Online Learning Could Be Here to Stay in Ontario
In Ontario, it has been over a year since students started pursuing their education online. But now that more and more people in Canada are being vaccinated and schools at all levels and in all provinces and territories are preparing a return to in-person classes in the fall, it may appear as though the days of online learning are ending.
The more likely result, however, is a hybrid approach that a hybrid approach is the way of the near future. However much parents and students alike might be dreaming of having things go back to normal, online learning might be here to stay in Canada.
In Manitoba, for instance, the government is actively working to enable universities and colleges to develop more sophisticated and engaging remote-learning models with the intent of improving the quality of online learning now and in years to come.
Manitoba recently made public its better education starts today (BEST) document, as well as the contents of the Education Modernization Act, and the K-12 review. BEST is a list of provincial takeaways from the past year, and it looks favourably upon online learning. According to the document, “Expanding access and capacity for high-quality remote learning improves our resilience moving out of the pandemic and provides greater flexibility.”
The hurdles of online learning will be tough, though not impossible, to overcome, and our professional online tutors can help.
The Bumpy Acceleration of Online Learning
This past school year has seen more drop-outs and lower student engagement and performance rates. Not only that, but stress, anxiety, and rates of depression have increased among students and teachers alike. These statistics have much to do, of course, with the pandemic — mental well-being has been hard hit throughout the country — but online-learning on its own is also partly to blame.
If online learning is here to stay, government and school boards will need to devise proactive ways of improving the quality of remote education, and parents need to search out online tutoring tips that can help kids keep learning under remote conditions. Doing so may mean drawing from best practices and solutions outside of Canada.
A case can be made that online learning is an inevitable step in education, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has simply accelerated the move toward online learning models. Student demand for remote learning has greatly increased over the past school year, and a hybrid online and in person learning model will, ideally, combine the benefits of in person learning with the benefits of online learning.
Professional online tutoring in Toronto and other Canadian cities has been one example of this, helping students get the extra help they need from the safety of their own homes.
Can Online and In-Person Education Be Complementary?
The benefits of in person learning are well documented. An in-class environment is far less distracting than an at home learning environment, where students are often free to do what they please.
In-person learning also makes it easier to develop close relationships with teachers. Students can better learn from the body language of a teacher when they share a classroom together. Students in class have easier access to school materials.
Students also benefit socially by interacting with other students in class, doing group projects, and spending time with students at recess and in hallways or the cafeteria. Indeed, the social benefits of in person learning are not to be underestimated.
This may be why students who complete their course in classroom settings do so at a much higher rate than students who learn remotely, and some students feel more comfortable and accustomed to learning in a classroom than elsewhere.
Credit: Katerina Holmes Via Pexels
But there are also many benefits to online learning, especially when supplemented by tutoring in Hamilton or Toronto that gives kids one-on-one learning time with an educator.
With online learning, students who live far away from campus don’t have to spend hours commuting to and from school grounds five days a week. Students with disabilities can sidestep the difficulties inherent to navigating campus facilities, many of which do not adequately meet their needs.
Sick students who by showing up to class risk making other students sick can participate in class (if they’re not too sick) from home. Mature students with jobs or families have an easier time fitting online learning into their busy schedules.
Online learning may benefit students at the post-secondary and post-graduate levels most. One recent study has shown that MBA students benefit from online learning in a variety of ways.
According to a case study in which more than 100 students enrolled in prestigious online MBA programs were asked to share their perceptions and thoughts on the pros and cons of online learning, a commonly shared sentiment among the students was that they highly valued the experience of virtual teaming because it prepares them for today’s global business environment.
Online Learning: A Parent’s Perspective
It’s not only students who recognize the benefits of remote learning, however: parents also see value in online learning — a fact that may come as a surprise for parents who are burned out after a year of Zoom school.
The difficulties of parenting students who learn remotely are well documented. It has been remarkably difficult for parents to provide educational support to their children while working full or part time jobs. However, parenting students who learn remotely does have some benefits.
With online learning, parents have more time to spend with their children; family time has increased. Not only that, but parents — especially parents who help their children build structure and routine — enjoy the pleasure of watching their children develop more confidence in their ability to work alone.
Parents of adolescents enjoy watching how their children’s increased confidence in their learning abilities has in turn helped them discover themselves. More flexibility in their children’s schooling has helped parents better understand how their child’s unique learning styles interact with the curriculum.
Perhaps the hybrid in-person and online learning model of the future will benefit education in ways that were unimaginable before the onset of the COVD-19 pandemic. It is likely, however, that some adjustment will be needed, and tutoring can play a significant role in this process.
If you want to find out more about how tutoring services can help manage the transitions between online and offline learning, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today.
Spring Cleaning Your Child’s Digital Learning Space
Before March, 2020, staying organized for school at the K-12 level largely meant keeping papers, textbooks, and school supplies organized in binders, backpacks, lockers, and desks. Now with online schooling, much organizing is done digitally, on computers. To stay prepared for online learning, students must learn how to keep their computers organized and clean.
Healthy (digital) organizational habits are essential for online learning. Such habits keep kids focused and in charge of their studies. Computers can quickly become a disorganized mess of intangible documents that get lost in the digital void.
The sooner a student learns healthy digital habits, the better. These habits will set them up for success now and in the long run, in school and in the workforce. Staying digitally organized can mean the difference between meeting a deadline and missing it by a week.
Organizing PDFs and organizing physical papers are very different endeavours, however. Parents who grew up in an analogue world are sometimes at a loss when it comes to teaching their children healthy digital habits because their children are more familiar with digital devices than they are. To them, laptops and smart phones are second nature.
