Every parent/guardian is concerned when their child is not doing well in school. This can be evident when a student's academic performance changes suddenly or they seem lost in certain areas of their school work. Sometimes a student needs some extra help to prepare for and feel confident as they enter the new school year. Hiring a tutor might be the right solution, but before you contract with the first tutor you find, be sure you consider the following steps.
1. Develop and implement a home-school routine with your child
- Make sure that your child gets 8-10 hours of sleep each night and a good breakfast in the morning. This will help her start each day well-rested and nourished and able to be attentive and retain the work done during the class period.
- Purchase an organizer for your child and help him learn about how to write down his homework assignments. Review assignments and dues dates with your child each night.
- Establish a regular time and place to do homework. Determine the schedule and arrangement that best matches your child's learning style. Make certain that all necessary tools are readily available.
- Set aside 30 minutes each day for "family reading time."
2. Create a partnership with your child and your child's school
- Contact your child's school and set up an appointment to discuss your concerns with the teacher. If necessary, meet with the school guidance counselor and director or principal.
- Determine together if there are any internal supports that can be established to assist your child reach their academic potential.
3. Identify resources in your community
- Ask your child's teacher or guidance counselor for suggestions for referrals to other organizations in the community that can support your child.
- Contact the office of your Borough President or your local Community Board for referrals to programs in your community.
- Contact the student employment or career services offices of local colleges or universities.
- Identify the settlement houses and youth programs in your community. They can support your child's academic potential and open up new learning and enrichment opportunities for them as well.
4. Network with friends and neighbors
- Talk with others who have children of their own and those who work with children.
- Learn about any resources they have personal knowledge of or have utilized for their own children or students.
- Ask a friend whose has a special relationship with your child or who has special skills to spend a couple hours a week working with your child.
5. Contact established tutoring programs
- Utilize the phone book and parenting papers to identify established tutoring programs, or contact one of the programs listed below.
- Identify a college student by talking with colleagues or posting your request on NYU's Wasserman Center for Career Development.
- Contact Carebridge Life Resources, NYU's Employee Assistance Program, for referrals.
- Interview the programs to determine if they meet yours and your child's needs. Some questions to ask include:
- Is the tutoring done in your home or at a center?
- What ages of children are taught? What subjects?
- Will they assess your child's ability before assigning a tutor?
- How do they assess the students?
- Do tutors working one-on-one or with groups of children?
- If they work with groups of children, what is the typical group size?
- What is their teaching strategy and curriculum?
- Will there be homework assignments?
- How involved will you be in setting goals for your child?
- How will they provide you with progress reports?
- How much does it cost? How many sessions must you commit to?
- How long is each session? What hours are the classes?
- What is the average number of meetings per student?
- Is there escort service from your child's school or after-school program?
- Visit the program and watch the tutors and children in action. Ask for references and talk with parents whose children utilize the program.
Academics Plus offers subject specific tutoring as well as preparation for high school and college entrance exams.
E.Nopi West Village Learning Center offers Math and Language Arts supports for children 3-14 years of age during the school year and summer. For other locations visit the website of their parent company.
Huntington Learning Center offers tutoring for children elementary through high school at locations across the region.
Kaplan offers tutoring for elementary to high school children and test preparation for high school, undergraduate and graduate schools, and professional licenses.
Princeton Review one of several approved free tutoring sites for children enrolled in NYC NCLB designated schools. Also provides academic tutoring and test preparation for undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools.
Smart City Tutors offers workshops for parents of preschool-age children as well as tutoring for all grade levels K-12 at their office or in your home.
Sylvan Learning Center offers tutoring for children Pre-K through high school, homework help, study skills, and test preparation.
Thinking Caps Tutoring, with offices in the Upper East Side and Long Island, offers middle and high school students test preparation, subject-specific tutoring, skills coaching, and summer enrichment using innovative and individualized approaches that focus on skills development.
Top Honors, Inc. based on the Upper West Side is a volunteer based program that tutors middle school students in math.
Veritas Tutors & Test Prep located in the Union Square area offers test preparation as well as one-on-one tutoring in middle school, high school, and college subjects.