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How to hire a tutor for your child

Choosing the best tutor for your child and determining how much to pay might be difficult. Here are some things to consider.

Following a global pandemic that forced children across the country to learn remotely for nearly two years, it’s not surprising that parents are now looking for more academic support to help their children recover academically.

According to experts, thousands of primary-age pupils are five months behind where they should be in arithmetic and four months behind in reading. As a result, private tuition is on the rise around the world.

As a parent, the prospect of hiring a private tutor can be a daunting one, loaded with many unknowns. What is a decent fee for a tutor? How can you discover a dependable tutor? Not to mention selecting one who matches your child’s personality and needs.

We asked industry professionals to share thoughts on anything from the cost of tutoring to how to choose someone who will be the greatest fit for your child.

How much should you budget for a tutor?

Let’s start with one of the most stressful issues: the cost of private instructors. The hourly fee you pay a tutor is difficult to determine because it varies greatly depending on a variety of factors, such as your geographic region, the degree of skill a teacher possesses, and even things like the number of sessions you sign up for.

Tutors can charge a range of fees depending on their qualifications and expertise. A tutor’s hourly pay can also vary depending on location and subject taught. The hourly rate for a tutor in urban areas, for example, may be greater than the hourly rate for a tutor in a rural community. Tutors who teach specialist subjects, such as music or calculus, may charge a higher hourly rate than tutors who teach general courses, such as arithmetic or English.

The cost of tutoring may also be affected by factors such as if the tutor has a specialised degree or whether you choose in-person or online tutoring sessions.

With all of these things in mind, it’s estimated that parents may expect to pay between R100 and R400 per hour for tutoring services, if not more.

Is it better to employ a tutor through an agency or through personal recommendation?

When we need to employ an expert, we naturally turn to our friends and relatives. After all, what better reference for a tutor than glowing recommendations from someone you trust? But wait: there are advantages and disadvantages to obtaining a tutor through your personal network of contacts vs using a professional tutoring business.

Word of mouth allows you to establish a personal connection with the tutor and ask direct questions about their qualifications and teaching methods. However, finding a tutor by word of mouth who fulfils your unique needs, such as finding a tutor who is experienced in specific topics, can be more challenging.

When dealing with a tutoring organisation, you will most likely have a far broader range of tutors to choose from, and the tutor’s competence will have previously been evaluated by the agency, including background checks and fingerprinting.

Working with an agency also provides you with a larger pool of professionals to choose from, depending on the size of the firm. This can be useful if, for example, your child initially seeks tutoring for math but later requires assistance with another subject.

How do you choose the best instructor for your child?

When looking for a tutor to work with your child, it’s important to look for someone who is not just educated about the subject area but also patient and good with children.

Schedule interviews with possible tutors and ask them specific questions about their teaching approach. During the interviews, ask the tutors how they would help your child improve in school and inquire about their teaching methods and solutions for helping your child master tough concepts.

Achieving the right balance

Effective tutoring combines three crucial factors: subject area expertise, teaching experience and ability, and a good working connection. As a parent looking for a tutor, it is easy to become distracted by one or two of these critical characteristics at the expense of the others.

When it comes to subject matter competence, the most crucial thing is that the tutor has taught the subject at the level and style that the student is studying on a daily basis. A great trained mathematician or local valedictorian may not be a suitable fit for a struggling third-grader who needs to understand the visual depiction of multiplication.

Relationship is another easy-to-overlook factor. The one-to-one connection is a fundamental benefit of tutoring, and parents should consider what form of relationship would be ideal for their student. To put it another way, does your child require someone to keep them organised and accountable? Is it motivation and encouragement that they require the most?

While a similar-aged “study buddy” may be ideal for some kids, a more professional tutor is often the best approach to help your child improve academically.


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