But here are some of the essential online learning tips and hygiene hacks that will make learning easier and studying less stressful.
Backing Up Your Computer
Anyone familiar with the state of education in Ontario knows that for months students have no choice but to do their schooling online. For students doing online learning at school and/or with one-on-one tutors (many students in Ontario have sought help from tutoring services in Toronto and Mississauga and Hamilton), the first step to ensure an organized computer is to back it up.
Backing up a computer is the digital equivalent of photocopying documents and safely keeping them in storage. Doing so will ensure that if a computer faces problems, its documents and data will be safe.
Those who are at a loss for how to back up a computer can seek help from IT experts online. But learning how to back up a computer on your own isn’t as daunting a task as it may at first appear.
Backing up a Mac is different than backing up a PC. For both, however, there are three primary options:
- Back up to an external drive
- Back up to the Cloud
- Back up over the Internet
Back Up a Computer to an External Drive
Backing up a computer to an external drive requires using a computer’s built-in back up features to upload files to an external USB hard drive.
The process is quick and affordable, but keep in mind that an external USB hard drive is a physical object that, like all other physical objects, can be stolen, lost, or destroyed.
Back Up a Computer to the Cloud
“The Cloud” refers to servers accessible online, as well as the databases and software that run on these servers. Backing up on the Cloud is like backing up the computer to an external USB hard drive. The difference is that the Cloud is a digital thing that can’t get lost or broken.
Backing up a computer to the Cloud is often free if you need to back up only a few gigabytes of space. Backing up a lot of data usually costs money and the process can be more complicated than backing up the same number of gigabytes to an external USB hard drive.
Back up Over the Internet
Different online services are available to those who would prefer to back up their computer to the Internet. These services, which typically require a monthly fee, automatically back up your data and files to the server’s web storage.
The benefits of backing up a computer to the Internet are similar to the benefits of backing up a computer to the Cloud. The downside is that backing up your computer to the internet typically costs money.
If you want to be extra safe, you can protect your files and data by using all three methods.
Credit: Pixabay Via Pexels
How to Neatly Organize a Computer
Beyond backing up a computer, there are simple ways of keeping computers neat and tidy and ideal for online learning or tutoring. There’s no one size fits all method of organizing, but typically developing healthy digital learning habits starts with organizing documents into folders.
Making folders to separate schoolwork is always a good first step. To separate schoolwork or online learning from everything else, create a folder called “School,” and organize this folder into subfolders according to course and semester, for instance. Then further organize each course according to week and/or assignment.
School à 2021 Spring Semester à English à Week 8 à Midterm paper à 2nd draft
Doing this will ensure that kids never lose track of assignments, and makes it easier for you to keep tabs on their progress.
Avoiding clutter on your computer starts with sorting documents of all kinds into their proper folders. It also means keeping your desktop screen clean. Doing so demands organized digital instincts and knee-jerk reactions that may take some effort to cultivate.
Rather than unthinkingly dragging a PDF that you download from an email onto your already cluttered desktop, for instance, immediately drag the PDF into its proper folder upon downloading it. Leave only a few, if any, items on your desktop screen.
Organize the Web
Keeping a clean computer involves more than just keeping a clean desktop and a simple folder filing system. It also means bookmarking websites according to their purpose.
If a student visits one website for school, another for sports updates, and another for their part-time job, for instance, they’re best off sorting these websites into corresponding bookmarks: School, Sports, Job.
Keep the Computer Physically Clean
Computers themselves are physical objects, and physical objects get dirty. Unlike a car, however, you can’t clean a computer with soap or water. Instead, you can treat it with cleaning products designed for computers (as well as tablets and smart phones).
Make sure you check a cleaning product to see if it’s computer-friendly before using it on a computer. Treating a computer with products not meant for computers can cause serious damage.
And don’t forget to sanitize the keys. Research done by the University of Arizona found that the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Cleaning the keys with the right tools not only benefits the computer, it also can prevent you from getting sick.
How to Prepare Kids for Future School Closures
Due to the pandemic, many students have fallen behind, lost interest, or even left school altogether, and despite the herculean efforts of parents and education professionals, grades and attendance have gone down while drop-out rates have gone up.
But the situation is not all doom and gloom. With more and more vaccinations becoming available, and new strategies for reopening schools, there appears to be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel: many schools either have partly reopened or are set to partly reopen soon.
Doing so may not be as dangerous as one thinks. Recent studies indicate that countries where schools have remained closed have not had more success at reducing the spread of COVID than countries where schools have opened.
If reopening schools proves to be relatively safe, the return to the classroom will mark the end of a uniquely difficult period in history and the beginning of a new era — the “new normal” — that will ideally empower children to catch up in school and excel.
What Will Schools Look Like in the New Normal?
It’s tough to predict what the new normal will look like for education, but experts recommend cautious optimism. Given the slow rollout of the vaccine, the fact that children are last to be vaccinated, and the new strains of the virus that are emerging across the globe, the new normal may not be as different as one would hope. And even if the most optimistic forecasts are true, students will still struggle with catching up.
Schools will have to go the extra mile to get their students back on track. Post-pandemic strategies at the K-12 may include spending extra time on complex areas, homing in on essential parts of the curriculum while abandoning others, and combining more than one subject into one class.
Different schools will have different strategies, of course, but all will share the same goal: make up for what has been missed.
