Today, tutoring services abound. There are a number of tutoring center franchises that have sprung up in strip malls, online tutoring, and more traditional one-on-one tutoring. But how do you make an informed decision about which tutoring service to use? Here are five tips for choosing the best.
1. Do your research. Most tutoring services have websites, so first go online. Tutor centers should have a wealth of information available on their websites that covers everything from the subjects they offer and their philosophy of education to statements about the qualifications of their tutors and testimonials.
2. Know your goals. When selecting a tutoring service, it’s important to know what you want to get out of the experience. Perhaps your child is falling behind in a subject and needs remediation with a math tutor. Maybe your child is a gifted or accelerated student and needs to be challenged to reach his or her full potential. It could be that your child needs help in test preparation in order to be ready to take his or her SATs. Or maybe you are studying for your GRE or CBEST and need the boost that test preparation can bring. Understanding your specific needs will help you determine whether or not the tutoring services under consideration are a good fit for you or your child.
3. Take personalization into account. Each person is unique, both in learning style and in what kind of tutoring is needed. For this reason, one-on-one tutoring is your best bet. In test preparation, for example, tutoring services often enroll 20 students per class. It’s difficult to get the individualized attention you or your child needs with a large class.
4. Take location into account. It’s important to think about where the tutoring should take place in order to reap the greatest benefits for you or your child. For many children, tutoring centers are less than ideal. It often takes children several sessions to become comfortable with the environment before they’re able to take advantage of the learning opportunities. Similarly, test preparation classes may not be at a time and place that is convenient for you or your child. Most people find that one of two approaches works best: tutoring in the home or online tutoring. The familiar environment of home makes the transition to learning easy for children. Likewise, one-on-one online tutoring is convenient and consistent.
5. Look for evaluations and assessments. The tutoring service you choose should do an initial evaluation for no extra charge. This provides a benchmark by which to measure your or your child’s progress. They should also offer periodic assessments to ensure that progress is being made.
People use tutors and tutoring academies for many different reasons. Ideally, though, the tutor you choose should listen to your student, be upbeat and enthusiastic, make learning fun, instill confidence in your student, and, ultimately, teach your student new learning habits so that he or she can succeed in all of his or her educational endeavors.