Tu­tor­ing ben­e­fits and how to find a tu­tor that fits

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - EDUCATION - Ar­ti­cle cour­tesy of MetroCreative

Chil­dren tend to learn at their own pace, and cer­tain sub­jects may chal­lenge them more than oth­ers. In many in­stances, stu­dents can ben­e­fit from work­ing with tu­tors.

Tu­tors can be very ef­fec­tive. Chil­dren who work with tu­tors and then see their grades im­prove may de­velop greater con­fi­dence and feel less anx­ious about go­ing to school or tak­ing tests.

With­out in­ter­ven­tion like tu­tor­ing, at-risk stu­dents (those who are not meet­ing aca­demic stan­dards) may not pass their classes, and some may face year-end re­ten­tion or ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­culty keep­ing up in the next grade. The Na­tional Tu­tor­ing As­so­ci­a­tion says stu­dents at all grade lev­els par­tic­i­pat­ing in tu­to­rial pro­grams im­prove their read­ing per­for­mance and can achieve sig­nif­i­cant cog­ni­tive gains. Tu­tor­ing can be the an­swer for stu­dents af­fected by in­con­sis­tent de­liv­ery of class­room con­tent. For ex­am­ple, when fam­i­lies move, stu­dents may be forced to catch up in a new school where teach­ers may have dif­fer­ent styles than stu­dents’ pre­vi­ous teach­ers. Stu­dents who have missed class­room time due to ill­ness or in­jury may face sim­i­lar dif­fi­cul­ties.

Some­times chil­dren strug­gle be­cause they have dif­fi­culty pro­cess­ing or re­mem­ber­ing their lessons. In such in­stances, a fresh ap­proach through one-on-one tu­tor­ing may be nec­es­sary.

Par­ents and stu­dents have dif­fer­ent tu­tor­ing op­tions at their dis­posal. Some ser­vices may be of­fered through the school sys­tem at no ex­tra charge. Pullout in­struc­tion dur­ing the day or be­fore or af­ter school might be part of such ser­vices. Pri­vate tu­tors, aca­demic coaches, peer tu­tors, on­line tu­tor­ing and home tu­tor­ing are other op­tions. De­pend­ing on need, bud­get and com­fort lev­els, fam­i­lies can ex­plore these and other op­tions at their dis­posal.

The NTA says fam­i­lies should not dis­count peer tu­tor­ing. Peer tu­tor­ing is a cost-ef­fec­tive way to im­prove per­for­mance. This type of tu­tor­ing also can con­trib­ute to stu­dents’ so­cial and cog­ni­tive de­vel­op­ment. Ac­cord­ing to Care. com, which helps con­sumers find tu­tors, care­tak­ers and babysit­ters, one can ex­pect to pay an av­er­age $10 to $15 for a peer high school stu­dent tu­tor. Com­par­a­tively, a pri­vate tu­tor, whether it’s a pro­fes­sional teacher or a tu­tor hired through a ser­vice, may charge as much as $75 per hour.

Par­ents should con­tact their chil­dren’s schools for in­for­ma­tion about tu­tor­ing pro­grams. Schools typ­i­cally keep lists of tu­tors or tu­tor­ing pro­grams.

Ex­am­ine cre­den­tials and seek rec­om­men­da­tions prior to hir­ing a tu­tor to get a feel for the per­son and his or her teach­ing phi­los­o­phy. Cer­ti­fied tu­tors also can be found by vis­it­ingn­tatu­tor.com.

Keep in mind that it isn’t enough for the tu­tor to know the sub­ject mat­ter. He or she also has to re­late to your child. Ac­cord­ing to the tu­tor­ing firm Test Prep Au­thor­ity, mo­ti­va­tion plays a key role in the suc­cess or fail­ure of a stu­dents’ work with tu­tors. Mo­ti­va­tion may be com­pro­mised if the tu­tor and stu­dent do not con­nect.

Tu­tors also should know how to present ma­te­ri­als in ways sim­i­lar to how it is be­ing taught in school so that lessons are in sync.

Tu­tor­ing has helped many chil­dren gain con­fi­dence and suc­ceed in school.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF METROCREATIVE

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