online tutoring vs in-home tutoring

Online Tutoring or In-Home Tutoring — What’s Best for You?

The way technology has evolved, almost anything is possible online. Embark on a virtual safari, stroll the gilded halls of a famous museum, roleplay as an evil sorcerer and wreak havoc on humankind—you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. What’s more, you can take advantage of that same technology to enjoy the many perks of online tutoring.

Of course, in-home tutoring is a tried-and-true approach to learning, and it works just as well as online tutoring. It all comes down to your preferences and what works for you. To help you decide, we’ve laid out the pros and cons of in-home tutoring and online tutoring below.

online tutoring vs in-home tutoring Venn diagram

The Pros of Online Tutoring


When you commit to working with a tutor, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. In general, online tutoring is cheaper than in-home tutoring. Online tutors don’t have to drive from place to place, so they save on vehicle expenses, which means you save on tutoring expenses. This can make a big difference if you’re planning on scheduling many sessions.

Resources Galore

Online tutors have the world at their fingertips. No matter how your child likes to learn, online tutors can accommodate with the infinity of resources at their disposal. Engaging songs, videos, graphics, charts, and educational games are available on demand and can be shared in real time. Easy access to these sorts of resources greatly enhances the quality of tutoring and helps kids have fun too.

It’s So Easy!
online tutoring easy

Online tutoring is simple: all you need is a computer, tablet, or smart phone (yes, you can do tutoring on your phone!) and an internet connection. That’s it! No need to mess around with papers and pencils and “What’d ya do with all the erasers?!” Everything is done online, notes and all. If someone makes a miss-take, it can be easily undone with the press of a button—no erasers required!

Work on the Same Thing at the Same Time

In-home tutoring can be a bit awkward because the student can’t always see what the tutor is writing as they write it, and vice versa. You have to pass the paper back and forth and spin it around so the other person can see. Online tutoring avoids this problem. With online tutoring, both tutor and student can see the entirety of the work simultaneously, be it a worksheet, a textbook page, or an essay document, and they can both collaborate on it in real time. This saves time and makes learning easier.

Great for Distractible Students

You might think that engaging a student through a screen is more difficult than in person, but our tutors have discovered the opposite. Many kids are naturally drawn to technology and are inclined to look at their devices, so online tutoring works wonders. After making the switch to online tutoring, students who had previously struggled with focus during in-home sessions saw a massive improvement in productivity. We were as surprised as you are!

No Supervision Required

Per policy, in-home tutoring requires a parent to be present somewhere inside the home while tutoring is taking place. With online tutoring, this isn’t the case! You can continue with your errands while your child enjoys high-quality tutoring online. This makes online tutoring flexible and perfect for even the busiest schedules.

The Cons of Online Tutoring

Internet Stability

If your internet connection is unreliable, online tutoring will be less effective. You might encounter audio delays, video blackouts, and other interruptions. Fortunately, internet problems can usually be resolved easily enough, and we have some solutions among our tips for successful tutoring sessions.

Power Outages

If the weather is contrary, there’s always a chance the power will go out. Unless you have a backup generator, there isn’t much that can be done to salvage the session in this case. But you can always reschedule the session—your tutor will be happy to make it up at a later date.

in-home tutoring support
Some Students Need In-Home Tutoring

While tutors are perfectly capable of engaging most students through a screen, some students need the intimacy of in-home tutoring. Special education students might find it easier to stay focused and productive if their tutor is right there with them. Some other students simply aren’t comfortable with the online format and prefer to do everything in person. At Tutoring…With a Twist*, we’re happy to find what works best for your child and accommodate them accordingly.

The Pros of In-Home Tutoring

No Technical Difficulties

If you feel like you’re prone to technical difficulties, in-home tutoring is for you! You don’t need to rely on the internet or any piece of electronic equipment, except maybe a calculator. And if the calculator isn’t working, your tutor can always help with that. In fact…

The Tutor Can Help with EVERYTHING

If you can’t figure out why the answer to 9 ÷ 13 appears on your calculator as 9/13, or if your cosine button is giving you wacky results, your in-home tutor can show you exactly why and how to fix it. In-home tutoring also allows your tutor to see the state of your binder/notebooks, which may or may not need attention. It’s far easier to get everything organized for brick-and-mortar school when your tutor is there in person.

Pencil and Paper are Familiar

Some students prefer working with pencil and paper instead of keyboard and mouse, and that’s great! In-home tutoring works well in that case since it more accurately simulates the school environment. Students can take all the skills they’re learning during tutoring and translate them directly to their work at school.

Maintain Focus

While online tutoring is a great way for some kids to stay focused, it doesn’t work for all students. Learning is all about getting your brain fired up, and if looking at a tutor onscreen doesn’t achieve that, in-home tutoring is your best bet. An in-home tutor can keep even the most distractible child engaged with physical activities more easily facilitated in person than online.

in-home tutoring game
Hands-On Learning

In-home tutoring allows students to take a more active role in their learning. Tutors can summon up a little fun with card games, dice games, science experiments, and even educational board games. These can be done online as well, but there’s something more fulfilling about holding the pieces in your hands and seeing everything right in front of you as opposed to on a screen. This is especially true for kinesthetic learners!

The Cons of In-Home Tutoring


As previously mentioned, in-home tutoring typically costs more than online tutoring. This accounts for the extra travel expenses incurred by mobile tutors. However, if your child truly thrives with in-home tutoring, it’s worth it!

Transportation Problems

Speaking of travel, if the tutor can’t get around due to vehicle trouble, tutoring can’t happen. Fortunately, a lot of in-home tutors also offer online services, so you might be able to have an online session in place of your in-home session while the tutor gets their transportation issue sorted. Alternatively, you can always reschedule—your tutor will be happy to accommodate.

The Trees!

Doing all your work with paper and pencil is not the most environmentally friendly option—in-home tutors go through a ton of paper and pencils! Some in-home tutors use reusable whiteboards and dry-erase markers to save paper, but even those markers must be replaced from time to time. Also, since in-home tutors need to drive from house to house, their vehicle emissions leave a larger carbon footprint than those of online tutors.

Fewer Educational Resources

One of the best features of online tutoring is the access to infinite resources on demand. Videos, graphics, worksheets, textbooks—they’re all online and ready to go. In-home tutors need to bring all their resources with them, and depending on the situation, they might be limited with what they can do.

online tutoring in-home tutoring success

Online Tutoring and In-Home Tutoring Are Great in Their Own Ways

At the end of the day, it all depends what works best for you and your child. If you’re unsure which route to take, we would love to discuss it with you. At Tutoring…With a Twist*, we’re deeply invested in the success of our students and families, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re receiving the quality experience you deserve. It’s all part of the twist!

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*Services provided by With a Twist Education Ltd.

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