By Amber McClarin
As we approach a full year of online or hybrid learning, parents are more concerned about whether their child is progressing in schools as expected. Perhaps motivated by learning loss or a child struggling academically, parents may consider tutoring. Finding a tutor for a child involves taking a step back and evaluating the student’s learning landscape.
Talking with a child’s teacher is a starting point for determining whether a tutor is necessary. There are a variety of things to consider: grade level curriculum, organizational skills, attentiveness, study habits and just general life activities. Classroom success ebbs and flows with each student’s situation, especially now with so many schedules disrupted. If it is determined a tutor would be beneficial, remember they are a member of the larger educational team. A tutor will usually want a continuing dialogue with parents because, as the parent, you are the link for sharing information between teacher and tutor.
What tutors can address are specific goals and target outcomes. Choosing a tutor is like choosing a school, “What would be a good fit for the child and meet our expectations?” Once the learning objective is defined, finding a tutor with a particular skill or strength, and teaching style compatible with the student’s learning style is important. If the goal is to build better study habits or processing skills, an executive functioning focused tutor might be a better fit than a traditional subject matter tutor.
When choosing a tutor, much can be learned in a phone interview, but it can be a trial-and-error process to find the best match. It can take time for rapport to be established and the student to become comfortable with the tutor. Tutoring is not an instant fix – it takes time and patience to build the relationship and to build skills and confidence. Parents need to remain involved in their child’s progress – a tutor never replaces that connection.
A few sites to get more ideas about choosing a tutor:
- Four Steps to Finding an Excellent Tutor for Your Child (Reading Rockets)
- How to Find a Tutor During the Pandemic (Parents.com)
- How to find a good tutor (Read and Spell Blog)
Resources for finding a tutor: