Sunday 18 March 2012

JJ is Outgrowing my Maths Knowledge, Help!

I am starting to realise that within a short amount of time I am going to be out of my comfort zone when it comes to JJ and his maths.  He is currently 8 and in year 3 at school but once a week he goes for a maths session with the year 5 kids and learns at their level.  This is because he generally does well in maths and needs to be stretched.  This has been fine up to now but suddenly things are getting much tougher and he is coming home saying he is not enjoying it so much and can I help to explain some things to him, like the chunking method for division…  oh dear, I have no idea what that is!

I am an educated woman, I have a masters degree (with distinction don’t you know! Lol)  but generally I do well in the areas that I enjoy and understand rather than those which are taught in general education at school.  Towards the end of my own schooling I did not really appreciate the lessons and I hated maths, I had a teacher that I could not understand and this meant I ended up with a D grade GCSE maths and a real gap in my knowledge, algebra, Pythagoras, trigonometry, long division – I have no real idea how to do any of them.  Give me a profit and loss account and balance sheet and I can happily analyse it and offer areas for questioning but the basics of maths – nope, not my strong point.

Luckily for people like me there is help at hand.  Mytutor is an online company that offers live, tailored, one-to-one tutoring which follows the UK National Curriculum in maths and English at Key Stage 2 and 3. As an online service, mytutor allows children to learn at home, at a time and pace that best suits them. For us, as parents this is brilliant, don’t you just hate the rat race of running from one club or lesson to another with your kids?  With mytutor we can have our child at the kitchen table having their tutoring session while we are preparing dinner in the same room and sneakily keeping an eye on what they are up to.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Are you thinking there must be a catch? I was, but you know what?  I can’t find one; I’ve had a really good look around the mytutor website and I was very pleasantly surprised to see that half an hours one-on-one tutoring is only £10.  I think that is a bargain, I have a very close friend who is a teacher and tutors and she charges more like £25. You can select your child’s tutor from qualified, UK-based tutors who are CRB-checked and experienced in the chosen area of tutoring and with research showing that on average, a tutored child makes over a year's worth of progress with just 20 hours of personal tuition (more than 4 times the 'normal' rate of progress) then how can you go wrong?
There is no big money outlay when you start the tutoring, all you need is a headset mic which you can pick up for about £7, if your laptop or PC has a web cam great, then your child and tutor can see each other but most tutoring takes place with just the use of the headphones and an interactive whiteboard which you can check out here -

What is great at the moment is that mytutor are celebrating their launch by giving a £10 Amazon e-voucher to the first 300 parents who have a free meet-a-tutor session with their child and one of their tutors. You can’t lose really?  You get to see for yourself if you like the service, this taster costs nothing and actually you bag a £10 e-voucher which could go towards a book for your child – result! What are you waiting for, click on the link above and check it out.

So tell me, have you ever used a tutor for your child/ren?  Be it traditional face-to-face or online?  I love to hear about your experience.
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