One thing that is certain is schools will adhere to strict health policies designed to prevent health risks. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put forward these guidelines for preventing community spread:
- Teach and reinforce healthy hygiene
- Develop information sharing systems
- Intensify cleaning and disinfectants
- Monitor for absenteeism
- Assess group gatherings and events—consider postponing non-critical gatherings and events
- Require sick students and staff stay home
- Establish procedures for someone becoming sick at school
This means that masks and social distancing procedures will probably remain in effect, and classrooms and hallways will likely be equipped with hand-washing stations. Students won’t share as many supplies as they did before the pandemic, and recess, lunchtime, and gym will be subject to restrictions. Classrooms and resources will have to be sanitized throughout the day.
School-based meals will become a more common resource. Students will have to remain socially distant inside and outside. To prevent overcrowding, students and staff will take turns coming to school and staying home. Students’ physical health will of course be monitored closely — so, too, will their mental health.
If all goes well, kindergarteners will no longer need to learn phonetics online, high school seniors will get to tour universities and colleges in person, and teachers will have the privilege of getting to know their students face-to-face, without a screen between them.
Credit: Andrea Piacquadio Via Pexels
How Parents Can Get Their Children Back on Track
Still, adjusting to the pandemic has required incredible fortitude and sacrifice. Parents have needed to be more proactive about their kids’ education than ever before. Without the routine offered by in-person schooling, they have had to ensure their kids adhere to a productive schedule, and they have had to minimize distractions without depriving their kids of enjoyment.
Many have had to do all of this (and more) while simultaneously working full or part time jobs and taking care of other family members as well as their own health both physical and mental.
The new normal may lessen the burden on parents who throughout the pandemic have struggled to get by, but extra resources will still be necessary. The online learning support resources that Prep Academy Tutors has made available will continue to be there to help, including our online tutoring in Ontario and in other Canadian provinces.
The vaccination process in the United States has been significantly faster than it has in Canada, and we have endeavored to keep pace with these developments through our tutoring services in New York by allowing for in-person tutoring and learning pods in communities where it is safe to do so.
We believe that these resources have proved to be beneficial to students, parents, and teachers over the past year, and we hope they will continue to provide vital support as schools reopen.
Cautious Optimism Going Forward
With the onset of the new normal, parents and children have every right to breathe a collective sigh of relief. But there are reasons why experts are advising caution.
Despite the comprehensive safety measures and guidelines the CDC and other health organizations have put forward, there is a chance that reopening schools will increase the spread of COVID-19, in which case schools will close again and parents and kids will return to the same position they’ve been in for the past year.
To prepare kids for the possibility of future school closures, it’s important that parents talk to them about what closure will entail, and how they can best prepare.
Preparing for the Possibility of School Closure
Last March, when schools and offices were just beginning to close and public health policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID took effect, it was impossible to predict how long the pandemic would take or what it would mean for education. No one was prepared for the many challenges lockdowns would pose to day-to-day life.
Since then, parents have learned how to provide their children an education in spite of the difficulties. This means that, if schools do close again, parents and kids are far more prepared to deal with the consequences than they were one year ago.
Tutors have been lifesavers for students of all ages. Canadian parents who’ve sought help from Toronto tutors as well as Americans who’ve sought help from similar resources in the States, are by now quite familiar with how beneficial these resources are.
Resources like learning pods will remain available in the short- and long-term future, regardless of whether or not schools open or close again. Parents can help their children understand that in a world with an uncertain future these resources are a constant they can count on.
The future of school is up in the air, but tutors will always be at the ready. If you want to find out more about the tutoring options in your city, or to learn more about our approach to tutoring, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today.
Why Tutoring is More Important than Ever for New York Students
The coronavirus pandemic has been interrupting American life for a full year now, and exhaustion with the restrictions set in long ago. But it isn’t just the restrictions and lockdowns that are so frustrating — it is also the constantly changes around what is allowed and what isn’t.
Education is a prime example of this, and the one that most parents of school-aged children are having the hardest time with: when New York City announced at the beginning of January that schools would once again be moving classes online, it didn’t take long for hashtags criticizing the decision to start circulating online.
While opinion remains divided as to how New York State should strike the right balance between public safety and the needs of students, parents, and teachers, it is clear that the coming semester will be a rocky one. Even outside of New York City proper, suburban counties like Westchester are locked in a delicate dance around school closures and re-openings based on COVID-19 outbreaks.
This is why it is all the more important for parents to start exploring alternative ways of making sure their children don’t fall behind in their schooling due to zoom fatigue or lack of stimulation. Currently, one of the biggest issues with the state of education in New York is that students are having a much harder time accessing the learning supports that play such a big role in helping those who are struggling in their classes.
Because after-school study groups and educational extracurriculars have been curtailed, kids who need a more hands-on approach in order to master difficult subjects have been left to fend for themselves — which is why certified online tutors can be such a big help.
If you want to make sure that the chaos of this school year doesn’t do long-term damage to your children’s education, here are some of the ways private tutors are helping New York families get through the pandemic, and some of the things you should look for in a private tutor.
Tutoring: An Essential Learning Supplement for New York Students
Over the past months, school closures in New York have been followed by New York school reopenings and the promise of a return to something like normalcy. With the latest round of school closures, many students are finding it exceptionally difficult to get back into the rhythm of distance learning.
This is in part because remote learning requires a greater degree of discipline from students, one that has been severely eroded by coronavirus fatigue. Tutoring doesn’t require the same degree of mental effort because the tutors work on a one-on-one basis, meeting students where they are emotionally and psychologically.
Unlike a teacher trying to engage a twenty-person class over zoom, a tutor can:
- Check in with a student about their wellbeing and the personal learning challenges they are facing
- Provide affirmation and coaching
- Discuss lessons and concepts in a back-and-forth way, so that the student can work through problems in their own words
- Help develop personalized learning strategies that build off students’ strengths and account for areas of weakness
- Act not as an authority figure but as a knowledgeable peer who empathizes with the student’s unique challenges and helps them work through course material in their own way and at their own pace
For most students, learning is most effective when it is a dialogical process. Exploring ideas, trying to find words to explain difficult concepts, having space to make mistakes — these things are all much easier when the student has a knowledgeable interlocutor to help them.
