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After-School Vs Weekend Science Tutors: What Works Best?

11/01/2024 / Science Tuition

Making the decision to start science tutoring is a great way to boost a child’s confidence and achievements at school. Whether a child is struggling with a few topics or just looking to fly even higher, one-on-one attention from a qualified tutor makes a difference in a way that full class teaching just can’t.

But once you’ve made the decision to hire a science tutor, you’ll likely find yourself facing many more choices. How can you best fit tutoring into your child’s busy schedule? Is an after-school science tutor the smartest option, or is it better to schedule your tutoring on the weekend?

With the right approach, tutoring can be a stress-reliever, not a stress-adder, even for high school students who often face a heavy workload.

As you might imagine, the answer is individual. Neither after-school nor weekend science tutoring is inherently better. But one can be better than the other for your child, based on their own needs.

Read on as we explore key questions to guide your decision between after-school or weekend science tutoring sessions.

1. What are your child’s feelings about school and their current workload?

As you might expect, a student’s year group makes a difference when you’re making decisions about science tutoring. An A-level student will naturally be learning more complex material and skills in science than a Year 7 student.

But age isn’t the end of the story when it comes to how difficult schoolwork feels. Year 7 students, facing a new level of academic challenge compared to Year 6, may find tailored tutoring especially beneficial in easing this transition.

This can hold particularly true for science, since high school biology, chemistry and physics can feel like a big jump up from primary school science lessons.

Of course, GCSEs can also bring anxieties and burdens of their own, whether a child is taking combined science or separate sciences. In fact, students can feel overwhelmed or weighed down by schoolwork at any age.

All these considerations boil down to one main point: how is your child feeling at the end of their school day?

No matter what year group they’re in, if they arrive home completely burned out, they’ll simply have no energy left to devote to the session. In fact, if a child is already exhausted and stressed when a tuition session starts, there’s a risk that the tutoring will not be productive or will even cause the child to feel more stressed.

However, this also presents an opportunity to find the perfect time slot where tutoring can be a refreshing and enriching part of their day. Just like their need for rest and nourishment before exams, students also require these before tutoring sessions. If that means that the child needs a good night’s rest and breakfast on Saturday before tutoring, then of course a science tutor weekend session would likely be best.

However, this doesn’t mean that an after-school science tutor is bad for every child. If a child arrives home with energy to spare, or if a short break before the tutoring session leaves them feeling invigorated, then after-school tutoring might be perfect. In this case, a child might prefer getting the tutoring done on a school day so that their weekend can remain free for fun.

It’s important to note that not all after-school tutoring or weekend tutoring feels the same to a child, either. For some students, a session directly after school is good, since they’re still in “school mode.” For others, a session later in the evening is better since it gives them a chance to unwind. Likewise, an early morning session on the weekend might work for some students, while afternoon might be more beneficial to others.

This is one of the benefits of online tutoring as opposed to in-person tutoring: it can provide more possible time slots, since the timing of a tutoring session isn’t restricted by physical conditions. For example, while an in-person tutor might not want to drive to your home on winter evenings or through rush hour traffic, an online tutor has no such restrictions.

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2. What are your child’s extracurricular obligations?

Sports, hobbies, dance lessons and similar commitments can be a great way to enrich a student’s day, allow them to bond with friends and feel part of a community, and more. Many students love these activities, which is why it’s important to ensure that tutoring sessions don’t “fight” with them for space.

For example, if your child’s getting up early each weekday to go swimming, their time after school might technically be free – but at that point they’ve already been awake and working for longer than an adult’s workday. It might be better to opt for weekend science tutoring instead.

On the other hand, if a child has sports matches on Saturday afternoon, they might find it very difficult to focus on tutoring a few hours before. An after-school science tutor session might be better.

3. When is your child’s energy high during the day?

Some people are night owls, while others are early birds. Of course, it’s typically expected that teens tend to stay up late at night. But the overall point here is that all human beings’ energy levels naturally rise and fall during the day in a certain rhythm.

This rhythm varies individually, and you can likely recognise it in yourself as well. Do you always feel sluggish around three p.m. in the afternoon? Or do you tend to nap after dinner? Do you wake up in the morning full of ideas or are you more often struck by inspiration after dark?

The ideal moment for tutoring is when a child is energised, but not so energised that they’re yearning to be on their feet and running around.

That moment will be at different times of the day for different children, so it’s worthwhile for parents and guardians to watch their child over a few weeks and consider when the best time for tutoring might be – whether that’s after-school science tutoring or tutoring at the weekend.

4. Is your child an introvert or extrovert? Are they excited to begin tutoring sessions?

It’s often said that introverts are people who gain energy from being alone, while extroverts gain energy from being around others.

We’ve already discussed the importance of scheduling tutoring for a moment when a child isn’t too tired or overstimulated to focus. Now we bring in another consideration: a child who loves to chat and receive a tutor’s attention might actually feel more energetic after a tutoring session.

For this child, a little tiredness after school might wane as they become excited and involved in their conversation with their tutor. Likewise, a child who’s interested in science might also remain engaged in a session even if they’re a little tired.

Conversely, an introverted student who’s tired after school might find one-on-one tutoring even more draining. They might need alone time in the evenings, with the weekend a better solution, once their socialising batteries are re-charged.

5. What’s your child’s preference when it comes to seeing a science tutor?

Almost all children like to know that their feelings and opinions are being respected and listened to. So, it’s worth bringing this list to your child and asking them for their thoughts.

When do they feel most inspired and ready to learn? Which time slots would they prefer to avoid, if at all possible? Do they like the idea of an after-school science tutor, or does weekend tutoring sound more appealing?

Just the act of asking your child these questions can give your child a sense of ownership about their tutoring – which is a great way to start off their tutoring journey.

Succeeding with science tutoring

At Principal Tutors, we fully understand how personal learning is. Every child has different preferences and personality traits, which is why each child’s tutoring needs are unique.

That’s why Principal Tutors focuses so strongly on achieving a great student-tutor match. Finding a tutor that suits your child’s specific learning requirements, personality and learning style is key.

What’s more, since all our tutors are fully qualified and experienced teachers, they know how to provide science tuition that truly makes a difference. When children are busy with schoolwork or activities, that’s essential – you want to make sure that every minute counts, whether you’ve chosen science tutor weekend sessions or after-school ones.

Still not sure if after-school or weekend science tutoring would be best for your child? Give us a call on 0800 772 0974. Our expert team will be happy to discuss your options or start the tutor matching process for you right away. Alternatively, you can also begin finding your tutor through our online form.


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