There is much written about the ways in which children today are overscheduled. Between school, homework, sports, dance, band, and community service projects, it's difficult to carve out even an hour a day for family time. Still, many parents find themselves considering whether or not to get tutoring for their children. It's rarely an easy decision to make, so here are five tips to help you determine when it's appropriate to engage the services of a tutor.
1. Raising Grades. Tutors can help children raise their grades. If your child is falling behind in math, for example, a math tutor can work with your child to help him or her understand the curriculum and become better prepared for class work and for tests. If your child is falling behind in several subjects, tutoring can help him or her raise his or her overall grade point average.
2. Acceleration. Tutoring can be an excellent tool for gifted and accelerated students who either need more advanced coursework or who could benefit from work with more depth and complexity. Keeping a gifted or accelerated learner engaged and interested in schoolwork can sometimes be challenging, and tutors can provide your child with the stimulation he or she needs to stay on track in school.
3. Increasing Self-Confidence. There are any number of reasons why a child may develop a defeatist attitude or lack self-confidence in an academic setting. Whatever the reason, this lack of confidence can negatively impact his or her attitude towards school, choice of friends, and grades. The right tutoring program can help your child become motivated to succeed and feel confident in his or her ability to master the class curriculum. In turn, that confidence will positively impact other areas of his or her life.
4. Instilling Self-Discipline. Children often fall behind because they haven't developed good note-taking habits, good study habits, and good homework habits. Tutors can teach your child how to succeed in school both through being enthusiastic role models and through teaching specific strategies for listening and studying.
5. Test Preparation. Today's competitive academic environment means that students must score well on tests like the SAT, ACT, and GRE in order to be accepted to the schools of their choice. Tutoring can help students both master the material that is likely to be covered on the tests, as well as teach students proven test taking skills that will ensure that their knowledge is reflected in their test scores.
If you decide to engage the services of a tutor, keep in mind that there are many different types of services available. There are, for example, franchises that require you to drop off your child for one-on-one or group tutoring. There are also companies that provide a tutor who will come in to your home for individual tutoring. Finally, there are companies that provide one-on-one online tutoring. Given most families' busy schedules, companies that offer in-home or online tutoring provide the most flexibility - and often the greatest returns - on your investment in your child's future.