One of the reasons tutoring in Westchester NY can be such an important supplement to regular classes is that it puts the student and their needs at the center of the educational process, empowering them to focus on their unique challenges.
Find a Tutoring Service that Fits Your Life
The challenges of pandemic schooling have been aggravated by the fact that many parents don’t have the time to monitor their children’s schooling.
Working from home is already a stressful experience, and when you’re juggling your own zoom calls with cooking, housework, and shopping, you aren’t always able to check in to make sure your kids are paying attention to their lessons.
Finding a tutor who is flexible enough to work around your schedule and the schedules of your children is essential, which is why Prep Academy Tutors has expanded service options to help families get the educational support they need.
Before the pandemic began, our approach was built around offering home tutoring services that give children the freedom to learn in a safe and comfortable environment, and we continue to offer this service when and where it is appropriate to do so. In situations where safety measures make in-home tutoring impossible, out tutors offer personalized, in-depth lessons online.
We also provide our students with the option of learning pods so that children who prefer a more engaging and social learning environment can study alongside their friends and peers.
With pandemic life already a complicated balancing act between work, life maintenance, and self-care, we believe effective tutoring should not create added stress for students or parents, which is why our tutors do everything they can to tailor their approach to your scheduling needs.
Children and teenagers cannot afford to lose an entire year of their education to unengaging zoom lectures and experiments in remote learning that many experts believe are ineffective ways of delivering education outcomes.
For New York students to keep up during this difficult time, it is essential that they have hands-on help from tutors who can provide stimulating instruction, homework help, personalized feedback, and support that can actually empower them to keep learning.
Whether you’re looking for a private English tutor or the best math tutor Westchester NY has to offer, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors to learn more about the services we offer today.
5 Tips for Preparing Students for Online Tests
Test-taking has always been one of the most stressful parts of being a student. With so much at stake and only a limited amount of time to complete the task, it’s no wonder that tests are a significant cause of mental health problems for secondary and post-secondary students.
These anxieties have, in many cases, only been heightened with the shift to online schooling. After having put years into basic test-taking skills, many students have had to adapt on the fly to a completely new format, adding one more brick to the wall of social isolation and anxiety that large numbers of young people already feel trapped behind.
Unfortunately, with the pandemic still raging and vaccinations for the general population still months away, it is likely that students can expect to take most of this semester’s exams and tests in person — a matter of particular concern for those in their final year of studies, when scores will likely determine university or college admissions.
To help maximize the efficiency of your study time, here are five tips that can help students sharpen their online test-taking skills and approach their upcoming exams with a greater degree of confidence.
1. Understand the Difference Between Online and Paper Tests
Over the past year, students and teachers have been confronted with the fact that moving classes online isn’t as simple as it might sound. Things are possible in a classroom setting that just don’t work over zoom, and this is true of test-taking as well.
Different school boards have different approaches to monitoring and proctoring online tests, so at the beginning of the semester it is a good idea to find out exactly how online tests will be administered so you can get your child ready for online tutoring that is geared toward the new testing format.
2. Familiarize Yourself with the Guidelines
One of the most common pitfalls for students unfamiliar with online test-taking formats has less to do with the test itself and more to do with figuring out how to properly use the software and make sure their work is actually registered by the system.
While some progress has been made in communicating to students what steps they must take if they are to successfully complete an online test, students and teachers alike are still acclimatizing themselves to this very different approach to sitting a test or exam.
In order to reduce anxiety and improve confidence before an online exam, students should make sure they understand how the software works and what is expected of them so they can focus on studying the course material itself.
3. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
In some ways, of course, online tests are not significantly different from paper tests, and preparing for a unit test or exam should follow similar studying patterns.
One important aspect of this is identifying strengths and weaknesses so that you can get a private tutor in Calgary (if you live in Alberta) or an online tutor in Mississauga (if you live in the GTA) to help students master the parts of the curriculum they struggle with the most.
This goes beyond simply hiring the best English tutor in Toronto if a student is having a hard time with their English grades; it also means targeting the actual barriers to learning. For example, some students have an easy time understanding the concepts they are studying, but struggle to communicate them effectively in writing — understanding the significance of the play-within-a-play in Hamlet is not the same as being able to write a cogent five-paragraph essay about it.
A good English tutor can figure out what is holding a student back from achieving their full potential, and then teach them how to develop the concrete writing and critical thinking skills they need for long-term success.
4. Take Advantage of Test-Prep Resources
Education experts have long acknowledged that knowing how to take a test is just as important as understanding the material you are being tested on.
Test-taking is its own skill, and a student who knows the course material inside-out won’t necessarily get top marks if they aren’t also familiar with how tests work. This is especially true when students are switching to an online test, where it is easier to be distracted and lose track of time.
One of the best ways students can reap the benefits of online tutoring is by spending time on practice tests and then going over their results with a tutor who can identify where they went wrong and help them gain a better understanding of how the test works. This in turn will help them develop the distinct online test-taking skills they will need when exam season comes around.
5. Get Tutoring Help
Finally, one of the best things students struggling with particular subjects or topics can do is turn to online tutoring services for targeted support.
Tutors who have a strong knowledge of subjects like English, Math, or French and the pedagogical tools needed to help students overcome their learning obstacles can be a lifeline in the weeks leading up to an important exam.
