Hiring a good tutor/mentor is money well spent. A good mentor will not only help children with their struggling subjects, but often inspire students and have a significant impact on their academic careers. Spending money on tutoring is wasteful only when the child sees no improvement in their grades or confidence, or worse, when the child’s confidence drops even lower after working with a tutor. When this happens, both parents and children may generalize their disappointing experience and lose confidence in tutors and tutoring altogether. They scratch the idea of having a tutor, and the child continues to struggle and dislike school, not reaching their full potential and not knowing that school does not have to be so hard.
Here are a few suggestions to consider when hiring a tutor to ensure your child gets the maximum value for their efforts.
If your child is struggling, asking the tutor for once-a-week lessons will not cut it.
Children struggle due to unresolved knowledge gaps that have piled up over the years. It is important to recognize that tutors need time to work with the child to eliminate the knowledge gaps so the child is caught up with his/her class. Hiring a tutor to work with your child just once a week is not enough when a child has been struggling. At MyGradeBooster, we recommend the following tutorial hours to our customers as we have seen results within 1-3 months with the following tutoring schedules:
1.5 hours / week for students who are within 5% of their grade goals
3.0 hours / week for students who are within 25% of their grade goals
Parents are encouraged to hire tutorials only if they are ready to commit to the tutorial time needed to see improvement. Without giving the tutor and your child the sufficient time they need together, even the best tutor will not be able to accomplish much, and you would have wasted your money.
Not all tutors can teach, and not all teachers can tutor
Hiring a tutor is the most important step as with the right tutor you will be able to see significant results within only 1-3 months of tutoring. The tutor does not need to be a school teacher, although school teachers can be good tutors. Students, especially those interested in pursuing non-teaching careers, can benefit immensely from working with tutors who are already in their field of interest. If you are using Craigslist or other tutor-classified ads, it is important to perform thorough interviews to ensure that they are good. How will you know you have hired a good tutor? Listen in and also ask your child after the first lesson to see what (s)he thought about the tutor. Trust your intuition as most times you will have a correct assessment of the tutor after just one lesson. Finding a good tutor is challenging and requires patience. At MyGradeBooster, we typically hire only 10% of the candidates that apply to tutor, so be prepared to go through a few before you find the right one for your child.
Don’t let the price tag fool you
Don’t get too excited if a tutor charges $15/hr, and don’t get too discouraged if another charges $60/hr. Good tutors often ask for what they are worth, but they will take less time to give results. However, not all expensive tutors are good, and not all cheap tutors save you money. You will have to determine their skills during the first lesson to determine how the value the tutor brings to you compares with the price tag. If your tutor who charges $60/hr can give your child significant results within 1-3 months, they have not only eliminated a big stress for you and your family, they have also given your child the hope and confidence they need to continue their achievement, which tends to spill over into other areas of their lives. As a rule of thumb, if the tutor you have hired (no matter the price tag), is unable to show any results after 3 months of tutoring, it is time to let them go.
Do not overload your child
Some kids are overloaded with extracurricular activities. They are so tired all the time that they are unable to focus during the lessons. If the child is doing well in school, then being involved in extracurricular activities is not a problem. However, if they are struggling, their academic needs must be prioritized, especially if you are spending the money to engage a tutor. Consistent poor performance in school can potentially lead children to convince themselves that they are not good enough and give up trying altogether. With the right planning and strategic tutoring, children can perform well in school and follow their extracurricular activities.
Be involved in your child’s education
Improving a child’s academic performance is achieved through teamwork. The team members include you, your child, their tutor, school teachers and the company director (if you have hired a company). If all team members work together, the child will start seeing initial results as early as 2-4 weeks after the beginning of tutorials. Teamwork does not mean micro-managing and helicopter parenting. All team members must feel comfortable and have the creative flexibility in doing their part. Once you have hired an amazing tutor for your child, trust that they will do their job well, and refrain from asking for too much extra work that takes up the tutor’s personal time. A brief written or oral progress report after each lesson is a great way to keep track of your child’s progress.