Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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How to Choose the Best Tutor for Your Elementary School Child

If your child is struggling in a particular subject, is not being challenged in school, or needs some extra homework help during the week, you may want to search for a tutor. There are tutors for every subject, every standardized test, and even for specific skills such as developing writing skills or building strong math skills. Some children may need some extra practice every week in a particular subject, while others may want to do some last-minute review before a major test. For subjects like math, where each year of school requires a strong foundation in the previous year’s topics, a tutor can help make sure that your child is comfortable with essential math skills. If your child struggles with reading comprehension, a tutor can make sure that your child improves his or her reading skills and his or her ability to extract key information from texts. Aside from these subjects, a tutor can be beneficial in nearly any area that your child may be struggling in.

What Should You Look For in a Private Tutor?

If you think that your child might benefit from a tutor, then you will want to find the best available tutor who suits your child’s needs. One of the easiest ways to do this is to find a private tutor who specializes in the area that you want your child to better understand. Some tutors work exclusively on test prep, while others might shine in a particular academic area or focus on building up strong writing and reading skills.

Once you’ve found a tutor who may fit your child’s needs, you should get a sense of the tutor’s previous experience. Some common questions you may want to ask might include the age range that the tutor usually works with, how long he or she has been tutoring, and if the tutor can provide recommendations. Contacting a previous parent about his or her experience with the tutor can be a great way to get an idea of the tutor’s strengths and weaknesses.

If you find a tutor who seems promising, you should set up a trial session with him or her. This will allow the tutor and your child to work together, and it will help the tutor to get a sense of what your child most needs. If things go well during this first session, and if you believe that the tutor’s teaching style and personality will be a good match for your child, then you may have found the perfect tutor!

The next step will be to work with the tutor and your child to choose the areas where you would like your child to improve. This will give the tutor a sense of how to run each tutoring session, and it will help all three of you pursue the same goals and expectations for each session. For short-term, intensive test prep, or a lengthy tutoring relationship over several school years, it will be essential to have goals; without them, your child might not be learning what he or she desperately needs to in order to improve. Once you and the tutor come up with a learning, plan, you should schedule tutoring sessions for your child. After that, just sit back and let the tutor help your child!