INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – To help fill the void created by more empty classrooms, families are turning to online tutoring companies to help keep students engaged in a school year full of uncertainty.
Varsity Tutors is one of the country’s largest online tutoring companies employing around 500 tutors in Indianapolis. Demand in the Circle City for online tutors has more than doubled since the same time last year.
“Parents are looking for options with the biggest worry being their school might not be enough for their student with the hybrid method and everything else going on,” said Brian Galvin, who is the chief academic officer at Varsity Tutors.
A recent survey from the tutoring platform suggests two-thirds of parents are now using some sort of platform to supplement their child’s education.
“This is a year of uncertainty and families are not sure how effective e-learning will be at engaging students and keeping them excited about learning,” said Galvin.
When it comes to finding the right tutor for your child, Galvin says a good place to start is checking report cards from last spring to help gauge where the child is at. But the tutoring expert also says talking to your child can give more insight than parents may expect.
“They’ll surprise you sometimes with knowing, ‘Hey, I have a hard time if I don’t get to practice more often or if the teacher goes too fast,’ or they may say things like, ‘I’m nervous about multiplication because it’s new,'” added Galvin.
For families who can’t afford one-on-one online tutoring, many platforms like Varsity Tutors offer free live or on-demand special instruction created specifically during the pandemic.
“We want to avoid a situation where students who can afford extra help, come out of this health crisis better off than those who can’t,” Galvin adds pointing to pod learning becoming increasingly popular because it allows for families to split the cost of a tutor between a group of students.
The Department of Education also has a list of supplemental education services offered to students for free. Click here for more.