Life in the new normal has presented families with many new obstacles to overcome. Keeping your kiddo on track educationally is certainly one of them. After an abrupt switch to virtual learning last school year and a long summer season, many kids are lagging behind in general studies and in need of additional support. As we enter into a new school year that looks a bit different than years past, the need for supplemental, educational support continues to grow. Enter tutors!
Finding the right tutor for your kiddo can be more nuanced than it appears at first blush. Your kiddo needs help with 3rd grade math? Find someone with experience in elementary math, right? Yes and no. Certainly the obvious is true – you want to secure a tutor with experience working with your child’s age and the subject matter at hand. Beyond this though are more subtle check boxes you can look to tick off as you connect with tutoring options to ensure it’s truly a match for your own child.
Is your tutor a personality match for your kiddo?
People jive with certain people. They don’t with others. Personalities attract or repeal. The same holds true for your kiddo. Even if your tutor has a world of experience in exactly what you are seeking, go with your gut. Is this the type of person you could see your child engaging with easily and joyfully? Presumably you seek the help of a tutor because your child is struggling to a certain degree. Minimally make the relationship and the connection an easy one for your child and their new tutor.
Is your tutor a personality match for you?
Similarly, if you have a difficult time communicating and engaging with your child’s tutor, it will become very difficult to help support your child’s growth. A huge part of early education is a family’s ability to further explore and hone skills outside of the classroom or tutoring session. Having an easy rapport with a tutor and being able to communicate well ensures this can happen successfully.
Consider a trial period
Entering into to any sort of employment agreement is best served when both parties find it to be a good fit. This is especially true when it comes to hiring people to engage with your child. It can be difficult to switch gears once you’ve agreed to hire a tutor but it can be incredibly stressful if you have an inkling that they may not be the best fit for your child after all. Consider a trial period. Once you’ve connected with a tutor and it seems like a fit, suggest you do a one month trial to ensure they are great fit for your kiddo and that your family is a good fit for them. Plan to touch base at the end of the month to determine if both of you want to continue with your regular schedule.
Communicate your needs up front
Do you want daily or weekly reports about progress? Pictures of your kiddo working during their session? Links to websites and supplemental materials to purchase for your child? Whatever you need to feel comfortable and participatory in your kiddo’s education is a fair ask. Tutors and teachers appreciate expectations expressed up front and are often happy to oblige. Consider what and how you’d like information about your kiddo’s sessions and progress shared with you and ask for that upfront. It’s much harder to shift or ask for more after the fact, versus making your requests and expectations known from the start.
Every parent has a different preference about their child’s screen time. Every tutor uses different tactics and tools to teach. Discuss how your tutor plans to engage your child and get on the same page with regards to using screens and devices from the beginning. Now that a good portion of children are attending school remotely, for some or all of their learning, this conversation becomes more important as children are interacting with screens more today than in years past.
Here’s to a fantastic new school year, different but joyful just the same! For additional tutor, teacher, and sitter options check out the Kid Experts on CuratedCare.com!