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When Your Child Needs a Tutor

Are you frustrated because your child is struggling with a school subject despite your best efforts to help?

It's easy to get frustrated when you repeatedly explain the same math formula and your child just doesn't seem to get it. You might experience the same feeling when you listen to your child stumble over the same words while reading aloud. Before you know it, your patience has worn thin and you raise your voice in exasperation. Then your child's eyes well up with tears, and everyone feels bad.

If your child needs more help than you can provide, consider hiring a tutor. A good tutor will be able to recognize where your child's problem started and how best to resolve it. Having an outside person help out also prevents your emotions from getting in the way of helping your struggling student.

Here are some important things to consider when hiring a tutor:

  • Explore options for locating qualified tutors. Ask school personnel for references and check with "learning assistance" companies.
  • Choose two or three potential tutors to interview.
  • Develop a list of questions to ask tutor candidates. These questions should focus on their level of expertise and experience, their knowledge of different learning styles and their comfort level with children.
  • Interview each tutor individually.
  • Have promising candidates meet your child and observe how they interact.
  • Discuss details of what services you expect the tutor to provide.
  • Meet with school personnel and your child's tutor to develop an education plan for the tutor to follow.

A tutor's abilities, of course, cannot replace the love, affection and support of a parent. Your child still needs to know and try to meet your expectations regarding schoolwork and academic progress. You should continue to check homework assignments, review progress reports and attend parent-teacher conferences. You also can volunteer to help in your child's classroom. Most importantly, provide encouragement and reward your child for his or her classroom successes, big and small.

You want what's best for your child. Combining your support and a tutor's expertise is a great way to help your child meet academic challenges.