When your child needs a tutor, it's critical to find an instructor who addresses their needs.
Not every tutor is the right fit for every child. Just like there are teachers your child will identify and connect with more than others, your child will get along much better with one tutor than another, making the learning process easier and more effective.
Want to be sure that you're finding the right tutor for your child's needs?
Below, you’ll find six essential factors to consider when choosing a tutor for your child.
1. Choose a tutor that has experience with the appropriate grade level and subject.
You wouldn't want a tutor specializing in second grade reading helping your high school-aged child with calculus homework or a tutor specializing in critical reading to suddenly transition to helping your second-grader who is struggling to learn to read.
While there are certainly tutors skilled in both those areas, most tutors specialize in a subject. Even classroom teachers usually focus on a specific area of study.
For kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers, that means focusing on general education skills appropriate for those younger ages; for seventh through twelfth-grade teachers, they focus on strategies applicable to older students and usually focus on specific disciplines.
You want a tutor for your child who has experience with the area where your child is struggling, including a proven set of strategies and tactics that can help your child better understand their coursework and achieve academic success.
2. Consider your child's learning style.
Different children learn best in different ways. While one child may learn most effectively visually, another child may prefer to learn by listening.
As a parent, you may already have a good idea of how your child learns and takes in information most effectively. You want a tutor who can present information in that style, which can help your child learn more effectively.
3. Make sure your tutor is available consistently at times that are convenient for your family.
Ideally, you want to choose a tutor that's available consistently. A one-time tutoring session is rarely enough to overcome mental blocks or help your child move past a challenge they're facing in the classroom.
Your child may need weeks or even months of sessions to help build his confidence and fill in any learning gaps that may have created challenges. If your tutor is available inconsistently, you may have a hard time filling in those gaps. Often, it may seem as though the tutor has to start from scratch for each session.
It's also crucial that your child works with a consistent tutor as much as possible. While a team of tutors can help your child answer general homework questions, a 1-on-1 tutor can get to know your child, develop a relationship with them, and tailor sessions to their learning style and needs, which can ultimately help improve learning.
Online tutoring can help create a bridge that makes it easier for your child to meet with a tutor regularly. With online tutoring platforms, you can connect with the tutor from anywhere, whether you're at home or on the go—and you don't have to work to fit a commute to and from the tutor into your schedule, which can help prevent you from rescheduling appointments at the last minute.
4. Check references before working with a tutor.
Before you select a tutor, check some references. Call other parents and discuss their interactions with the tutor and how that specific tutor or platform has helped their child succeed. By checking references, you'll also get a better idea of who you'll be working with, their usual methods, and what you should expect, which may put you in a better position to support your child.
5. Ask how the tutor will help your child meet their goals.
Working with a tutor means setting out specific academic goals and then working to reach them. Often, those goals are catching up on academics: supporting skills that your child might not have received in the classroom, for example. Other times, a tutor could help your child improve comprehension, develop better organizational skills, or work through homework more effectively.
Before you start, however, it's vital to have a solid idea of how the tutor can help your child reach their goals. Look for a tutor with a solid toolbox of strategies that have helped other children succeed in the past.
6. Let your child have a say.
You may think that you've chosen the perfect tutor for your child, only to find that your child seems to be making less progress than before. Sometimes, a tutor may not be a good personality fit for your child. Other times, your child may have trouble understanding the tutor's communication style.
It's important to encourage your child to participate in the process of picking a tutor. Invite your kid to tell you how they feel about the tutor or give you an idea of what they're looking for. Ask how they're interacting with the tutor over time.
Track success. If your child is engaged in working with the tutor, they will see higher levels of success than if they're working with someone they just don't get along with. While your child may not have a choice about going to a tutor, they can have a choice of who they see—and that can make all the difference.
Finding a tutor doesn't have to be a long and complicated process. At TutorMe.com, we can help connect you with a tutor who will be a good match for your child's grade level, required expertise, and personality. Contact us today to learn more.