What online tutoring software can help my kids with their homework?

The school year is coming to an end, and many students are scrambling to finish up their homework assignments. They may be asking you questions that you aren't able to answer, or may be hesitant to ask you for help.

You may also want your child to move from C-work to A-work, or how to help them feel more confident about their homework.

Kids love the computer and the Internet... so I did some research to see what's out there for online tutoring software and services. Here are a few services I found that provide online assistance where it's needed the most: childhood education.

  • Tutor.com
  • I recently discovered Tutor.com, which provides on-demand online tutoring from over 1,200 tutors. Founded in 1998, they've helped over 2 million students. Their expert tutors cover math, science, English and social studies for 4th - 12th grades.

    What's unique about Tutor.com is that their service is completely on demand, 7 days a week. Tutors are standing by, ready to help, so students never need to schedule an appointment in advance. Rather than getting frustrated or giving up, a student who is stuck can connect to a professional tutor to get the help he or she needs right away.

    Here's how it works:Tutor.com Direct -- Leader in On Demand Tutoring

  1. Your child works with a professional tutor in a secure web environment, using your existing computer, web browser and broadband Internet connection - no special equipment or software needed.
  2. Tutors work with each student to provide help, not answers, and to bring every session to an educationally sound conclusion. They chat using instant messaging, draw problems on an interactive whiteboard, share files to review essays and papers, and browse educational resources on the web together.
  3. Your child connects to a tutor as often as he or she needs help. With each session, time spent working with a tutor is simply deducted from your account, and the first five minutes of every session are free. You can choose to Pay As You Go, and add minutes to your account whenever you need, or select a more cost-effective Monthly Plan to automatically add minutes each month.
  4. There are no minimums and no time limits. You only pay for the actual tutoring time your child uses, and all of your unused minutes roll over each month for up to one full year. Every session is guaranteed. If you or your child are ever dissatisfied with a session, for any reason, you can request a credit online.

Here's a link to a free Tutor.com online demo, and a 60 minute trial of on demand tutoring session.

  • ClickN' Read Phonics
  • Designed as a game your kids can't wait to play, ClickN' READ Phonics is the first ever reading program to teach just like a live tutor. Meeting federal requirements, it teaches the entire phonics curriculum required for K-3rd grade reading students.

    Over 60 countries use the ClickN' Read Phonics program in 1,000’s of schools. The program is used online just like viewing standard web pages. Your child can use it at home, at Grandma's, at the office or while on vacation (well, assuming you aren't going to Disneyland).

    The onscreen instructor, ClickN' KID, gently guides your child through interactive letter sound exercises where the letter sounds and their corresponding letter shapes are learned and practiced. Each lesson introduces a new letter sound which is then practiced along with five other previously introduced letter sounds.

    The user testimonials on their website have some pretty impressive comments from happy parents, like this one from Debra Bond in Duarte, CA:

    "Well, my just turned 4 1/2 daughter is reading at a high 3rd grade level due all to your program. She is reading chapter books and is so proud that today she got to her 100th lesson. The program is short enough to keep young ones attention. We started her only 7 months ago and because of the program she spells, writes fluently and loves it. Learning has just been fun. Easy, fun, quick and packed with everything that she needed to get to a 3rd grade level and is not even starting Kindergarten for 6 more months. The head start she has gotten is unbelievable all with only 15-20 minutes of fun a day. Thank you."

    Here's a link to the ClickN' Read Phonics information page where you can learn more about their program and services.

  • Frontline Phonics
  • Frontline Phonics, a Learn to Read Phonics Program, helps teach children to read in just 15 minutes per day. It's been used successfully by thousands of parents and educators to teach beginning readers basic reading skills.

    They have a free reading assessment that will help you identify how well your child is doing with his or her reading skills.

    Frontline Phonics is based on decades of research, accumulated by the National Institute of Child Health Development and the National Reading Panel 1997 and 2000. It's been used and fine-tuned in preschool through second grade classrooms for 17 years, so they definitely have a proven track record.

    All of these programs will help your child improve in math or reading, and can help get them excited about their homework. Sometimes just spending a little extra time with your child is the biggest boost they need, but other times some professional help is worth a visit to an online tutor or phonics software program.

    Forum: 

    It doesn't seem tutor.com can make sure the student gets the same tutor each time. How would any student-tutor relationship be established in such situation? That, to me, would be a great drawback.

    You're correct in that there's no way to guarantee that your child will get the same tutor each time; however, I think the ability for students to get instant help instead of having to wait for their weekly tutoring sessions could easily compensate for that.

    Students can sign in for a private, one-to-one tutoring session whenever they need help. Sessions can be a few minutes for a quick algebra question, or 75 minutes for an advanced chemistry concept. Kids like to be online. It's an environment that they're familiar with and that's interesting to them... which translates into them getting more out of the experience.

    Tutor.com tutors are carefully screened experts, and include certified teachers, college professors, undergraduates from accredited universities and professionals. Each tutor has to complete an extensive application process, and submits teaching samples showing how they would guide students to discover answers for themselves. Prospective tutors even complete practice sessions with experienced tutors, and must pass a thorough background check.

    Every session is also guaranteed. If you or your child are ever dissatisfied with a session, for any reason, you can request a credit online.

    I believe Eduwizards.com is a better service. They have Online Tutoring Software using which a tutor can remain Online as in a messenger. Students can get same tutor over and over again. At EdywizardS, you choose your tutor yourself! They have two types of sessions:

    1. Scheduled
    2. Instant

    For scheduled sessions, a student has to book a session in advance (at least 24 hours in advance). But a hot thing is, you can get a tutor instantly through Instant Tutoring.

    I was just checking, they seem to have great reviews. They support Voice along with a free hand whiteboard. Another feature is, they provide tutoring for all subjects you can think of!

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