Should you hire a tutor to help your child to read?

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.

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