If you are wondering whether your child needs a tutor, the answer is probably “yes.” Hiring a tutor does not mean your child isn’t smart or that you are a failure as a parent. It is does not imply that your child’s school or teacher are not doing their job. It just means that at this particular moment in time, your child needs an extra academic boost.
Are you and your child battling over homework, due dates and academic goals? Hiring a tutor takes the parent-child battle out of much of the schoolwork equation. Just as a good teacher has a calming authority in the classroom, a tutor can diffuse combative situations and keep things focused and goal-oriented.
Perhaps your child has a learning disability. If so, he or she is hopefully receiving special services at school but that may not answer all of your child’s academic needs. Homework and home study are an important piece of the education puzzle, and students with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder (ADD) often benefit greatly from an afternoon or weekend tutoring session.
Tutoring can focus on either academic content (i.e., learning the multiplication tables or writing an effective essay) or academic coaching (i.e., keeping track of assignments and deadlines or best methods to study for an exam). Perhaps your child is facing a difficult subject, particularly in the upper grades. High school classes, particularly honors and AP classes are very demanding and may be equivalent to college work.
Sometimes a student needs a different perspective on course content, one-on-one writing coaching or specialized study-skills tutoring to excel. With highly competitive college admissions just around the corner, an academic coach for organizational skills and study techniques may be a very worthwhile investment in your child’s future. Academic coaches can even be hired to help your child write his or her college application essay, which is a great family stress reducer!
Do you have a reluctant learner? A good tutor is a professional at making learning come alive for your child. Summer can be a great time to introduce the joy of learning around your child’s particular interests, free from homework and curriculum demands. Examples of effective summer tutoring might be to acknowledge your child’s love of super heroes by reading about, writing about and even writing and performing a play about a new super hero. Your reluctant learner might not even realize how much he or she has gained in vocabulary, comprehension skills and expressive writing!
Don’t let preconceived notions about tutoring keep you from hiring a professional tutor. A tutor can be a great team member, with you and your child’s tutor helping your child learn to the best of his or her abilities.