Better Business Bureau Offers Advice on Finding a Tutor to Match your Child’s Needs

March 01, 2011

If your child is having a hard time learning to read, needs a hand with their calculus homework or even SAT*/ACT® preparation, a tutor may be the answer.  The Better Business Bureau has advice on finding and working with a tutor to best meet your child’s needs.

While private tutors can be expensive—$30 to $70 an hour—they do offer the most tailored approach for helping your child learn.  Qualifying families with limited income can receive free tutor sessions for their children as part of the No Child Left Behind Act.

A commercial learning center, such as Sylvan or Huntington, typically costs around $150 per week, paid weekly or monthly.  A learning center provides a customized and specialized learning environment for your child. These programs often offer incentives for children of all ages—kindergarten to pre-college—to help make learning more fun and are typically very good about reporting on your child’s progress.

For the computer-savvy child, online tutoring usually carries a monthly fee of $35 to $130.  Tutors are often available online 24-hours for kids to chat about their homework or SAT*/ACT® prep. 

The BBB offers the following advice for finding and working with a tutor:

• Check it out.  For information on tutoring services or commercial learning centers, start your search at for a free BBB Business Review that will help you make informed decisions.

• Ask around. Get referrals from your child’s teacher; other parents and friends can be a great resource, as well.

• Look for credentials. Check the tutor’s credentials and make sure they’re qualified in the subject area your child needs help with.

• Schedule a meeting. Meet with the tutor and discuss measurable, specific goals to be achieved and don’t be afraid to hold the tutor and the child accountable if goals aren’t met. While a tutoring program can’t necessarily guarantee a higher SAT*/ACT ® score, a tutor can help identify problem areas and address any specific subjects where your child needs help.

• Play a role. If you use a personal tutor, feel free to sit in now and then and observe how the tutor and your child are working together. Ask the tutor for advice on what you can do as a parent to help your child learn more effectively.

For more trustworthy information on issues affecting your child’s education go to