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7 Tips For Choosing The Right Tutor For Your Struggling Reader

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

A tutor specializes in a subject and helps to improve skills related in their targeted area.

A tutor can help a student develop study and time management skills.

A tutor can help with homework but this should not be the main focus.

Benefits of a reading tutor:

  • A tutor provides one-on-one attention. In the classroom, the teacher is responsible for the learning of 25-35 students. It is an impossible for the teacher to give enough one-on-one attention to all the students. During this time, many schools are going online. This makes is very hard if not impossible to get individualized attention.

  • The tutor will focus on building the appropriate reading skills your child actually needs.

  • A tutor builds a positive relationship with your child. It can be easy to forget the emotional and mental part of reading. This part is just as important as the actual reading skills. A child needs to have self-confidence and self-esteem to grow.

  • The tutor will help the student gradually become more responsible for their own learning. The ultimate goal for tutoring is for the child to be able to increase their reading skills by gaining skills that he or she will have for the long run.

Reading is an important lifelong skill that is needed.

A good tutor will…

…asses the student for all parts of reading and create a customized plan for your child. This plan should have realistic goals.

…be aware of the student’s personality, learning style, and attitude towards reading. This helps to keep the student engaged with the lessons. Engaged students are students who will learn.

…use a multi-sensory approach when possible. Learning is best when all senses are being used. Online sessions can still accomplish this with interactive classroom-like tools.

… encourages oral expression in an enjoyable way. This does not only come in the form of formal academic conversations. Informal discussions help to increase background knowledge (this is important to comprehension strategies and boost your child’s self confidence).

… teach at your child’s level. This should be assessed in the beginning. This is not connected to your child’s actual reading level in school. For instance, I test 3 reading levels for both fiction and non-fiction. I consider 3 levels for each of my students.

I want to know what is the easy, instructional, and frustration levels. Activities at the easy level helps to boost the student’s self-confidence. A student will learn appropriately at the instructional level. The frustration level is where students feel defeated and my give up.

…answers your questions and addresses your concerns promptly. A tutor should provide contact information and how he or she will stay in consistent communication. This applies to assessment results, goal plans, monthly/bi-monthly reviews, or any questions that come up.

…affirm your child’s success along the way. Often children who struggle with reading have negative feelings towards reading and themselves. Children will think they are stupid because they cannot read like their classmates or even siblings. This mindset is detrimental to your child’s ability to be successful.

I hope you find your child the reading tutor that matches your child and family.


I’m always interested in hearing from parents.

What’s the most important concern when selecting a tutor for your child?


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