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24 Mar Does Your Child Need a Tutor?

Elise Griffith, author of EVERY CHILD IS A GENIUS observed: “Every

parent occasionally discovers that a child’s problem doesn’t seem to be improving

as quickly or easily as was hoped. It’s also not uncommon for a teacher to exert a

bit of pressure when the child’s problem is perceived as disruptive to the flow of

classroom activity. The bottom line is that sometimes- no matter what we’ve

tried- our children hit a wall with learning. It might be a normal developmental

phase or it might indicate a more serious situation. When should we call a

tutor?”

As you review your child’s situation, consider the following strategies:

First, try to find the source of your child’s learning problems. Some of the

common problems that may require the assistance of a tutor include reading

deficiencies, difficulty with basic math and science concepts, or the inability to

compose and write papers. According to Griffith, “when the textbooks don’t

appear to be unusually dull, the educational approach works with your child’s

learning style, the classroom is well managed, and your child has plenty of free

time yet his problems persist, involve your pediatrician. He can rule out illness,

allergy, and vision or hearing problems and can help pinpoint whether you’re

dealing with a learning disability.”

Second, choose the right tutor. Vicki Poretta, author of MOM’S GUIDE TO

RAISING A GOOD STUDENT concluded: “Choosing the right tutor for your

child isn’t just a matter of finding someone knowledgeable in the subject. A good

tutor not only knows his ‘stuff,’ but is also able to communicate effectively with

your child. But a good tutor does not need a degree in education or, even be a

college graduate. Some of the most effective tutors are peers. In some schools,

honor society members offer a tutoring service; other districts maintain a list of

student volunteers tutors. Other possible sources of tutors include retired teachers

in the community and local college students.” Arroyo Verde Elementary School

in Redlands provides student support through community volunteers. Community

volunteers can serve as tutors in the classroom and through a home visit program.

Third, interview the tutor and obtain references. Arrange an interview with

the potential tutor in your home. Treat the interview like any other job interview

Don’t forget to ask the following questions:

What are some examples of her tutoring experience?

Has she taught children who are the same age as your child?

Does she have a list of references?

Does she use new technology in her tutoring?

Will she teach your child successful study skills?

Is her teaching style compatible with your child?

Will your child enjoy working with her?

Will she coordinate her tutoring activities with your child’s teacher?

Fourth, set up a schedule with the tutor. Work with your child and the tutor

to schedule a suitable time for each session- after school, after dinner, Saturday

morning. Don’t schedule the sessions during your child’s favorite playtime.

The key to successful tutoring is scheduling a regular time and day ach week for

the tutoring session.

TIP BOX

When should you consider hiring a tutor for your child?

“Tutors best help children manage specific learning challenges that prove too

difficult for them to manage in large group situations.” -Ginger Black, author,

MAKING THE GRADE



Reed Markham

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