Decide Between Online Learning or In-person Tutor

Critical first step in success is defining your child’s learning style

Having the best methods or smartest tutor isn’t going to get the desired results if the study environment isn’t aligned with the learning style of your child.

For many children, the flexibility is there for either in-person or online instruction but for some, it is very clear that either one over the other is a definite preference. 2020-2021 schooling put all of us to the test… how well did you child respond to tech teaching methods?

While online instruction offers so much more in terms of flexibility, affordability options, instructional plans and talent, if your child would respond better with in-person guidance, screen-free time, and personal connection, then perhaps searching locally is the better solution.

Specify Subject Area for Study

***K*now the exact areas of focus

Just as we wouldn’t hire a seamstress to teach piano, we shouldn’t hire a tutor without identifying their specific area of expertise. Focusing on the specific subject of your child’s academic difficulty will enable more effective results than selecting a generalized approach.

We suggest going so far as pointedly asking for specific examples of client successes and demonstrated abilities in the areas that your child needs directed attention. This isn’t something to be shy about or accept at face-value (website description or brochure) but instead specifically inquire as to the tutor’s or agency’s core competencies. If you child requires instruction in multiple academic subjects, consider separate instruction over a bundled deal. Using a tutor service like Smile Tutor* will enable you to narrow search criteria like educational credentials, subject matter competencies, and family budget for private tuition.


Assess Disposition & Personality

Knowledge transfer is only as good as the communication & connection

Having world-class talent and knowledge will leave your child further behind and you both frustrated if the personality of instructor and student don’t align. Are their personality traits that “unnerve” or distract your child from focusing? Overplayed humor, sing-song voice or pitch, bodily gestures, perhaps hints of sarcasm or sternness could all work against your child’s favor… or perhaps be the thing that keeps him/her engaged. Does your child relate well to this individual?

We encourage a mini interview/meet prior to contracting a tutor to ensure mannerisms, speech, techniques, and personality are a solid fit for success.

A successful tutor arrangement will go far beyond a strong academic resume and mostly resides in how well receptive your child is to receiving instruction from this individual.

Assess Assignment Longevity & Relationship

Keep your goals and progress in mind

Consider that both Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee knew that while they grew fond of the children in their care, the assignment ended when the goals were met. And while these are fictional nanny characters, the same principal stands when engaging a tutor.  Especially if the child’s needs outgrow the tutor’s experience or education. And certainly when the child’s growth goals are achieved.

Do not feel guilted into or pressured to continue a partnership. As such, it may be something to address during contract negotiations to ensure intentions are clear when specified goals are met and when/if re-evaluation occurs.

Likewise, should a first choice tutor turn out not to be as expected (for whatever varying reason including change in schedule which you are not required to accommodate) you should feel comfortable terming your agreement per the arrangements of your contract, and move to select a better suited instructor. Never feel pressured to keep a relationship that isn’t meeting your goals.


Define Progress Reporting & Goal Attainment

Outline, formalize, and discuss measures of success

While it doesn’t need to be a 10 page business contract, it is important to discuss and detail how success will be measured. Having clear and specific goals with timelines provides a measuring tool, which serves many purposes. Among those benefits are keeping your child’s momentum and moral up should tutoring efforts prove positive. It is an excellent, factually-bound communication tool between you and the instructor or agency.

Goals that are articulated, detailed, and written are 42% more likely to occur. So consider your specific objective in hiring a tutor and work with him/her to outline the goals of that partnership and tools for measuring success.

Disclosure Statement

*Family Scholastic Adventures has partnered with Smile Tutor for sponsorship on this article. All content and opinions contained herein are strictly our own. We remain loyal to provided excellent, useful information for our parental audience, while strategically working with only brands & companies providing services and products in direct alignment with our values and mission. This is a sponsored post.