Because tutors can provide personalized feedback, they make the studying process significantly more efficient, and can help students develop their online test-taking skills. Not only will this help them attain a firmer grasp on the material, it will also help them become confident enough to vanquish their exam anxiety.
Many education experts believe that the coronavirus pandemic will dramatically re-shape how schooling functions in the future, and it is likely that online testing is here to stay. This makes it all the more important to master essential online testing skills now, so students are prepared for a future in which taking exams on their laptop is the norm rather than the exception.
If you don’t want to make academic success a matter of trial and error, invest in professional test preparation training from Prep Academy Tutors today.
Why Finding the Right Tutor Can Make All the Difference
From the beginning, it has been clear that the 2020-2021 school year would not be like any other year in recent memory. And as students prepare for the second semester, many parents and guardians are finding that the children in their care are struggling to stay focused and meet curriculum goals.
Part of the difficulty lies in the sheer uncertainty facing many schools. With lockdown measures changing in response to spiking case rates, and a vaccine still months away from general distribution, managing expectations and planning for the coming months is proving quite difficult.
For this reason it is more important than ever that students have the support they need to navigate demanding subjects and master difficult concepts, which is why many are turning to private tutors to help them keep up with their classes.
Tutoring can have a life-changing impact on student performance, boosting outcomes and building the confidence kids need to succeed academically — but only if they are matched with the right tutor. If you’re considering tutoring for primary or secondary children in your care, here are four things you should keep in mind.
Identify Your Student’s Needs
A tutoring relationship is a two-way street, and if you want to find a tutor who can deliver the educational outcomes you’re looking for, you’ll need to start by identifying the student’s needs.
A driven student who is planning on applying to American universities and wants a little extra help preparing for the SAT, and a primary schooler who needs a math tutor to help them develop their numeracy skills, will require different kinds of expertise and support. It is important to find a tutor who can give them the help they are looking for.
Similarly, different learning styles also need to be accommodated if you are to get the most out of the tutoring experience. Some children need one-on-one help, while others may thrive in a learning pod where they can study alongside their peers and have a more social learning environment.
In-home tutoring has long been a proven way to help students get the help they need in a familiar and comfortable environment, but in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, with many schools dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, some students may not be able to meet with a tutor in person. In this case, you’ll need to find a tutor who has the skill and experience to offer effective tutoring sessions online.
Prep Academy Tutors offers all of these options, so if you want to learn more about how our team approaches SAT prep, learning pods, or online lessons, get in touch to learn more about our approach.
Create a Schedule That Works for the Student
For busy families, finding time for tutoring has long been a challenge. While the ongoing pandemic means that most extra-curricular activities have been suspended, many parents are working from home, which makes it difficult to carve out space where children can meet with tutors in a distraction-free environment.
When negotiating with a potential tutor, you shouldn’t be afraid to expect a degree of flexibility around scheduling. Tutors understand that the needs of every family and student will be different, and are willing to accommodate a variety of different schedules.
If you are already working with a tutor but feel that your scheduling needs aren’t being accommodated, don’t be afraid to explore alternatives or find a new tutor who will be able to meet with your student at the time that is most conducive to their learning, and most convenient for your family.
Look for Local Tutors
Local tutors have always been able to provide better service. Tutors who live in your city or borough will have an easier time getting to your home, and can adapt more easily to changing schedules.
But during the coronavirus pandemic it has become more important than ever to make sure that your tutor doesn’t have to travel long distances to get to your home. With different regions across Canada experiencing different restrictions, it is essential to make sure that your tutor is abiding by the same guidelines as your family.
And of course, when you hire Toronto tutors who actually live in the Toronto, they’ll have a better working knowledge of the curriculum and the context in which your child is learning.
Prep Academy Tutors works with local tutors in cities across Canada, so whether you need a physics tutor in Montreal, an Ottawa French tutor, a reading literacy specialist in Manitoba, or private math tutor in Mississauga, we can help you find a candidate who will be able to offer the right level of instruction from within your community.
Find a Tutor Who Can Offer a Personalized Approach to Learning
Specialization, scheduling, and location are all key to finding a good tutor, but perhaps the most important thing is to find someone who can offer in-home and online tutoring services that are personalized to your student’s individual needs.
Every child learns differently, and the best tutors understand that they need to adapt their educational approach to each student’s unique aptitudes. Tutors also need to be able to identify the obstacles that are getting in the way of learning, and to help students build confidence in their own problem-solving skills.
A tutor is more than just someone providing homework help or going over the curriculum with a student — they are also a peer offering personal support. This is why it is so important to find a tutor who can relate to your child’s struggles and help them overcome their challenges.
For students who don’t want to fall behind during this chaotic schoolyear, tutors can be a lifeline. But not every tutor will be equally adept at helping individual students, so make sure you find the right fit by working with specialized local tutors who can accommodate your schedule and offer a personalized approach to learning.
If you want to learn more about your options for hiring a home tutor, online tutor, or learning-pod tutor in your area, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today.
How Hamilton Parents Can Help Kids Succeed this Semester
As the year begins, schools across Hamilton remain closed due to the new coronavirus lockdown measures, with elementary students learning remotely until at least January 11, and secondary students out of the classroom until at least January 25.
While these public safety measures have doubtless come as a relief to many families concerned about the health of their families amidst spiking case rates, it also puts an added burden on parents who will need to find creative ways to keep their kids engaged in their studies — often while working from home themselves.
As many Hamilton parents discovered during the lockdowns in early 2020, learning from home is not as simple as just moving studies online. For children and teenagers, learning is a dynamic process that requires support, attention, and hands-on help. So how can Hamilton families ensure that their children will be able to succeed in the coming semester if the lockdowns continue into February and possibly beyond?
