Parents may discover their child struggling with reading or writing. Perhaps they aren’t reading at benchmark levels or they have difficulties putting their ideas and thoughts into words during writing assignments. Reading and writing tutoring services can offer extra help and enrichment for children who need more guidance and instruction.
Tutoring services are beneficial in that they can provide one-on-one instruction. Children can get the help they need without competing for the attention of a teacher who also might need to help dozens of students. Here’s how to find reading and writing tutoring services that are convenient and on-budget.
Private Tutors vs. Group Lessons
Private tutoring services ensure that children receive the instructor’s full attention. This is beneficial for children who may really have difficulty grasping difficult concepts. Children who might be easily distracted also might benefit from one-on-one sessions.
Group tutoring sessions or classes also could be an option. These types of tutoring sessions may be structured in small groups. Tutoring sessions could allow the tutor to work individually with kids, or maybe sessions are structured as a class that serves to provide additional instruction on a specific concept or subject.
Parents know their child best. Tutoring in a group, one-on-one tutoring and group classes may serve different needs. Parents should choose the option that best meets the needs of their child…and fits their budget, too.
The Problems Parents Might Have with Tutoring
Families that live in rural areas might face several issues finding tutoring services. Some tutors might not be local, which means parents might have to travel quite a distance to take their child to tutoring sessions.
In some cases, tutoring services also could be expensive. While there are many companies that help match parents to tutors, there are also private tutoring services. Schools also could offer tutoring services, too. Costs, of course, may vary from tutor to tutor or from company to company.
Parents also might worry about safety, too. However, companies that offer tutoring services typically require tutors to go through a background check. This could be reassuring to parents who are unfamiliar with a tutor.
Superprof advises private tutors to get a background check, too. Although, as the site notes, getting a background check isn’t a requirement to be a tutor in the U.S.
Can Parents Find Free Tutoring Services
Parents who are looking for free or low-cost tutors should reach out to their child’s teacher or school administration. Schools might be the best resource to direct parents to low-cost tutoring services offered locally.
The site Understood.org rounded up a list of free or lower cost tutoring resources for parents. For example, Children’s Dyslexia Centers offer free tutoring to children who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Learn to Be also offers free tutoring services, but this is “…based on financial need.” Boys and Girls Club also offers free tutoring for those who are members. However, Understood also includes many options for low-cost tutoring.
Companies that Specialize in Tutoring
There are many companies that specialize in offering tutors for different subjects and needs. Parents may be able to choose from many different tutors and preview prices. Parents can check out different companies and review their policies regarding background checks or other tutoring options. For example, Varsity Tutors offers small class options.
Of course, parents also should research prices to find a tutor or tutoring option that meets their budget. Some companies may require parents to enter their email address for prices and other details.
Parents Can Be Tutors, Too!
What if parents can’t find a tutor in their price range? Or maybe parents just don’t want to pay for a tutor. Parents might or might not have a background in teaching or a specific subject, but they can still serve as a tutor to their child at home.
Many parents can help their child with reading and writing. At the elementary level, parents may be able to guide children with reading and writing assignments on their own. Some parents, though, might not know what is expected in grade-level writing assignments. Sometimes parents overestimate expectations and could push their child to do too much or expect their child to know concepts that might have yet to be introduced.
If parents want to help their child at home but feel that they don’t have a full grasp of the grade-level expectations (teaching methodologies change through the years), they can ask to meet with their child’s teacher for guidance on how to help at home. Teachers may be able to provide parents with some tips related to helping to reinforce certain lessons.
How to Help at Home
When helping children with reading and writing at home, there are a number of resources parents can use as tools.
Creating graphic organizers can help children break down aspects of a story, but these visual tools also can help children organize their thoughts when writing paragraphs or short essays. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provides some templates for these visual tools.
Worksheets also can be used to guide at-home reading instruction. There are a number of sites online where parents can find free printable worksheets. A quick Google search will pull up lots of options.
GreatSchools recommends that parents encourage children to journal at home, too. Journaling can help children understand how to organize thoughts. GreatSchools explains that parents should encourage children to write about their thoughts/emotions, and parents also can have children write about daily events.
Maybe parents can create a list of journaling ideas. Each day, parents can give children a writing prompt for their journal entry. So should a parent read their child’s journal? GreatSchools notes that they can read it…but only if children give the OK.
Write a Book
Each week, encourage children to author their own book at home. These books don’t have to be long, but they should help to reinforce writing concepts that are being taught in the child’s class. Parents can have children write their book on lined paper. Children also can use construction paper or plain printer paper to create a colorful cover. Staple the pages together to bind the book. Parents can help children organize their ideas and work with them to write their story.
Some parents might not feel comfortable trying to tutor their child at home or they might not have the extra time. Today’s parents juggle many roles, and time with children might be crunched if work hours drag into the evening.
For parents who don’t have time to tutor at home and might not have the budget for private tutors, tutoring apps can provide extra enrichment at home and help children progress in subjects and feel more confident. Readability, for example, can help children who struggle with reading. Readability provides a built-in AI tutor that helps to guide lessons. The tutor helps children if they stumble during a story and asks questions after the story to test understanding.
Lessons are leveled to meet the needs and abilities of each child, and children don’t progress to the next level until they demonstrate mastery of their current level. Parents also can check their child’s progress through the Parent Dashboard, which shows how long their child engaged with lessons as well as other pertinent reading data.
The Parent Dashboard also allows parents to create reading reports to send to their child’s teacher. This can help facilitate communication between home and school. Teachers can compare reading reports from Readability to their in-class progress. This can help parents understand that their child’s progress is carrying over into the classroom.
While reading tutors could charge per hour, Readability is billed on a monthly basis, and the price is $19.99 each month. In addition, multiple children (up to three!) can have profiles under one account. For parents who have several children who need extra reading assistance, this benefit can save quite a bit of money each month.
Parents also can sign up to explore Readability with their children at no cost. Readability offers a free seven-day trial period that provides access to all the features of the program. Parents will need to enter payment information to sign up for the trial.
What is the Best Reading and Writing Tutoring Option?
Parents have many choices regarding reading and writing tutoring. So what is the best reading and writing tutoring option?
The best tutoring option is the one that best helps address the child’s individual learning struggles, helps them hit benchmarks and is affordable for the budget. Every child is different, and, for this reason, there is no single ‘best’ option.
In addition, each individual tutor has a different personality and teaching style. Parents who work with private tutors may need to find the tutor that best fits their child’s personality, understands their child’s unique learning needs, and adapts to their child’s learning style, too.
Private tutors might not be the best or most economical choice for all families. And not all parents have the time to tutor their child at home. Apps like Readability can provide one-on-one virtual tutoring at a reasonable monthly price; apps also can be used at any time and can be downloaded to phones or other mobile devices for extra convenience. Children can even engage in reading lessons in the car!
Ready to try Readability? Sign up for a free trial today!