The new school term is starting with the vast majority of pupils still being at home to self-isolate and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Only the children of key workers will remain at school to allow their parents to concentrate on their vital jobs. We spoke with Minerva Tutors for their views on homeschooling and virtual tutoring.
What does this mean for the typical student’s progress? And will this disruption to their learning mean that the 2019–2020 school year is effectively spent, or even wasted?
We wrote this guide based on the shared experiences of our parents, pupils and tutors.
GCSEs and AS and A Levels have been cancelled for 2020, with the Government announcing that any assessments (coursework, mock tests etc.) will still count towards a pupil’s final grades.
However, just because we’re having to self-isolate, it doesn’t mean your child’s education has to be put on hold or an indefinite pause.
Benefits of online tutoring and homeschooling
Many parents are discovering the unique benefits of online tutoring and homeschooling during these trying times. Here at Minerva Tutors, we are having to find new ways to work and help parents during this unprecedented crisis.
Online tutoring and homeschooling can be a great resource to fall back on during this period. Parents may discover unique benefits that can’t be found in a traditional schooling environment.
The most common benefits of online tutoring and homeschooling include:
- Keeping children’s education on track
- Your family can safely self-isolate and limit the spread of COVID-19
- Ensure that children are busy and curious during these stressful times
- Efficient: with these learning methods, there’s no need to leave the house
- Greater flexibility: online learning sessions can be scheduled for most hours of the day
- Advantages of using more technology
- Tutors are available for out-of-hours guidance
- Great for independent minds
- Students and tutors develop a close, collaborative 1-on-1 learning dynamic
Top 5 things you need to know about online tutoring
1. You’re following self-isolation protocols
By committing to a course of online tutoring, you’re following the Government’s protocols and slowing the spread of COVID-19, whilst ensuring your child’s education doesn’t fall by the wayside. You’re keeping our tutors busy doing what they love most: motivating children to succeed and inspiring a love of learning.
2. Children enjoy 1-on-1 education
In an overcrowded classroom, children rarely get to enjoy 1-on-1 learning with their teacher. As a devoted tutoring company, we can’t speak highly enough of the huge benefits of 1-on-1 learning.
3. Benefit from the use of technology
Pupils and tutors can share the use of live, interactive whiteboards. Perhaps they’re brainstorming ideas for a creative writing exercise; maybe they’re demonstrating how to solve some particularly tricky algebra. There are so many great advantages to using technology, from weekly reports for parents to children being able to fire off questions to their tutors at all hours!
Lessons can take place from the comfort of your own home. With more and more people having to work from home as part of the social distancing practices, parents need to know their children are being kept busy. We create full school day replacement programmes, leaving you safe in the knowledge that, while you are clocked in at work, your children are also busy with their academic programme.
5. Stay in touch regarding illnesses
Some parents and students will prefer online learning anyway because of the flexibility it brings in terms of scheduling and reducing the need for travel. But what if the pupil or teacher falls ill?
We recommend staying in touch constantly if the slightest symptoms show on our end or yours. We will do our best to keep you informed and we trust you to do the same. We’ll discuss the next steps if one of our tutors is ill with regard to whether lessons can continue. If your tutor is too ill to continue lessons, we’ll recommend another tutor to your family.
Top 5 things you need to know about homeschooling as a parent
Parents shoulder teaching responsibilities in this scenario, and can benefit massively from a tutor joining an online homeschooling lesson for at least an hour a day.
For parents forced to homeschool, there are a number of practical steps you can take to keep everyone in the best mindset for learning.
1. Get support from an expert tutor
While parents can take the responsibility of being their child’s full-time teacher in these trying times, it’s evident that children and parents will benefit from the guidance of an expert educator. Our tutors can help parents create a schedule, offer curriculum advice and set assessments to track children’s progress.
2. Avoid touching high-traffic surfaces
It’s important that all members of the household avoid touching surfaces in the house which you’ll be exposed to regularly. For instance, avoid touching door handles by leaving internal doors open, and try to refrain from touching door knockers and doorbells. Regularly disinfect these areas and the rooms where your children will be learning, and ensure everyone practices hygienic hand washing.
3. Wash hands more regularly, for 20 seconds at a time
Remember to follow the Government’s public health advice. Pupils and parents can reduce the spread of the virus by washing their hands more regularly and for 20 seconds at a time.
We also recommend frequently cleaning and disinfecting any objects that are regularly touched. This might include the table where learning takes place, as well as any educational materials, such as paper, pens, pencils and the computer.
4. Follow government advice
The Government has a lot of information for parents available online. Public Health England also has a number of resource materials to educate the public about halting the spread of the virus.
5. Create hygiene stations
By creating dedicated hygiene stations around your home, you can keep the spread of the virus at bay. We’d recommend setting up stations with hand sanitiser and soap. It can be handy to provide hand washing instructions, reminding kids of the correct and most thorough techniques.
Online learning and homeschooling consultations
Minerva Tutors are able to provide safe, high-quality online homeschooling packages to families who are unable to leave home at this unusual time. To receive their tutors’ availability for a range of subjects, including English, Maths, History, Science, Modern Languages and Computer Coding, please call them on 020 8819 3276 or email them at email@example.com