I’ve been hearing it over and over from parents of various age levels. During this period of being housebound for COVID-19, we don’t need to worry about the school closure and the kids; the kids will be all right.
Yes, the kids will be just fine, but the undeniable truth parents also must admit is that the kids are freakin’ bored out of their minds. And when my son started hoping out loud that school would come back in time to have an end of the year party (notable, because he hates all class parties unconditionally), I knew how bad this really was.
My son was in French immersion before the shutdown, and he had been struggling a bit with math. Not only is math not my own best subject, helping your child in French math when you don’t speak French is like… well… navigating in a country you don’t speak the language. So, when I heard Teachers on Call was broadening their online tutoring capabilities, this suddenly looked like a really good time to try it out.
Getting started with online tutoring was amazingly easy. I gave my details, my subject wishlist (math and French) and took a few photos on my phone of my son’s last report card and his take-home homework from before the closure. A day or two later, we were introduced to Sophia.
To get an idea about how much Teachers on Call online tutoring has impacted our lives, first you have to understand my son’s opinion on school in general. He has previously described going to school the days before holidays and long weekends as (and I quote), “Ruining his life.”
My son is a tween. Parents of tweens will get this.
I was pleasantly surprised that my son was bored enough to jump willingly into the idea of being online tutored. But right from the very first session, he has loved Sophia. Again, it was easy to do; I set it up once and my son has managed it ever since. They jump on calls a few times a week together, and it’s amazing to hear them chattering back and forth in a mixture of English and French. They screenshare practice sheets, and they’ll scribble answers with the mouse. They will watch videos together on Khan academy and then draw diagrams and discuss why things work.
He loves doing the tutoring. LOVES it. He loves it SO much that he makes his own appointments with Sophia and keeps them without having to be reminded. Parents of tweens will be amazed by this.
Sophia’s helped my son with multiplication and long division. They worked together on area and perimeter. Now they’re taking stabs at some of the algebra precursors. It’s absolutely fantastic, and amazing to me because things are clicking in a way he had been struggling with before.
I love my kid, but like many parents, I have a hard time teaching him (arguing with one’s parents is a long-standing time-honoured tradition). The tutor is perfect; a tutor from Teachers on Call has all the training of someone who works in education, the authority of an adult who’s not a parent, and the time to give one-on-one guidance and explanation. Sophia keeps in touch with me by text and email, which is great. She’ll send me some practice questions, which I pass along. It’s working spectacularly. I can’t say enough amazing things about it.
The kids will be fine, but they can do more. You might find that they’re even actually hungry to learn and do more. Parents know how many balls there are to juggle; home education doesn’t have to be one of them. Teachers on Call has that more than adequately covered, and it’s worth every penny.
Anne R. is the mother of a son in grade 6, who is a student in a French Immersion school program. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her family.
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