How Online Tutoring Can Help Primary Age Children (Tutorful Review)

(AD) The last couple of years haven’t been the easiest for children’s formal education. My youngest daughter lost a big chunk of her Reception year and while she isn’t behind I don’t feel she has thrived as she would have. I would love to do more with her outside of school to keep the momentum of her learning going, but I don’t have the patience or skills to do it myself. Luckily there are plenty of people who do and online tutors can help. Tutorful asked us to try their online tutoring system and share what we thought.


A EYFS Key stage 1 primary age girl smiling at a laptop during an online tutoring session
Learning with a smile


Tutoring for Primary Age Children

Tutorful has lots of tutors experienced in a range of subjects including plenty who can provide extra support to primary school age children. Their tutors can help whether there is a specific area your child is struggling with or you want to just build their confidence and help them get ahead at school.


Choosing A Tutor With Tutorful

After registering you can browse all the tutors to decide who you would like to have a lesson with. If you need a bit of help they have a student expert team on hand to help with recommendations and I chose to be emailed suggestions of tutors that might meet my requirements. I found the suggestions helpful because there are so many tutors on the platform, but if you prefer you can just browse on the website or app and pick someone yourself. When I found someone I liked the sound of I selected a time which would work for us and sent a message through the system to the tutor. She soon messaged back and we booked the session in. The payment for the lesson is taken after it is completed, however you have to provide your card details in advance to book the lesson.

If you are unsure which tutor to go for lots of them offer a free video chat where you can discuss your learning objectives and decide if they are right for you. Some tutors also offer a trial lesson at a reduced rate. You can book in total confidence with the First Lesson Guarantee which means if you don’t click with your tutor after your first lesson Tutorful will match you with someone else and the first lesson with the new tutor will be free.

Sessions generally cost between £15 and £35 per hour depending on the experience of the tutor and the subject. Looking at EYFS/ Key Stage 1 tutoring the prices seemed to range between £20 and £30 an hour, but for more advanced levels eg A Level some of the tutors cost twice that amount. I decided to go for 30 minute sessions because at age 5 I didn’t feel my daughter would be able to concentrate fully for an hour.


Counting numbers on an online work book in a tutoring session
The custom built classroom made the sessions easy and engaging


Preparing For Your Tutoring Session

Tutorful have a custom-built online classroom for tutoring sessions with features like an interactive whiteboard and screen-sharing capabilities to make remote learning easy. It is recommended that you use a laptop or desktop computer with the latest version of Chrome for best compatibility. Tutorful send an email before the first session telling you how to run a browser test which is a good idea to make sure it all works properly. You can also try out the online classroom in a demo version. This is a great idea for younger students or those less familiar with computers so they can get confident at using the interactive white board etc before the first lesson.

The interactive white board is really good. It allowed the tutor to put up worksheets during our lesson and both the tutor and Little could write on them. We used our laptop with a touch pad which is obviously a bit more tricky than writing with a pen, but it still worked well. I thought it was much better than using Zoom, Teams or a more generic conferencing software.

Our First Lesson with our Tutorful Tutor

When you click on the link in the lessons section of the website to join the lesson you have to give permission for the system to access the camera and microphone etc on your computer and to check the sound levels so it’s worth clicking through a minute or two before the lesson starts so you are ready and waiting in the online classroom at the right time.

Tutorful suggest using a headset, but due to my daughter’s age it was better for us to use the speaker so I could hear the lesson too and be able to help when needed. Little uses a computer occasionally at school, but normally only uses the iPad at home so we had occasional problems like her accidentally switching tabs and windows that I needed to correct, but nothing major.

We didn’t need anything for the lesson as everything was onscreen, but if you need to prepare anything the tutor can let you know in advance through the messaging system.

At the beginning of the first lesson our tutor, Lizzie, quickly put Little at ease. She got her to practice drawing with our mouse (touchpad) and got started with the lesson. I chose 30 minute lessons because I thought that the best length given Little’s age so it was good not to waste too much time on introductions but also not to feel rushed. It was the right balance.

The 30 minute session was the perfect length for us. I could see Little losing concentration slightly towards the end, but it wasn’t too long. My eldest on the other hand would find hour long sessions better because it would allow her more time to focus.

In the session Little and Lizzie worked on a number of worksheets on the screen and the tutor helped Little to practice writing her numbers correctly. Little frequently writes her numbers back to front. My daughter was much more engaged than when I work with her and she stayed in good humour though out.


An online maths tutoring session is taking place with a laptop and a 5 year old girl
She doesn't look that happy when I do maths with her


After the First Session

Soon after the lesson we were sent a link which allowed us to access a read only version of the interactive white boards. This allows us to revisit what was covered in the sessions. There isn’t a recording of the video call part of the lesson, just the slides that were created.

I was also sent an email asking how the session was and whether I wanted to book another lesson with Lizzie. If you book regular lessons I don’t think you get this prompt each time, but if you select one off lessons you will be able to rebook for a different day/ time.

I really feel my daughter benefitted from having some one to one tutoring in maths, especially after the long summer holidays break. She really enjoyed her first session and was keen to book into another session.


Online Tutoring Is For Everyone

Having tutoring online makes it much easier to fit into busy family life. While a quiet space without distractions is idea using a headset can help transport children to the virtual classroom and help them focus if it’s not possible to keep siblings quiet.

One of the things that looking at the Tutorful website made me realise is that a huge range of people can benefit from tutoring; it isn’t just children who are behind at school. Tutoring can help keep the learning momentum going in school holidays, it can help subjects click for children by having a different voice explaining things, the one to one focus can help motivate children with low self-esteem and it can help those with a passion for a subject learn outside the core syllabus which teachers might not have time for. And it’s not just for children, there are lots of subjects (like music or photography) which appeal to me as an adult and as a stay at home mum I love the idea that I could spend an hour a week exploring a subject I love, learning new things and generally using parts of my brain that haven’t had a whole lot of use recently. Committing to the time required for regular sessions outside the house isn’t an option for me right now, but online sessions are easier to work childcare around and might mean a whole new world opens up.

2 comments

  1. I think online tutoring is brilliant. I used to teach online myself actually. It provides a really useful service to kids

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  2. This sounds fab! Great for parents like me who don't have a clue about school work now. It's so different from when i was at school!

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