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    Choosing a Personal Tutor for your Child

    By Edward Blest     

    Poor academic performance is not something a parent can afford to ignore. As past performance will determine your childís future class placement, it is important to find the root of the problem and determine the right plan of action for your child. Children with learning disabilities, motivational problems, or with general problems of understanding can all benefit from personal tutoring.

    1. Finding a Tutor

    There are several ways in which to find a tutor. The first and best way is to ask your childís teacher for referrals. Your childís teacher most likely networks with other teachers in your area. In addition, she will know your childís strengths and weaknesses, and will be able to find a suitable match for your child. Contacting your schoolís guidance counselor for academic records is also advisable. In case your childís teacher cannot provide a referral, there are many other sources for finding a tutor. Other options include: asking other parents, putting an ad in your local newspaper or magazine, or search online. My experience is that training centers are not as attentive to studentsí needs and so should be considered only as a last option.

    2. Determining the Teacherís Quality of Teaching

    Now that youíve found a tutor, it is time to determine whether she is appropriately qualified for teaching your child. The first thing to ask for is references from other parents. Talking to other parents about the tutor can indicate to you the quality of her teaching. Always ask whether their child has seen a significant improvement in grades. Second, ask to see copies of the tutorís degree and certifications. Relevant work experience in the subject taught should supplement these items. As a general rule, tutors with less than three years of teaching experience are not suitable for personal tutoring.

    3. Important Questions to Ask

    ▪What teaching methods will you use during the lesson? The tutor should discuss what type of learner she thinks your child is and how she can adjust her teaching style accordingly. She should also have a plan to keep your child interested in the material and motivated to learn.

    ▪What material will you use? It is essential that the tutor tailor the lesson to your childís needs. Besides choosing a textbook to work from, the tutor should also provide additional handouts and homework.

    ▪What testing will you use to evaluate my childís progress? Find out whether the tutor will use standardized or individualized exams.

    ▪When and where will you have the lessons? Having lessons in your own home may help the child feel comfortable and safe. Lessons should neither be too early, nor after a meal. If the lesson is too early, grogginess may prevent effective learning. After eating, more blood is directed to your stomach and less to your brain.

    ▪What is the service charge per hour? The cost of tutoring in America varies widely, but a fair price will be $20 - $50.

    4. The First Class

    You should make a point of observing the first class. Although your child may feel timid, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the tutorís lesson. The most important thing to consider is whether learning took place in a fun and motivating atmosphere. If not, you should carefully monitor a more classes. If the situation does not improve, it may be necessary to find a different tutor.

    Having been a teacher and personal tutor for several years, I highly recommend remedying poor academic performance with learning at home. Not only does it allow students to ask the questions they are afraid to ask in class, but it also provides an atmosphere with few distractions. Remember that effective learning starts at home.

    Written by Edward BlestRate this article:

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