The Challenges of Remote Learning
In order to respond to these new conditions, it is essential to identify the major challenges of remote learning, and find realistic ways of meeting them.
It is no secret that remote learning has had an uneven effect on student performance: while some students have done well and even thrived when learning online, others have struggled to keep pace with the curriculum. Typically, students who are organized, disciplined, and have an aptitude for working independently have done fairly well. Those who require more structure and a more social learning environment have often needed extra help.
As identified by educators, the most significant particular challenges involved in remote learning are:
- Distractions: While a classroom may offer opportunities for daydreaming, learning from home opens up a wide array of opportunities for distraction. Minimizing distractions and creating dedicated spaces for learning is therefore essential.
- Technical Issues: Learning online isn’t always easy — glitching video calls, poor sound quality, and bad connections can all make learning online a lot harder.
- Personal Support: In a classroom, teachers can design their lessons to leave time for one-on-one help. This becomes a lot harder when the whole class is conducted via Zoom.
- Trust: In order to teach effectively, teachers need to earn the trust of their students. This is much easier to do in person than online, and students who have never met their teacher outside of the digital classroom have a harder time connecting than those who have had a chance to get to know their teacher in person.
As with many learning challenges, the solution is often quite simple: students who are struggling need more structure, more time with the material, and the personalized support that can help them identify their areas of weakness and overcome obstacles to learning. In all three of these areas, tutoring is a reliable way to improve outcomes.
How Prep Academy is Supporting Students During the Pandemic
At Prep Academy Tutors, we have adapted our approach to keep up with changing guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic, providing the students we serve with options for in-home and online tutors when possible and shifting to online-only instruction as required.
We have also developed innovative solutions to the social aspect of learning by moving forward with new ways of providing tutoring — for example, through a learning pod with certified teachers that gives students a chance to learn alongside their peers.
These options will become available again should regulations change, but we continue to offer online tutoring during this period of lockdown. If you want your primary or secondary students to start the semester strong, our tutors in Hamilton Ontario are ready to help provide expert help across a range of different subjects.
3 Ways Tutoring Can Provide Essential Support
At the root of many of the educational problems students are facing during lockdown is lack of support.
Students are not simply sponges that suck up information during their classes and squeeze it out when it comes time for tests, assignments, and exams — in order to learn effectively, students need feedback, and a chance to explore ideas and problems with someone who can guide them.
Here are three ways that tutoring in Hamilton can give kids the guidance they need to achieve academic success.
1. Tutoring is Complementary to Regular Classes
Ideally, tutoring provides a supplement to what students are learning in their regular classes — a tutor is like an older peer who knows the course material well and can explain complex problems in an easily-understandable way.
One of the reasons it is important to find a tutor near you is to ensure that your children get help from someone who knows the curriculum they are studying in class, and can direct a student’s learning with an eye to what is coming next.
2. Tutoring Provides a More Personal Approach
Every student needs some degree of personal support when learning. Concepts that will be easy for some might be quite difficult for others, and a good tutor will tailor their approach to the particular strengths and weaknesses of each student.
3. Tutoring Helps Build Confidence
One of the greatest dangers of falling behind, especially during critical learning periods, is that it can cause lasting damage to a child’s self-esteem, making it harder for them to build confidence in their intellectual abilities.
At the primary and secondary level, learning that you can learn — that skills and concepts that at first seem impossible can be mastered through effort and hard work — is essential. By encouraging children to apply themselves and showing them that effort pays off, tutors can help them improve their sense of self-worth.
The beginning of a new semester is the perfect time to take stock of the learning challenges your children will face in the coming months. Though schools may re-open for in-person classes by the end of January, there is no guarantee there won’t be further lockdowns to come.
If you’re worried about your child’s academic performance and want to make sure they have the support they need to end the school year strong, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors in Hamilton today.
How Students are Achieving Success with Online Learning
There is no question that in the world of primary and post-secondary education, 2020 has been the most disruptive year in living memory.
As the coronavirus pandemic hit Canada in the early months of the year, schools and universities alike were left scrambling to figure out how to realistically handle a massive shift to online learning. Parents, meanwhile, were often confronted with the challenge of keeping up with their own work while supervising their children’s schooling.
Fortunately, by the time schools cautiously reopened in September, online learning had gone from being an emergency necessity to being something that parents and teachers had been able to get a better grasp on.
Though no one would claim that online learning is without its challenges, according to at least one survey, a clear majority of students believe it to be preferable to going back to in-person classes full-time while the pandemic is still unfolding. And some students even report a preference for online learning because it frees them from the social pressures that are a major hurdle to learning in-person.
While there is no end yet in sight for the coronavirus pandemic, it is becoming clear that the 2020-2021 school year can still be a time of learning and growth for primary and secondary school students — if students are able to adjust to a radically different type of online study.
If you want to help your kids get the most out of their education during this difficult time, here are three of the most important factors influencing the degree to which students can adjust to and even thrive while learning online.
1. Sufficient Preparation
Preparation is essential to success in just about any long-term project, and this is exactly how online learning should be imagined — as a marathon rather than a sprint.
Several months into distance learning, you’ve probably started to develop routines and practices to help manage your child’s studies. But it is often the case that these practices have something of an ad-hoc quality to them, and an arrangement that started as being a temporary solution has become a daily frustration.
Taking the time to step back and think about how your time and space could be organized more effectively will help you be more intentional about your family’s approach to online learning, and can help you remove distractions and create a more effective environment for learning.
