For many children and their parents, math is a subject of frustration and anxiety. Even with a good teacher, some students can struggle with math classes and homework.
Without help, this problem tends to get worse over time. If a child doesn’t have a strong math foundation, they can become more lost and frustrated as they advance to higher-level classes, such as algebra and calculus.
Fortunately, there are many resources available that can help students understand and even enjoy math. One of the most effective options is online math tutoring. This type of virtual assistance can help even the most frustrated student catch up to their peers, increase their understanding, and improve their math test scores.
What is an online math tutor?
An online math tutor has the knowledge and training to provide one-on-one math instruction through a virtual interface. Tutors are highly trained experts who are passionate about helping students overcome bad experiences and negative feelings related to math.
What does an online math tutor do?
An online math tutor provides math lessons and homework assistance through a remote learning interface. They tailor their teaching style and examples to each individual student. This level of individualized instruction is extremely helpful for students who need more assistance than a traditional classroom setting provides.
11 benefits of working with an online math tutor
Here are some of the top benefits that an online math tutor provides.
1. Higher test scores
For many students, math is the subject that gives them the hardest time during homework and tests. While poor testing performance may be stressful in elementary school, it can be a bigger issue in high school when standardized test scores start to affect college applications.
Low math test scores can have a number of different causes. Sometimes learning difficulties are related to mental or emotional disabilities. In many cases, however, students struggle with math tests because they don’t truly understand the material or know how to apply mathematical principles to word problems.
Unfortunately, most math textbooks focus on rote memorization and repetition designed to show students arithmetic techniques. There often isn’t enough time to dive into the reasoning behind the problem-solving methods, which can leave students unable to apply logic and critical thinking to word problems or higher-order math. This leads to poor test scores.
With a dedicated tutor, students can learn how to understand test problems and figure out which method to use to solve them. The individualized instruction a tutor provides can also help students feel more confident during tests, preventing stress-related errors.
2. More comprehension
Poor understanding of mathematical theory doesn’t just affect test scores. It prevents students from enjoying math and understanding its real-world applications. Most students who have trouble with math start to view every lesson with a “when am I ever going to use this” attitude. This feeling makes a student even less likely to try to improve their math skills.
An experienced math tutor can help students truly understand the “why” behind the method. When students can grasp the fundamental concepts behind arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics, they can use those critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in math class and beyond.
A deep understanding of mathematical principles is essential for every student, even those who will never pursue a math degree. Most adults will go their whole lives without solving a differential equation, but the concepts behind higher-order math have countless applications. By working with a tutor to get a better understanding of math fundamentals, students of any age can be more prepared for everyday situations that require logical thinking.
3. Positive encouragement
When students start to fail math tests and miss homework problems, it often affects their self-esteem and their attitude. It’s hard to look forward to a class that seems incomprehensible.
If students fear they will get most of their math homework wrong, they often stop trying. Peer pressure and embarrassing attention from teachers can cause even more negative feelings about math class.
One of the best advantages of online math tutoring is encouragement for struggling students. Tutors are passionate about math, and they want to help people understand how amazing and applicable it is. They are dedicated to helping students recover from negative experiences with math.
When your child works with a good math tutor, they can expect lessons to be based on positivity and encouragement rather than negativity and shame. A healthy learning environment makes it far easier for students to focus and try. This level of encouragement, combined with expert instruction, can turn a reluctant student into one who tolerates (or even enjoys) math class.
4. Improved parent-child relationships
If your child is having a hard time with math, you know how challenging it can be to try to help with homework or make them study for a test. Frustration with math has been the source of countless arguments between parents and children.
Even if you have a strong math background, you may not be a good tutor for your child. Parent-child relationships are complicated, especially during the teen years. Even with the best of intentions and lots of patience, you may still end up harming your relationship with your teen if you try to be their math tutor.
Most children will have better results with a non-parent tutor. By outsourcing this task, you can avoid the fights and emotional challenges that come with trying to teach your child math. Removing this source of stress and conflict allows you to take steps to strengthen your relationship with your child and make positive memories together.
5. One-on-one attention
Even the best math teachers are limited by class size. Most classrooms have at least 20 students at any time, and it simply isn’t possible for a teacher to spend too long working with any one student. If your child starts falling behind in math, the teacher may not be able to spend enough time working with them to bring them up to speed with the rest of the class.
Tutoring has been around for centuries, and there’s a reason: One-on-one instruction is extremely effective for many people. This setup allows the tutor to focus entirely on the student and tailor their instruction to address the student’s specific needs.
