Where Every Family Matters

How to Find a Good Tutor For Your Child

Not all of us are "math people," or even able to give our kids the extra attention they may need for learning at home. Enter the tutor.

Forget the nightly homework struggle, learning at home now may entail all-day difficulties. Since the coronavirus made Zoom calls a fixture in our livingrooms, kids and parents are working harder than ever. Now, with school starting up, kids throughout Middle Tennessee will be put to the remote task of learning on their own regardless of learning differences. Many parents feel the pinch that they don’t have the time (or ability) to help their kids when they need assistance. Enter the rise of the tutor. Some local tutoring services such as Mathnasium have already adjusted to meet the needs of kids.
    “Mathnasium ‘at Home’ has really helped our students beat the Covid 19 slide,” says Alex Guppy, director of Mathnasium of Brentwood. “It’s a fun, interactive tutoring program that allows sessions to be taught right in your home, and it is a perfect solution today for a successful home-based learning environment for your child,” Guppy adds.    
    Tutoring provides an effective way to get kids back on track and keep them there. But how do you find a good, reliable tutor you can trust and one whom your child can successfully work with? And what if hiring a tutor isn’t in your budget? 

How to find a tutor

Your child’s teacher is an excellent person to contact. He might be able to recommend a tutor in your community, a peer who can work with him or helpful online resources that can better help your child. Chances are, one of your child’s friends has a tutor. So, ask other parents for a recommendation. Another option is to search online for tutors in your area. You’ll likely find a couple of local tutoring companies and a collection of individual tutors you can vet. Companies often offer on-site tutoring, but during corona, many are offering virtual tutoring as well.

    There are also many websites developed for helping parents find tutors. Takelessons.com has a searchable database of tutors. Just enter your zip code and the school subject to find tutors in your area. This site also shows tutors’ ratings and fees per session.

    Another source is Care.com, which connects people with various service professionals, including tutors. Experience in tutoring varies widely, however. So, check their reviews and ask for references.

    Online tutoring is another popular choice, though, it isn’t right for every child. Also, do your research because the reviews of many online tutoring companies are fair to mediocre, at best. The costs of online tutoring aren’t always consistent with quality.

Free tutoring

If tutoring isn’t in your budget, there are several options. First, check with your child’s school. Many may offer after-school tutoring and can adjust to Skyping with your child. Find out how your child can work independently with an older peer or support teacher. 

    If tutoring isn’t available through your kid’s school, ask trusted family members, neighbors, and friends if they can help. You might discover someone you know is enthused to help your struggling child.


What to look for in a tutor

There are several factors to consider when looking for a tutor. For younger students, if the tutor has a teaching degree, specialization in a particular subject isn’t necessary. From high school and beyond, look for a tutor with expertise in the subject your child needs help with.

    Does the tutor have the right personality? First, a tutor should be patient, empathetic, positive, passionate, creative, and fun. These characteristics help ensure your child can learn from the tutor and will walk away with self-confidence. Also, the tutor’s personality should be a good fit for your child. It’s essential the tutor and your child connect with each other.

    Is the tutor flexible? Each child has their own best learning style. It might be visual, aural, physical, verbal, logical, or any combination of these. Also, some kids are solitary learners whereas others are social learners and enjoy learning in groups. Look for a setting and tutor that fits your child’s style.

    Does the tutor have excellent references? Online tutoring services often have reviews from previous clients. Look for those with overall high ratings and positive comments. But beware of reviews directly on the tutoring company’s website, since these can often be manipulated. If you find your tutor offline or find very few reviews, ask for several references. Still, the references a tutor provides might not be an entirely accurate depiction of their character and experience, either. Do due diligence for your child’s safety and to ensure your child receives quality help.          

About the Author

Kimberly Blaker

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance parenting and lifestyle writer. She also writes content, blog posts and more for businesses in a variety of industries. Find her at kimberlyblaker.com.