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Tips for Finding a Tutor for Your Child

Metro Parent For Southeast Michigan, Written by Shelby Stewart, September 8, 2017

Summer vacation has come to a close, and it’s back to the books for your kids. Parents, you may find your children are struggling a bit academically, or just need help with schoolwork from time to time, which means it could be time to consider finding a tutor for your child.

Making a match with the right tutor may be an issue, as each child learns a different way. But waiting too long to make that match could throw your child behind.

“The longer a parent waits, the longer it will take for a child to catch up,” says Joanne Woolf of Sylvan Learning Center in Oxford.

Not sure the right time to find a tutor for your child? Woolf suggests keeping an eye out for signs your child might be struggling in class.

“A parent should consider finding a tutor as soon as a child shows signs of falling behind or if the child seems frustrated or stressed in school,” Woolf says.

Meet with your child’s teacher

The first step in finding the right tutor, according to readingrockets.org, is to meet with your child’s teacher and identify the problem. Does your child just need homework help or are they not grasping the material at all?

“In some cases, the child’s teacher(s) will provide the information or the parent/guardian,” says Alicia Nash of Brainiac In-Home Tutoring.

Once you’ve both discussed your concerns, ask the teacher about your child’s learning style. Some children learn best through reading while others need a more hands-on approach.

“All students use auditory, visual and haptic learning styles,” Woolf says. “Students, though, have a preference for one that works best for them.”

Once you’re aware of your child’s learning style and needs, you can move on to finding the right tutoring fit for your child.

Finding ‘the one’

In order to find the right tutor, you have to interview a few potential ones, so get your questions ready, readingrockets.org suggests. Meet with different tutoring candidates and ask questions such as:

How do you evaluate each student’s needs?
What tutoring methods do you use?
How do you motivate your students?
What hours are you available?
What type of teaching experience do you have?
How much do you charge for tutoring services?
Sometimes you may like a tutor, but your child doesn’t respond well to them. It is important to find someone who encourages learning – and someone your child is comfortable around.

Woolf and Nash agree that when the child starts improving in class and working positively with their tutor, it’s a good match for them.

Once your child has starting seeing a tutor, meet with their teacher to monitor not only progress, but also if your child is participating in class, as well.

“Make sure the tutor is not just doing homework with the child, but is filling in any gaps the child has in his learning,” Woolf says.

Other things to keep in mind

While finding a tutor for your child is important, keep your budget in mind as you’re searching. Some companies have strict payment policies, so you want to be aware before making a decision, as well.

“We highly recommend reading all policies if available and asking questions about the refund policy, missed/cancelled sessions, additional fees and nationwide criminal background check results,” Nash says.

If your child is having issues in all subjects or just one, do your research about what tutoring center may be right for your child. There are some that cater to learning disabilities as well, so there is somewhere for every child to learn and grow.