Finding the right tutor for your child can be a difficult and time-consuming task. There are a number of factors you must consider during the selection process and it can be difficult to evaluate some of these factors without your child actually receiving some tutoring from the tutor.
Here are 4 steps you should follow when searching for a tutor for your child.
1. Determining the needs of your child
The first step in finding the ideal tutor for your child is to determine what type of help your child needs. If your child is weak in certain subject areas then you will likely benefit from finding tutors that specialize in those subjects. If your child has a learning disability then finding tutors specializing in learning methods for students with your child’s learning disability will likely produce better results. It’s also possible that you just want to help your child perform better in subjects across a wide range of subjects. Specifying the specific needs or combinations of needs for your child will help you narrow your focus when searching for qualified tutors.
2. Finding Qualified Tutors
You’ll want to find several tutors that meet your requirements as established in the first step. At this stage you’re just looking to build a list of companies to research further. There are several places you can look to find potential tutors. School guidance counselors are good resources – they are likely to know several tutoring companies in your area and can help you find tutors that meet your child’s needs. Asking other parents with children is another good source for finding tutoring services. They may have experience with tutoring companies and can vouch for the quality of different tutoring services. Online tutoring directories are also an excellent resource. Tutoring directories tend to have a large selection of tutors, reviews and they allow you to search by city or subject.
3. Evaluating Tutors
You should now have a list of tutoring companies that meet your basic requirements (subjects, teaching methods, etc.). The next step is to go through the list and evaluate each tutoring service in more detail. Search online to see if the company has a website with more information. Search for reviews. In addition to your basic requirements there are other variables that you should consider such as the experience of the tutor, education, and their performance track record for past students. You can create a list of questions you want answered and call the tutoring company or tutor to find out the answers. Before you commit to anything you and your child should have a preliminary meeting with the tutor who would be teaching your child. This will help you evaluate how the tutor and your child interact, which can have a big impact on how well your child responds to the tutoring. After you have met with a few tutors weigh their strengths and weaknesses and make your final decision.
4. Agreeing on goals and measures
It’s important to have established methods for evaluating performance. Many tutoring companies have their own systems in place for establishing a baseline and evaluating performance over time. If the company you select does not have a system like this in place you should bring this up and create a list of goals and how you will measure improvement. This might include increasing test scores by at least one grade, advancing to a higher reading grade, etc. Once the goals and measures have been established make sure you regularly check the performance of your student against the goals. Keep in mind that improvement isn’t instant, but if your child still hasn’t improved over a month or two you should probably meet with the tutor to discuss a different approach that will get results or you should begin searching for a different tutor.
Finding the ideal tutor for your child can be a time-consuming process, and it can be frustrating if you don’t find a good tutor; however, by following the steps listed above you can greatly improve your odds of finding a good tutor on the first try.