Reading Tutor: How to Find and Select the Right Tutor

Since reading is the basis for academic success, many children who are struggling in school may benefit from a reading tutor. Read on to find out how to select the right reading tutor for your child.

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How to Find and Select Reading Tutors

One-on-One Tutoring

One-on-one reading tutors can help kids because they customize instruction to target each student's needs. For example, if your child has great comprehension skills but needs to improve his or her reading fluency, the reading tutor uses teaching strategies to help in that area.

If you're considering hiring a professional tutor, check to make sure you know his or her background experience and credentials. If your child is an English language learner (ELL) or has learning disabilities, you may want to select a tutor with specialized experience in those areas.

Also inquire about the tutor's teaching methodology. Some of the best reading tutors have extensive training in a multi-sensory structured language (MSL) approach. MSL is a type of instructional approach for teaching reading and writing by incorporating all the senses. One example of a multi-sensory technique is tracing letters in sand, so that the auditory, visual and kinesthetic/tactile senses can all be employed. This helps focus the student's attention and allows the brain to imprint the letters and sounds that go together.

Community and Volunteer Tutoring Resources

Tutors can be expensive, so you may want to seek alternative strategies before hiring one. Ask your child's teacher if he or she can provide extra instruction before or after school. Your child may also qualify for special instruction from the school's reading specialist. Some schools even hire their own tutors to work with kids after school.

Additionally, some corporations, public libraries and community organizations have partnered with local colleges to create mentorship programs offered free of charge. Your child may benefit from the help of a college student majoring in education.

Parents as Tutors

Raising successful readers begins at home. You are the best person to provide the foundation of strong reading skills in your child. There are many reputable sites on the Internet offering free advice and activities to parents on how to help their child with reading. For example, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), Scholastic and PBS all have parent resources, such as articles on reading and specific reading strategies that can be done at home.

Reading aloud to kids from infancy is the first building block to reading fluency. You can also help by providing a book-friendly environment at home. Try to have a wide variety of reading resources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, newspapers and catalogues available. Be a good role model by reading yourself.

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