All children will face challenges during their academic career. Sometimes, their grades might dip in a certain subject or maybe they’ll need some study help for a big upcoming test. Parents want to do everything in their power to help their children improve academically and loves to see the self-confidence that comes with success. Tutors, tutoring centers, and after school tutoring programs can often help children achieve these goals.
With so many tutors and tutoring options to choose from, how do you know which one will be a good fit for your child? How do I know if a certain option is a good one? Here is some information that will help you compare some different common tutoring programs and their benefits.
There are many individuals who provide private tutoring, ranging from high-school students to certified teachers. A private tutor is typically an expert in a certain subject area and is capable of working with a variety of students of all ages. They may or may not have experience with children who have special needs, so this is something to ask up front when you are looking at your options. Most one-on-one tutoring lessons can be scheduled in your home or at some other location that has been agreed upon. The area you select for tutoring should be quiet and without too many distractions, but for safety sake should be held where other adults will be available and can check in at any time, like a library or community center. A good tutor will already know this and should already have some suggestions for you. They also should have a lot of questions for you – about your child, your child’s skills and temperament, and your goals for the tutoring sessions.
With internet video conferencing, many kids and tutors now prefer the convenience of online tutoring to an in-person experience. This can be a great opportunity for you and your child, giving you access to skilled individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be available. There are many online sites which will help you match students with an online tutor who can help them with homework, give instructions on a certain subject, and provide proper feedback. Pay attention to reviews when first selecting a service and with some tactful googling you shouldn’t have too many problems finding a good fit. Before using an online tutoring website, do your research and make sure it meets the learning needs of your child. Use the same methods you would when vetting an in-person tutor – have a list of questions that are important to you, and expect that a good tutor will also be prepared with their own.
One convenient place to check for options is the front desk of your child’s school. Many schools run their own before and after school tutoring programs, or contract out the service to commercial or non-profit organizations. These programs may also include a variety of other activities that can lead to better test scores, higher grades, and even improved physical and psychological development among students. Keep in mind that after school activities vary from school to school and from program to program, so be sure to do your research and find an option that suits your child’s needs the most.
Tutoring centers can be found in most cities and towns, and offer learning sessions at their own physical location. Many of these centers help children prepare for an upcoming exam and have programs that can help increase a child’s skills in a certain subject area. These centers often hire professional instructors, teach in a classroom setting, and follow a set curriculum.
This option is a good choice if the organization’s curriculum and methods align with your child’s needs. Since tutoring centers often provide a classroom-like experience, there may not be much opportunity for one-on-one instruction, so this is a good question to ask before signing up if this is important to you. Most of the time you will need to arrange your own transportation to the tutoring center although in some cases they will arrange for your child to be brought there directly from school.
Before you go paying for a service, you might be pleased to know that some tutoring services are free. If you are considering hiring a private tutor, you should have an understanding that the more experienced the tutor is, the higher the fee will be. Parents can expect to pay up to $20 per hour for a high-school/college student tutor and up to $85 for a certified teacher with plenty of experience. Some tutors might require additional material, such as workbooks, so parents should also take this cost into consideration.
When it comes to an online tutor, most websites offer monthly tutoring subscription packages. These may cost up to $120 per month. The price might even go higher if your child needs additional hours that are not included in the subscription. Because of the convenience, online tutors are usually cheaper on average, although just like in-person tutors, this will vary based on their expertise. Some websites offer package bundles that can help you save money or at least a trial period at a discounted price.
Tutoring centers will typically offer a list of classes and a corresponding rate for each class. In some centers, the prices might depend on the number of classes your child takes, the subject, and the experience level. You might encounter additional fees, such as testing fees. Before signing your child up for a tutoring center, you should visit the center, speak with a representative, and inquire about their refund policy if your child decides to drop a class.
Regardless of the option, before you select a solution that will be a good fit for your child, you’re going to need to have developed your goals for the class along with a list of questions and other considerations that are important to you. Don’t forget to value your child’s input – they’re not going to get any value from the experience if they don’t feel comfortable, so this should be one of your most important considerations. A less-qualified individual that your child likes and respects will usually yield better results than an expert with super accolades that your child can’t stand being around.
There are all kinds of resources available on tutoring, but here is one from the Washington Post. Most people learn best in smaller-class size settings, with a very low student/teacher ratio. With a lower ratio, they will receive more personalized feedback targeted to their own learning process. Kids will also have more opportunities to ask questions that will make learning personal for them, which will improve their retention rates and engagement. More engagement and success will translate to more confidence and less unproductive or dissociative behaviors. Kids who have access to some type of tutoring usually will see their academic performance improve. Of course this isn’t just great for kids – often their adults will be feeling much, much better, too.