With local school districts remaining closed through the 2019-20 academic year, Carney's Tutoring owner Jennifer Carney said she has seen more parents enroll their children in tutoring services.
The Kingwood-based business offers small-group and individual tutoring services for kindergarten through 12th-graders. Carney and her 13 teachers tutor students in every subject, including foreign languages, as well as provide college prep courses.
Carney's Tutoring has seen roughly 50-75 new students sign up for virtual tutoring services since the outbreak began, Carney said, with some students signing up for one session and others for multiple.
"The parents know that whatever [the younger students are] learning now is only going to be building on next year, and they don't want them to lose that," she said.
Carney said homeschooling children of different age groups and education levels can be challenging for parents, which is why many parents are turning to virtual tutoring to get their children accessible assistance.
“We’re just here to help anybody that needs it; we want to make a difference, and we really want to take the load off the parents,” she said. “I know this is a stressful time. People are worried about themselves, their income, their job and their kid’s education."
Carney said she hopes to open Carney's Tutoring on June 1, but she said she will continue offering online learning.
Other tutoring services in the Kingwood and Humble area have also been adapting to the coronavirus pandemic. Sylvan of Kingwood & Humble has added roughly 15 new students to its roster since local school districts closed, franchise owner Chris Pittner said. The tutoring service offers reading, writing, math, college prep and study skills, among others, for kindergarten through 12th-graders.
While Pittner said he anticipated some trial and error for both the instructors and families switching to virtual learning, the process has been mostly smooth. In fact, Pittner said both the Kingwood & Humble location as well as the soon-to-open Atascocita & Humble location will both continue to offer virtual learning as an option for families even after the center reopens in June.
"A lot of families have really liked the convenience of it, and it helps us reach more families further way so they don't have to drive in," he said. "Now, with online, it doesn't really matter how far away they live. We can deliver the service, and it'll be a very high quality service."
Meanwhile, Mathnasium of Kingwood also intends to continue offering virtual math-only learning to its students after the coronavirus. Franchise owner Sunny Dhamija said students are still able to get one-on-one math tutoring with their tutors through the online conferencing service Mathnasium at Home.
"There's really no difference between in-center and Mathnasium at Home because they have the same instructor, they have the same learning plan and they have the same material in front of them," Dhamija said.
Dhamija said he hopes to reopen the center in June; however, students will have to make appointments prior to coming in, as the center will only allow eight students inside at a time to practice social distancing standards.
"I expect Mathnasium at Home will remain important because of the potential change in behavior of parents," he said. "I think they'd rather not take a risk, and they know it works."