With so many tutoring options available today, you may be understandably confused. What’s the difference in effectiveness between 1-on-1 and small group tutoring? Will SAT or ACT preparation really help my child improve? And, how do I distinguish amongst services? Here are the 7 biggest mistakes parents make when hiring a tutor:
Unrealistic expectations. Tutoring is not an instant fix. One “cram session” the night before a major test (such as the SAT) will likely do little to change a student’s final score. With a firm background in the basics, however, a student will experience success. Early on, you will see increased confidence and more interest in the subject matter. Teachers will notice more class participation. Homework will become easier and it will be done more independently, plus grades and test scores will improve. Typically, students achieve a 2.5 – 3 letter grades improvement within 3 months (i.e. D to A).
Using a service or individual with only limited subjects or levels. Today your student needs help with math. But, next semester it may be English. Selecting an individual or service which only offers limited subjects or levels means the search will begin anew each time your student’s needs change. By selecting a service that offers many, varied subjects and instruction at all levels, parents can save time and headaches.
Choosing group tutoring over 1-on-1. The benefits of 1-on-1 instruction in a private tutoring session are well-documented. In a 1-on-1 setting, students have the constant attention of the teacher so that they can listen and speak with much more comfort than in a group situation. Each student’s strengths and challenges are addressed individually and fully, without the distraction of other students. And, each student can learn at his or her own pace. With a permanent, 1-on-1 student-tutor match an important rapport will also develop, creating a positive, encouraging, and stable atmosphere for learning.
Selecting a service with limited hours or locations. Our increasingly hectic lifestyles mean that tutoring often must be sandwiched in between other activities including sports practices and games, extra-curricular commitments, and work schedules. For maximum effectiveness and consistency, a tutor should be available to come to a student’s home, school, or office, if necessary, with locations for instruction open 7 days a week.
Choosing a tutor who is not a match for the student in terms of learning style or temperament. Selecting the right tutor means evaluating, not only knowledge of the subject matter, but also how the student learns. Is he an auditory learner or kinesthetic? Does she prefer an older teacher, or better respond to a younger one? The answers make a huge difference in the ultimate success of the sessions.
Selecting a tutor based solely on cost. While cost is a factor for most families, it should not be the only one. Rates may vary widely. For example, the high school student next door will likely charge less than the education professional with an advanced degree and decades of experience. In addition, less experienced tutors and major franchises may rely on a prewritten curriculum, which is supplied to all students of a similar age. This does not account for each child’s specific needs in the way that a customized curriculum does. Remember, tutoring is an investment in your student’s education!
Choosing a tutor without proper qualifications. In addition to a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and significant experience teaching or tutoring the subject your student needs, check references. And, a reputable tutoring service will also be able to offer peace of mind with in-depth vetting and criminal background checks.
Want more information about exceptional, award-winning tutoring services available in Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, and northern Maryland? Call Back to Basics Learning Dynamics, Inc. at 302-594-0754 to consult with one of our specialists.