*Commissioned post for Exemplar Education*
There are many reasons why you might choose to look at getting your child a tutor – from worrying that they’re struggling to keep up in class to fearing that they’re not being pushed enough. Perhaps you’re concerned they are falling behind in a specific subject and you want to give them a quick leg up to make sure the gap doesn’t widen or you want to give them a confidence boost ahead of their exams. Whatever the reason, choosing to take on a tutor for your child can feel like quite a big deal and is almost certainly going to be an expensive investment.
Exemplar Education offers an online tutoring system focusing on Maths and English right through from Year 1 to Year 12. The idea being that this is a much cheaper and more convenient option that hiring a private tutor – the website can be accessed whenever you like and as often as you like so that your child can complete the activities as and when suits your family. Exemplar do recommend though that you try to set a routine in place to keep the learning regular and structured.
To get Ben and Chloe set up on the Exemplar Education system, we had a visit from one of their representatives who came and talked through the programme with us explaining different subscription options as well as setting up individual profiles and carrying out some base line assessments to ensure that Ben and Chloe started the programme at the right point so that their learning was tailored to suit their needs.
Ben and Chloe were both given their own log in details to access the Exemplar Education programme and we set the system up on a spare laptop. Initially this was a bit of a faff and we had to phone Exemplar Education for support – it turned out that Exemplar Education works best on a Firefox browser so we had to download this specifically. The team were really helpful when we called and got things sorted out quickly by taking over our laptop remotely and setting things up to meet their specifications. This was the only issue we had with getting the kids started on the programme – it was a little frustrating that we couldn’t just use our preferred browser but it was easily dealt with. In an ideal world we’d have had the kids do the Exemplar Education programme on their tablets but it isn’t designed to be used on a handheld device.
Each Exemplar Education topic is aligned with the National Curriculum and set out in three stages – a video tutorial to explain the subject area, an opportunity to practice the skills being taught and then an assessment to check learning. Ben is the sort of child who prefers to learn by just getting on and doing so he really wasn’t a fan of the video tutorials – this is where I think he would benefit more from a real person teaching him than an online video as he needs to be more engaged to keep him focused. However, the benefit of the video tutorial is that it can be watched repeatedly.
Each topic has a pass mark of 80% – and whilst your child can try different topics within the overall course, they can’t move on to the next stage until they’ve completed it, ensuring that the building blocks are in place for future learning. Once all the topics are completed there’s a final assessment before moving to the next level.
As parents, you can monitor your child’s progress in the report section. You can keep an eye on how long it’s taking your child to complete the tasks – or in fact even if they’re doing them at all. Exemplar Education will send you an email if it has been a little while since your child last logged on – which was the case in our house once or twice! Motivating Ben to sit down at the computer to do extra English work isn’t exactly easy – especially when he has lots of after school commitments so I if you are going to sign up to the programme, I would wholeheartedly recommend trying to find a set time in your week when you can really concentrate on making Exemplar Education a part of your routine.
I’ve already mentioned that we had to call the Exemplar Education helpline for technical support however one of the key features of the freephone helpline is that you can call them to speak to a qualified teacher for additional help with any of the topics where your child might be struggling – sometimes you really do just need a real person to explain things to you in a different way.
It’s worth pointing out that Exemplar Education is quite a financial commitment – most families using Exemplar Education are paying somewhere between £17 and £24 per week which covers all the children in the family. This is obviously cheaper than a private tutor however Exemplar Education is designed to be a long term programme, not something to dip in and out of ahead of an exam or when you need to fill in some gaps in learning. You purchase the programme in full and can either pay for this outright or on a monthly payment agreement (a bit like buying your sofa on interest free credit) so how much you spend will depend on what you have decided to buy – your representative will help you to make this decision but there is a brief cooling off period (14 days) where you can change your mind.
You can find out more about Exemplar Education over on their website and book your free assessment too.
*We were provided with several months access to Exemplar Education for the purpose of review and compensated for my time however all opinions remain my own*