School closures across the world in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic have been incredibly difficult for parents and teachers to navigate. Getting used to homeschooling, ironing out the kinks on various different online teaching platforms, and trying to balance virtual school, work, and perhaps other childcare has been a massive challenge.
However, if there is one good thing to come out of these unusual schooling circumstances (above and beyond keeping us all safe) it's that parents have been given a window into how their child behaves and learns at school. There's no denying that watching your child interact with their peers or teacher via a video link is a completely different experience from actual in-person learning, but it has still afforded many parents a rare opportunity to get a better look at their child's current educational level and see where they may need to offer additional support. This has led many parents to seek tutoring services to fill the gaps for a particular identified weakness or to supplement the homeschool curriculum.
Wondering where to start? If you're looking for online tutoring services, make sure the company is legitimate and that they have glowing customer recommendation. Then ask them the following questions:
How do you find your tutors?
What credentials do they hold?
Do they have the required expertise for my child's age and particular educational needs?
What materials will they use and how will they best support my child's learning goals?
Do the tutors have experience handling learning exceptionalities and specific special needs?
How will they communicate with me?
Can tutoring sessions be rearranged at short notice or do you offer flexible scheduling?
How much will it cost me? Do you offer discounts for siblings?
Educational needs are individual and each child in your family could benefit from a different tutor and/or tutoring company. For example, a teenager prepping for admissions exams will need a different educational expert than a first grader learning how to read. Be prepared to shop around to find the ideal tutor for your child.
To help you find the best online tutoring services to best support, guide and inspire your child, we rounded up a few top picks for all kinds of different needs.
Best for Personalized Tutoring
Chegg tutoring sessions start with an application where students outline exactly where they need help. This personalized service means that kids are more likely to be motivated to participate and will get the help they really need. Sessions can include text, audio, or video support, and they start from just $6.95 a lesson, so they're also amazingly affordable.
Best for Beginners and the Undecided
If you're not sure exactly what kind of support your child needs or if they'll even benefit from an online tutoring session, give Club Z Tutoring a try. They offer a refundable hour of tutoring if you're not satisfied with the first session. Tutoring is available 24/7 and in over 300 subjects!
Best for Flexible Schedules
If you are trying to organize different schedules in your home and can't fit another thing into the typical 9-5 shift, you'll want to look for a tutoring service that offers flexible scheduling. Varsity Tutors helps you connect with any of their 40,000 strong community of educators, with varying fees. They boast that your child can reach a tutor and start getting help in as little as 15 seconds!
Best for Affordability
TutorEye offers one of the most affordable tutoring options online as well as being incredibly flexible in terms of whether you choose to pay per minute, from 50 cents a minute, or commit to a monthly arrangement starting at $50 for a two-hour session.
Best for Occasional Tutoring Help
Your child might not need a dedicated tutor for a set number of weeks, but instead just needs a homework helper every once in a while to break down concepts or help with a problem when you're not available. That's where Skooli excels. Their pay-as-you-go pricing model which comes out to less than a dollar a minute is perfect for quick explainers at any time of the day or night.
Best for Subject Experts
When you need more than a generalist to offer homework support or delve deeper into strategies and concepts taught in class, you need to seek out a subject expert. Pearson's Smarthinking tutors have an average of 9 years of experience in their chosen field and many of them hold Masters and Ph.D. degrees. The hourly cost starts at $35.
Best for Children with Special Needs
If your child has unique learning needs, you'll want a tutor who can understand how best to help them to learn and reach their full potential. All tutors at SpecialEdTutoring.com are experienced in varying learning styles and exceptionalities and hold degrees in special education.
Best for Quality Tutors
Most tutoring companies insist that their tutors have great recommendations and a robust combination of qualifications and educational experience, but some go the extra distance to attract the very best tutors. TutorMe only hires the top 4 percent of tutor applications they receive so you can be sure you're getting the cream of the crop. Their monthly plans start at $199 for four hours.
Best for Exam Prep
Revolution Prep only works with full-time faculty so the tutors here are dedicated to ensuring your child succeeds. They are experts in SAT/ACT exam prep and also offer comprehensive education plans made in conjunction with the student and parents. Help of this caliber doesn't come cheap so you should expect to invest up to $1,200 for 12 hours of private tutoring.
RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About the SATs
Best for Learning a New Language
Your child will be speaking confidently in a second language in no time at all with help from a Preply tutor. Fees vary based on the tutor but can be from $1-40 per hour. You can choose one of their 800 Spanish-speaking tutors or have your child develop skills in German, French, Russian, Arabic, and more.
Best for Little Kids
Although eTutorWorld offers online tutoring up to grade 12, their customized 1-2-1 sessions are particularly engaging for younger learners. All tutors are trained in federal and state curriculum so you can be sure your child will meet and then exceed grade-level expectations. Prices vary but start from $21 a session, and they offer a free trial.
Best Free Online Tutoring Resource
Although there aren't any live tutoring sessions available on Khan Academy, the materials available as educational videos do help kids to learn important concepts, practice skills while having fun, and best of all they are all entirely free!