When Does Your Child Need a Tutor?

Getting tutoring services for a child is becoming more and more common. The competitive nature of college applications and increasing pressure to get high grades pushes parents into finding additional help.

Tutoring is sought for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons are to improve report card performance and to prepare for standardized, or college application tests.

Often times tutoring services are desired to make incremental improvements for a student who is already strong academically.

But when does your child need a tutor?

Children often exhibit signs long before poor academics become a problem. The trick for parents and teachers is to recognize the warning signs and get in front of the problem. Here are some common signs that your child may need a tutor:

“I finished my homework!” – If your child is coming home regularly claiming that his or her homework is already completed, it warrants some investigation. Homework loads have only increased in recent years. It is common for first graders to have daily and weekly homework assignments. Often times, these assignments are designed specifically to be completed at home, with the help of a parent. This is especially true for grades 1-6.

When your child tells you he has no homework or has already done it, it can sometimes indicate a lack of interest, or even a lack of understanding.

A bad report card – This is obvious, but there are some more subtle clues in a report card that should not be overlooked. For example, a student may receive a high letter mark in a subject, but teacher comments may give insight into underlying issues.

Classroom behavior issues – Kids tend to act up when they are frustrated or when they feel defeated. If a child is sitting there at a loss, while his classmates are diligently working, it may be easier to act up than ask for help. Children’s minds don’t work like adults’; asking for help may never cross a student’s mind. When behavior issues arise, it is time to examine academic performance as a contributing factor.

Carelessness – For some kids, finishing first is part of their DNA. But when work is consistently completed quickly and without regard to neatness or correctness, it may contribute to a growing issue. Half completed work, or missed problems are all indications that your child may need some extra help.

The best way to know when your child needs extra help is to stay engaged, identify “warning signs” and act before a problem becomes serious.