigate, not personalised at all and will take quite a lot of input from you to make sure your child is working at their right level on the right sorts of activities and is able to complete their online course. This is also not a good idea if your child would benefit from a relational approach to their maths lessons.

2) Face to face group lessons offered after school by organisations like Kumon

You need to commit to attending Kumon centres for these, which can be a challenge among all the other commitments of busy family life. Morever the small group classes can often turn into much bigger groups so it’s hard to get the personalised support. You’ll also struggle to keep your child motivated as the method of teaching is very numeracy worksheet based and children soon baulk at the daily grind!

3) The ‘home school option’ – ie you do it yourself.

Only you know whether this would work for you and your child. For most of us, particularly following our experience during Covid 19, this is the least attractive proposition but if you’ve got good maths knowledge yourself, access to lots of high quality maths resources, and endless patience, it might just work!

Join the Third Space Learning Maths Hub

To browse our entire collection of free and premium maths resources for teachers and parents register to join the Third Space Learning maths hub. It's free to join (please ensure you're using Chrome to access the internet)

4) Last but not least is the one to one tutoring option

One to one tuition has long been recognised as the most effective method of boosting a child’s confidence and supporting them to reach their full potential. But it can be costly, and difficult to know where to start if you’re looking for tutor in your home.

As providers of one to one tuition ourselves, we are well aware of both the pros and cons of all types of one to one tutoring now available.

Here we look at what you can expect from one to one tutoring, both by highlighting the benefits but also looking at the concerns you might have and how to address them.

At Third Space we’ve been providing one to one tutoring to primary school pupils for many years as part of our maths intervention. Recently we’ve been able to adapt these into a home offering for children aged 6 to 12. This article looks at the benefits of one-to-one- tutoring for parents and children at home. School leaders and teachers are recommend instead to look at this guidance on the place one to one tutoring might have within the maths intervention strategies you introduce in your school.

What does one to one tutoring or ‘1 on 1’ tutoring involve?

One to one tutoring means one tutor, one student – it’s as simple as that. A one-to-one tutor only works with one student at a time, spending between 30 minutes and one or two hours with a child. They normally spend this time focusing on one subject, most often maths or English at primary and then maths or the sciences at GCSE and A Level.

In a lot of ways it’s like a normal classroom lesson, except that all the teaching is aimed at a single student instead of many. 

One-to-one tuition can be either through a private arrangement with a tutor or through as part of a tutoring company or maths programme; the tutors can then work with your child either in person at home or online. 

In person one to one tutoring

In person tutoring can involve the tutor coming to your home but more usually involves a journey to the tutor’s house. They may spend some time talking to you before and after the lesson, to discuss homework or performance but you are unlikely to get formal reports. You can however be guaranteed of personalised support for your child. 

Online one-to-one child tutoring

Online one to one tutoring can be done in a variety of ways. Most often it’s through call software like Skype but the more sophisticated tutoring organisations will use a bespoke classroom with specific tools and lesson slides such as this example from our online maths tuition.

Quality maths lesson slides are a benefit of one to one online tutoring
Maths lesson slide from Third Space Learning’s one-to-one tutoring

What are the benefits of one-to-one tutoring for your child? 

Benefits of 1-to-1 tutoring

Choosing to hire a one to one maths tutor isn’t an easy decision. Before you make your pick you’ll want to be sure that whatever option you’re leaning towards, the benefits outweigh the costs. 

Experiences vary between parents (and companies), but we’ve put together a list of some of the main benefits of one-to-one tutoring over other choices.

These benefits apply to in-person and online tutoring. Read more about the online tutoring here.

Benefit 1. Your child receives individual attention from a one-to-one tutor

one-to-one individual attention

It’s the most obvious benefit of one-to-one tuition, but it’s so often overlooked! 

Modern classrooms could have anywhere between 20 and 30 students per teacher. With that many children, it’s very difficult for a teacher to give one student a lot of long-term personal focus – especially if they’re middle-of-the-class or struggling just a little. 

The same might happen (but less dramatically) with group-based tutoring. Even though there are fewer students, tutors generally have to try and divide their time between them equally.

This could mean students that need a little more attention to make progress may not get as much help as they need. 

