We are in the midst of very unprecedented times, where people are forced to work from home, stay indoors and spend extensive time with their families in one place. Combined with the worry of being ill and or seeing loved ones in danger can be very distressing.
I recently saw some photographs of Palma on Sunday, it was like a ghost town.
As an educational support body the MTA group closed our doors on Friday last week so that we could abide by the requirements of the Balearic government and ensure that we were not exposing children and adults alike to any more risk.
However, the team of tutors and myself were committed to find a way to support our students and their families. Therefore over the weekend and on Monday morning we planned our support package to structure what our help would look like.
In the meantime for many families this support has fallen upon a link between school and parents.
I appreciate that students have been given plenty of work from the school facilities and in today’s day and age the wonders of SKYPE, group chats, email and other electronic support will make the work not only accessible but also ‘do able’.
However, as parents I am sure that you do have concerns which range from:
- Will my child still be prepared enough for impending examinations?
- What will be the impact of only having certain amounts of work available?
- How can I stimulate them enough during this time?
From a positive stance this is a PERFECT time to make memories with your children and learn things beyond “normal” maths and reading.
This is a great time to really help your child dig in and spend hours doing or learning something that they love or are passionate about.
On that basis I have asked my tutors to give me their favourite webpages that they would use and we have complied the list for your use:
For young learners and English Second Language
- https://www.eslgamesplus.com/ Has a lot of vocabulary and grammar games
- https://www.anglomaniacy.pl/ Is great for very young learners. It has got many vocabulary topics with online games to learn them and some basic grammar
- https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com for phonics work
- https://www.storyjumper.com/book/read/16476072/StoryJumper Free books online. Creative writing for children making their own books.
- https://en.islcollective.com/ Grammar, Vocabulary and listening practice
- https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/ Free online games, songs, stories and activities for children. For parents there are articles supporting children in learning English, videos on using English at home.
- https://www.esleschool.com/- This website provides free English online activities. You can also earn points for some of our activities if you sign up.
For British curriculum primary students
- https://au.ixl.com/ IXL is personalised learning. With a comprehensive curriculum, individualised guidance and real-time analytics, IXL meets the unique needs of each learner.
- https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ This site gives proper ratings for books movies etc with parents and children’s opinions.
- https://www.audible.co.uk/ For audio books to increase comprehension and vocabulary skills, all the classics and latest books.
- www.bbcbitesize.co.uk One we have used over many years.
- www.Topmarks.co.uk Helping tutors, teachers and parents for online resources.
For Spanish students
- https://www.profedeele.es/ Courses and activities in Spanish as a Second Language
- https://www.matematicasonline.es/ Spanish Curriculum maths
- https://www.unprofesor.com/lengua-espanola/ Spanish language and literature
- https://conjuguemos.com/ Teaches language through fun activities & games.
For exam related students
- https://www.examsolutions.net/ Excellent video instruction for Igcse and A level maths.
- https://au.ixl.com/ Up to year 12.
- www.mathsgenie.co.uk GCSE revision videos, exam style questions and solutions.
Documentaries and Videos
- www.youtube.com This works for us from young learners up to A level.
We found amazing documentaries and videos on etc on line and I personally have tutored A level history students with some outstanding footage re Germany found on youtube.
Obviously the list is not exhaustive and you may also have some that you have used personally.
From an academic point of view, we must remember that a blended learning approach is always a must and we must also think that each student has different learning styles.
How can an effective tutor make the difference?
Therefore the role of the tutor is very important and although it may not be available face to face with current restrictions once again as a parent you may want to consider how you can help your child by introducing structured online tutoring facilities into their daily routine.
Whether on line or face to face to role remains the same.
A tutor is a helper. The dictionary defines it as ‘helping students improve their learning strategies in order to promote independence and empowerment". The purpose of tutoring is to help students help themselves, assisting them to become independent learners.
Everyone benefits from independent tutoring. The student gets an individualised, structured and systematic learning experience which improves academic performance and aids development and growth. The learning is self-paced and self-directed which in turn develops self-confidence and self-esteem. It provides intensive practise for the students and improves communication skills between students and instructors.
Tutors work totally in line with the students’ learning at school, therefore for schools it is an incredible support as it increases opportunities to reinforce instruction. It also develops a positive frame of mind by the student in a different environment other than that of the day to day routine. It enhances measurable changes in performance, attitude and results which in turn reflects on the school itself with an overall increase in results.
Therefore if you are worried or concerned at this time that your child is in need of extra support. Do not be afraid of using any online facilities and our distance learning tutoring support. In all cases please do not hesitate to call us at the MTA group for free independent advice and consultation as to your next steps. We are available on 971 791 410, 660 976 322 or 660 976 321
So finally I had to put the quote below in as it is exactly what I should say in future when asked the question ‘So what does tutoring do anyway?’
To quote Karan Hancock, The Tutor Recipe Book: ‘Master tutors are really like master chefs. They both take the unprepared and the underprepared and with a little help from a dash of that, a bit of this, a dollop of spice or a twist of something else, they help prepare and create something wonderful; the gourmet meal or the successful student who can now take charge of his / her own academic recipes.
Bon Appetit and Successful Tutoring!