One-to-One Tutoring

As parents, we all want what’s best for our children. When it comes to academics, many parents implement supplemental learning for their kids outside of the classroom. One of the most effective methods of instruction is one-to-one tutoring.

At Beehive, we can recall the struggles with our respective learning journeys when we were younger. Often to help, our parents arranged for us to see tutors. Yet, being busy young kids involved in many extracurricular activities outside of school, it became hard for us to get into a consistent routine with our tutors. For example, each session lasted at least an hour, not counting the additional time for drop-off and pickup that our parents had to contend with. There was some short-term improvement, but had the supplemental learning been more consistent, we believe it would have had more of a long-term impact.

In a previous blog post Maximizing Your Kid’s Potential, we briefly discussed the benefits of one-to-one tutoring. In a 1980s study conducted by Dr. Benjamin Bloom, he demonstrated that the average student under tutoring performed better than 98% of the students under conventional instruction.

One-to-one tutoring is the “OG” of “personalized learning,” dating back centuries. But seriously, why have we seen massive improvements in productivity in all facets of our lives through the application of technology but still don’t have a cost-effective and scalable solution to personalized learning for school-age children?

In this post, we will discuss the benefits of tutoring, the costs of tutoring, and how Beehive is providing parents with an alternative solution that is both scalable AND cost-effective.

What Does Effective Tutoring Look Like?

According to a recent EdWeek article, there are 5 essential ingredients for effective tutoring:

  1. It’s part of the school day
  2. It happens 3-5x a week
  3. There’s high-quality curriculum and content
  4. Tutor-student relationships are consistent
  5. There’s professional development for tutors

Let’s dive into each component separately.

It’s part of the school day

"Tutoring that is integrated into the school day and provided as a supplement to core curriculum instruction to support the work that classroom teachers are doing will lead to some of the greatest academic outcomes for kids.”

5 Essential Ingredients for Effective Tutoring

Beehive’s take

We agree that tutoring as a supplement to the core curriculum to support the work of classroom teachers can have a huge impact. And that is what Benjamin Bloom proved with his study over 40 years ago. However, today’s kids and parents are busier than ever. And let’s not forget about teachers and how stretched thin they are (see our post on The Big Dilemma). Is it really realistic to think we can set aside more time for tutoring during the school day?

It happens 3-5x per week

“Research has shown that tutoring works best if it’s high dosage, which means offered three or more days of the week for at least 30 minutes each time. Having a consistent schedule ensures that the student has the time they need to fully understand the content, and it also ensures that they continue to build a strong relationship with their tutor.”

5 Essential Ingredients for Effective Tutoring

Beehive’s take

For parents and kids (and our own experience), it is tough trying to find time between the end of school and extracurricular activities to consistently visit a tutor for only one subject. Layer on top of that time for homework, playtime/personal care, and sleep. Traditional methods of tutoring are scheduled in hour-long blocks. We believe there should be flexibility for both kids and parents. A solution that can fit seamlessly into their busy schedules. Research also demonstrates that spaced repetition improves learning and maximizes retention. In Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language and Never Forget It, Gabriel Wyner writes, “Spaced repetition…[is] extraordinarily efficient. In a four-month period, practising for 30 minutes a day, you can expect to learn and retain 3600 flashcards with 90 to 95 percent accuracy. These flashcards can teach you an alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, and even pronunciation. And they can do it without becoming tedious because they’re always challenging enough to remain interesting and fun.”

There’s high-quality curriculum and content

“High-quality instructional materials are necessary to make tutoring successful. If classroom teachers don’t have high-quality instructional materials, and if they don’t have clear expectations for students, it’s difficult to figure out whether a student is on track or off track.”

5 Essential Ingredients for Effective Tutoring

Beehive’s take

Put differently, there needs to be a bridge from inside the classroom to outside the classroom. And that is more of a data and communication issue, which, under the current system, is both complex and time-consuming. You must diagnose before you can prescribe. We have spoken to numerous tutors and parents who have expressed frustration with the lack of communication on what is being taught in the classroom and where exactly the child is struggling. Experts agree that purposefully aligning tutoring to curriculum content helps kids get the support they need to succeed in class.

Tutor-Student relationships are consistent

“Tutors need to understand where a student is in their academic journey, and they need to understand how to move them along. Tutoring can also become an opportunity for mentorship. It can connect kids with a caring adult, which could help them stay on track.”

5 Essential Ingredients for Effective Tutoring

Beehive’s take

This dovetails with our comments under #3 👆. While some kids may benefit from a mentor, most need to get the most appropriate instruction not only from a content perspective but also from an interest perspective. How do they like to learn? Meeting them where they are. And it shouldn’t take hours to figure out. It should be seamless for all stakeholders involved.

There’s professional development for tutors

“Tutors can range from super experienced to absolute beginners.”

5 Essential Ingredients for Effective Tutoring

Beehive’s take

On this point, we agree. It’s important for parents to understand the quality and experience of the tutors before moving forward. With quality and experience though, comes a price…

How Much Does Tutoring Cost?

One thing that is mainly glossed over when it comes to tutoring is the cost. To be sure, there is a wide range of costs. One study of a Chicago high-dosage math tutoring program found that it costs ~$3,800 a student over a school year. If that was sustained over a full calendar year (i.e., including summers), the cost would increase to ~$5,500 per student (or ~$460/month). In our research, we have come across some different flavors of tutoring:

  1. Certified teachers ➡️ A certified teacher will cost anywhere between $45-60/hour per kid or ~$630/month.
  2. Online tutoring ➡️ Based on pricing we have seen it can range anywhere from $70-100/hr per kid or ~1,000/month.
  3. Brick and mortar ➡️ These can range from $150-250/month per kid. In some cases, that only covers one subject.
  4. Niche private tutors ➡️ If you’re really feeling special, there is also the option for upper-class families in the form of private tutors which can cost between $65,000-100,000/year. Yes, you read that right.

Beehive's Growth Plans: The Scalable Solution for Tutoring

Whether you are searching for tutoring for math or tutoring for reading, the benefits of tutoring have been well-researched and documented. This would include individualized attention and support, tailored lesson plans to meet the needs of the student, improved academic performance, and increased confidence in the subject matter. The issue is cost and scalability. This is where Beehive can provide parents with an alternative.

Our app provides parents with data-driven insights and personalized learning content (Growth Plans) crafted by our expert learning coaches that is tailored to their child’s needs and interests. Our team of qualified educators and parents create all of the learning content in-house. These lessons are curriculum-aligned and can assist your child in closing those persistent learning gaps or helping to push them to new heights.

And because we know how important this decision is, you can try it for FREE.

Calling all Beehive creators! 📢

Interested in learning more about opportunities at Beehive? If you are a current or former teacher interested in helping us create world-class content, please email us at