6 Questions to Consider When Selecting an Online Math Tutor

Last Updated on January 7, 2022 by Thinkster

Finding an online math tutor or program for your child may seem like an overwhelming task. Between apps available for download and math tutoring websites to choose from online, you may not have time to dissect each option and read every single review!

You’re already traveling down the right path by considering an online tutor. After all, math tutor apps offer advantages that a math center doesn’t.

Online math tutors can provide the perfect solution for students who need learning support via a tutoring session! Plus, they’re extremely convenient for parents who don’t have time to provide the tutoring support their child needs.

But one thing to remember: not all apps or online programs work the same!

Taking the online or math tutor app route (rather than hiring someone or using a crowded brick-and-mortar math center) is a big step – one that many families are glad they took.

Ease and accessibility aside, though, the decision of which tutoring program you select is more involved than simply downloading a new game for your phone. Here are six questions you should consider when selecting a math tutoring app for your child:

1. Will my child enjoy learning via an online math tutor or app?

This answer might depend on your child. Generally, a high-quality online math tutoring program will focus on making the experience enjoyable for the student.

Kids struggling with mathematics likely aren’t having fun with it at school. The might find Algebra or Calculus nearly impossible to understand!

But even difficult math concepts can turn into positive a tutoring experience! For example, an interactive whiteboard tutoring session can have even the most math-reluctant students itching to learn a new math concept!

We know that when kids are stressed out they limit their own ability to learn and process new information, which may actually have lower IQs as a result. And if a private tutor is using instructional methods that feel like a math course? Yeah, your child may hit the learning breaks!

One of the awesome benefits of online math tutor programs is that math concepts are delivered in ways that make them easy for kids to understand. Some include video tutorials or lessons, which help teach strategies your child learns in math class.

math tutoring program

Plus, many online programs aim to turn learning into a game.

That means providing children with easy-to-follow lessons, incentives, and rewards to encourage them to keep practicing while giving them a way to measure their progress and rank their success. To them, progress is measured like it does in a video game – climbing higher in rank!

In our experience, students of all ages seem to resonate well with using computers or tablets for learning. (From elementary math to middle school and high school math!) Since greater interest often leads to greater learning, this makes online tutoring ideal for delivering math help and one-to-one instruction. Plus, technology lends itself to increased interactiveness. It also helps students when they can work with a one-on-one private math tutor.

Hands-on learning is always better for student engagement and using a computer or tablet where a child can solve a math problem by using their finger as a stylus provides this in a simple and intuitive format.

In several recent studies, kids who used tablets for learning demonstrated higher test scores and greater proficiency than those not using tablets. (Plus, there are a handful of study skills and test prep techniques an online math tutor can help your child develop too!)

Look for: Math tutor apps that are designed for the way kids learn. They should offer interesting video instruction, challenging worksheets, and ways to keep your child engaged with fun mathematics games and monthly rewards.

Make sure to check out a demo to understand how the math app will work. If you’re bored, expect your child to be (x10!).

2. Will a live tutor be assessing my child’s progress?

The best math tutoring apps use a combination of online analytics and human interaction from math tutors to determine the best learning plan for your child.

While computer programs can grade math exercises, they can’t fully comprehend how a student arrived at an answer. They are also not ideal for providing face-to-face advice or encouragement.

There are dozens of math programs out there to chart your child’s math progress. But if you’re willing to pay for extra help, you should select a math tutor app that matches your child with an experienced tutor. This ensures the math strategies they use when teaching your child resonates with how your child learns them in their mathematics course.

Look for: A real, experienced tutor (particularly a private math tutor!) who will personally evaluate your child’s progress each day. One thing you should be sure to check is the qualifications and experience of the tutor too. Some online apps may employ undergraduate or college students. Instead, look for a qualified math teacher so that your child to get the best learning support!

You should also be able to meet with your child’s tutor at least once a quarter to discuss your child’s growth, or be able to check in on their progress via your very own Parent Insight app.

3. Will the instruction be tailored to my child’s strengths, weaknesses, and goals?

Each student is different, so each lesson plan should be hyper-personalized to your child too.

