How to Find a Tutor

When kids struggle in school, parents want to get help for them. But how to find a tutor who can help their kids and not break the bank can be a problem. Dr. Linda tells you how to find a tutor and what to look out for so you aren’t paying too much while your kids still don’t get the help they need.

Dear Dr. Linda,

How to Find a TutorWe have two kids, and we think both of them need tutors. But we don’t know who to go to. Jillian is a ninth grader who’s failing the new Common Core algebra class, and Dillon, our fifth grader, has trouble with reading and writing. My best friend actually took out a loan from a tutoring service so she could get help for her kids. My husband and I can’t afford private tutoring because it’s so expensive, and there’s no way we’re taking out a loan. I don’t want my kids to fail, but I don’t want to end up in the poor house either. Need some advice on how to go about finding a tutor for our kids without paying too much or ending up with loans to pay back. Jean

 Dear Jean,

Before you and your husband consider finding a tutor, have a meeting with your children’s teachers to discuss what’s happening. They may be able to provide some help or offer you other suggestions. Many times, meeting with the teacher one to one helps.

On the other hand, sometimes one-on-one help from a teacher doesn’t help when a child has difficulty understanding what the teacher is teaching in class. The same instruction privately won’t help either.

If you decide to hire tutors, you need to become an educated consumer. It’s easy to end up with the wrong tutor. For example, just because some tutors say they know algebra, doesn’t mean that they know how to teach the new Common Core algebra. Your daughter needs to understand algebra in the way it’s taught with Common Core.

In other words, do your homework before you start paying for tutoring. Otherwise, your children may spend hours wasting their time, not learning what they need to learn, and you’ll waste your money.

 Here are some additional tips to help you find a tutor for your child:

  • Look for professional tutors who understand child development, know their subject well and have experience.
  • Don’t be fooled when you’re told that your child needs a certain number of hours of instruction. It’s not possible to predict how many hours of instruction a student will need.
  • Beware of tutors who claim they’re licensed. Licensing for tutors doesn’t exist. Look for a state certified teacher or a tutor with a masters or doctorate
  • Ask prospective tutors how they will help your child. An experienced tutor will tell you it’s essential to find the cause of the problem.
  • If a company does the testing, find out what tests they’re using. Then talk to your children’s teachers or other professionals who understand testing to be sure the company is addressing your children’s needs.
  • Find a tutor who will work with you and your children’s teachers to create individual programs.
  • Find a tutor who allows you to sit in during the sessions so that you can learn what you need to do to help your children.
  • Ask prospective tutors for references from previous employers and students. A tutor should have many such references.
  • Get recommendations for tutors from family, friends, school counselors, pediatrician or other professionals your daughter and son are seeing.
  • Look for tutors who don’t require a contract. You don’t want to pay for tutoring when your children have already learned what they needed.

If you do your homework, you may not need to spend so much money on tutoring or take out unnecessary loans. And your children will have more free time.

Dr. Linda

P.S.  Dr. Linda and Strong Learning offer professional tutoring at all levels and in all subjects without contracts or a required number of hours. Children receive appropriate testing and tutoring based on their individual needs. For more information, call 845-628-7910 today.

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