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by Elizabeth VeuCasovic
School can be tough. As parents, we all have high hopes that our kids will succeed, but not every kid can master every subject the first time, every time. In fact, most don’t. Whether you think your kids might benefit from a refresher during summer, or just a little extra help after the school day has ended, tutoring might be best for everyone. Then again, it might not.
There are many reasons to consider a tutor. If your child is struggling in school, a good first step is to talk to his or her teacher, and find out why. The answer might be able to point you in the right direction. Reasons a tutor might be a good idea include:
If you decide a tutor is called for, there are multiple options to consider. Keep in mind that just because you decide tutoring is the way to go, that does not mean you have to maintain tutoring for long periods of time. A tutor can be beneficial even if you just want to help your child grasp one concept, or succeed on an important test. In those instances, tutoring for a long period of time may actually do more harm than good.
Look at your child’s needs, and decide what is best for them. Tutoring centers are beneficial when the student needs help with multiple subjects. These centers offer tutors in many areas; you may well find a tutor that can help your child with all their needs. Unfortunately, tutoring centers can only offer generalized material that might not actually help your child with the specifics they need to master. If the material is information they are already familiar with, they may feel bored and frustrated.
Private tutoring may be more beneficial if your child needs more focused attention, particularly on one topic. Private tutors are typically specialists in the field they tutor. It is important to find a private tutor who has a strong background in the subject with which your child is struggling. Also, be sure to screen the background of any tutor before hiring. At a tutoring center, this is already done, but with a private tutor it becomes your responsibility.
Tutoring software or online tutoring might be a better answer if you are simply looking to supplement or improve your child’s achievements in school. Either possibility is generally much more cost-effective than tutoring centers or private tutoring. These options might even help to boost your child’s confidence and knowledge that they can improve on their own with a little extra work.
When choosing whether or not to add tutoring to your child’s academic picture, be sure to include her or him in conversations as you process your options. Kids may have preferences that can influence their overall success in tutoring. Together, you and your child will make the best decision. We all struggle at times, we all need help — and it will likely benefit your child to know this is perfectly normal.
Liz VeuCasovic has a master’s degree in history and two crazy boys; throw in writing and you have a recipe for never-ending excitement!