The Tutor Guide: Tutoring Options
Find the right type of tutor for you
When you're starting to look for a tutor, the first decision will be what kind of tutoring service works best for your child. Here are the most common options and some of their strengths.
Individuals who provide tutoring range from high school and college students to school teachers and other highly trained education professionals. Some tutors work specifically with children who have special needs. Sessions can be scheduled at your convenience and in your home or at a mutually agreed-upon location. This option works best if you are willing to:
- Interview and screen the tutor for education level and experience so you know you are getting someone qualified, especially if your child has special needs.
- Ask for and check their references.
- Listen in during a session or two to assess whether the tutor and your child work well together.
- Provide a quiet place in your home for the tutoring sessions, or bring your child to another location, such as the tutor's home or a library.
- Keep your child's teacher informed about your child's progress in tutoring, and put the tutor in touch with the teacher when necessary.
Sylvan Learning, Kumon Math & Reading Centers, and Kaplan, Inc. are some of the largest, national companies that offer tutoring. The centers screen and hire the instructors. Tutoring sessions are typically held at the center instead of in your home. Many of the centers follow a set curriculum, and teach in a classroom setting. This option works best if you are willing to:
- Follow the curriculum, methods, and philosophy set by the learning center.
- Arrange for your child's transportation to and from the center.
- Keep your child's teacher informed about your child's participation in the learning center, and put the learning center staff in touch with the teacher when necessary.
- Are certain that your child will benefit from an additional classroom-like experience and curriculum as opposed to a one-on-one setting.
Students can go online to link to a tutor for one-on-one feedback, or for homework help on a web site. This option works best if your child's teacher has a class website or a designated link to a homework or learning site to help with content for a particular class. Before using a website that is not affiliated with your child's school or teacher, parents need to check it out to be sure it's safe for your child.
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