DIY: Parents As Tutors

Because many parents are on a budget, tutoring their own children is the only affordable alternative to private tutoring. This article describes how to decide if the parent-tutoring is the right fit for you.

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Some parents find the cost of private tutors, tutoring centers, and tutoring software unaffordable. If this is the case for you, perhaps you should consider tutoring your child yourself. Taking the time to sit down with your child on a regular basis to help them catch up or get ahead in lessons will provide him or her with tremendous opportunities not available otherwise.

Tutoring your child is not easy, and involves more than skimming homework problems to check the answers. Here are some questions to consider when deciding whether or not you're prepared to take on this challenge.

Do You Know Your Stuff?

Before you begin tutoring your child, you may want to consider if you are knowledgeable in the area that your child is having problems with. For instance, if your student is beginning pre-algebra or algebra, could you help your child with solving linear equations? You may want to ask your student's teacher for sample worksheets with answer keys, so you can brush-up on your math skills. It's not that the subject would be difficult--the problem would lie in the fact that you may not have used those skills in many years.

What Do You Hope to Accomplish?

You may also want to consult with your child's teachers to establish learning goals. Many parents want their children to fulfill their full potential, but it is important to set realistic goals. If a parent sets goals too high, their child may begin to lose self-esteem. Ask the teacher about short and long-term goals so that you can begin to work towards these goals with your child.

Do You Have a Plan?

After you have a clear idea of the logistics, establish a tutoring plan. You may want to tell your child that 'study time' is only for studying. This time should not to be spent on recreational activities, because it's important for him or her to overcome learning challenges. Television and video games are for another time. Some children may find it difficult to take their parents seriously at first, but you should remain persistent. This is your moment to set a good example and show how important learning is.

Tutoring your own child can be useful because you can set academic goals for your child and monitor your child's learning. It may also give you the opportunity to learn more about and interact with your child.

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Sylvan Learning

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Our Commitment to You

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