Why Work with a Tutor?

June 9, 2010 at 7:45 AM 2 comments

Shara Lawrence-Weiss

Tutoring can be a daunting thought for many parents: “My child? My child is fine. We don’t need tutoring. We’ll get by on our own, thanks.” Furthermore, many families feel that they simply cannot afford tutoring.

According to Great Schools, hundreds of thousands of students are eligible for free tutoring under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, but less than 15% of them are getting it, according to the U.S. Department of Education…Generally, your child qualifies if she is getting a free or reduced-price lunch and attends a Title I school categorized as “in need of improvement” for two years in a row. Title I schools are in attendance areas where at least 35% of the students and their families are low income.

If the tutor is state licensed, his/her payment will be covered by state funds.

If your family does not qualify for free tutoring, you may wish to consider the following, before deciding against tutoring:

Many children have a harder time listening to their parents. A qualified outside source can be highly successful in getting your child to listen and learn.

A new friendship and bond can be built between your child and the tutor.

A feeling of accomplishment is acheived when your child realizes, “I did it!”

If you explain to your child that you are budgeting the family money, in order to meet their educational needs, you will have instilled a great sense of worth and self esteem in your child. “My parents care enough about my education that they’d budget tutoring in, just for me?”

Consider My Story

After signing up for college many years ago, I began attending basic courses like math, english and public speaking. English and literacy have always been second nature to me. Math, on the other hand, sends chills up my spine. The numbers are Greek to my brain: What? Huh? I don’t understand!

On the college entrance exam I tested into Honor’s for reading and writing. For math, I received an F. I began to cry but the addmissions gal said, “We have a tutoring center here, you know. It’s free.” I went home and considered dropping out of school before starting. The following thought ran through my brain: “Why would I go to tutoring? I’m smart. Tutoring is like a put-down, right?”

After thinking things over I decided to sign up for Math…and for tutoring. That first term, I logged 40+ hours in the tutoring center and left the class with an A. The following term I logged 50+ hours in the tutoring center and left the class with an A. I then entered Algebra – a class I had dreaded the very thought of. The teacher was hard and had a reputation for weeding the “mice from the men.” I refused to fail her class. I logged 80 hours of tutoring that semester and left the class with an 89%.

I can certainly say – the tutors were a life preserver for me. They were helpful, calm and patient. Friends and family tried to help me with math over the phone but they never got through to me the way my tutors did. The tutors were used to students like me – asking a million questions, needing to be shown the work over and over again before it sunk in, etc. They were even used to crying (thank God).

By the end of my math courses, the tutors had a running joke: “Hey, Shara. Why not just bring your cot here and move in? We’ll give you a key and you can lock up. We’ll meet you back here each morning.”

Tutors can be an invaluable piece of your child’s present…and future. When I finally do have my teaching degree I’ll know that it was many thanks to the tutors who worked with me, encouraged me and spurred me on: “You can do this! You are not alone – we are here to help!”

If your child needs a tutor, I encourage you to seek the options. Be willing to see tutoring as an asset rather than an un-necessary extra. The support your child receives from his/her tutor will be something remembered, and appreciated, long into their future.


Entry filed under: Parent Tips. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark Bottita  |  June 14, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    Inspiring personal story, informative article and sound advice, Jennifer!

    I will direct any K-6 inquiries your way.

    Have a great, productive summer.
    Mark at http:SummerTutor.info

    • 2. imtjen  |  June 14, 2010 at 6:39 AM

      Thank You Mark! I look forward in hearing from you this summer!


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