Does online tutoring really work?

After a year of working with students online, I would have to say that it definitely works. I have been blessed to work with students around the United States and we have had very little difficulty meeting each week either once or twice per week depending on their needs.

For those of you that don’t know me, I have a background in education. I am a certified K-6 teacher, licensed in the state of Nebraska, with 32 year s of experience in public education as a 5th grade teacher. Most of my students have been in grades 3-6 throughout my career. I have taught all classroom subjects.

So, how does this online tutoring work? On my end, I added a landline connection to reduce pauses in my video connection. While it isn’t perfect, we have very few moments of lag time. I have used my computer for all of the sessions except for one when my computer actually wouldn’t work, and then I met online via my phone and we still were able to communicate with very little disruption during our session.

From my students’ perspective, they have met with me on their tablets, phones, and computers.

I have been able to use Zoom when necessary, but I typically rely on Google Meet. With a link sent to the student, we find it quite easy to have our scheduled sessions.

My tutoring is much like my teaching. I find out what is needed and then I respond. If I am going to work directly with a student for a period of time and I know the goal, then I seek materials that will meet the child’s needs.

If I am focusing on homework support, then I use my student’s direction when we meet and respond to their needs.

So, what do each of these scenarios look like?

When I know the goal, I will find support materials and curriculum that will address the child’s needs. Let’s say the child is in need of support in reading. I do a reading evaluation of my own, and discover there is a need for support not only in comprehension skills, but they get stuck on multisyllabic words. I will find grade level appropriate words and we will do phonics study as well as comprehension skill practice. I certainly wouldn’t want my students to go without the support they need. I want them to grow in their area of support.

When students need homework support, I ask their parent or the child (if they are old enough and responsible enough) to send me the topics they are covering so I have an idea of what we are working on that night. If they can get me that list a few hours prior, I can typically have things lined up in advance. When I don’t get the list, then I focus on what they have worked on in class and expand on that skill. I have had a lot of success with and without a list, but it makes for a more productive session when I have an idea of what we are working on.

I get very excited when parents let me know their child is doing well in class and that they are improving on their report cards. I have had students working towards goals in their classroom and finding success and building confidence on the skills they are working on. With parent approval, I will reach out to the child’s teacher and coordinate efforts with them.

So, who are a few of the kiddos I have worked with? Well, I won’t name any of them, but I can tell you about a few of them. I worked with a family in California. The sister was in third grade and the brother was in fifth grade. I helped both of them with their homework, but we typically focused on writing. Both of them were dual language speakers. The third grader was an exceptional writer, but she would get confused on verb tense, so we really focused on that. She had great ideas, but had a problem getting them on paper. The older brother had a difficult time getting ideas generated. So, we used a lot of graphic organizers. He needed those to organize his thinking. He had to learn how to develop his ideas and needed a lot of support with grammar and spelling as well. Both of them had support with their math. The little sister did very well with her math and really needed a challenge. I was always on the look-out for challenging problems that I could stump her with. She loved the challenge! The brother did well once he understood the concept, but needed a lot of repeated practices to really solidify his understanding of the concepts.

I worked with another young man who was in the fifth grade and was living in California. He needed support on his writing. He was a dual language learner. He could generate his ideas easily, but he too struggled with spelling and basic grammar skills. So, we would practice multi-syllabic words and I really worked on generating basic sentences with him. I would always have him practice sentences that I would dictate to him, then I would have him choose one and I would have him write a story based on the sentence. He showed so much growth in a short period of time because we developed a routine that worked for him. His mom was so happy with his experience and his growth. His confidence really shot up and he was enjoying school again.

I worked with a 3rd grader in Missouri who needed support with his math skills. He was really bright and needed a challenge. He would have me check over his math homework, we would practice what he was doing in the classroom. But, I knew he could totally do so much more, so I kept challenging him. I was introducing him to double digit multiplication before his classmates and then moved him into long division with remainders before he needed to know it. He was ready and excited for the challenge. If he did his work quickly, then we would spend time on writing. He loved writing creative stories. His parents were so excited about the progress he was making and he was needing my support less and less. That means I was doing my job!

I worked with a young 5th grader in New Jersey who wanted math support. She was a really good problem solver, but would get stuck because of her computation skills. We really focused on learning her math facts and building her confidence with those so she could apply them to her math skills. Her school was using a lot of the Common Core Math routines, but what I found out with her was that she really just needed to focus on one way to solve the problem. I focused on the traditional algorithms with her, and she really improved dramatically. Her mom was so excited about her progress and her parent teacher conference report. The young lady was showing an interest in the advanced level math classes at her school and her mom was very excited about this.

Back to my original question. Does online tutoring really work? Absolutely!

I would love to work with your child! I am offering one-on-one tutoring and small group lessons. I have a few spots available for one-on-one tutoring this summer. If your child needs support with writing, reading, or math, let me know. I am sure I can help move them forward.

If you would like to learn more about writing or math this summer, I am offering two mini summer camps. My writing camp is focused on poetry. It is a very fun and non-threatening way to get kids focused on writing and learning in a creative fashion. We will even submit our work for publication! Click the links for more information on the camps!

My other summer camp is focused on financial literacy. I hope to teach kids the importance of money and how to manage it and make good decisions with the money now and in the future.

Let me know if I can support your child’s learning. I would love to support them and help them feel successful!

You can reach me through email at .

I look forward to hearing from you. If this was helpful, please share this information with others.

Published by Tutoring with Sheryl

I have 32 years of experience teaching in public schools in Nebraska. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincon. I hold a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. I have 2 Google for Education Certifications. I have been tutoring online for 1 year. I have worked with countless students of all ages to support their education. I also support teachers with planning and management in their classrooms.

2 thoughts on “Does online tutoring really work?

  1. I can very well relate to this. I have been a Kindergarten educator for 15years now. Pandemic did make us push beyond our limits and it been worth the shift.


    1. Yes, it has really pushed us. I have learned a lot about how to teach online and it will definitely help me as I move from teaching in the classroom to a full-time tutor. I have been tutoring with a company and have loved it, but am ready to move forward on my own. Best wishes as you continue working with the little ones! I appreciate all that you do for our learners!

      Liked by 1 person

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