Tutoring – Could This Provide the Support Your Child Needs?

Tue. 02/27/2018

Your child is struggling in school. Your participation in homework is increasingly essential to complete assigned tasks.  Conversations with your child’s teacher indicate they are falling further and further behind.  Don’t wait to see if improvement happens on its own.  The earlier you act, the better off your child will be.  Having a tutor outside of school might just offer the help your child needs.

Depending on your child’s learning needs, there are several different types of tutoring to consider.


Remediation can help to achieve grade-level skills in academic subjects such as math, reading or written expression.  When the focus of tutoring is remediation, tutors address specific skills to help your child catch up or close the grade level gap in a single subject or a variety of subjects.


When your child is working at grade level but struggling, you may seek a tutor to help your child keep up with the performance demands.  Maintenance tutoring often involves supporting weaknesses with organization, attention, time management and study skills.


While other tutoring types may be a combination of both remediation and maintenance, tutoring which targets test preparation and even enrichment are not uncommon.

For the student with dyslexia or related learning differences, remediation and maintenance support are the most frequent goals of tutoring.  Deciding which type of tutoring is best for your child is your first step and taking into consideration information such as teacher input, school records and, often, results of a formal comprehensive evaluation will help drive your decision.

Finding the Right Tutor

The next most important decision you will need to make is hiring the right tutor.  Research confirms that the single most important factor in a child’s success is the knowledge and skill of the teacher.  The reading tutor should be have training in teaching students who have dyslexia, ( which means trained in at least one multi-sensory structured language (MSL) program). These types of programs are critical because they specifically address the challenges that people with dyslexia are faced with and have demonstrated a high level success in improving reading skills for those learners.  Asking a potential tutor about their background and training related to dyslexia is central in your search for the right tutor.   Second to that is assessing if you and your child connect with the tutor in a personal way.  Several good questions to help with that inquiry include:

  • What training or education related to dyslexia have you had?
  • How long have you been tutoring students with dyslexia? What ages and grades?

Also important is the consideration of intensity.  How often a tutor recommends scheduling sessions to assure measurable improvement, your personal financial situation and your ability to make time for those sessions in your family’s busy life, all weigh in when considering how often your child works with a tutor.   For individual tutoring, most programs recommend one-hour sessions, two or three times per week. Rates for tutors with specialized backgrounds and certifications can range from $40 to $95 an hour.  You may want to consider the following as you make a final selection.

  • How long will it take to see results? How will results be measured?
  • How often will feedback be provided? In what form?  Will there be reports, checklists or formal testing?
  • What is the cancellation policy? Are make-up sessions possible?
  • What is the cost and payment arrangement?

Don’t hesitate to request references from prior or current clients. Contact them and evaluate their feedback.  Private tutoring is a big commitment for any family but the benefits for children with dyslexia can be significant.

The Summit School serves bright students with dyslexia and other learning differences in grades 1-8. Teachers maximize students’ strengths and support areas of weakness. Summit empowers students and prepares them for success in high school and beyond.  For more information about the Summit School, click here.  In addition to a day school, Summit offers through its Summit Resource Center, diagnostic testing services, individual tutoring, summer programs, consultations and free workshops and seminars. For more information on the Summit Resource Center, click here or contact Nancy Rhodes at , x147.

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