We all know how frustrating it can be to watch a child struggle in school. We know they’re smart, capable, resourceful but sometimes they just have a couple subjects that they find a bit too challenging. If your child is having a hard time with their schoolwork, an online tutoring service might be just what they need to help them succeed in school.
Online tutoring has a lot of advantages over traditional, offline one to one tutoring. Schedules are more flexible, you can select the best tutors with the most appropriate experience from almost anywhere in the world, and students can learn in the comfort of their home – a secure and familiar environment.
But with so many companies promising to help, we know it can be challenging to find the best tutor for your child. Tutoring requires the right mix of empathy, skill and knowledge that is hard to find, so that’s why we’ve come up with our list of the best online tutoring sites.
In a rush? Here is our list of the best best online tutoring for students:
|Wyzant– Online tutoring in a ton of subjects that lets you select from a large pool of highly qualified tutors||Check out Wyzant|
|Varsity Tutors– Curated online tutoring service, Varsity will help connect you to the best tutor that fits your needs||Check out Varsity Tutors|
|Skooli– Affordable, flexible, pay as you go tutoring||Check out Skooli|
|Tutor.com – Secure, trustworthy on-demand tutoring from the owners of the Princeton Review||Check out Tutor.com|
Why Online Tutoring?
If you’re a parent looking for a little help for your child, your first temptation might be simply to go on Facebook or Google and find a tutor who lives nearby and have them work with the child in person. And sure, there are some benefits to this. It’s easier, sometimes it’s easier to trust someone you’ve met in person, and maybe you feel you can haggle a bit more over rates.
But there are also some significant downsides. Sometimes it’s hard to find a tutor in a specific subject or a tutor with experience helping students with learning disabilities. This can be a big problem if you live in a smaller or more rural community.
Also, sometimes your schedule is a tough one for tutors to fit into or, let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t (or don’t want to) drive around or have someone show up to your house.
Online tutoring can therefore be a great solution to parents. Most companies have a wide array of tutors and you can choose one based on experience, education, and expertise, and because tutoring takes place online you can access these tutors wherever you might be.
Many online tutoring companies also use sophisticated online learning environments from which tutors can deploy an array of teaching tools. Tutors can draw on whiteboards to explain a topic, share a screen, upload and work on a problem or project together and use video and audio to keep tutoring personable. Depending on the company, it can be almost as if they were sitting across from your child at the kitchen table, regardless of where they (or you) happen to be in real life.
In short, given the sophistication of modern communications technology there is very little a local tutor can do that an online tutor can’t.
How We Evaluated Online Tutoring Websites
Here are a few of the criteria we used to evaluate the various tutoring services we recommend:
|Price||How expensive is the service per lesson|
|Flexibility||How flexible are the hours, is there on demand tutoring, can customers choose tutors or are they assigned|
|Online Tutoring Technology||What type of technology do they use to tutor, what tools are available for students|
|Safety||Are tutors screened, is there an option to do background checks, are lessons recorded or monitored|
|Tutors||What subjects can you find tutoring for, what are the tutor qualifications, if any|
|IEP and 504 plan Tutoring||Do they have tutors familiar with IEP/504 plans, how easy is it to find them|
|Learning Disability Tutoring||Can you find tutors who have experience tutoring students with learning difficulties?|
Wyzant- The Best for Choosing Your Own Tutor
Tutor Price Range: typically around $35-80 per hour
With a large database of potential tutors, Wyzant is a great option for those who like the freedom of personally selecting a tutor for their child. Users can sort through the website and select from highly qualified tutors across the USA, filtering by things like years of experience, hours of tutoring, education, subject matter expertise, and even find tutors for students with learning disabilities.
Wyzant’s online classroom has a wide assortment of tools to help students interact better with their tutors online, and it is also a highly flexible tutoring service, charging only for the hours you use and offering instant booking for those times when urgent help is needed. While they do charge a 9% service fee on top of tutoring fees, and don’t mandate background checks on all tutors (although most tutors are checked and the company will perform one for a fee), Wyzant does have an impressive number of highly qualified tutors that cover a huge selection of subjects.
If you’re still unsure about online tutoring, they also offer in person tutoring, subject to location and availability.
Read our in depth review of Wyzant to find out more.
|What We Like||What We Don’t Like|
|Makes it easy to find a variety of tutors||Service fee 9% might irritate some users|
|Can be pretty affordable depending on the tutor and your needs||Background checks are available but cost extra|
|Pay as you go – no upfront payment|
|Large database of tutors to choose from for a wide variety of subjects|
|Online classroom with some fairly sophisticated tools|
|Highly flexible service|
|Easy to filter and select tutors for subject, expertise and background checks|
If you like the freedom that comes with selecting your own tutor from a large range of qualified tutors, then Wyzant is a great tutoring choice. Just be sure to do your due diligence.
