Help your children stay switched on with courses, classes and tutors even when schools stay closed!
Although Hong Kong school students are currently not attending their regular classes, tutorials and sports events, this situation may just turn out to be useful training for the future. For instance, they are getting a head start in the university way of teaching, where a majority of the learning will be done outside the classrooms and lecture halls. They are also being given time to explore personal projects, get certified in new skills and create learning schedules that are better suited to their needs.
We have compiled some of the best online learning centres and programmes that offer lessons to your child in order to help them explore their hobbies and areas of interest, as well as others that can help with schoolwork (give yourself a breather from homeschooling!).
Online Learning: Music Classes
The school closures are a great time for children to get in those extra practice hours on their instruments which are otherwise hard to fit in during the school year. Just make sure your kid’s practice doesn’t coincide with your own conference calls – unless you want some background music in your meetings!
MusicSage is an online platform that helps match your child with a suitable music tutor. It offers private lessons in-person and online for violin, piano, flute and many other instruments. Hourly rates range from $250 (for student teachers) to $1,000 an hour (for teachers who have experience performing in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra).
Teresa Wong is a superstar piano teacher. She has adapted quickly to the online teaching demands and offers different ways for students to be taught (including real-time sessions over FaceTime or Skype and video consultations via email). She also offers mock music exams. Her price ranges from $600 to $1,500 per hour depending on the level and type of consultation.
Online Learning: Coding Classes
One of the best ways to enhance a child’s future is to give them the opportunity to learn how to code. First Code Academy provides a coding Bootcamp for beginners (children aged 10 years+) online. The average price is $570 for 1.5 hours.
Cobo Academy also offers online courses to expose your child to coding. Its courses span a large variety of age groups and boast of a flexible schedule. Courses are around $240 to $300 per hour depending on the topic.
Cobo Academy, 6/F, Yam Tze Commercial Building, 23 Thomson Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 3905 1111, www.coboacademy.com
Another option worth checking out is Code Camp from Australia. In response to COVID-19, it has scrapped its subscription fees and is allowing free access to its coding software. Children from all over the world can learn to code following its step-by-step instructions on how to build apps and games.
Private Online Tutors
While you’re helping your children out with their school learning, there might be subjects that are out of your area of expertise. These are some of the online learning specialists you could reach out to.
Online Learning: General Studies
British Tutors offers online tuition for students in Hong Kong and Singapore. Using online technology and zoom video calls, these classes offer great flexibility when it comes to schedule, location or subject. It’s also ideal if you’re considering moving your child to the UK school system.
ITS Education Asia (ITS) provides flexible learning options in English for a wide range of subjects (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels). While the team also offers in-person private tuitions, it’s currently switching to online learning for new students and those who have recently returned from overseas. There’s also an online school which provides live classes as well as video and blended-learning options. ITS operates two schools in Hong Kong registered with the Hong Kong Education Bureau and can enrol students from all over the world thanks to virtual live lessons via an online classroom.
IT Education Asia, 4/F, BOC Group Life Assurance Tower, 134-136 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
Another way to connect with tutors directly (no paying a middleman) is by utilising the Facebook group titled Hong Kong Tutors. This way, you can ensure that 100% of your money is going directly to the tutors themselves. At the moment, many highly qualified teachers have the time and availability to help your students, and they know Hong Kong schools best. Lessons range from $200 to $550 per hour.
Online Learning: Maths And Sciences
If you are looking for sustained and consistent tutoring, TUTTEE offers effective tutoring for chemistry, physics, maths, and biology (IB, GCE, IGCSE, IAL & HKDSE). These instructors are highly trained and paid fairly through the company. They also have impressive statistics on how effective the tutoring has enhanced their student’s grades, with a focus on helping students to actually understand the content instead of cramming for a test. Fees range from $400 to $500 per hour. They offer 1:1 lessons and have been conducting online tutoring since well before the virus started.
Though not HK-based, Chegg is an online tutoring platform for multiple (often fairly complex) subjects that you should consider as well. It’s best if you have quick questions regarding certain problems on your child’s homework, even if he or she waited until right before the midnight deadline to get started (they’re accessible 24/7!). It is highly affordable with lessons starting at $54 per lesson and subscription plans at $116 per month.
Online Learning: Language Classes
Although teachers may be giving homework related to the students’ language studies, it could be beneficial to have additional communication practice so that they are better equipped to speak when they are back in school. This is even more important if you don’t speak the language they are learning in school at home yourself. As your children learn to speak to people from outside the family, it helps enhance their communication skills (giving you time to also call and communicate with people outside your house as well).
Mulberry House Asia offers one-on-one online Mandarin immersion classes for students aged 4 to 12 years. The lessons include interactive reading, music and games that can supplement your child’s home learning materials. Trial classes are available for $250. After that, prices can range from $300 to $400 per class for a package deal of five or 10 classes.
Berlitz is recognised around the world. It has an effective curriculum and is offering all of their normal classes (English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, among other languages) online at the moment at a special discount rate. Berlitz also has kindergarten elementary school interview training. The team are only able to provide package deals. Lessons cost $3,800 (10 sessions). Contact Berlitz for more details.
What To Consider While Looking For Online Classes And Tutors
Figuring out what resources to give your child’s tutor? Khan Academy is a non-profit US-based organisation that has excellent materials. They also have a suggested daily schedule during the school closures broken up by age level, along with recommended apps, podcasts and learning materials.
Additionally, if your child wants to learn at their own pace, there are a plethora of online classes on offer for free from universities around the globe. You might even want to enrol for some of these classes yourself along (including Yale’s most popular course, The Science of Well-being). Many of the well-known Hong Kong kids’ class providers are also providing interesting online learning resources right now. From film-making workshops for teens to STEM-based e-learning clips, there is plenty on offer.
Tips For Picking An Online Tutor
The process of choosing an online tutor can be overwhelming. There are a variety of tutors offering vastly different services and fees! But here’s what you should consider:
- When contacting tutors, ask about their approach and the materials they use. Do you want them to assist with the home learning materials or bring their own supplemental materials into the session? Ask to see the materials they’re suggesting as well, this shows their commitment while planning your child’s session.
- Make sure your intentions are clear. For instance, in language-based tutoring, you should spell out whether you want to give your child exposure to the language (storytelling and talking) or if you want the tutors to focus more on writing, homework, grammar and test preparation. In language tutoring, some of the best and most productive lessons are communicative approach lessons where the student is practising oral speech with their tutor, so let them know if that is the objective you have.