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Talk to Maths Doctor about (online) tutoring - £200 John Lewis voucher prize draw NOW CLOSED

(204 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 13-Jan-14 10:06:30

Maths Doctor have asked us to find out what Mumsnetters think about (online) tutoring for children.

Here's what they have to say, "Maths Doctor is the UK's award-winning maths tutoring company with an inspirational approach to teaching. Our one-to-one, private tutorials for students aged 7-18 are delivered live over the Internet using a shared virtual whiteboard and live video feed, so that our 500+ tutors can teach anyone, anytime, anywhere. We're the UK's largest provider of this innovative digital education method that helps boost students' grades."

So, have you ever tried tutoring with your child? If so, why did you decide to get a tutor? Did it help? If not, is it something you'd ever consider? Do you think tutoring is the same as giving your child music or sports lessons, or does it put other children at a disadvantage? What do you think about Maths Doctor's approach with online tutoring? Whatever it is, we'd love to hear your thoughts!

Maths Doctor also want to give six Mumsnetters the chance to trial the Maths Doctor service and share their thoughts on this thread. The Mumsnetters who are selected will receive two free lessons for their child, which will need to be taken before 3rd February. To apply for the free trial please PM me with the age of your DCs and why you would like to trial Maths Doctor before Friday 17th January. We'll then select six Mumsnetters at random.

Maths Doctor may use posts on this thread for further marketing purposes (anonymously, of course), so please only post if you're happy with that.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £200 John Lewis voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


PS: For those Mumsnetters who miss out on the free trial, Maths Doctor will also be offering a 20% discount for all subscriptions purchased in January (lessons can be taken at a later date but need to be booked by 31st January). Simply mention the promo code MUMSNET to receive the discount.

CMOTDibbler Mon 13-Jan-14 10:09:26

We've not done tutoring for ds, but if he was struggling with a particular area we'd certainly consider it - but only with a qualified teacher with high level qualifications in that subject. Whether that was ftf or virtual wouldn't matter

MissRee Mon 13-Jan-14 11:46:06

We haven't done tutoring for DS but I had extra maths tutoring as a teenager (18 years ago) as it was something I really struggled with! I'm not sure it made any difference to me, to be honest.

That said, I would consider it for DS as he is quite technologically minded and, I think would respond well to online tutoring.

I, however, have Maths and English exams on Thursday which I am dreading... any chance of some tutoring for me?!!

tinypumpkin Mon 13-Jan-14 12:10:43

My DC are too young at the moment but I would arrange tutoring for them if I felt it was needed. It's not something I would routinely do personally but only if I felt that there was a particular need to develop skills/knowledge in a specific subject (e.g. maths, science, English).

I like the idea of online tutoring personally.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 13-Jan-14 12:15:18

Tutoring isn't something we've given any thought to, but I certainly think it's a good thing to do if you think your child will benefit and is happy to give it a go.

Online tutoring sounds great, it might make learning seem less like a chore if it's home-based.

lorka Mon 13-Jan-14 14:00:04

I have never tried tutoring for my children but if I thought they were struggling in a particular area then I would try it. I think online tutoring would be great to fit in to a busy lifestyle.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Mon 13-Jan-14 14:12:20

I think online tutoring is a great idea, but I wonder if an online tutor can respond quite as well as one sitting next to the student? Certainly it would be much easier to arrange to fit in with other commitments. I can see it being something we may use with DC if the need arises.

PickleFish Mon 13-Jan-14 14:28:44

I'm a tutor myself; I find that the relationship that I can build up with the child is of huge importance, so that they are comfortable asking even the simplest question and so that I can get to know from their expressions and body language and so on when they are not understanding something but not willing to say so. However, for children whose problems are more straightforward - e.g., just having missed or misunderstood some aspect of the curriculum, or just need a bit of review or extra help, then online might work.

MakeTeaNotWar Mon 13-Jan-14 14:42:30

We haven't done it but I would definitely be interested if the DCs appeared to be struggling - I would want to help them wherever possible and don't see it as putting other children at a disadvantage.

mems4 Mon 13-Jan-14 14:49:44

My daughter, age 10/ year 6, has had a maths tutor for a couple of months now. At school, there are 35 pupils in her maths set so having one-to-one attention has really helped build her confidence and get to grips with concepts she'd been struggling with. Even if you have a very good school teacher, having some additional support at home, whether online or in person, can be hugely beneficial.

