Choosing the Right Tutor

Question: Our daughter is not doing as well as we think she could in fifth-grade math. Before she moves to middle school next year, we would like to have a tutor give her a little extra help. What should we look for in a tutor? - Searching

Answer: One of the most important things to look for in a tutor is experience. You want someone who is a certified teacher or who has expertise in math. Be sure to check that a prospective tutor knows how to tailor his or her tutoring sessions to your child's grade level and learning style. Plus, the tutor definitely needs to be willing to work closely with the classroom teacher for your child to truly benefit.

Meet with a prospective tutor to determine if he or she is an individual who will be able to establish a good rapport with her. This is important. You might want to have your daughter meet each tutor before choosing one. Basically, you are looking for someone who is knowledgeable, patient, enthusiastic and nurturing.

There are a few other considerations in choosing a tutor. It's usually best to find one who is willing to work with a child twice a week, as once-a-week sessions leave a long gap, making it more difficult for a child to retain material. And don't forget to check the tutor's availability for a specific period of time. You don't want to select someone who will only be able to work with your child for a few weeks.