Your child is has been struggling in math class for a while now. Is it time for a tutor? Maybe. How do you know whether your child just needs to “buckle down” more or whether he truly needs extra help?
Look At Grades
Grades are probably the most obvious warning sign that your child may need a tutor. But grades alone don’t tell the whole story. Let’s say your child is failing math. Obviously it’s time to sit down and have a talk with him or her. But what do you say?
First, start off by reassuring your child that he’s not in trouble and that he’s not dumb. All too often, grades can leave a child with the impression that they are either “smart” or “stupid.” In reality, they may be very intelligent in other subjects, but they’re having trouble grasping some mathematical concepts that they need for class.
If they can just get over one hurdle, they’ll be fine. Try to get as much feedback from your child as possible. Ask whether the class is moving too fast or slow, whether he can see the front of the class from where he’s sitting, whether he can hear the teacher, or even whether he thinks other students are too distracting to focus on lessons.
All of these things can be corrected without a tutor in many cases. But, if they can’t, it might be time to hire outside help to get your child caught up to the rest of the class.
What’s His Enthusiasm?
Not all subjects are interesting to your child. That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t have a basic understanding of them. It just means that he needs to get outside help to get him motivated to do better – or at least outside help to help him find motivation from within.
Math, like all subjects, have to be personally meaningful for the child to want to pursue the subject matter. If you try to force it, it’ll never “click.” Sure, some kids can memorize formulas and regurgitate them on a test, but this isn’t learning. It’s parroting.
What you want is for your child to have a personal connection to math class. Maybe the math he’s doing now can be tied into other subjects that he is deeply passionate about. A tutor can help bridge the gap.
Talk To The Teacher
If you suspect that your child is having problems, but she’s not saying anything to you about it when you ask, try talking to your child’s teacher. The teacher might be able to give you insight as to what’s happening in class – at least from the teacher’s perspective.
Then, you can check this against anything you learn from your child. Most professional tutors are good at filling in gaps of knowledge and teaching good study principles.
Hiring A Tutor
Getting help from a math tutor like those in Fremont is actually not all that difficult. If you suspect it’s time for a tutor, ask about the tutor’s qualifications, references, where the person was trained, how the tutor teaches, and what results you can expect.
Ask about hourly rates, discounts, and other incentives. Finally, make sure the tutor “clicks” with your child. The person you hire could look great on paper but, if they don’t click with your kid, nothing productive will get done.
Kaylee Cowling is a mom of four children, all high school graduates. An avid writer, she enjoys sharing what she has learned by posting on various blog sites.