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Advice For Parents Who Need A Tutor (Part 1): When To Look For Help

Advice For Parents Who Need A Tutor (Part 1): When To Look For Help

Jul 20, 2017

Seven signs that may indicate your child would benefit from a tutor.

Every parent wants to see their child succeed academically, but not all children can do so without some form of professional intervention. How do you know when your child will benefit from additional academic support? It can be difficult to discern whether slipping grades or poor performance is due to lack of self-motivation, trouble understanding material, or anything in between. Luckily, there are numerous issues that can be significantly improved through working one-on-one with a tutor. Read on for seven signs that it might be time to consider hiring a tutor:

  1. Declining grades: The most obvious sign that your child needs extra attention is when grades start to slip. Whether you see the change gradually or suddenly, a child who seems to be struggling with school material will likely benefit from tutoring sessions. Talk to their teacher to try and pinpoint areas of difficulty and get a sense of whether they seem to have other issues, such as lack of attention. Either one of these issues indicates that additional focus is needed, and hiring a tutor is a great way to ensure that happens.

  2. Lack of motivation: There are many reasons that a student’s motivation can decline. They may be having a hard time understanding subject material, lacking confidence in the classroom, feeling confused about how to organize and direct their thoughts, or anything in between. Whatever the reason may be, a motivation slump is a pretty strong indicator that hiring a tutor to work with your child may be a good idea. Try to discuss the issue with their teachers to better understand when it started and whether they believe the student is struggling with material, having behavioral issues, or otherwise. The conversation will help determine the root of the issue and which type of tutor will be most beneficial.

  3. Confidence issues: Is your child exhibiting signs of low self-esteem, feeling embarrassed, or actively trying to avoid going to school? If so, it’s likely that they’re experiencing a lack of confidence. Tutoring can be a valuable tool to boost confidence. If the issue stems from poor academic performance, tutors can work with children to identify and strengthen these areas. If reluctance to speak up in class is a problematic point, tutors can work with children on strategies to ease nerves. There are many ways one-on-one sessions can be beneficial in this regard so, if your child seems to be struggling with self-esteem, it’s a good idea to look into hiring outside help.

  4. Time management issues: If you’ve noticed your child is frequently turning in assignments late, spending a long time on homework, or having problems completing tests on time, it’s time to consider hiring a tutor. Tutors can help hone in on the problem and identify the true underlying issue, whether that's with the material itself or something such as learning style. A tutor can create a learning plan to focus on improving organization and teach strategies to combat time management problems to get your child back on track.

  5. Learning disabilities: For students with learning disabilities such as ADHD, dyslexia, or otherwise, keeping pace with other students can be difficult and frustrating. Oftentimes, these kids can benefit from using alternative learning strategies or just require more attention than is able to be provided in a busy classroom. There are tutors who specialize in working with children who struggle with learning disabilities, many of whom are even specifically certified to do so. Engaging with one can ensure that your child is better able to keep up with peers, decrease frustration, and boost confidence levels.

  6. Upcoming standardized tests: If you know your child has standardized tests on the horizon, it’s a great idea to set up sessions with a tutor. Standardized test questions often rely on different strategies than those taught in schools. Tutors can work with students on techniques for solving problems, essay writing skills, testing time management, and more. Test prep is an established tutoring discipline, so make sure you choose someone qualified and engage with them well in advance of the test.

  7. Shifting routines: A change in schedule or process can shake up a student’s system and result in declining grades or time management problems. Has your child recently changed schools? Are they no longer receiving as much individual attention as they were before in school or with homework? Have they taken on more extracurricular activities resulting in less time to get homework completed? These are the types of questions to ask when deciding whether a shift in routine could require a tutor to intervene. Keep an eye on your child during any of these changes and, if you notice any academic issues coinciding with the timing, it might be time to hire a tutor.

It’s not always easy to identify when one-on-one tutoring sessions would be beneficial for your child’s learning. Slipping grades might be the most glaring indicators, but there are also lesser known signals that parents should pay attention to, and early intervention is often key. Fortunately, there are plenty of skilled tutors capable of providing personalized support. If your child starts exhibiting any of these seven signs, it might be time to consider hiring a tutor to commit the appropriate assistance.

Wondering what the next steps are when hiring a tutor? Follow along with Clark for the next part of the series.

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