Tutors: When a Child Needs Extra Help

What do you do if your child is struggling in math and reading but the school says she doesn’t qualify for special help?

Tutoring is a wonderful solution if you can afford it. A qualified, experienced tutor can change a child’s life but only if the tutoring addresses the problem your child is experiencing.

Before parents start paying a tutor, or signing up for after school tutoring at one of the franchises, they need to know why their child is struggling. They need to find the cause of the problem or they can end up wasting a lot of money.

Parents need to find someone who can help you discover the cause of their child’s problem. This might require educational testing, first with a screening, and if necessary, a full battery of tests, either through the school or privately. Once you find the cause, you may determine that your child doesn’t need tutoring.

For example, a couple thinks their child has a reading issue, so they hire a reading tutor. Months later they’re disappointed that there’s no improvement in reading. It may be that reading isn’t the problem at all.

Perhaps the real issue is anxiety or that their child needs glasses. In other words, the problem may be unrelated to reading. It’s not any different than a doctor giving medicine without first knowing the cause of the symptoms. More medicine doesn’t help the patient if it doesn’t address the illness.

Tutoring only helps if the tutor addresses the real problems. Do some research to find professional tutors who know how children learn and who understand child development. Also, be sure the tutor is a good match with your child.

Be careful before you sign on the dotted line with one of the national franchises. Many children go for hours of unnecessary after-school tutoring which prevents them from playing, participating in sports or other after school activities.

Just because a child is doing more school work doesn’t mean they’re learning more. More doesn’t automatically mean better.

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