Is your child struggling with schoolwork or in need of a little extra help to prep for a major test like the SATs? Hiring a tutor could be the answer. However, finding the right tutor for your child can be difficult. To help you in your search, the Better Business Bureau offers the following tips:
Know your options. There are many types of tutoring services, including in-home one-on-one sessions, small group lessons, online instruction and tutoring centers. You also have to choose between hiring an individual freelance tutor and going through a tutoring company. If you’re looking for a business, make sure to check bbb.org and other sites for reviews from past customers to find a trustworthy company.
Ask for referrals. Asking friends and family if they have any recommendations is a great place to start. You can also ask your child’s favorite teacher or other school employees for referrals. Make sure the tutor is knowledgeable in the specific area your child needs help in and has experience working with students your child’s age.
Check references. You should ask the individual tutor or tutoring service for references and contact them. It’s best to speak to at least three references. Ask about their experience with the tutor and what sort of results they saw. Is the tutor dependable? Friendly? Knowledgeable? When you’re interviewing potential tutors, make sure they understand what you’re looking for. Some tutors are better at homework help, some are better at long-term lessons and some are better at quick test preparation. See what a tutor is used to doing, and examine if that’s what your child needs.
Discuss the details. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure to talk about availability–when is the tutor free and how flexible is the timing? Having a consistent schedule is best, but you may need to add additional sessions if a big test is coming up. It’s important to discuss pricing before hiring a tutor. Price will depend on the level of experience of the tutor, frequency and type of sessions, and whether you’re going through a tutor center. It’s also a good idea to talk to the tutor about benchmarks of success beforehand. Communicate your goals and how you’ll measure them.
Include your child. The most important factor to consider is your child’s comfort with the tutor. Make sure to include your child in the hiring process. Throughout the process, ask your child whether the sessions are improving his or her schoolwork. If your child isn’t comfortable with or doesn’t like a tutor, it can have a big impact on the sessions’ effectiveness, so don’t be afraid to find a different one.