Finding a tutor for your child

When it comes to helping their child succeed in school, parents try to do the best they can, however, there are times when the materials the student is learning may be out of the parents’ comfort zone, or the child may need to hear the materials from a different perspective. This is a good time to hire a tutor. However, many parents do not know how to go about finding a good tutor for their child.

The first thing parents need to do is recognize that the child needs assistance. If the child is struggling over their homework every night, or tries to ignore it because he or she does not understand the topic, try contacting school staff to see if there is a tutoring program within the school system. Perhaps, they have a list of qualified people, either in education or a specialized field such as calculus. If this is the case, ask for names and qualifications of the people they recommend. Also ask whether they have a list of other parents that have hired these tutors in the past.

If the school does not have such a list, contact the local school board. They may have a list of substitute teachers, or even a tutors list of their own that’s filled with people that would be interested in helping your child.

Another source for names of tutors are neighbors or friends. If they have used a tutor, or knows someone that has, ask for referrals.

After receiving the list of names, call the previous students the tutor taught. See whether the parents saw an improvement in the child’s learning. Also ask about the tutor’s style. Then decide whether your child would do better with a soft-spoken person, or perhaps they need a tutor that is firm. If the name that is given is a new tutor, look at their qualifications and experience in the subject area that you have need. If you are looking for an English tutor, perhaps the person who concentrated on Social Studies while in college would not be the best choice.

Talk to the tutors directly to find out what areas they are comfortable reinforcing. This is also the time to find out details about them, such as where they are willing to tutor, how often and the price. A more specialized tutor will be expecting to receive a higher fee than a more generalized tutor. So if the student needs help in several areas, more hours per week may be needed, but the specialist wouldn’t be appropriate. If the student needs help in one area, like economics, the specialist may be a better fit.

After hiring a tutor, make sure to check in with both the tutor and the child to make sure they are comfortable working together. If one or the other does not feel like it is a good fit, see about looking for another tutor. Communication has to be a two-way street also. The parents need to be able to let the tutor know whether there are concerns or praise and the tutor needs to feel comfortable enough to let the parents know if there are problems with which they are not able to help.

Remember when hiring a tutor to keep an eye out for what would work best with your children because they are the ones who will be influenced by the choice.