If your child has a learning disability, poor or declining grades, poor time management skills or difficulty understanding homework, tutors are an effective way to get kids back on track and keep them there. But how do you find a good, reliable tutor who you can trust? And what if hiring a tutor isn’t in your budget? There are many options.
Finding a tutor
Your child’s teacher and the school administrator are an excellent place to start. They may be able to recommend a tutor in your community or online resources to help your child. Also, chances are one of your
child’s friends has a tutor, so ask other parents for a recommendation.
Another option is to search online for tutors in your area. You’ll likely find a couple of local tutoring companies. These companies often offer on-site tutoring, while some may offer in-home tutoring as well.
There are also many websites developed for helping parents find tutors. Takelessons.com has a searchable database of tutors. Just enter your zip code and the school subject and you will see a list of tutors in your area. This site also shows tutors’ ratings and their fees per session.
Another source is Care.com, connects people with various service professionals, including tutors. Experience in tutoring varies widely, however. Make sure to check the reviews for potential tutors for your child and ask for references.
Online tutoring is another popular choice, though it isn’t right for every child. This is where diligent research becomes vital, as the reviews of many online tutoring companies are fair to mediocre, at best. The cost of online tutoring isn’t always consistent with quality.
If tutoring isn’t in your budget, there are several options to consider. First, check with your child’s school for need-based assistance. Although the No Child Left Behind Act is now defunct, some schools still offer one-on-one tutoring programs for eligible students. Many schools also offer after-school group tutoring. Kids can stay after school to work on their homework with a teacher to assist, while some teachers are happy to do after-school tutoring for their students.
If tutoring isn’t available at your kid’s school, ask trusted family members, neighbors, and friends if they can help. You might discover someone you know is quite enthusiastic to help your struggling child.
Another option is to contact your local high school and community college. Students majoring in particular subjects or those who are looking at a career in teaching are often required to do a certain number of hours of tutoring. For that reason, these students often offer to provide tutoring for free.
If you are looking for a remote learning opportunity that is also free, the popular Khan Academy website offers online video tutorials for students of all levels. Visit .khanacademy.org to learn more.
What to look for in a tutor
There are several factors to consider when looking for a tutor. These include:
- Is the tutor qualified? Your best bet is to look for someone with a teaching degree since tutoring requires skills that not everyone possesses. For younger students, if the tutor has a teaching degree, specialization in a particular subject isn’t necessary. From high school and beyond, look for a tutor with expertise in the subject your child needs help with.
- Does the tutor’s personality work for you and your child? First, a tutor should be patient, empathetic, positive, passionate, creative and fun. These characteristics help ensure your child can learn from the tutor and will walk away with self-confidence. It’s also essential that the tutor and your child have the ability to connect with each other.
- Is the tutor flexible? Each child has a learning style that is best for them. It might be visual, aural, physical, verbal, logical or a combination of those. Some kids are solitary learners, others are social learners and enjoy learning in groups. Look for a setting and tutor that fits your kid’s style.
- Does the tutor have excellent references? Online tutoring services often have reviews from previous clients. Look for those with overall high ratings and positive comments. But beware of reviews directly on the tutoring company’s website, since these can often be manipulated. If you find your tutor offline or find very few reviews, ask for several references. Still, the references a tutor provides might not be an entirely accurate depiction of their character and experience, so use due diligence for your child’s safety to ensure your child receives quality service.
Toledo Tutoring Programs to Check Out
Sylvan Learning of Toledo
1566 Spring Meadows Dr., Holland
Has multiple Toledo area locations
Stars Test Prep and Tutoring
5151 Monroe St., #100
Huntington Learning Center
6638 Centers Dr., Holland