“Kids, what is 5×4?”
“Seriously, you definitely covered this last year! Doesn’t anyone know?”
*more blank stares*
It’s sooooo real, and teachers are always playing catch-up for the first month or so of school.
Help your teacher and hire a tutor this summer!
Now is a great time to start your search. Follow these tips to get the best tutor for your child, and stop summer slide!
1. Private Tutor or Tutoring Center
Your first decision is whether to go with an individual or with a center. There are pros and cons to both .
With a center, you know what you are getting. There is a set of materials and a curriculum that is being used. The center has vetted the tutors and takes care of their salaries. There are often “guarantees” of success. But that tutor won’t be focused just on your child. There will probably be a group of students working at a similar level. There might not be a lot of wiggle room for different approaches or using different materials. You will also not get to select your child’s tutor personally. It will be whoever is on the schedule for that time and subject.
Also, many centers are not tutoring centers. They are learning centers. This means that your child works through a standard curriculum in one or more subjects, with teacher assistance. It’s not meant to correct immediate problems, but to build skills using a particular set of strategies.
With an individual, you have a lot of control over who you hire. You could work with a tutor who is in high school or college. Or you could hire a licensed teacher. You also have more choices on the rate you pay. The rate for high school or college kids will be less than what you will be paying a certified teacher. And your tutor will get 100% of the money you pay. Your tutor will also have lots of flexibility with materials and teaching techniques. However, there are no 100% guarantees of success or progress, just the tutor’s best efforts.
2. Put Out Feelers
If you are going with a center, now is the time to get on those waiting lists. And there likely will be waiting lists. There are many parents just like you who want to give their kids a leg up for the fall.
If you are looking for a private tutor, put out feelers at your child’s school, at the local college, or with high school students. You could make a flier or put out an ad online. Another route is to look through Craiglist ads for tutors looking for work.
You’ll want to contact more than one center and more than one tutor. Ask if the center or tutor offers trial lessons or consults. You want to make sure that the person or place you are choosing is the best fit for your child.
3. Adjust Your Budget
Tutors, depending on who you are using or where you are going, have variable rates. For licensed teachers, it usually starts from $30/ half hour. Tutoring centers have varying costs but usually operate on a monthly fee schedule. With a center, you might pay a wait list or registration fee.
This can add up quickly, especially if you want more than one session per week or multiple subjects during a month.
You’ll want to get a rough maximum cost estimate. Then adjust your family budget to meet these new costs.
4. Follow Up
Even though you’ve outsourced summer learning, definitely keep tabs on what is happening.
Check in with the teacher or tutoring center about the progress your child is making. Find out ways that you can support learning at home.
Are you hiring a tutor this summer? Tell me how you find the best person for your child!