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9 Myths About Tutoring & Learning Outside the Classroom

By Iris Yuan [Guest Article]

tutoringIf your child is falling behind on schoolwork, who do you turn to for help? It may seem like the process of finding a tutor outside the classroom is messy, expensive, and just not worth the effort. You might not even know where to start. However, the one-on-one attention may be exactly what your child needs, and finding a qualified and reasonably-priced tutor is not as difficult as you think.

Below are nine common stereotypes you should consider as you explore learning resources outside the classroom.

1. Tutoring is only for the ‘stupid kids'.

Some students might take longer grasping a subject, but this doesn't mean that they don't have the ability to do so. Those who reach out for tutors are doing themselves a favor by acknowledging that they need and want to improve. Your child should not feel ashamed for asking for help.

2. Tutoring is only for rich families.

While you do hear stories of the privileged folk spending hundreds of dollars on private tutoring, this is generally not the case. Finding a normal, reasonable tutor is actually quite easy, and the grades and skills your student earns will pay off in the end. Check out the average per hour price for tutors in major cities. 

3. If you need a tutor, the teacher isn't doing his or her job.

Maybe class sizes are large. Maybe your child's teacher is great, but there's not enough time in the day for individual attention. If your student needs help, it's time to get that help, not to start pointing fingers.

4. Your child doesn't need help.
Just because your child doesn't ask for help right away, doesn't mean he or she doesn't need it. Stay up to date and in communication with your child's teacher to make sure everything is on track.

5. Tutoring takes too much time.

A little goes a long way. Even spending one hour per week on a subject can make a lasting impact. And once your student gets their handle on a certain concept, chances are, they'll have the confidence to tackle on and absorb new material. Most tutors are also flexible and should work to accommodate your busy schedule.

6. It's impossible to find a smart, reliable tutor.

No one likes going through pages and pages on the Internet looking for a tutor that only might be good. Nor do we like telling people that we're being tutored by our neighbor's aunt. Although tutors are often matched up through word-of-mouth and telephone phones, it's not difficult to find someone with the right skills, motives, and dedication (see #7). The search engine at tutorspree.com can help you find the perfect fit.

7. Tutors are just in it for the money... and they're not worth the money.

Don't settle for someone who learned the subject ten years ago and hasn't used it since. There is a common stereotype, no doubt perpetuated by the messy word-of-mouth system, that tutors are informal and unprofessional. However, the best tutors are actually full-time teachers, teaching assistants, and education professionals. They're people who love what they're doing and want to use their free time to continue teaching.

8. Tutoring is only needed to save you from getting an "F".

Don't wait until the last minute if your child is falling behind! Tutoring can also be a source of enrichment and a powerful tool to learn something new.

9. Tutors will solve all of your child's problems.

Tutors are not walking encyclopedias who can give your child all the answers. Don't expect your tutor to do your child's homework for you. On the contrary, your child should develop the learning and comprehensive skills necessary to independently apply knowledge to problems. Make sure to communicate with your student's teacher for continual feedback on what areas need improvement.

Posted on April 28, 2012 by Iris Yuan [Guest Article]

Iris is an Education Consultant and writer at Tutorspree.com, a website that aims to make the tutoring system more transparent for everyone, so that parents, students, and tutors alike know what to expect and how to find each other. You can reach Iris by email at . Follow Tutorspree on Twitter.

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(www.ParentInvolvementMatters.org does not handle reprint requests. For permission to reprint articles, please contact the author directly.)

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