Help with Homework

As your child progresses through school, they may come across some subjects that are more difficult than others. Do not allow your child to fall behind in their studies because they are embarrassed to talk to you about their problems. Keep open lines of communication with your child and assure them that everyone learns at different rates and in different ways.


Since there are many different learning styles, it can be difficult for one teacher to meet the needs of every student. Teachers tend to incorporate learning strategies that work well for their own style of learning and the majority of their students, but some students need a different way of looking at a subject to learn it. For example, if your child has a teacher that primarily teaches in a way that is conducive to visual learners, your child may have a difficult time if their primary learning style is tactile. Also, if your child has a learning disability, they may have a hard time in school. If you child is having a hard time in school or seems to be falling behind their peers, it may be a good idea to find a tutor for your child.

The first thing that you need to determine is why your child is struggling with a certain subject and brainstorm ideas that may help your child be more successful. Perhaps your child needs more one-on-one attention or maybe they need to work in groups. Talk to your child about what would make learning a better experience for them and then look into a tutor who can provide the services your child needs.

There are several different types of tutors and tutoring methods or styles. There are private tutors, tutoring centers, after school programs and online tutors. Understanding your child’s needs will help with choosing the type of tutor that will best accommodate your child. If you are not sure what type of tutoring would work best for your child, set up interviews with several and observe what happens at each program. For information on the different types of tutoring available, see http://www.partnershipforlearning.org

A good place to find tutors is by talking to your child’s teacher or guidance counselor. You may also consider asking friends and family if they can recommend someone. If these options fail, get out your local Yellow pages, consult online directories in your area, or see if the university near you offers tutoring programs.

Once you have a list of potential tutors, set up interviews with each one. You will want to ask questions like:

  • How will you monitor my child’s progress?
  • What materials will you use?
  • What is your philosophy of education?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • What kind of results can my child expect?
  • What is your educational background?
  • Can you provide any references?
  • How will you determine my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How much do you charge and how do you like to be paid?

Bring your child with you to the interview. Your child must be comfortable with the person they will be working with.

The cost of a tutor will vary depending on the type of services they offer, if they are private or work for a tutoring center, and depending on what part of the country you live in. Tutoring costs can be anywhere from free (for many after school programs or friends and family) to $35-$75 an hour. Make sure that you are able to fit the tutor’s fee into your budget.

If a tutor promises you that your child will excel in a subject after a certain period of time, be wary. The assistance of a tutor can never be an assurance that your child will do any better in school than if they did not have a tutor. Your child’s success is largely determined by their motivation, their follow through and their hard work. Therefore, you should monitor your child’s work and make sure they are following through on their end of the learning process.