The notion of academic support is super well known nowadays.
However, many people use it in the wrong way: parents, the press, students... So what is the real definition of in-home tutoring? Does it correspond to what you have been needing for you and your child?
It's important to know too that private home tutoring comprises of several services. What are those that do not make the list here?
Here, Superprof gives you a chance to really explore the heart of the matter and see what its offshoots are: homework help and academic support.
What's the Right Definition for In-Home Tutoring?
When we hear about or read "in-home tutoring," we all have a precise image in our head. The one of the private online tutor sitting with his student at a desk of some sort. At the home of the child, most of the time.
This is the traditional idea we have of in-home tutoring. But what exact definition can we give it? Wikipedia says the following for example:
«In-home tutoring is a form of tutoring that occurs in the home. Tutoring is receiving guidance or instruction by a tutor. Most often the tutoring relates to an academic subject or test preparation. »
Thinking about this definition, we can therefore see two important notions at work in regards to in-home tutoring:
- The duration: in-home tutoring demands a strict schedule. A few lessons over a few weeks in order to reach a precise goal. Or otherwise a one over a longer period of time. This one means an even more strict follow-up. The private tutor works with a student over several months, maybe even a whole school year.
- The complementary aspect of the in-home tutoring to regular schooling is an important element of the recipe for success. In-home tutoring should be used as needed depending on how the student is getting by with his classwork.
The Origin of In-home Tutoring
It's difficult to speak of the precise origins of the role of in-home tutoring. We can however go through its evolution.
For the few generations who have never experience private in-home tutoring, we think you will have recollection of these hours of "studying" during high school, middle school, or elementary school. These hours are allotted for each child and are for looking over their lessons, revising class material, or finishing homework.
These "study" hours were controlled by teachers and supervisors who were in charge of--if they could--helping certain students. Though we are speaking in the past tense it's important to note that this still exists.
But though academic support was once public, it is now almost exclusively private. This is how the profession has developed and parents became more and more reliant on having a tutor come to their homes to tutor their children. The whole thing is reinforced by two phenomena of society:
- Mothers are working more and more, contrarily to previous generations,
- Parents are coming home later and later, which leaves little time for children to do their homework.
A Private Supplement to Public Schooling
Private in-home tutoring is accruing success because of its convenience, but also because of the growing concern of parents. Math classes, language classes (English, Spanish, German, Italian), history, geography, physics, business, English...It is impossible not to worry about one's child when faced with the very different subjects involved in making your teenager into a young adult!
These last years, there have been many worrisome statistics concerning dropping out of school and failing grades.
Many testimonials, findings, and studies have shown that dropping out could be on the rise, and education at risk. For this reason, something has had to be done on the private side of things to implement a failing public system. This is how in-home private tutoring was born and became the addition to public schooling.
If we oppose ourselves to it too easily, even gratuitously, we risk our child falling behind in school to the point of no return. Let's not forget that the two elements (private and public) are complementary. Thanks to the privatization of academic support, many students are able to get back on track with their schooling and excel in school. This way they can avoid doing a grade over and staying behind.
In elementary school, middle school, high school, and even in college and university, there are many benefits to in-home tutoring. They complete the curriculum in a way that works for each child as it is always tailored to him or her. For example, an in-home private tutor--in order to reinforce a certain subject--can go much further than the program has planned.
They will teach the children to use other tools, work tactics, and materials. They will teach the child to debate. This is also the freedom involved in in-home tutoring: transcending in-home tutoring subjects in order to better understand them.
And, finally, what's maybe best of all about in-home tutoring is the "tailor-made" aspect of these classes. When it comes to regular math classes (or any other subject, for that matter) in school, teachers feel pressured to deliver "standard" classes. A class that can be accessible to 20-30 students, without any distinction at all.
When it comes to in-home academic tutoring, the private tutor has to adapt to whatever student he or she is dealing with. What is the student's level? His degree of comprehension? His personality? His relationship with authority? His thirst for knowledge? Does he deal with psychological blockages when it comes to this subject? In sum, private in-home tutoring is also there to heal some of the wounds inflicted by school.
Academic Support: From Basic Homework Help to A Refresher Course
For those parents who don't have a very precise idea of what academic support is, you should know that it covers a wide range of services.
This can of course begin by the infamous homework help. In elementary school, middle school, or high school, students sometimes feel completely overwhelmed by the homework they have been told to do that night or over the weekend. Furthermore, as we mentioned above, parents don't always have the time to help their kids. Why not hire a professional in-house tutor in order to help your child then?
Homework represents an important part of the school year. Wise students and parents will not let it go unnoticed. A big part of understanding the class material happens because of homework. It is therefore very interesting to call on a professional tutor in order to reinforce knowledge acquired in school. This is true of every subject and each year your child or teenager is in school. What's the goal here? Avoiding problems in school in order to maximize chances for your child to obtain good grades.
Academic support also represents an objective sometimes: a refresher course. In numerous cases, this is why private tutors are employed. The child in question will either be struggling with certain subjects or is prisoner of psychological blockages that stop him from progressing. When your child is under this kind of stress, it's time for you to make a decision and avoid falling behind in class. For this reason, in-home tutoring is very rarely free. All the more so as the teachers at school never have the time to go through a student's problem point by point.
On the contrary, an in-home private tutor will have total liberty to do so. Thanks to a special type of teaching adapted to students such as the ones who struggle in class, the work of the tutor is to disentangle all the learning knots and aim for a quick reboot.
This is the aim of the academic support triptych.
This service--the refresher course--can happen on the shorter or longer term. You usually need to count a little time before the student manages to get back on track with his classes. You also need to count some time for the student to adapt to new teaching methods in order to study and work.
The Difference with Educational Support
Now we've listed some of the best things about in-home tutoring and its wide array of services.
There is another kind of academic support that we associate to it wrongfully a lot of the time. Its name is educational support. But how is it different from in-home tutoring classes?
This support arises from the ever-growing needs of students to get into ivy leagues and other top-notch universities and programs (such as business schools, engineer schools, etc.)
For a long time now, students are in competition for these prestigious schools. Good SAT grades are a norm, and have been on the rise for decades. For this reason, students must impress the school by having exceptional grades and pre-requisites.
Educational support is therefore born of this necessity, for students who are already more than capable in school, but need that extra push to reach the top. These students are not in difficulty. The goal here is simple. Thanks to somewhat regular classes, educational support can deliver the following results:
- Raise grades to way above average,
- Prepare students for entrance exams,
- Prepare students for finals and other important tests,
- And allow students to therefore enter very prestigious schools.
The Difference With Private Classes
In the same way, private classes and in-home tutoring are often mistaken for one another. They are however very different and some tutors are not apt for both.
In order to simplify things: in-home tutoring (or online tutoring) concerns homework help, revisions, and refresher courses. It therefore often applies to students who have great or small difficulties.
In-home tutoring applies to students who have a desire to learn before anything. It guides the student--thanks to a personal follow-up--towards new knowledge. It brings reflection, empowerment, and new methods to the student.
On top of it, in-home tutoring is flexible and allows a tailor-made approach to academic support.
Some might refer to it as academic coaching!
Whatever they refer to it as, be aware that it has the potential to change your child's life!