One primary reason parents seek out tutoring help is because kids often receive the same lesson plans as their classmates during regular school hours, regardless of their strengths, weaknesses, and abilities.

A math tutor app should have the ability to tailor lesson plans and worksheets to fit how your child learns best – at the level, they need help the most.

Look for: An app that starts by giving your child a comprehensive math skills assessment to see where their skills stand. Then, the math program should create a learning program and provide teaching/instruction based on the individual skills and needs of your child.

For example, if they’re struggling to see the importance of math word problems, there should be extra emphasis on those math concepts before moving on to more difficult problems.

At Thinkster, we also use proprietary AI technology that records and analyzes your child’s problem-solving in order to help visualize student thinking and determine the best course of action.

4. Is this app just for students needing help with math problems?

Certain students don’t need extra help, but could just use additional enrichment to sharpen their skills. And some children are so proficient in math that they need a challenge that goes far beyond what’s being assigned in class or as homework.

One of the signs it’s time to hire an online math tutor is when your child races through their math homework as if it wasn’t challenging at all. This repetition doesn’t do anything to build upon your child’s fundamental understanding of math concepts.

An online math tutoring program should not only seek to help kids who are struggling to master difficult concepts, but also enhance the skills of students who currently have a strong foundation.

Look for: A curriculum based on Common Core Standards and the Singapore Method that’s constantly refined to build analytical, critical thinking and reasoning skills in your child as their learning progresses.

5. How expensive will it be?

Beware of free math apps. Not only will you need to question their instruction methods and whether they truly meet academic standards, but you’ll also need to protect your privacy and guard your child against targeted ads.

You see, many developers use ads to generate revenue in order to keep their apps working. Your child may be subject to these distracting, unwanted ads while they should be learning, which is like keeping commercials on in the background while they’re doing their homework.

Second – in order to remain free – certain apps will collect data from your computer or device to sell to advertisers. This breach of your privacy isn’t worth it.

An ideal math app will be less expensive than an in-person instructor and significantly cheaper than a commercial tutoring center. With less overhead, online tutoring programs don’t need to charge as much as other options. The developers only need to cover the cost of maintaining the app and paying the live tutors, among other small expenses.

Look for: A reasonably priced math tutor app that doesn’t sell your private data or distract your child with ads at any point during their use. It doesn’t hurt to also find an app that offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the program or if your child doesn’t like it.

6. Will it be convenient and fit my schedule?

In-person tutors and tutoring centers require appointments at times that might not always fit your family’s busy schedules. A math tutor app should provide the convenience busy parents need, which is why many parents choose online tutoring these days.

With just a web-capable device and an internet connection, kids can get math help anywhere at almost any time. Simply upload a lesson plan or math worksheet while connected to WiFi and your child can complete their math in the car, while they’re waiting for a sibling to finish band practice or while lounging around on the couch during a snow day.

Look for: An app that provides both online and offline capabilities so your child doesn’t have any excuses not to practice their math.

For the most convenience, find an app that’s compatible with multiple web browsers (and operating systems) so your child can practice on multiple devices.

Bonus Question: Is Thinkster Math Right for My Child?

Selecting a math tutor app is an important decision for parents seeking extra help for their children.

Thinkster combines the interest and engagement of a math tutor app with the personalized feedback of an in-person math coach. As students master math concepts and earn rewards like gift cards to their favorite stores, they move on to more challenging work that helps them develop their critical thinking skills.

Whether your child is struggling with math or wants to learn more advanced concepts than their school is covering, Thinkster can meet their personalized needs and help them excel.

Your child works with one dedicated math tutor, whose goal is to help your child develop a variety of math and life skills.

Learn more about how our math tutors can help make your child a true math champion

To make your child a math champion, register your child for our 7-day, $0 trial here.  


6 Questions to Consider When Selecting an Online Math Tutor
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6 Questions to Consider When Selecting an Online Math Tutor
Thinking of selecting an online math tutor? Ask these 6 questions to determine which of your choices are the right fit for you and your child.
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Thinkster Math
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