Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Evelyn Holland


Does Your Child Really Need a Tutor?

Getting kids to take their schoolwork seriously is a problem many parents face. All too often parents hear things like, “The teacher hates me” or “This stuff doesn’t matter in real life.” In some cases, these might be excuses because the child doesn’t really take school seriously. However, in other cases, they may be signs that your child is having genuine problems doing schoolwork that he or she doesn’t want to admit to for fear of being labeled stupid. Before you sign your child up for tutoring, you need to determine if he or she has a learning problem or a behavior issue.

Assessing the Situation

In order to determine the difference between a child who is honestly struggling to learn and one who is being influenced by other problems, here are some things to consider.

  • Is your child getting enough sleep? Children who go to school with very little sleep have a harder time paying attention and focusing on schoolwork.
  • Too much socializing can also be an issue. Talk to your child’s teachers and find out if other students easily distract him or her.
  •  Are sports or other extra-curricular activities taking up too much of your child’s time? If your child is involved in many activities, they may ignore homework and assignments.
  • Does your child’s lack of interest in school coincide with other behavior problems? This is a bit dicey, but you have to consider whether your child is going through a bad phase, or if trouble in school is making him or her act out.

If you’ve ruled these issues out, then there is a pretty good chance that your child really is having trouble in school and you need to get him or her tutoring.

Finding a Tutor

Hiring a private Philadelphia tutor, or a tutor in any area,  is expensive. The best option, if it is available, is to see if your child’s teacher offers any after-school help. If the teacher can’t help, then consider finding a peer tutor or a local college student who can tutor your child. Often, students tend to respond better to tutors who are closer to their age. It’s a good idea to be around for the first couple of sessions to make sure everything is going well, but after that, it is best to be nearby, but not in the same room so that your child and his or her tutor can form a friendship.

There are no hard and fast rules for determining if your child needs a tutor or not. The best approach is first figure out if your child is truly putting in as much effort as he or she can, or if there are other things that are getting in the way of their learning. If you determine the problem is a behavior problem, then consider speaking with the school guidance counselor for advice. On the other hand, if you feel as if your child is really trying and getting frustrated, then investigate various tutoring options until you find one that works for your child.

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