You may for a variety of reasons need to support your child’s learning through a private tutor. A tutor can help reinforce key concepts and bridge any learning gaps that are present. The tuition industry is widely unregulated which brings with it justified concerns primarily about the child’s safety. It also raises concerns about the quality of education that you can expect to get. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a tutor for your child.
This is incontrovertibly the primary concern when choosing a tutor. Begin by getting referrals from people you trust. The next thing should be to do some quick follow-up including independently calling their former employers and clients they have previously worked with and for. A good person will voluntarily avail contact information and have no misgivings about doing so. Get copies of their official identification documents and do an online search to find any reviews out there about them.
Experience and qualifications
You’re hiring a tutor hoping they will be able to educate your child. They must have the requisite qualifications and enough experience to back it up. Experience plays a key role not just in illustrating that they have a grasp on the subject matter, but it may also hint at their ability to deal with children of a particular age. Experience may also mean they have learnt how to best communicate with and explain things to children of a particular age.
Depending on the child’s needs you may need to look for specific experiences, such as training to teach children with learning disabilities. The more experience they have likely the higher their rate will be. You may have to find a balance between experience level and how much you’re willing to pay.
The rates heavily influence what tutor you can afford to hire. Compare rates online and speak to other parents to find out what a reasonable range is to avoid situations where someone takes advantage of your inexperience.
Location and environment
Best case, you should select a tutor who can easily get to you. If they have what amounts to a significant commute, you may be forced to pay more. You need to agree on where the tutoring will take place. Will it be at a facility where the tutor handles multiple students, or will it be private tutoring at your home?
Speak to your child and see if they have a preference one way or the other. Private lessons may be a better choice for a child who is shy or who you have determined needs extra attention.
Have a test session to see if it is a good fit. It should be a session that you can sit in on or for older children seek feedback from them after. The tutor should be able to build a good rapport with them. The child should be comfortable with the tutor. You should encourage the child to be honest about what their impression is. Even if it’s a good fit, let them know that if they ever for whatever reason no longer feel comfortable with the tutor they should let you know immediately. It’s important to encourage children to listen to their intuition and even more crucial to let them know that you take their views seriously.
Other key things to do
Talk to your child
Talk to your child, whether they are young or older, and let them know why you think they need a tutor. Let them know what you expect from the tutoring. Allow the child to also weigh in on it and share what they hope to get out of it. It’s important that they not feel stupid, instead approach tutoring positively.
Set clear goals and expectations
You and the tutor should agree on a number of things to make sure you’re on the same page and also to be able to gauge the success of the entire exercise. You should agree on the expected outcomes including regular progress reports if any. Perhaps with the input of older children agree on the length and frequency of the sessions.
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