There is nothing worse than dealing with a child who does not understand homework or is frustrated by it. I went through it last year with my oldest and it was hard on our relationship. So this year, seeing her struggle again with math, I reached out to my neighbors and was blessed with the most amazing tutor on the planet. Now all of my girls have A’s and B’s in all subjects and homework is no issue anymore. But when your kid needs a tutor, it can be hard to find.
e truth is, kids are going to eventually hit that wall. You know the one I am talking about? The one where they are suddenly aware that school is not easy? Sometimes that wall comes in elementary school and sometimes it is high school but most kids eventually find something in school….difficult. We will not name any names here to protect the innocent, but math was kicking someone’s butt in our household.
Like usual, I dove into this tutor thing to figure out exactly how to best go about this. Here are some tips I have uncovered and some observations that I thought you might one day find useful if your kid needs a tutor as well.
The first thing I realized was that kids are sensitive when it comes to tutoring. It appears that having a tutor is a bit of a status downer among the cool kids these days and you have to keep that in mind when you consider it for your kid. Certainly you should talk it over with your child and point out that there is no shame in getting help for something, but at the same time you should balance your understanding of their social feelings too.
The best way to go about this is to have a private conversation first, and express your personal feelings about why having a tutor is not a bad thing. This way they know they are not broken or otherwise messed up for having needed one. Second, I would then let them know that nobody has to know about it if they still feel intimidated by their friends. Tutoring is not something that has to advertised anyway. This is one of the reasons I chose a tutor that could come to my home!
That said, you then have to get to the root of what they are struggling with. Specifically.
This can be a challenge and is better done by you than by a paid by the hour tutor if possible. Being a single mom, I can’t afford to spend money on a tutor that is not spent specifically on helping the problem. That said, begin by sitting down with your child and finding that root problem. In most subjects you can find that rather quickly by looking over their grades and their tests. Children also will generally volunteer such information. Most kids want help but are simply embarrassed or afraid to ask for it. Make it a positive experience.
Once the problem is clear, start digging for suggestions. Under the radar, of course, you should begin asking around for a good tutor in your child’s problem area. Sooner or later you will find some good suggestions. The kid’s teacher should be able to help out a great deal in this respect too. Ask for references and actually check them. Make sure you get a tutor that is well known and willing to work for a reasonable rate. They are out there.
Finally, make sure you keep in the loop with what is going on. Tutors are a wonderful addition to your kid’s education if they are consistently tapped in to the source of the problem. That is partly your duty to make sure they are. With teamwork, your kid can enjoy a stress free tutor experience and better grades to boot!