If you are interested in providing more fulsome support for you kids, here are a few things you can do to help them get the most out of the online learning experience (you can also check out our tips to prepare them for online tutoring here):
- Involve your children in creating weekly schedules
- Encourage kids to pick out school supplies and decorate their workstations
- Dedicate time every morning to light exercises and stretching
- Build active time into every day
- Set daily goals
- Schedule tutoring for a time when kids have had a chance to recover from daily lessons
When you treat online learning as a new normal rather than an unpleasant deviation, you can start to reap the benefits that come from a well-designed online education routine.
2. Extra Support
Now more than ever, children need extra support from the adults in their lives if they are to meet their learning goals and thrive in this new educational environment.
At the same time, you may not be at liberty to dedicate as much time to educational support as you might want to — after all, you may be facing your own challenges adjusting to the difficulties of working online, and won’t necessarily have the freedom to drop everything to take up your children’s education full-time.
Tutoring has always been a great way to supplement your child’s education, but during the pandemic expert online tutoring services can be an absolute lifeline for parents who are juggling work, housekeeping, and learning support.
As a tutoring service that has long been offering extra help and curriculum support to children in the education system, Prep Academy Tutors understands that effective tutoring plays an important role in helping children master difficult subjects.
For this reason, we have adapted our services to offer as much support as possible so kids can continue to learn during the coronavirus pandemic, both online and in-person (you can click here to learn more about how we work to maintain high levels of service during the pandemic).
Perhaps the most important aspect of succeeding with online learning, however, is maintaining a degree of flexibility. An arrangement that works in September may not be feasible in November, so being responsive to the needs of your children is essential.
The lack of opportunities to socialize is one of the hardest aspects of distance education, especially for younger kids for whom learning is a communal activity, but striking the right balance between online education and in-person learning can be difficult.
This is why Prep Academy Tutors has responded to the challenges of tutoring during the pandemic by offering learning pods. What are learning pods you might ask? A learning pod is a small group of students learning in-person from a qualified teacher in a controlled environment. More restricted than a classroom setting but still providing the freedom to learn in a social environment, learning pods provide a safer way for kids to learn together during the pandemic.
Signing your child up for a learning pod through Prep Academy Tutors is an excellent supplement to online learning, especially for more outgoing students who find that being isolated from their peers is an obstacle to development.
One of the things that has become increasingly apparent over the past few months is the extent to which a return to normal is unlikely, even if the number of cases starts to decline. Many experts predict that the pandemic will fundamentally reshape how we think about learning.
Families that are able to adapt to this new reality and achieve success with online learning will be much better positioned than those who yearn for an unrecoverable past, and if you want to find out what kind of role tutoring can play in the hybrid education system of the future, get in touch with Prep Academy Tutors today.
Educational Support in The Time of Online Learning
Online learning is being recognized as the new normal as students are now learning at home either exclusively or on alternating days with in-class lessons. This transition to a more independent and flexible learning style is an excellent opportunity for students to learn at their own pace in a safe and comfortable environment.
The reality of this shift in learning is that it’s an adjustment for many students accustomed to having teachers and friends supporting them. Private tutoring is an effective way to help students through this transition, as tutoring has changed to accommodate these new needs.
The good news is, with resources like online and distanced tutoring, students can get the tools and resources they need to support their online learning journey. Prep Academy Tutors can provide in-home and online tutoring services to help support students during this transition.
The tutoring landscape may be changing, but tutoring services remain available and are a significant resource to help students at this time.
What Tutoring Looks Like Now
In response to social distancing rules, tutoring is now often done either online or at a smaller scale to ensure safety. The most common options for tutoring as of now include:
Online tutoring is a great way to get your child used to virtual interaction and learning. It is the safest means of academic aid as it is provided online and at the flexibility of your child’s schedule.
In addition to online tutoring, students can receive tutoring in small groups to learn collaboratively at a safe distance. Tutors will offer small group tutoring for groups of 3-6 students.
Learning pods are resemblant of small group tutoring. These pods are small groups of 3-6 students put together by like-minded parents. Parents will enlist help from a certified teacher like a tutor to lead the group and provide curriculum-based education.
The Need for Tutoring at This Time
Many parents may wonder why students would need educational support when they learn at home with more flexible expectations. The reality is that there are various ways tutoring can provide support at this time:
Test Preparation: With online tests becoming more prevalent, students may be struggling to prepare for and write these tests. Prep Academy Tutor provides test preparation services to help students develop the skills they need to study for tests and approach writing tests online under pressure.
Emotional Support: The fear of the unknown and the limited ability to socialize with friends and loved ones have impacted students’ mental health. A private tutor can provide compassionate assistance and support at this time to help students overcome overwhelming feelings and apply their focus to academic success.
Organization: Learning from home requires organization. Students need to manage their time and schedule accordingly to ensure that assignments are done correctly and on time. With less access to teachers, students require tools and resources to develop these skills to carry into their future. Tutors can help students build and improve these necessary skills that come with long-term benefits.
Socialization: Everyone feels the impacts of being distanced from friends and loved ones, and students are no different. Tutors provide students with a new friendly face to interact with, albeit online, to regain a sense of normalcy.
How Parents Can Provide Educational Support
The reality is that homeschooling could be the new normal for the foreseeable future, which means students need all the support they can get to get comfortable learning virtually and stay focused.
We offer countless tips to help your kids with online tutoring to ensure they retain information and progress on their academic journey.
Learn About Online Learning
What does online learning look like for our students? How does Google classroom even work? It can be mutually beneficial for parents to learn about online learning.
The things teachers can do online are incredible, but getting used to online features on Google Classroom can be challenging for students with limited experience.
Consider spending some time navigating your child’s online learning platform so that you can answer their questions and provide support. Teachers use these platforms to communicate with parents and students. Being familiar with the system will also help you stay on top of your child’s schedule, and you’ll have a clear understanding of what to expect in the coming months from virtual classes.
