How to Find a Personal Tutor for Your Tween

Tips on finding the right personal tutor for your middle schooler

A personal tutor can help your child overcome academic challenges.
Be sure your child's personal tutor understands your tween's learning style.

Many tweens struggle with school during the middle school years. Hiring a personal tutor can help a child whose falling behind, or just needs a little nudge in order to grasp a concept. But where can parents find a tutor who will not only help their student, but work within the family budget? Below are a few ideas on where to look for a tutor, as well as some considerations before and after you hire someone.

Where to Find a Personal Tutor

If you've decided your child needs the help of a tutor, you can begin your search in the following places:

Your Child's School

Begin your search by contacting your child's teacher for assistance. Teachers often offer after-school tutoring or catch-up sessions for free. If your child's teacher doesn't offer after school help, he or she may know of another teacher who does. Be sure you also contact the school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors often keep contact information on tutors that other families have successfully used in the past.

Your Church

Many churches offer tutoring services as a part of the church's community outreach and ministry. These services are generally available to families in financial crisis, but may also be available to church members or members of the community.

Your Home

Sometimes children who are falling behind or are struggling just need a little guidance, and often times parents and older siblings can help.

If you aren't able to assist your tween with his schoolwork, maybe an older brother or sister can. Or, is there an aunt, uncle or older cousin who can help?

Your Child's Friends

Sometimes a good friend can help your child overcome a learning obstacle. Ask your child if a study session with a friend might help him with his studies.

Professional Tutoring Companies

Tutoring is a big business and many companies offer tutoring services to both private, public and homeschooled students. You can find tutoring companies in your area by checking your local parenting publications, yellow pages or by searching online. These companies aren't inexpensive, but a good one will be able to put you in touch with a tutor who knows the curriculum your child is studying. He or she will also know how the locality and state conducts tests and evaluations. If you decide to go with a professional tutoring company, be sure to ask your child's school for a recommendation, and request a free consultation.

Tips on Hiring a Tutor

  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends and your child's school.
  • Meet with the tutor beforehand to see if your child likes him or her. If your student isn't responsive to the tutor, the sessions aren't likely to be of much help.
  • Check in with the tutor and your child frequently. If the tutor isn't working out, find another.
  • Be clear about what you're willing to pay up front. Will you still pay if you have to cancel at the last minute? Negotiate the terms ahead of time, so that there aren't any problems later.

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