America ranked 38 out of 71 for math on the most recent PISA test. This test compares reading ability, math and science literacy among 15-year-olds in dozens of countries.
Unfortunately, our country’s educational system just isn’t giving students what they need to be competitive on a global stage.
Many parents turn to science, English or math tutors to help fill in the gaps. Read on for 7 tips to help you choose the right tutoring company for your child.
1. Pay for an Assesment
Many tutoring centers require that your child take part in an evaluation before starting tutoring. This makes sense because you want your child’s tutor to know exactly what areas your child struggles with.
Many times, the reason a child is having difficulty at school is that they are gaps in his or her comprehension of foundational topics. For example, if a child is struggling with addition and subtraction, it could be because he or she doesn’t have a strong number sense.
A thorough evaluation of your child will make it clear exactly what areas your child struggles with. This assessment often shows a child’s strengths and type of learning style. Both of which will be helpful for the math tutors.
If the tutoring company doesn’t offer an assessment service, you might want to pay for one and provide it to the tutor. Or perhaps you may want to explore other options for tutoring companies that do offer assessments.
2. Review Lesson Plans
When you are shopping around for the right online tutoring company, make sure to review their sample lesson plans.
Each tutoring session should focus on one specific topic. This way, your child will be able to have the time necessary to grasp a concept fully before moving on.
A good tutoring company is one that is organized. They should be able to show you sample or real lesson plans for your child.
You want to avoid tutoring companies that plan lessons as you go or “wing it” with your child.
Many tutoring companies follow a curriculum that is designed to help children master foundational concepts before moving on. These curriculums are designed by teachers and other learning specialists who have had success using the program on other children.
You might be surprised to see that your child goes down a few levels from their current grade level. This is done to ensure your child has fully mastered a concept before moving on to more difficult topics.
A good lesson plan will be able to show you where your child is now and where he or she is projected to be in 1 month, 3 months or 6 months.
Of course, each child is different. And a child’s progress depends on how much reinforcement is done at home. Yet, these projected charts are designed to show you how quickly children typically progress once they have the specialized attention they are missing in a busy classroom setting at school.
3. Look For a Tutoring Company That Gives Progress Reports
Progress reports have 2 purposes. The first is that they help the tutor track each child’s progress. And secondly, progress reports allow parents to see how the gains a child has made over a set period of time.
There are various ways progress reports can be used. Online tutoring companies often have a parent portal that allows you to log in and see your child’s recent work and progress. Make sure you know what to expect before you choose an online education for your child.
Sometimes, tutors will set mini goals and let parents know once those have been met. For example, to complete an addition drill sheet in under 1 minute.
Another option is for parent/tutor in-person conferences. In these meetings (often before or after a tutoring session), parents discuss their child’s progress with the tutor.
No matter which type of progress report is available, it is a necessary ingredient to ensure your child is being challenged enough without it being too difficult. And you want to ensure that your money is getting results.
4. Tutors Are Accessible
Besides scheduled progress reports, you want to find a tutor that is easily accessible. You might have a question about your child’s homework. Or you might have a concern that you need to discuss.
Ask your tutoring company how you are able to get in touch with your child’s tutor. If they only give you the main phone number, this is not ideal.
The best option is if your child’s tutor had a dedicated extension or an email address that you could use to reach him or her directly. Regular contact is something that you deserve from your child’s tutor.
This will ensure that you are able to maximize the effectiveness of the tutoring sessions at home.
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5. Curriculum-Aligned Tutoring
If you’ve ever helped a child with homework you know that there are many new ways of doing math that is different than when you were at school.
It’s not enough to help a child get to the right answer. Children need to be able to perform the school curriculum required skills in order to pas state educational standards.
It is vital that your tutoring company aligns their tutoring to match the school board’s curricula. This way your child will not be confused due to learning two different ways of getting to the right answer.
During tutoring sessions, your child’s tutor should be able to give your child practice tests that are similar to what the child will see at school.
6. Quality Teachers
Having said that, even if the lesson plans and curriculum is exceptional, it won’t do your child any good if the teacher is sub-par.
Your child’s tutor should be an experienced educator who has the right qualifications to teach the subject matter. Not only that, a good tutor has a refined skill set that allows them to make even difficult concepts simple.
Most of all, the best tutors make students feel comfortable and confident.
7. Try a Session Before You Enroll
When you are looking for a tutoring company, the best thing you can do is to have your child take a test tutoring session with that company.
This will give you and your child an idea of what you can expect if you go with this company. You’ll be able to see if your child and a particular tutor is a good fit.
We hope you found these 7 tips to find the best tutoring company for your child useful.
Remember, the best thing you can do for your child is get him or her the right type of help. Do your research to ensure you find the right fit for your child.
As you strive to find the best tutor for your child, be sure to keep tabs on our blog’s education section for more informative tips.