Under these circumstances, I recommend hiring a reading tutor:
- You, the parent, are not a native English speaker. Even though you can read and speak English well, you want your child exposed to a wider variety of words or better grammar than you know. You want your child to pattern a native speaker of English.
- You, the parent, are not a native English speaker. You are embarrassed by your spoken English. You cannot answer your elementary school-aged child’s questions about words, story meaning and grammar.
- You, the parent, are not a native English speaker. You want someone immersed in the culture to explain idioms or allusions.
- You are not well-educated and your child is surpassing your knowledge of English. You can no longer give your child the support you want to give.
- Your child has learning problems. You have tried to help, but your child is not making progress.
- You suspect your child’s teacher or school is not good, and you want to supplement the instruction your child is receiving.
- Your child is stubborn and out-of-control. If the child were more pliant, you could probably offer the needed help, but the child’s history suggests an outsider might be a better match.
- You know how to help, but you have no time. It’s easier to find the money to pay a tutor than it is to find the time to work with your child.
- By the middle of first grade (or sooner), your child can barely read.
- Your child is hyperactive and needs one-on-one instruction in order to pay attention.
I have tutored students in reading and writing for more than 20 years. I believe most kids can benefit from tutoring, but most kids don’t need tutors.