One-to-one tutoring makes sure that a student gets the time and attention that brings the best out of them, and this means they can make progress that much quicker. 

Benefit 2. Learning takes place in a low-pressure setting for the student

This benefit may be a bit more subtle but has just as big an impact: being in a comfortable learning environment And if you opt for private tuition where the tutor comes to you or online tutoring from the comfort of your own home this benefit is magnified.

You’d be surprised how often a student knows the answer to a maths problem with a little prompting. But in class, they might freeze up or panic because they’re afraid of getting the answer wrong in front of their friends. 

One-to-one tuition gives your child a safer, more relaxed space to learn in, where they might feel comfortable making mistakes. And it’s important to make mistakes – most of our learning doesn’t come from getting an answer right; we learn by getting something wrong and working out why that happened. 

One-to-one tutoring also gives more nervous or shy children a chance to practice answering questions outside the classroom. This helps boost their confidence; they might even start giving answers in class!

Benefit 3. Your child will enjoy one to one tuition lessons more – even maths!

child enjoying themselves image

Another subtle benefit of one on one tutoring, whether a student enjoys their lesson is usually a good indicator of whether they’ll make progress. 

But in a classroom or group setting, activities are aimed at appealing to many different learning styles at the same time. This could mean your child is not engaged completely in their work, which means they’ll learn less. 

In a one-to-one tutoring setting, the tutor can tailor their lessons to the individual learning preferences of the student so they can progress at their own pace without being forced to move on or hang back for other children to catch up.

With more individual attention between a tutor and a student they can also improve engagement, keeping the child much more involved in their lesson. Online lessons can extend this focus even more – it’s surprising how motivated a child will be to attend their maths tuition when they know it involves some extra screen time.

Benefit 4. You and your child will receive better and more personalised feedback

personalised feedback is a benefit of one to one tutoring

There’s a lot of communication involved in one to one tuition. In lesson, students get regular prompts to support their learning and feedback on successes or support with challenges.

With online tuition come the other benefits that the online world can bring, namely a host of free resources and advice. The best online tutoring sites provide pretty extensive support back in the office should you need it as well as worksheets and activities for your child to do between lessons.

At Third Space Learning we have a large section of free home learning packs and home learning guides for parents and children as well as a section devoted to maths homework help and free worksheets for your child’s age.

Find out what your child needs to know

Join the Third Space Learning Maths Hub

To browse our entire collection of free and premium maths resources for teachers and parents register to join the Third Space Learning maths hub. It's free to join (please ensure you're using Chrome to access the internet)

The tutor or one to one tutoring organisation will also be able to provide you the parent with more feedback than a class teacher; whether in-person or online, they will usually take some time either before or after the tutoring sessions to speak with a parent about their child’s progress or, even better, send out regular reports on progress. 

This gives you a clearer picture of how your child’s tutoring is developing, where their strengths and weaknesses might be, and what is being done to help them improve. It also gives you a chance to be more involved in the learning process, if you want to. 

Benefit 5. One to one tutoring can help your child learn more than just the answer to a problem

knowledge and understanding image

Tutoring can fill in gaps in a student’s learning that may have emerged during their lessons in school. But it’s unfair to tutors (and one to one tutoring in particular) to suggest this is all they’re good for. 

One to one tuition aims to improve a student’s understanding of a subject as much as their ability in it. Rather than just teach children how to work something out, tutors will give equal weight to why a formula is used or why an answer is what it is. 

This approach not only makes sure a student really improves in their subject, it encourages them to apply the same thought processes across their learning. It effectively makes them better learners!

Benefit 6. Tutoring is flexible based on your child’s needs

flexibility image

While we’ve talked about one-to-one tutoring so far with an emphasis on the relationship between tutor and student, this relationship is defined on your terms. 

If you or your child are unhappy with your tutor, you can easily stop using them. If you’re hiring through a tutoring organisation, the flexibility is even greater. With Third Space you can change your lesson time, increase or decrease the number of lessons you have each week or even request a new tutor if you don’t feel the relationship is working so effectively. 

Benefit 7. One to one tutoring is better value-for-money

Cost-efficiency image for one to one tuition

The cost of one-on-one tutoring is often cited as a concern – and at first it can seem like the more expensive option.

