Exam time can be a stressful period for everyone involved. If your child needs extra help in a particular subject, of course, you may be thinking of hiring a tutor to get them through or improve their grades. This is a good idea but choosing the right person can also be challenging.
Here’s our quick guide to help you make the best choice:
Why Does Your Child Need a Tutor?
The first thing you really need to nail down is what your child requires and whether a tutor is likely to deliver. It’s important to discuss with their teacher where weaknesses are and how these might be overcome.
It could be that your child is simply not interested in the subject area and encouraging them more can help improve their performance. Make a list of the things you want the tutor to cover so that they understand where your child needs to improve.
Finding a Tutor
The good news is that you can usually find plenty of tutors online. The bad news is figuring out how to pick the right one. The best way to start off is to ask around. Word of mouth is often the most reliable way to find someone good who you can trust to deliver the goods.
The trouble is, however, the best tutors are probably going to be pretty busy, especially at exam time. The key here is to start your search as early as possible rather than waiting until near the exam date. That not only gives you a chance to broaden the teaching experience for your child but to build a relationship with the tutor at the same time.
There are agencies that you can go to in order to find tutors in particular subjects and these have their advantages and disadvantages. First off, you are more likely to find a tutor who is available. One downside, however, is that you can’t always gauge the quality. The best agencies put a lot of effort into vetting and monitoring the people on their books so look at their reviews and credibility first.
You can also get online tuition nowadays which works pretty well for some subjects but not for others. It also gives you a wider scope because the tutor doesn’t have to be local to you. Some tutors also operate small groups rather than one-to-one teaching which may be more beneficial for your child.
Discussing Your Childs Needs
It’s important that your tutor is reasonably well briefed when it comes to what your child needs extra help on, especially if time is an issue. This isn’t always an easy thing to do if you haven’t had input from your school. It’s important to have your child involved too and even part of the decision making process. The last thing you want is a tutor your child doesn’t like or can’t connect with.
You’ll also want to know how the private tutor gauges progress and whether they assess your child. If they are simply preparing your child for an exam and tightening up their knowledge, this might have limited value but for more long term teaching and learning it’s important.
Finally, it’s also important as a parent to build a relationship with the tutor so that they can keep you informed of how your child is progressing. Keeping the conversation going with your child is always going to help.