Q:

I just moved to a new state and really love the school system, where my sons have excellent teachers. One son is in 10th grade, and the twins are in third grade. Unfortunately, my children are behind the children here and are struggling to do average work.

I want them to do better than average. I want them to excel. I am a newly divorced mom of three, and it will be financially difficult for me to afford a tutor. Can you please advise other avenues or programs that will help my sons excel in their schoolwork? -- Need to Catch Up

A:

If your children were excelling at their previous school, they may just need some more time to catch up with their classmates. In this case, tutoring could be helpful. Talk with your children's teachers now. Find out exactly what academic skills your children are struggling with and how they can best be helped.

If tutoring is suggested, find out first what possibilities exist at their schools. Also ask if the high school or a local college or university has a free or low-cost tutoring program or if the community has any volunteer tutoring programs. And don't forget to ask how you could help your sons and about the availability of online resources.