Parents Partnering with Tutors

By: Lisamarie Sanders

Parental involvement in a child's education is key, and that's true for all education – including tutoring. Unfortunately, many parents only see the tutor when they drop off their child and their payment. To get the best results from a tutoring relationship, parents need to get more involved.

  1. Be respectful and responsible in the relationship. Arrive on time. Be sure your child is prepared for the session. Give adequate notice if your child is unable to attend. Come a few minutes early to pick up your child so that you can talk with the tutor on your time, not hers. Treat your tutor as you would any other professional. And make tutoring a priority; it is one of the most important things you can do for your struggling child.
  2. Get more involved by spending time with your child and tutor after each session to discuss what happened during the session. Don't be afraid to ask questions: What skills did you focus on? What were the child's strong areas? What does she still need to work on? Ask for specific activities you can do at home to reinforce the lesson or provide extra help for your child.
    "I love it when parents ask how they can be involved and supportive," says Sandy Fleming, a professional tutor and educational consultant in Michigan. "I give them homework-games to play or other enjoyable activities that reinforce what we're studying." She says it's important for the learning to be fun, not forced.
  3. Communicate regularly with your child's teachers. Ask about how the child is progressing, and what problems exist. Share this information with the tutor who may not be able to get the same information.
  4. Listen and observe your child. Be aware of your child's feelings and the rapport he has with his tutor. If there is a personality conflict or any other sort of problem, discuss it with the tutor. If you fear that something is dangerous or "just not right," follow your instincts.

You are your child's first teacher and best advocate. By staying involved in her total education, you give her the very best chance for academic success.

Note from LD OnLine

Parents often hire tutors to help their children with learning disabilities study subject areas that cause them trouble. LD OnLine recommends that you tell the tutor about your child's learning disabilities. Tell the tutor what helps and hinders your child's progress.

For more information on selecting a tutor, read How to choose a tutor or other educational service provider.

For information about educational therapy, which helps the student remediate their learning disabilities, visit the Association of Educational Therapist's (AET) website.

Under copyright by Partnership For Learning, a national award-winning nonprofit at www.PartnershipForLearning.org. Reprinted with Permission.

Sanders, L. (2003). Parents as Partners. Retrieved June 25, 2007. Web site: http://www.partnershipforlearning.org/article.asp?ArticleID=1963