Does Your Child Need a Tutor?
Oct 21, 2009 Tutoring/Home School 1843 Views
As admission standards to high schools and universities continue to become more and more difficult, a private tutor is an educational supplement that parents are increasingly looking to as an option. However, there are many questions that parents frequently have as they initiate the process. Some of these questions include: How do I know whether or not my child needs a tutor? What qualities or credentials should I look for in a tutor? How do I find the best tutor? And of course, how much do tutors typically charge? Let us try and address these questions one by one.
So how can you know whether or not your child really needs or can benefit from a tutor? The most common indicator is if you consistently hear your child make statements such as, "I don't understand what my teacher is talking about" or "It doesn't matter if I study or not. I don't understand the material so I'll fail the tests anyways." In these scenarios, your child is sufficiently behind in the curriculum that hiring a tutor is the best possible way to ensure that they get back on the right track. Similarly, if your child is consistently scoring poorly on assignments and tests, there may be a fundamental issue that goes beyond just their effort. Also, if for any reason your child has missed or will miss an extended period of time from school due to vacation, illness, or otherwise, hiring a tutor will help prevent them from permanently falling behind.
Hiring a tutor is not always effective though. If your child has failed or scored poorly on just one assignment or test, it may be an anomaly. Alternatively, your child simply may not be putting in the effort or preparing for the material far enough in advance. A parent's job is to monitor these factors and lend a helping hand when necessary. Also, if your child has missed less than a week of class due to vacation or illness, typically they can make up the lost time by meeting privately with their teacher and formulating a plan of action to get them caught up. Emailing your child's teachers can be a good way to ensure they are on the right track to getting caught back up if they have missed a couple of days of class at some point.
So how can you find the best tutors? If budget allows, a one-on-one tutor who can come to your home is always a great option. The individual attention as well as the familiarity of the study space at your home will ensure a more productive learning environment. However, group tutoring centers can often provide similar value at a much lower cost. In order to find the best tutor, getting a referral from a friend or acquaintance is a good first step. If this is not available, ask your potential tutor for references and be diligent in checking them out. Do your homework and study whether your tutor has specific subject expertise or knowledge in a particularly important area.
And of course, what is the bottom line? Tutors pricing for one-on-one sessions can range anywhere from $20 to $100/hour. SAT prep classes for individuals can be even more. College students acting as part-time tutors tend to fall on the lower end while teachers with graduate degrees and advanced knowledge will expect greater compensation. Ultimately you should choose the educator you feel is most reliable and capable in the task of teaching your child and allowing them to learn new material.