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Child struggling in school? Tips on hiring a tutor

From the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia:

As kids get adjusted to the return to school, many may struggle with new routines or difficult material. Many parents turn to a tutor to help keep kids motivated and learning. Hiring a tutor for your child is a great way to help them with a subject in which they struggle, 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. The following BBB tips will help find the best option 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 There you can see a business’ BBB Rating, complaint history and reviews from past customers. You can also use the BBB Directory to find a trustworthy company.
  • Ask for referrals. Asking friends and family if they have any recommendations is a great place to start. Consider asking 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 additional sessions may be required 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 the goals ahead of time and how they will be measured.
  • 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. If a change needs to be made, don’t be afraid to find a different one.
  • Find a qualified tutor near you in the BBB directory. Private tutors and tutoring companies promise to boost children’s competence, but research before hiring.

Find a tutor near you.

BBB serving Central Virginia serves Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, as well as 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest, and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of BBB include business profiles, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, scam warnings, consumer and business education, and charity review.



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