Set Up a Workstation
You hear time and time again how important it is to set up a workstation when working at home, and the same rings true for studying remotely. Having a workspace for online learning supports students in various ways:
- It removes students from distracting common areas
- It establishes an area that students can associate with schoolwork
- Others in the home can identify the area and avoid it during school hours
- It encourages a sense of independence
- It provides a place where students can store all school-related materials
- It separates school and work from other areas in the house
You can designate a part of the kitchen table, a desk, or an area in the basement for online learning – it doesn’t matter where this space is.
Stay in Contact with Educators
Students want to know the future of their education. Both parents and students must maintain contact with educators to plan and understand the current state of learning.
Maintaining communication can help parents monitor their child’s progress and keep students informed about virtual learning plans. By staying up to date, you can support your child and prepare them for whatever the next step in their education.
How Prep Academy Can Support Online Student Learning
Prep Academy Tutors offers a range of tutoring services across Ontario to provide students with any academic support they may need. We can help whether they need tools and resources to adapt to online learning or have gaps in knowledge to fill.
We have tutors located across the province who are certified teachers prepared to provide your student with the personalized education they need to succeed.
Don’t hesitate to contact our team to learn more about matching your child with a tutor in your area. Our tutors can support students in a wide variety of ways.
Adjusting to the Changing State of Education in Ontario
As education continues to change in Ontario and around the world, educators, parents, and students need to be prepared to adapt to new ways of learning. Right now, that approach is online education.
We are all playing our part in making the transition to online learning easier on parents, teachers, administrators, and students who are all eager to regain a sense of normalcy.
As parents and educators adjust to the changing landscape, it is also essential that students understand the current situation and are able to access the resources they need.
The tutors at Prep Academy Tutors are providing ample resources to aid students at this time. We offer a range of solutions, including one-on-one, online, and small group tutoring.
What Does Going to School Look Like Right Now in Ontario?
Let’s address what going to school looks like in Ontario right now. Primary students choose to either partake in blended learning (a balance of in-class and at-home learning) or exclusively learn at home. On the other hand, high school students participate in mandatory in-class lessons other day and engage in online education when they are not at school.
Most recently, the TDSB released updated regulations for wearing masks in schools. These regulations state that “Staff are required to wear Level 1 or 2 medical masks at all times when indoors, and outdoors when unable to maintain a physical distance of two metres.”
Elementary and high school students must wear masks at all times, except during a mask break – a break where students socially distance and safely remove their face coverings for a short time.
The Current State of Education in Ontario
Ontario schools are facilitating a blended learning approach and, when preferred, exclusive online learning for elementary school students. The next step would either be a reversion to remote online learning or a gradual integration of more in-class time dependent on how the current situation progresses.
The Changing Landscape
As numbers fluctuate and affected schools close, it is crucial to have a plan in place for your child’s education. Due to the changing landscape, consistency is vital – which is why an increasing number of parents are opting for their students to learn online exclusively.
Parents can use private tutors to help students transition into their new means of education, whether they engage in blended learning or they’re learning exclusively online. Prep Academy Tutors has professional tutors in Mississauga and across Ontario to suit all of your child’s educational needs.
The Ontario Government is reportedly providing up to $1.3 billion in critical support, including over 37 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), to help classrooms safely reopen across Ontario.
Premier Ford said in a statement that “This school year will be unlike any we have ever seen, but by working together, we can all play a part to keep our children, teachers and education workers safe and ensure our students continue to thrive and be inspired to learn during these extraordinary times.”
The province has provided funding (more than any other jurisdiction in the country) to help support academic institutions at this time. This funding includes the hiring of up to 1,200 custodians, the hiring of more teachers, and the implementation of advanced cleaning protocols in schools and busses.
Up to 625 nurses have been hired in schools to offer efficient and effective support, including screening and mitigating.
Monitoring School-Related Cases
Ontario’s school boards and the Ministry of Education are closely monitoring schools and keeping parents, educators, and students up to date. The government provides an updated summary of cases in schools that indicates how many cases have occurred and where.
Ontario schools typically offer vaccinations to Grade 7 students for Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus and Meningococcal disease. CBC reports that these vaccinations will no longer be available in schools and will instead be at community clinics and doctors’ offices in 2021.
How Parents Can Help Students Adjust
We are all adjusting to the ongoing regulatory changes and adapting to our new normal, so we all must support one another. Our children, for one, can benefit from educational and emotional support to make their transition easier.
The good news is that there are many different ways you can support your child’s transition and help them to reap the benefits of a more flexible education:
Parents often think that students don’t need academic support when they are learning from home. The reality, however, is that students learning from home can significantly benefit from personalized tutoring. In addition to improving student grades, a private tutor’s guidance can help students build skills and gain the tools they need to succeed with online learning.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we are committed to shaping the leaders of tomorrow and providing them with high-level strategies and skills to approach new means of learning. You can learn more about our tutoring services to identify how we can help your student; we offer online tutoring, small-group tutoring, and more.
Maintain open communication with students to keep them in the know and aware of any changes they may face in the future to prepare themselves.
Fear of the unknown can take a toll on a student’s mental health, which is why it’s better to discuss the current circumstances with your student. Answer any of their questions and decide together the best route for their learning, whether in class or online.
Preparedness to Pivot
Rules and regulations in schools continue to change in response to the ongoing situation, but we can plan to accommodate these changes as needed. Have a plan in place and maintain open communication about the future of education. Preparedness can help teachers, parents and students feel better equipped to tackle any other changes to the education system that may come our way.