Do you have reservations that on-line and video lessons can really work for you or your child? You are not alone! To be honest after my first one via Skype nearly two years ago, I felt the same!

We’d agreed my tutee would use two screens – she only had one; the battery had died on the iPad. She couldn’t print her lesson material as the printer had run out of ink, and clearly there was no privacy as her eighteen-month-old son toddled over and yanked the iPhone off the table! Reframing this experience into a learning curve and testing out different methods with both young people and adults, with a range of learning styles and learning projects I think we’ve cracked it! And more than that I love teaching this way and from the feedback I’m receiving so do my tutees. 

So, what are the benefits of video lessons? 

For the parents 

No driving and hanging around waiting for starters.

There can be greater involvement. I email the lesson materials to be printed off and give feedback on what the homework is and when it’s due – as I used to. Now parents have seen the material it makes more sense. They want to know how their child has done these complex calculations they profess not to be able to do! And they are in awe of their child’s achievements. Yay!


For the tutees

They get to hang out on What’s App on their phone! Let’s face it most of them would have probably chosen tech over face to face contact any day – except maybe after the coronavirus episode has passed!  


So, there I am, in their world teaching simultaneous equations or guiding their essay on climate change. I can’t see what they are writing without interrupting their flow, so they narrative the steps they are taking. As they do so, they pick up their own errors! There’s a pause – ‘I see what I’ve done!’ Yes – they’ve self-edited and corrected which is such a valuable skill and step one towards being a more self-reliant learner.

They are taking their own notes. We talk about annotating their work with simple explanations, highlighted with coloured, and underlined or circled – whatever suits their style. All my existing tutees had post-it notes and poly pockets for organising the lesson materials and homework – now they are creatively using them to suit their purpose – step two.  

Step three: Because they are taking their own notes, they are listening – deeply listening!  Even those for whom listening is a challenging skill. Then they are paraphrasing what’s been said to check their understanding to make their notes. It’s auditory and kinaesthetic so blending two of the three most common learning styles.  

They are guiding their own learning. They are recognising where they need extra support and asking for help. Knowing when and how to ask for help is a hugely important skill that many adults lack – step four.

Finally, but not exhaustively, step five. Because they scan / photograph the homework and send it back to me, there is time before the next lesson for me to check and respond with questions for them to review, ready for the next lesson. They are engaged in their learning and hungry for more…

Have no doubt, these are complex skills that they are deploying, without hesitation. These are boys and girls, with varying needs and learning styles, Years 8 – 11. They have stepped right up to the mark. I am hugely proud of my tutees and their achievements. 

Having read this, if you are considering having a tutor for yourself or your child, now or in the future, contact me to find out how I can help achieve the learning projects or goals. I work with children and adults from Year 1 upwards currently via video-link. 

Find out more on how video lessons can work for your child on my ‘achieve Maths and English’ page.

Jannine Howe