Although the school year hasn’t quite started, now is a great time to start thinking about tutoring services. Hiring a tutor for your child is a great way to help them with a subject they struggle in, ensure that they’re staying on top of their curriculum, or prepare them for an assessment.
When looking for a tutor, however, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many different options out there: from frequency and subject matter to types of tutoring businesses. In 2016, Better Business Bureau (BBB) received hundreds of complaints against tutoring companies nationwide. Common complaints involve tutors taking payment but not showing up to scheduled sessions, and difficulty obtaining a refund.
The following BBB tips will help you find the best tutor for your child:
- Know your options. There are many types of tutoring services: in-home one-on-one sessions, small group lessons, online instruction, and tutoring centers. You also have to choose between hiring an individual freelance tutor, and going through a tutoring company that will match you to a tutor. If you’re looking for a business, make sure to check bbb.org. There you can see a business’ BBB Rating, complaint history and reviews from past customers. You can also use the BBB Accredited Business Directory to find a trustworthy company.
- Ask for referrals. Asking friends and family if they have any recommendations is a great place to start. You can also ask your child’s favorite teacher, or other school employees for referrals. Make sure the tutor is knowledgeable in the specific area your child needs help in and has experience working with students your child’s age.
- Check references. You should ask the individual tutor or tutoring service for references, and contact them. It’s best to speak to at least three references. Ask about their experience with the tutor and what sort of results they saw. Is the tutor dependable? Friendly? Knowledgeable? When you’re interviewing potential tutors, make sure they understand what you’re looking for. Some tutors are better at homework help, some are better at long-term lessons, and some are better at quick test preparation. See what your tutor is used to doing, and examine if that’s what your child needs.
- Discuss the details. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Make sure to talk about availability - when is the tutor free and how flexible are they? Having a consistent schedule is best, but you may need to add additional sessions if a big test is coming up. It’s important to discuss pricing before hiring a tutor. Price will depend on the level of experience of the tutor, frequency and type of sessions, and whether or not you’re going through a center. It’s also a good idea to talk to the tutor about benchmarks of success beforehand. Communicate your goals and how you’ll measure them.
- Include your child. The most important factor to consider is your child’s comfort with the tutor. Make sure to include your child in the hiring process. Throughout the process, ask your child how they think the sessions are improving their school work. If your child is not comfortable with or doesn’t like a tutor it can have a big impact on the session’s effectiveness, so don’t be afraid to find a different one.