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Does Your Child Need a Tutor?

Hiring How-Tos

To find a great tutor, ask teachers, neighbors, and friends for recommendations. Also:

  • Make sure your child is with you when you interview the tutor. She should feel comfortable with whomever you hire. If the chemistry isn't there, the tutor won't be able to help.
  • Create a tutoring plan. Talk about the problems your child is having and ask the tutor what specific steps he will take to address those difficulties. Find out how your child's progress will be assessed, how success will be measured and what feedback will be provided to you.
  • Let your child's teacher know you're hiring a tutor. He or she will be able to give advice on what to focus on and how to best work with your child's curriculum. Most teachers also appreciate any feedback tutors can give them regarding the child's strengths and weaknesses, which will help them teach better.
  • Know when it's time to stop. Tutoring is expensive (from about $20 or more an hour in rural areas; $40 to $125 in big cities). Obviously, no parent wants to shell out that kind of money unnecessarily. So stop when your child has overcome the specific difficulties you hired the tutor to address, his grades have risen, and he's able to complete his course work independently.