Given that we’re now well into the school holidays - although the rain means you might not have noticed - we thought we’d make this Expert Insight summer holiday-themed. Today we’re writing about travelling tutors, and why you might want to think about having a tutor accompany you on holidays.
What does travelling tuition entail?
Many families will obviously be keen to spend extended time abroad in summer holidays - especially those with extended family in other countries. At the same time, however, such large breaks can disrupt the learning routine of students - particularly younger students - at potentially the exact time they are trying to build up ahead of academic steam (for example for school entrance exams at 7+,8+,11+ or 13+).
This is where travelling tutors can come in. Their role is more or less self-explanatory: private tuition delivered at your holiday destination, typically for intensive bursts. The tutor can either be someone the student is already familiar with - which can help maximise the productivity of the sessions and make you more at ease - or it can be a new tutor altogether, perhaps after an interview to make sure it’s a good fit.
In the rest of this article, we want to go over four reasons why travelling tutors can be especially beneficial and deliver students something new and rewarding.
1. A closer bond between tutor and tutee
With 1-to-1 tuition, the connection and understanding between a student and teacher is crucial and building up a rapport with the student is one of the first objectives of any tutor worth their salt. For travelling tutors, the holiday environment can set up the growth of a strong bond. Thanks to the change of scenery, students are often more open-minded than they would be at home, and once the initial shock of having to do some work dissipates, they can enjoy doing work in a relaxed environment (away from the distractions of home).
Furthermore, tutors can become more integrated with the student and family while travelling than they would at home, potentially eating meals or sharing downtime (if the family wishes). For example, when accompanying a family on a skiing break, the author of this very article ended up being taught how to ski by his student! The student loved the chance to take the lead and this added a fresh dynamic to the lessons. Travel experiences can thus foster greater trust between the tutor and tutee, leading to more and longer-lasting progress.
2. Embedding learning in new and fun experiences
Nor does the fresh environment only build greater trust: it also allows for imaginative and diverse learning experiences.
Travel is endlessly stimulating in its own right, but by tweaking and theming their lessons around locally specific material, creative travelling tutors can offer something different. For example, when teaching a history student based in Italy, a tutor could look at ancient Rome and discuss sites in the surrounding area, giving a tangible quality to the learning. Or a Maths lesson could be themed around local currencies and units, and converting back and forth to the UK equivalents. These lessons could even be partnered with educational trips out in the local area, adding diversity to the tuition programme.
The culture, geography, language and history of a place should provide the tutor with almost inexhaustible material. This will make students remember their lessons more vividly, being able to place them to a new and special place.
3. Time to catch up or focus on weak spots
Within the whirlwind of a school year, it’s often hard for students to find time to drill down into any weaker areas or catch up on any lessons they might have missed (a particularly acute issue during Covid-19). Having a tutor come with you on your travels is the perfect remedy for this.
A burst of intensive lessons during travelling means that tutors can focus on weaker areas and give them the sustained work they need (rather than trying to do this all in one-hour lessons each week during term, for example). In such roles, the tutor can take the time not only to go back over the basics of a tricky topic but to then reinforce it each day thereafter with practice. This prolonged time is so valuable and really makes the difference for trickier topics.
Therefore, if your child is struggling in a small number of well-defined areas, having a tutor travel with you could be just the trick.
4. Intensive training for entrance exams
School entrance exams - including the 7+, 8+, 11+ and 13+ - come around exceedingly quickly once the new school term begins. Moreover, once into all the usual pressures of a school term, fitting in extra support for a student taking on this challenge can be difficult. The summer holidays, therefore, are the perfect opportunity to give a student taking on entrance exams intensive training.
Not only can this be bespoke and targeted at the student’s learning objectives (and weak spots as described above), but it also creates a real sense of momentum going into the term. It also gives the student the opportunity to take on mock exams and work on exam techniques - aspects not typically given much attention at school. After a holiday programme with a travelling tutor, these students will feel like they can take on anything going into the exams.
We hope you have enjoyed this exploration of the benefits of travelling tuition. If you would like to talk to Ivy about arranging some travelling tuition for your child (or children), please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ivy today. We take care of all the administrative logistics that go into arranging such tuition, ensuring that any tutor chosen matches the profile of the student and their specific needs.