I have made no secret of the fact L struggles at school. He gets so upset and it’s starting to dawn on him the holidays will be ending soon, so that upset is coming to the forefront of his mind. He worries that he’s not good enough and he finds the work so hard, he’s even more worried about a new teacher and a new school year. It’s hard to watch and I don’t know how to help. So we turned to Tutorful.
Tutorful is an online tutoring platform and they are on a mission to make inspiring tuition available to everyone. We are in need of both tuition and inspiration so it’s a great match. How can I help him feel more confident about school? By making him feel more confident in his abilities. So with maths being the subject that causes him the most worry I started browsing the Tutorful site to find him a tutor.
I broached the subject of maybe getting a maths tutor with L and to say he was resistant would be an understatement. As we chatted though I think he started to see the benefits, a little extra help so that he could do all the things in maths he wanted to be able to do, a little extra help so he didn’t have to feel so nervous. He had two things he wanted, a male tutor, all his teachers at school are women, if he was going to do this he wanted a man to be teaching him. I wasn’t going to argue it. He also wanted me to only book one trial lesson and to promise that if he didn’t like it I wouldn’t book any more. I agreed on the provision that he understood it wouldn’t be whether he enjoyed the lesson or not, it would be if he found it helpful.
Tutorful have a handy app available on both iOS and Android which makes finding the right tutor, replying to messages and checking on booked lessons a breeze. I was able to search by subject and narrow it down by the level we wanted it taught at. All the tutors have individual profile pages with a bio, qualifications and reviews. When you find someone you think will work you can request a lesson, giving details of times available and plenty of space to explain what it is you want.
The first tutor we spoke to didn’t have availability but we struck gold with the second, Greg, he had space to fit us in over the summer and was happy to just book one lesson to start with and made sure he would have time to have an ongoing slot if L gelled well with him. He understood that L was moving from KS1 up to KS2 and he really understood that he has no confidence in his own abilities. With a lesson booked it was time to check out the online classroom and have a little play with it so we were ready for the real session.
L is 7 and fairly good with computers, he’s had to get good fast over the lockdowns and is now far more used to online lessons that real life so that aspect of things was fine. The online classroom brings together the best of all the many online meeting platforms out there. Clear video and audio, easy link sharing, chat function and essentially a big virtual notepad that you can type, draw or drop images into. I found it easy to use, L found it easy to use and there was absolutely zero stress on that front.
Most importantly I bet you’d all like to know how the lesson went. L was understandably very nervous before hand. He didn’t know what to expect at all and he doesn’t like meeting new people, doesn’t like talking about himself and doesn’t like maths or learning, so poor Greg was on a hiding to nothing. It took Greg about 20 seconds to break the ice and start chatting about football, he knew exactly how to talk to my little boy and it was a joy to watch. He soon turned it to the maths and having found out that L quite likes column addition that is what he started with, easing him into the work and gradually making it harder, all whilst throwing in football references and being liberal with the praise.
I watched L go from nervous and shy to confident and verging on a bit too sure of himself!
After the lesson ended Greg set L some homework and at L’s request I arranged a regular weekly one hour lesson for him. Yes, L requested more lessons. He thought Greg was a ‘nice chap’ and he had enjoyed himself. I could have cried when he said to me that. It’s such a change to see him feeling confident about something purely educational and wanting to do more.
I’m looking forward to more lessons and getting to use more of the platform. I’m really looking forward to seeing how much it can help L. For now I’m just glad that we’ve taken that first step. We’d been talking about the possibility of a tutor for L for so long but never knew where to start, who to turn to, Tutorful made all of that easy and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Disclosure – we were given lesson credit and I have been compensated for my time writing this review. I have booked future lessons on an ongoing, weekly basis at my own expense. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.
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