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The Hood Magazine

Does My Child Need Tutoring

Jan 22, 2015 01:25PM ● By Hood Magazine

Stephanie Spaan, Excel Achievement 

If your child begins to struggle in school, it is vitally important to give him/her help immediately. School is the place where our children spend the majority of their time and it is imperative that this experience is a positive one.  Can you imagine being in a place all day and feeling like you don’t know what you are doing or that you are not successful?  This impacts our children’s self esteem in a powerful way.  There are many options for parents once they see that their child is struggling.

First, parents can begin to try to help their child on their own.  This is recommended only if it is a positive experience for both the parent and the child.  If the child starts to show anxiety in this setting, then perhaps this isn’t the best option.

Second, talk to your child’s classroom teacher and see what can be done at the school.  Set up a timeline that you would like to see results.  All too often parents stay with this option for years without getting results and this too is very damaging to a child’s self-esteem.

Third, once a parent has tried to work with their own child and/or tapped into what the school has to offer, but still isn’t seeing results, an outside tutor may need to be called in. There are many options today for parents to consider when looking for tutoring for their children.  Parents can choose from hiring an individual tutor, looking for online services, or going to a tutoring agency.

Hiring an Individual Tutor

College student: 
Pros: College students are a great option if your child needs minimal help.  For example, if your child has always done well in school, but now just needs a little extra help in a subject such as Algebra, Spanish or Chemistry. 
Cons: College students are not recommended to help students with learning disabilities as they lack the experience necessary.
Classroom teacher:
Pros: Classroom teachers will definitely have more experience than a college student.  Finding a classroom teacher who is an expert in the area that your child needs extra assistance will give your child the one-on-one help needed to promote confidence in that subject area.
Cons: While a classroom teacher has quite a bit of experience, if your child struggles with reading, it is recommended to find a tutor who is recommended by the International Dyslexia Association. Not all classroom teachers are qualified to work with reading disabilities.
In-Home Agencies:  (Club Z, A-Z, and A+ In Home Tutoring and Tutor Doctor)
Pros: The advantage of using an in-home agency is that you can access a tutor without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Cons: Many in-home agencies do not provide lesson plans or assessments for their tutors.  Always ask how much experience the tutor has and how the tutor will measure progress.
Online tutoring options (Excel Achievement, Huntington Learning, K-12, Kaplan, Sylvan Learning, TutorVista)
Pros: Most of the online tutoring options offer one-on-one live tutoring and students can access these services from the privacy of their own homes. Because these are run by Nationally accredited agencies, parents can feel more secure about the teachers hired as well as the results they will receive.
Cons: Because these are accredited agencies, sometimes parents assume that they will receive results.  Parents should always ask the tough questions as to the agency’s guarantee.
Tutoring Centers (Excel Achievement, Sylvan Learning, Kumon)
Pros: Most tutoring Centers are Nationally Accredited and therefore have accountability as to their results.
Cons: Some of these are quite expensive and parents need to remember to do their homework as to the results they will receive.