But in fact cost is a benefit of one-on-one tutoring, or rather cost-efficiency is. 

As we’ve already discussed, individual tutoring can accelerate a student’s growth rate beyond classroom teaching and even small group tuition because of the extra time and attention invested in each child. 

This means it often pays for itself very quickly. If your child achieves their goals several months quicker than they may have through a group tutoring programme, the value is obvious.

What about the concerns you may have around one-to-one tuition for your child?

While there are a lot of benefits to one-to-one tutoring, there are a few things you might also want to consider before making the leap. 

Is one-to-one child tutoring too expensive for my needs?

We’ve already established that one-to-one can be more cost-effective in the long term, but the fees some organisations charge can be quite steep – especially if you only want your child to be tutored for a short time.

For this reason we tend to recommend online tutoring as your best option, especially at primary school age. 

Is the tutor or tuition programme as good as they claim?

It’s hard when assessing a new opportunity for your child to know how good it is. In an ideal world you’d check in with another parent about it, but failing that the next best thing is to look at the individual or the organisation’s online profile. Read their reviews and testimonials, have a look at their social media feeds and their website. Does it look like they know what they’re doing?

An example review from Trustpilot for Matr and the benefits of one-to-one tutoring
Sites like Trustpilot are a great way of finding out what parents like you think of a tutoring service (Matr is part of Third Space Learning)

What has the training and recruitment process been for your tutor?

After recruitment, all of our tutors go through intensive initial and on-going training designed by ex-Primary School teachers and aligned with the current National Curriculum. This means our programme and methods of teaching are in line with your child’s teachers and school.

For some private tutors it can be harder to keep up with changes in how maths is taught at school so it’s worth quizzing them a bit when you’re researching your options.

What about the online tutor’s qualifications?

It’s always wise to check the qualifications your tutor holds. At Third Space our tutors typically hold a top-tier university degree in a maths-related subject or similar. And of course they hold a DBS or DBS equivalent as any one to one tutor should.

During our recruitment and training process only those who achieve top marks are selected to teach at Third Space – and we’re so rigorous in our testing that only the top 1% of all applicants make it through. 

Is the tutor teaching the right topic and in the right way?

You’ve found a decently priced tutor with great reviews – fantastic! But your child’s marks don’t improve and they say that what they’re learning in tutoring isn’t the same as what they’re learning in lessons. What’s the problem? 

Usually, it’s because the content of their tutoring is wrong. In the UK all schools follow the National Curriculum (NC) at Key Stage 1, 2, and 3, and tutors should be teaching subjects that are in the NC. 

But there’s no set order to how the National Curriculum should be taught, and this is where there could be an issue. It’s always worth checking with your child’s school what their ‘Scheme of Learning’ is, especially for maths. 

example scheme of learning from white rose maths
White Rose Maths frameworks are a popular KS2 scheme of learning in many schools.

Many schools use the ‘White Rose’ scheme of work for teaching maths especially at primary school, and if your child’s school does as well, you’ll want to find a tutor that also follows that system.

At Third Space for example, all our lessons and resources align to the mastery method of teaching maths, and neatly support the White Rose scheme. Find out more about primary school tutoring here.

One to one tutoring has many more benefits than drawbacks.

Hopefully this article has allayed any concerns you might have had and highlighted to you the importance and benefits of one to one tutoring.

If your child needs support, tutoring is the most effective and the most rapid way to provide them with what they need. The route you choose to provide them with this will depend on your circumstances and your knowledge of your child. 

Online 1-to-1 maths lessons trusted by schools and parents
Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of primary school children with weekly online 1-to-1 lessons. Since 2013 we’ve helped over 60,000 children become more confident, able mathematicians. In schools the lessons run as part of a successful maths intervention. At home parents use our online maths tutors to support their own children to catch up or make extra progress in maths.

Our online tuition for maths programme provides every child with their own professional one to one maths tutor

Ellie Williams
Ellie Williams
Third Space Learning
Content Team
With a love for all things KS2 maths, Ellie is a part of the content team that helps all of the Third Space Learning blogs and resources reach teachers!
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