CheeseTMouse Mon 13-Jan-14 14:49:52

I am not sure about whether I would consider tutoring. Thinking back to doing exams and studying, learning styles vary so dramatically and I can see it may be more difficult to engage with something virtually. Certainly I have found this so for workplace learning.

What may be of help is a tool which supports parents in helping their children. I am an accountant so feel that I would be able to support my child with the content, but ideas about how to do this engagingly would help me in future.

worldgonecrazy Mon 13-Jan-14 14:54:06

DD is too young at the moment, but if she did need help in certain areas then I would consider tutoring. However, I'm confident in my own abilities to learn on the job, so whilst I might use something like "Maths Tutor" to point me in the right direction, I would probably deliver the tutoring myself.

In my defence, I am a control freak.

StickyProblem Mon 13-Jan-14 14:55:02

My DD is 9, she struggles with maths, and I've found MyMaths masks the problem - she doesn't understand but she likes gaming, so she's happy to click around and thinks the "right" answer means she's "done maths". We are doing rounding at the moment which she only partly understands and always rounds based on the 10s column... however this means she gets it right about 70% of the time, so she and the teacher don't see the problem.

I am taking her through all her homework on MyMaths and it's a struggle - lots of tears and shouting, both on both sides!

If an online tutor could help her to gain a proper understanding, it would be a fantastic solution for us.

telsa Mon 13-Jan-14 15:15:10

My DD - now aged 8 - has been tutored in small group and large groups lessons. This is for literacy and numeracy. I send her along because she was and still is struggling with basic maths concepts (and literacy - though that is improving). I wanted her to be challenged a little and she claims to enjoy it - at school she is in the lowest sets and I am worried that she has been labelled and is therefore not pushed, as she is down as SA+. I do not intend for her to overtake other class members, but just to be in the swim of things.

As said, she is coming on in English skills, but Maths still seems very hard for her and I really do not want her to be left behind. I also have many educational apps and she enjoys playing these, so perhaps an online tutor would work instead or in addition to the other things we do.

MortaIWombat Mon 13-Jan-14 15:15:20

I'd definitely tutor if I thought my child would benefit from it - if she needed stretching or, conversely, if she needed extra support. I've tutored online (not Maths!) myself, and seen the benefits it can bring.

Online tutoring seems particularly convenient, too. I don't see it as any different to paying for additional help with a sport or music - with the best will in the world, a teacher to a class of 30 cannot always meet the needs of each child (plus some are too shy to speak up anyway!)

BellaVida Mon 13-Jan-14 15:19:19

I haven't tutored any of my children, but they are still all under 10 and we feel confident we can support them ourselves if needed, as we both have different skills covering different subjects. I would not rule out tutoring in the future for a specific goal or exam.

My only doubt about tutoring online would be how effective online tutoring is compared to face-to-face tutoring. I feel that would be very hard to achieve an effective working relationship online.

On the plus side, we have little time between school and activities, so fitting in anything extra is difficult. That is where online could be an advantage in a certain context.

Jinty64 Mon 13-Jan-14 15:25:40

I would definitely consider a tutor if ds was struggling. He plays maths games online and I think he would respond well to online tutoring. Any sort of tutoring is going to give a child an advantage but that's the way of the world! I wouldn't not tutor because I thought other children may be disadvantaged.

LittleMissGreen Mon 13-Jan-14 15:44:47

I can see some benefits to tutoring, particularly online which can be done to fit around the child. DS lacks confidence in maths but is actually quite good at it. Out of school practice would benefit him.

On the other hand, using tutoring to push a child e.g. through the 11+ when they will then continue to struggle all the way through their academic career to keep up with everybody else seems a bit nonsensical IMO.

wavesandsmiles Mon 13-Jan-14 15:45:30

I have thought about arranging some tutoring for my older children, more to stretch them as they are both pretty bright, but could probably do even better if they had a bit of focused time. They are both also quite shy children and unlikely to speak up unless asked in class, so the extra support could be really great.

I have a really, really busy life though, with a baby as well as DS9 and DD8, full time work, and I also offer private lessons from home out of full time work, so the thought of finding extra time in the week to take the children to tutoring is just a bit too much. I think the online solution offered by Maths Doctor could be really beneficial to people like me who would like to give their children more opportunities to develop their abilities, but for who time is really precious.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Mon 13-Jan-14 15:48:35

Both ds2 and ds3 had tutoring for the 11+ - we hadn't had ds1 tutored, because we thought that if he needed to be tutored to get into the school, he would struggle to keep up, once there.