Varsity Tutors – The Best Curated Online Tutoring Service
Tutor Price Range: Depends on your needs, expect around $50-95 per hour
Sometimes it’s better to let the company find the right person for the job. After all, as well as you might know your child, you might not have the knowledge to judge what sort of tutor is best for you.
In these cases, Varsity Tutoring has you covered. Varsity has a large pool of tutors (all screened and assessed), and will select one who best meets your requirements. If, for whatever reason, you feel that their choice isn’t working out, the company will work with you to find a better match. Like Wyzant, many of their tutors have experience with learning disability students.
Read our in depth review of Varsity Tutors for more information.
|What We Like||What We Don’t Like|
|Will find tutors for you to fit your need||No opportunity to pick your own tutors, although company will work with you in case the tutor they find you isn’t a good match|
|Flexible options for online tutoring: mobile apps, small groups and 1 on 1 tutoring||Little more expensive than other options, not pay as you go|
|Lots of free learning tools accessible online|
|Large pool of tutors who are screened and assessed by the company|
|Sophisticated online classroom|
If you’re someone who wants or needs a little help finding the right tutor for you, Varsity Tutors will work hard to help you find one. It’s just not the cheapest option out there.
Skooli- The Most Flexible Tutoring
Tutoring price range: $0.82/minute
Skooli has a lot of great features which make it the most flexible service we’ve found so far. For one thing, they employ an easy pay-as-you go plan. This is great because it allows you to decide how much tutoring your child needs, and it allows you to stop at any time.
Skooli’s online classroom system is easy to navigate and use, with a simple, clean and responsive setup even on mobile- whichc means that tutoring doesn’t have to be restricted to the PC but can use a tablet if necessary. Of course, flexibility isn’t Skooli’s only strength. They use multiple features, including background checks, to ensure that parents and kids can feel secure.
All Skooli’s tutors are, at the very least, certified teachers with many having graduate degrees as well, so you can be sure that they know their stuff!
Read our in depth review of Skooli to learn more.
|What We Like||What We Don’t Like|
|Easy pay as you go tutoring||No discounts for longer sessions, hour long sessions not as affordable as some other options|
|Tutors are, at minimum, certified teachers with many having graduate degrees as well||Not yet as many options for subjects as other alternatives|
|Highly flexible tutoring packages|
|Classroom easy to navigate and use, Simple, clean and fairly responsive even on mobile|
|Thorough tutor screening|
With their pay-as-you go system and easy sign-up we found Skooli to be one of the most flexible tutoring options we’ve seen. While their tutors might be top notch, it just might not be the most affordable for long, in depth sessions.
Tutor.com – The Most Secure, Safe Tutoring
Tutoring price range: around $30 to $39.99 per hour depending on plan
If you’re concerned about online security (and who isn’t these days), Tutor.com might be a great solution for you. They are one of the oldest online tutoring companies, and the owners of the Princeton Review, they have an excellent reputation for quality.
Students have the option of picking either an ongoing subscription of certain hours per month (up to 10) or packages (up to 50 hours over 6 months) where they have access to 24/7 tutoring. Based on a questionnaire regarding their needs, your student is matched with an available tutor whenever they need one. We think this is pretty flexible, although students that need more long term intensive tutoring might need to look elsewhere since they may need more hours per month.
All prospective tutors undergo a rigorous screening process to ensure that only the most qualified and trustworthy candidates are accepted. They aren’t just screening for security, of course- they also ensure that their tutors are qualified in the subjects they teach.
Their online classroom is pretty good although not the most sophisticated we’ve seen. It lacks video, which adds an extra layer of security and anonymity but at the cost of face to face contact.
Finally, really like the plan flexibility: they allow you to upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any time.
Read our in depth review of Tutor.com for more information.
|What We Like||What We Don’t Like|
|Flexible plan – cancel anytime||Online classroom not the most sophisticated, lacking video|
|One of the oldest, trusted tutoring companies||Pricing options not the easiest to figure out depending on your needs|
|Tutors are thoroughly screened and monitored and students remain as anonymous as possible||Not the best option for students with learning disabilities or for students requiring intensive and frequent sessions|
|Very in depth tutor and subject matter screening|
|Various discounts for military members|
A long established company, Tutor.com is a great option if you’re looking for trustworthy on-demand (although not necessarily long term or intensive) help from high-quality tutors.