For children who are struggling academically, routine homework assignments can seem daunting and simple test preparation can cause anxiety, frustration and tears. Tutoring can be a game changer for children who are falling behind, but parents may feel overwhelmed by the myriad of options available when trying to find the best match for their child.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the search and simplified the process by compiling practical tips and a guide to tutoring resources in the Cincinnati area. Whether you’re considering long-term or short-term tutoring, we have you covered.
WORKING WITH A TUTOR
- Consider qualifications:First, determine the parameters of your search. Would you prefer a professional teacher or are you also willing to consider a high school student, such as a National Honor Society member, or even a retired teacher in your neighborhood perhaps? Many schools provide a list of available tutors upon request, which may include teachers and students who are willing to work with younger children. What is the tutor’s background? Does he or she have relevant tutoring experience at the appropriate grade level and subject? Can references be provided? Credentials for tutors can vary significantly. Some professional tutoring centers require tutors hold a teaching license while others do not. Also, consider the tutor’s teaching style and methods for motivating students. A standardized approach is not generally as effective with a child who requires remediation. Is the tutor capable of utilizing a variety of teaching styles if a student requires a different approach? Don’t hesitate to ask hard questions upfront to better understand the tutor’s qualifications and methods.
- Define measurable goals Consider your specific purpose for hiring a tutor. Most often it’s about catching up to grade level, but it could also be helpful for improving in a particular subject or mastering a foreign language. Agree on achievable goals that you can track. Some tutors chart progress through diagnostic testing while others maintain detailed records to track progress. Set clear expectations by discussing goals with both the child and tutor to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Give it time Commit to the process. It might take time for the tutor and child to build rapport – a necessary step in the process. Don’t underestimate the importance of interpersonal connection. Personality conflict is cited as the most common reason for a lack of improvement from tutoring. Dread and anxiety before each tutoring session is a red flag and may indicate an underlying personality conflict. Observe your child during tutoring sessions. Ultimately, he or she should be engaged, not bored or stressed. Once the child gains momentum, you should notice enthusiasm and self-confidence grow as subject mastery develops. Commit to a minimum of weekly sessions for a set length of time before stepping back to evaluate whether the tutor is a good fit.
Brain Balance of Cincinnati
Brain Balance is a drug-free, non-medical approach that combines physical and sensory exercise with academic skill training and a Clean-Eating Nutrition System, to improve individual performance and social behavior with children who struggle. A personalized assessment tests hundreds of behavioral and academic functions, creating a personalized view of your child that identifies any areas that need attention. Test results are used to create a program roadmap that addresses each child’s specific needs. Learn more at www.brainbalancecenters.com
12084 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati
Cornerstone Academy & Learning
Cornerstone offers private, semi-private or group lessons for all subjects, including math, English, science, public speaking, social studies and Spanish. In addition, Cornerstone offers book clubs, writing workshops, creative and critical thinking classes and SAT prep.
11790 Snider Rd (inside Five Seasons Sports Club), Cincinnati
A Grade Ahead
Developed by national education experts and updated annually based upon best practices, A Grade Ahead provides state-of-the-art curricula that meets and exceeds common core standards. Tutors provide assistance with a range of subjects including math, science, English and test prep, as well as enrichment camps and workshops. Learn more at http://agradeahead.com/mason
7940 Mason-Montgomery Road, Mason
Huntington Learning Centers
Huntington’s tutors work with students of all ages and abilities to improve their grades. They also address self-confidence, organizational skills and study habits. Huntington can tailor programming with an individualized instruction in a number of academic fundamentals including reading, writing, phonics, math, science and study skills. Learn more at https://huntingtonhelps.com/tutoring
11385 Montgomery Rd. Suite 220
Harpers Station Shopping Center, Cincinnati
454 Ohio Pike
Cherry Grove Plaza, Cincinnati
8179 Princeton-Glendale Rd, West Chester
Kumon Math & Reading Center
Kumon is a structured self-learning program that aims to help children develop critical thinking skills to learn new materials independently. The key to Kumon Programs is the individualized instruction, carefully planned by an instructor with an emphasis on active learning. Two days a week the child completes assignments at a Kumon center. The other five assignments are completed at home. Regular conferences between the parent and the child’s instructor help gauge progress, goals and motivation. Learn more at http://www.kumon.com/
9719 Kenwood Rd, Blue Ash
8315 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati
Mathnasium uses an in-depth initial assessment to identify challenge areas. Instructors then create a customized learning plan. The proprietary curriculum was developed out of 40 years of experience teaching math and focuses on helping kids build their number sense so they truly understand math. Learn more at http://www.mathnasium.com
9525 Kenwood Rd., Ste. 15, Blue Ash
10673 Loveland-Madeira Rd, Loveland
8217 Arbor Square Dr., Mason
7602 Cox Lane, West Chester
Sylvan Learning Centers
Sylvan offers personal custom-tailored tutoring programs for students between kindergarten and twelfth grade in reading, math, writing, homework help, study skills, state test prep and college prep. Sylvan employs a four-step approach called Sylvan Insight in an effort to make learning personal and meaningful. Tutors are available for regular monthly conferences and progress reports. Real-time information on the child’s progress is also available anytime at the mySylvan website.
7466 Beechmont Ave, Suite 416, Cincinnati
576 Centre View Blvd, Crestview Hills, KY
7841 Tylersville Rd, West Chester
CINCINNATI PUBLIC LIBRARY RESOURCES
Students (Kindergarten-Adult) can receive live online homework help, skills building, writing assistance, test prep help and more from expert tutors via a service called HelpNow. HelpNow is a comprehensive suite of online academic services, including a writing lab, language lab, live expert help and test center, designed to support many learning needs and styles. HelpNow provides unique services for each of the three main sources of learning – expert instruction, peer-to-peer collaboration and self-study. Learn more at www.cincinnatilibrary.org/resources/helpnowfaqs.html
WEBSITES FOR PRIVATE TUTORS
Online lessons offer instant access to the nation’s largest network of over 80,000 vetted instructors, regardless of location. The website also features a service to match you with a local tutor in your area for in-person lessons. Wyantz.com features experts in subjects including math, science, English, foreign language, computer, finance, economics, music, sports and test prep.
Care.com offers access to a network of service providers, including tutors. Search for tutors near you and find matches by subject experience, hourly rate and user ratings. Access background checks and references.
Varsitytutors.com focuses on flexible online and in-home tutoring by highly credentialed tutors. Only a small fraction of tutoring candidates who apply ultimately make it through the interview process.
Having your child work with a tutor can mean the difference between struggling at school or really excelling there. By gaining confidence academically, you may even see a trickle-down effect in other areas of your student’s life. With a little advance preparation and research, finding the best tutoring option to fit the unique needs of your child can make next semester the best one yet.