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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tutor

From the moment we find out we’re pregnant, we have dreams, aspirations and visions of what our children will become. Doctors, Lawyers, Investment Bankers?!? So it’s easy to understand why so many parents are investing in tutors to give their kids the best possible chance of success.

Tutoring is an expensive investment. In California, it’s easy to spend anywhere from $30-250 per hour. In fact, the tutoring industry in the United States is over $7 billion annually. Perhaps a wiser investment would be to buy a tutoring franchise, get the services for free and set your child up with a lucrative business? Assuming you don’t want to go that route, we’ve outlined some questions for you.

Questions to ask a potential tutor:

  • What is your teaching style? Ask this as an open ended question because you don’t want to lead the answer. There is no wrong answer, but it’s important to listen to see what kind of “tricks” are in your tutor’s bag. Your child may be an auditory (listens), visual (sees) or kinesthetic (through experience) learner. It’s important to know that you have a tutor who can change things up and play into your child’s strengths.

  • What made you decide to be a tutor? Being an expert in a subject is an obvious answer. Math tutors should be great at math. Earning extra money is also a given. But ideally you want someone that has a passion for children and seeing them succeed. Not everyone who’s an expert makes for a good tutor.

  • What is your recommendation for best success? Find out how often they want to meet with your child and how long each session will last. You know your child, so if they are recommending tow hour sessions for a seven year old, something is off base. Ask them what kind of time line is anticipated to see results. Make goals from the beginning so you have a way to measure success.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does your child learn better one on one? Or in a group setting? Unfortunately our public school system isn’t set up for individual learning and there’s not much flexibility for different styles. Identifying what type of learner your child is will help you decide if private tutoring is the right fit or if small group tutoring can accomplish his or her goals.

  • What type of input have you received from your child’s teacher? If you are unsure if a tutor is necessary, set up a meeting with his or her teacher. Have an open and honest conversation with their teacher about your concerns. No need to be a “Tiger Mom” or accuse the teacher of not having enough time for your child, but find out if there are areas that could use some attention.

  • Are you willing to put in the time? Having a tutor is a three-way relationship between you, your child and the tutor. There are benefits to having a tutor as a third-party to facilitate frustrating learning situations, but ultimately it’s important to foster the relationship and make sure it’s the right fit for all involved.

Are you thinking about hiring a tutor? What are some of your questions? Ask us in the comments and we’ll get right back to you.

By: Michelle Murphy- Wife, Mom, Writer and Lover of Pookie:

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