One-on-one teaching can help students feel more comfortable asking questions without worrying about being embarrassed in front of their peers. They can learn at their own pace, spending more time on confusing concepts and moving forward quickly when they are feeling confident.
6. Efficient homework completion
When students are having trouble in math class, they usually struggle with homework as well. And when they are having a hard time completing their math homework, they can start developing problems in other subjects too. Spending several frustrating hours on math homework every night leaves less time and energy for other homework, projects, and extracurricular activities.
Tutors help with homework in several ways. If a student is having trouble even understanding the homework problems or knowing where to start, a math tutor can work through those problems step-by-step. A tutor can also spend time explaining the concepts behind each word problem so the student can start understanding how to choose which math concept applies to each type of problem.
Of course, the main way that tutors help with homework is by giving students a better understanding of math in general. With this strong foundation, students can go through problems faster and more accurately.
7. Increased responsibility
In elementary school, students are guided through every subject, but that starts to change as they get older. By high school and college, students are expected to take responsibility for most of their learning. A teenage or adult student should be able to manage their own studies.
Students who struggle with math can’t take responsibility for their own learning very effectively. When they try to study and work alone, they often end up more confused and frustrated, which can also make them less likely to embrace self-directed learning in other subjects.
One-on-one instruction from a tutor helps students with self-motivation and personal responsibility. In a tutoring session, a student can’t fade into the background of the rest of the class or pretend they understand a concept just to avoid being singled out.
With a tutor, a student must manage their own education, asking questions when necessary and being honest about what they need help with. This level of responsibility is essential for success as an adult, and a math tutor can help students embrace it from an early age.
8. Customized instruction
While there is not a lot of flexibility in math in terms of getting the right answer, there are many different ways to teach math concepts. Unfortunately, standardized textbooks and tests often present only one method. If that method doesn’t match a student’s natural thought processes, it usually causes that student to decide they just don’t “get” math.
Online tutoring allows students to get individualized instruction designed for their unique needs and learning style. A customized learning plan can help most students thrive, simply because the material is being presented in a way that makes sense to them.
For a younger child, a customized learning plan may involve more work on times tables or mental arithmetic. A high school student may need their tutor to spend more time working through algebra problems, drawing graphs, or explaining calculus theory.
Customized instruction can also help with testing skills. With a better understanding of their learning style, a student can start to develop more effective study habits. This sort of self-awareness is invaluable in college and in any career they choose.
9. Improved study habits
Study skills are essential for any student. They’re important in high school and college, but also in life. Everyone needs to have a basic set of study skills so they can become better at their job, learn how to run a household, and make well-informed decisions.
When a subject is challenging, study skills can suffer. If a student spends hours trying to figure out math homework or studying for a test only to fail, they can develop negative feelings about studying itself. This can lead to poor grades in other subjects.
With help from a tutor, students can improve their study skills. Online tutors are experts in both their field and educational theory. They can provide new learning methods and memorization tips that can help students feel more confident in their ability to study effectively.
Students with tutors start to understand the material better and get better test scores. These victories can also help with study habits, giving students more confidence that their studying will pay off.
10. Better college preparation
Poor math grades can make college extremely challenging, even for students who aren’t pursuing a degree in math or science. Most college students have to take at least one math class. If they had a bad experience in high school math, they probably won’t be very successful in a college math class with hundreds of students and minimal time for questions.
Working with a tutor in elementary, middle, or high school can help students prepare for college. They can gain a good fundamental understanding of basic math concepts and improve their study skills. With a math tutor, students can figure out their ideal learning style and practice working through hard concepts until they reach a place of understanding.
Of course, even with a strong foundation in high school math, some students may still find calculus, linear algebra, and other high-level math classes difficult. Fortunately, online tutors can help with college math too.
11. More confidence
One of the most important and long-lasting benefits of math tutoring is improved self-confidence. Students who are failing in math class often have poor self-esteem and experience persistent self-doubt. If they can overcome their math struggles, though, they can gain a new sense of self-confidence.
Self-esteem and confidence are essential for success in school and life. Gaining confidence by conquering math can help students make better personal decisions and prepare them for success in college and their careers. It may also reduce the risk of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
Self-confidence issues are common among teens, but they can affect elementary school students as well. If your child is having trouble with math, getting help sooner can help them gain that confidence back before high school and college. A confident student is more likely to succeed and to be able to respond to challenges in a healthy way.
Get help from an online math tutor
Hiring an online math tutor offers countless benefits. Some of the most important advantages are a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, improved study habits, and higher test scores. If you want to help your child (or yourself) get a better handle on math, hiring an online tutor is an excellent solution.