WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — As parents navigate returning to school, with some starting virtually due to COVID-19, many are turning to tutors to help kids motivated and learning, said the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB).
The Bureau said that hiring a tutor for your child is a great way to help them with a subject they struggle in, ensure they're staying on top of their curriculum, or prepare them for an assessment. But when looking for a tutor it can be difficult to know where to start.
The BBB said there are many different options out there, from frequency and subject matter to types of tutoring businesses.
Here are tips from the BBB to help you find the best tutor for your child:
- Know your options. There are many types of tutoring services: in-home one-on-one sessions, small group lessons, online instruction, and tutoring centers. You can also choose between hiring an individual freelance tutor or going through a tutoring company that will match you with a tutor.
- 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 teach 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 similarly aged to your child.
- Check references. Ask the individual tutor or tutoring service for references. It's best to speak to at least three different references. Ask about their experience with the tutor and what sort of results they saw. Is the tutor dependable? Friendly? Knowledgeable?
- Know what you're looking for. 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 your 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 are they? Having a consistent schedule is best, but you may need to add additional sessions if a big test is coming up. It's also 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 or not you’re going through a 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 tutoring, ask your child how they think the sessions are going and if it is improving their school work. If your child is not comfortable with or doesn’t like a tutor it can have a big impact on the session’s effectiveness, so don’t be afraid to find a different one.
Find a qualified tutor near you in the BBB directory. Private tutors and tutoring companies promise to boost children's competence, but according to the BBB you should do your research before hiring.