However, when we gave him a maths past paper just after Christmas (the test was in early January), he tanked it, and we had to work hard with him, up to the exam. He got into the school, in the bottom third of the year, and was happy.

When it came to ds2's turn, and he wanted to do the 11+, we offered him tutoring! and he did really well in the exam (22nd out of all the candidates) - so we do wonder whether he needed the tutoring, and would have passed anyway.

In the end, he was unhappy at the school and when dh got a new job, we moved from the South East to Scotland, and both of them ended up in a really good comprehensive, and have done well there.

Ds3 sat the 11+ the term we moved - we arranged tutoring for him, but he found the pressure of the extra work was far too great, he had a meltdown one week, so we discussed things with him, and he decided to stop the tutoring. We didn't cancel his entry to the 11+, so he could still take it if he chose to, and in the end! he did take it! but didn't get a good enough mark to get into the selective school - but as we moved, it was irrelevant, as he endd up in a feeder primary for the same good school that ds1 and 2 went to, and he has done well there.

Now ds2 is a maths undergraduate, he has been helping both ds3 and other friends with their maths.

I think tutoring can be good, as long as it doesn't over stress the child, and online tutoring, that the child could take at their own pace, might be a good compromise.

AttackOfTheKillerMonsterSnowGo Mon 13-Jan-14 15:53:08

We've discussed tutoring for dd, who is in a very strong year at school and I think could sometimes do with an extra boost. Not sure about online tutoring to be honest...I think it lacks the personal touch of actually being with the child and picking up on the nuances of what they do and don't get, and how they are feeling about the whole experience. With ANY type of tutoring what would make me go for it rather than hesitate is knowing the tutor was of a decent standard and had somehow been vetted so that I knew my kids would be getting the best possible help. I'd pay extra for that reassurance.

MimsyBorogroves Mon 13-Jan-14 15:53:53

I'd love to try this, but my DS is five.

To me, online tutoring to help him with his maths would be really good - I've always really struggled with numbers and find it difficult to even help him in Y1 because I don't have the ability (or patience!) to work out and explain what the teachers want, particularly because all of the ways of teaching (what's a number bond, anyway?) so this would really help me to help him.

I think there's a huge deficit within schools when it comes to maths, and online tutoring that engages child and adult would work really well. At my DS's school they have had loads of "learning information nights" for parents about how to help children learn to spell, but nothing about maths.

saintlyjimjams Mon 13-Jan-14 16:00:36

I am interested - will have a proper look at your website later. I'm not against tutoring - I used to be a tutor, but I'm a bit hmm about heavy tutoring (familiarisation fine) for the 11 plus because your child has to be able to survive in the school if they pass.

I'd try online tutoring - ds2 and ds3 are very used to communicating online. I'd want to know about the tutor in advance though. IME (as an ex tutor) they vary.

RockinAroundTheXmasTreeHippy Mon 13-Jan-14 16:39:41

So, have you ever tried tutoring with your child? - no

If so, why did you decide to get a tutor? Did it help? N.A

If not, is it something you'd ever consider? -
yes, I have been considering it lately, but unsure if it will be of much help in our situation & DD was horrified at the idea of 1-1 tutoring with an existing class teacher who would have understood her needs - though our situation maybe more complex, as she has another teacher she just doesn't gel with & as a result she is losing interested in a subject she has always previously been very passionate about & with this new teacher has lost her G&T level, which has demoralised her even further & she now becomes very anxious over tests in this subject, so its more about confidence boosting, stretching her ability & keeping her interest, something her current teacher is failing to do

Do you think tutoring is the same as giving your child music or sports lessons, that depends, but yes, it can be if its an interest if theirs, otherwise, no its not

or does it put other children at a disadvantage? again, this depends, if for example tutoring for say 11+ I actually think its put your own children at risk of being at a disadvantage, yes thanks to tutoring they might pass the test with flying colours, but they then have to keep that up in a school that they might not really be suited for, so who really wins there

What do you think about Maths Doctor's approach with online tutoring? From the little Ive read, it looks quite interesting

WaitingForPeterWimseyNow Mon 13-Jan-14 17:01:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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