Although we as parents are to be our child’s first and most important teacher, there may come a point in their learning where you feel like a personal, one-on-one math tutor is needed. This may be because your personalities clash, they respond better to someone other than mom and dad, or because you feel like the math they’re learning is beyond your knowledge and ability. Whatever the reason, before you spend your hard earned money on a tutor, do your research to make sure you find the right option for your child. To help you, here are some ideas for how to find a math tutor.
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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Math Tutor:
Before I share some places to find the right tutor, I want to help you think through some important considerations.
- Does your child need to work with someone in person or could they work online?
- What is your budget?
- How often do they need to meet with a tutor? (This may change your budget)
- Are there free options to try before paying someone?
Be sure to do your research here, as there may be places to go that are free. For example, your child’s teacher likely has days they are available for extra help. Find out when it is and make sure your child is there that day.
You can also ask your local libraries, community centers or churches if they have any tutoring programs. Often there are weekly programs happening if you can find out where they are.
Another option might be at local universities or a community college, especially if your child is in high school. Ask around and see if there are any programs available. When I was in college, a group of future teacher friends and I organized a weekly tutor time on Saturdays for local high school students to help them prepare for standardized tests and SATs.
If you’ve looked for free programs and can’t find anything, or it doesn’t seem to be enough help for your child, here are some other options for math tutoring.
While there are lots of websites that offer lessons or videos to teach math concepts, often what kids really need is a person who can meet them where they are and help answer their specific questions, so here are some ideas to help you find what you need.
How to Find a Math Tutor:
1. Word of Mouth:
This may seem obvious, but the first place I would start would be by asking friends whose kids are a similar age. If there are other kids who have a tutor they love, you can ask important questions such as, “How available are they?” “How much do they charge?” or “How hands-on and involved are they?”
It may turn out that they’re not a good fit for your child, but at least you can figure that out before you spend time and money meeting with them.
2. Check Library or Community Center Bulletin Boards:
Even if local libraries, community centers or churches do not offer after school tutoring programs, they likely have community boards where tutors may post information. Check around and see if you can get a few names of people to call.
3. Ask Your Child’s Teacher or School Counselor
Even if your child’s teacher can’t offer additional one-on-one time, they probably know someone who can. Many tutors work closely with schools and teachers and may even meet at the school, so if they’re around, teachers know who they are. In addition, if there are other students in the class who already have a tutor, the teacher probably knows and can get you in touch with them.
If you homeschool, you can still go to the local schools and ask the office secretaries or guidance counselors for recommendations. Often there will be a list floating around of phone numbers, or they know of students who have had success with certain math tutors, so they may be able to offer some good suggestions as well.
4. Find a Tutor on Wyzant.com
If you’re still having trouble finding a private tutor, you may want to use the site Wyzant.com. This site is unique in that it simply works to connect students with local tutors (similar to Care.com). Your child would still meet with a tutor in person, you would simply find a tutor, pay, and set up meeting times through Wyzant.
This is a great option, but may be difficult if you live in a small town or remote area because you may not be able to find a tutor close enough to you.
If you’d like to try Wyzant, you can get $20 in free tutoring with the code TAKE20.
5. Use an Online Tutoring Service like Thinkster Math
If you can’t seem to find a math tutor who can meet in person, or your schedule simply does not allow it, there are ways to get individualized help online. There are countless options, but I recommend starting with Thinkster Math.
This program combines online practice and games with personalized attention and help from an online tutor. Kids receive feedback on the work they’re doing and can also receive one-on-one tutoring sessions to discuss specific topics or homework assignments with their tutors each week.
This is the best of both worlds: online practice + personalized help.
If you’d like to try out Thinkster, you can begin with a FREE 7-Day trial!
I hope you’ve found this list of ideas helpful as you seek to find the right person or option for your child.
What are your tips for how to find a math tutor? If you have any other recommendations for finding math tutors or online sites, share in the comments!
And if you’d like to feel more confident helping your child with math, here are some tips and encouragement!
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