As soon as you consider hiring a tutor it is probably time. Delaying the process of getting your child the help he needs risks him slipping further behind and losing the confidence essential to continued learning.
Does your child need a tutor?
There are many telltale signs that your child may need a tutor: slipping grades, growing frustration with school, or lack of enthusiasm may be indicators that a student needs extra help. It may be that your child is not following what happens in the classroom and so loses interest. The same is true if the course is not challenging enough; your child may become bored and distracted. Tutoring can be either remedial or enriched, depending upon the student’s challenges.
Which tutor should I choose?
Choose a tutor who is properly trained, who has a minimum of a Bachelor of Education degree, will assess your child correctly, has a good reputation, and will provide lessons that are age appropriate. In some cases special needs training like Orton Gillingham training, Learning Disabilities training or the ability to work with gifted students can be instrumental to your child’s academic success.
Above all, you want a tutor who will be a partner in your child’s education. This means that communication is key on many levels: between student and tutor, parent and tutor, and between tutor and teacher.
Does time of the year matter?
Finding a tutor any time of the year may sound easy but it is not always the case. The busiest periods for tutors, which limits their availability, are usually the end of term, the end of semester, or the end of the school year. These are also the time when we receive most inquiries from desperate students needing help to get ready for their provincial exams.
If you feel you may need a tutor to help your child with exam preparation it is best to speak to a tutor early enough. Most tutors are flexible and will be able to accommodate your needs and schedule. An earlier start also ensures that the tutor and student will be able to cover more material in a less hectic way. If you leave it to the last minute, the tutor may only be able to help the student with test-taking techniques instead of learning the actual course content.
If you decided to hire a tutor at the start of the school year, the end of August or early September is usually the best time. Tutors returning from summer vacations and ending work at summer school have fairly open schedules so it is easier to find a tutor who will match your child’s personality.