When your child needs a tutor, the pressure to find the best one can be stressful and overwhelming. What should you look for? Will the tutoring help? Will my child like them? How will you know if they’re the best tutor?
While we can’t find the actual tutor for you, there are 5 ways to be certain the tutor you choose will be a great fit for you and your child!
1. Know Your Goals
What is it that you want your child to get out of their tutoring experience? Do they need a better grade for a specific test or class? Do they need to improve overall reading comprehension or general subject skills? Learn more about logical reasoning? Develop better study skills? When you know what outcome you are looking for, you can communicate this to potential tutors, ask them about how they would reach this goal and learn about previous experience they have in that area.
What is it that your child wants to get out of their tutoring experience? Ask your child what they would like to see change with their tutoring. Getting their perspective may help you understand better what they are struggling with and why. Providing them with a voice in the discussion will also improve their buy-in to the tutoring sessions since they will have had a say in it.
To sum it up, when you, your child, and your tutor know what the goals for the tutoring are, the goals are more likely to be met since everyone will be on the same page.
2. Know Your Options
There are a lot of places, agencies and organizations that provide tutoring. Some are free, some you pay for, some are online, others in person, some are group sessions, and others are private. Research your different options to see what will work best for you and your child.
Another options is to reach out to your child’s teacher, counselor or school for information about tutors they recommend and/or tutoring programs available through the school or school district. Community Centers and churches also often offer free tutoring programs. You can also look into local tutoring agencies or learning centers. Ask your friends, family and neighbors for recommendations! You may even know a retired teacher who would love to help you.
While looking at your different tutoring options, keep these factors in mind to help you narrow down your options:
- Cost and payment policies
- Cancellation policies
- Progress report policies
- Credentials of tutors
- Scheduling of sessions
- Location of sessions
- Typical session schedule
3. Know Your Tutor
Once you know your goals and have decided what type of tutoring will work best for you and your child, you then need to decide on an actual tutor. Deciding which tutor will be the best fit can be intimidating. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the individual tutor:
- Experience- how long have they been tutoring? Any pertinent professional or educational experience? What subjects have they tutored in the past?
- Track Record- are there parent surveys, reviews, recommendations or testimonials you can look at?
- Approach – do they utilize an active learning approach or use drills/rote learning? Can they make adaptations for different learning styles?
- Parent communication plan – how will you know what progress is being made?
- Personality factor- are they easy to engage with? How do they motivate students?
4. Know Your Results
Just because you’ve started a tutoring program, doesn’t mean you’re locked in forever. Look at the results of the tutoring sessions. Is your child happy? Are their skills improving? Sit in on a session to see how things are going and how your child and the tutor are interacting. If things aren’t progressing the way you or child had hoped, you aren’t stuck with this situation permanently. Talk to the tutor about your concerns and figure out a plan to get better results. Oftentimes, finding/keeping a great tutor is an ongoing process. Methods and schedules may need to be adjusted. If the tutor isn’t working, you can always find a new one. Your partnership with a tutor isn’t set in stone. It may require some more time and effort on your part, but you’ll be able to find a tutor who helps your child learn and reach their goals in a fun and supportive way.
5. Know Your Role
It’s not just about the tutor and your child. You’re a part of the equation too! Work with the tutor and your child to collaborate on goals, teaching styles and approaches, and other ways you can support your child in their tutoring. Find out what they are expected to do before the next session and help them do it. Provide encouragement when they are struggling and listen to their concerns. Although you will not be attending each session, there are many ways you can show your support for your child and the tutor.
Finding a tutor can be stressful and time-consuming, but finding a great fit your child will make that stress and time worth it. We hope that our 5 suggestions will help you in this process! Let us know what you think in the comments!