Tutoring Centre Versus At-Home Tutoring

By: Vic, Viva Learn Intern

If you’re a parent, chances are your child’s education is a top priority. At some point, you’ll probably consider tutoring for your child – whether it’s to help them catch up, get ahead or to build confidence. For this reason, it’s a good idea to stay informed about the various educational support and extra-curricular services available in your area. The two main types are at-home tutoring and tutoring centres. In this post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of both.

At-Home Tutoring Services: The Upside

  • Usually involves one-on-one time between the instructor and the student
  • Often a variety of tutors available for different subjects
  • No pick-ups and drop-offs for parents (a plus for families with one driver at home)
  • Depending on the physical or emotional needs of the child, at home tutoring services can be an ideal solution
  • If the tutor works independently (and not for a tutoring agency), they may have more flexibility with scheduling
  • The tutoring is often focused on the student’s specific needs (e.g. improving in math or english, preparing for a test, etc.)

At-Home Tutoring Services: The Downside

  • Often there are too many distractions at home such as the television, games, mobile devices, etc.,
  • Usually more expensive than going to a centre as you are paying for the extra service of someone coming to your home
  • Reduced privacy for the student during learning times as family members are coming and going
  • Potential safety risks for students, their families and the instructor as there are usually no formal security checks taking place on either side prior to services
  • Quality of tutors in the marketplace varies vastly and so does their knowledge and skills

Tutoring Centre: The Upside

  • Depending on the quality of the centre, your child can benefit from an abundant supply of resources and tools for their learning benefit
  • The environment is intended for learning, so there are less distractions
  • A high quality centre is up-to-date with the local curriculum, each grade level and ongoing changes
  • Centres are responsible for finding qualified individuals to teach students
  • Centres should provide a consistent service level (e.g. a centre director or management should ensure both students and tutors are making the most out of learning time)
  • A centre with a positive and encouraging atmosphere outside of the home and school is beneficial for academic progress and confidence building

Tutoring Centre: The Downside

  • Depending on the centre, one-on-one support may not be an option
  • Research is required to find a centre that meets your child’s specific needs as some centres offer defined learning programs while others offer actual tutoring that relates back to schoolwork and immediate academic challenges
  • Requires pick-ups and drop-offs

When making a choice about tutoring for your child, know that any extra support or time spent towards learning is a great thing. In terms of at-home tutoring vs. tutoring centres, you will want to weigh all your options and then choose the one where you believe your child will thrive the most. We hope this article will help you in making your decision.

lazy summer

A Lazy Summer: Pros and Cons

By: Vic, Viva Learn Intern

After a long harsh winter, the summer season is finally just around the corner. Soon, students will be finished school, hiding their backpacks in a closet, and getting ready to take advantage of the warm weather and unlimited time (as they should). However, too much of an unstructured break can impact a student’s academic development and progress. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of an unstructured summer break.

Pros of a Lazy Summer

Have you ever heard of the term overheating? Overheating is when the subject (whether a person or a machine) is working too hard and can no longer output great quality anymore. I think this concept applies to having too much structure all year round – sometimes, you simply need a break. Children in their developmental years need time to grow, socialize and explore different aspects of life that school may not offer. Too much structure increases the potential for overworking, which I believe hinders creativity and increases stress levels.

Cons of a Lazy Summer

Two months without structure is quite some time. In fact, a lazy summer is just enough time to forget the important skills that have been learned in previous months. This is bad news for the upcoming year, in which students will need previously acquired skills and knowledge to gain more skills and knowledge. However, not only can the lack of structure or learning in the summer impact a student’s grades, it can also effect their personal habits as they become under active, lethargic and sluggish.

Finding the Perfect Balance

I know that summers are meant to be fun, enjoyable and memorable. I also know that it can take twice as long to recover in September after a summer break which lacked any structure or learning. I believe that having a summer break combined with some type of productive activity where learning is at the forefront, is the ideal way to balance leisure and work for students. Personally, I function my best when I can do something of value while knowing a break awaits me. Hmm…don’t we all?

Looking for a productive activity for your child this Summer? Check out our summer learning programs here.

Viva Learn Spring Update…

As the Winter weather subsided here in Milton (well, somewhat), and the days became longer, our students definitely showed some more spring to their step. I think we were most surprised to see how willing the students were to get back at it after the one week break in March. We were expecting to see sleepy, mopey, and grumpy, but instead we got bashful and happy (eh hem…Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – we don’t actually nickname our students!).
tutoring milton viva learn

We’re always trying to find new ways to highlight our students’ successes. This season, we decided to create a “high-five” wall for our tutoring centre. On each high-five (or hand), is a place to write the student’s name and their accomplishment. Student’s get high-fives for a variety of things from – achieving their personal best on a test, to getting a lot of work completed at the centre, to reading a few books. Why “high-fives” you ask? Well, if you’re a Viva Learn student, then you know we tend to give a real high-five for a job well done. So, why not a paper version too?

tutoring milton viva learn

With our youngsters, we like to do a lot of word recognition and sentence building exercises. Giving them the freedom and space to build their own sentences using cut out words, not only helps to familiarize themselves with different words, but they also use creative thinking skills to form their own sentences. This season, we used words related to spring and Easter.

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What’s Next? Viva Learn Summer Tutoring Programs

In July and August we are running our summer tutoring programs for Grades Pre-K to 9. Learn more about these flexible summer learning programs here.