The reading test results came back from school. You might have feared those results and those reports. What you feared, though, might not have been reflective of those scores. Maybe they were a tad lower than expected, but nothing bad. Still, maybe as a parent, you feel that your child needs a little help to hit the benchmarks.
Should you hire a reading tutor? That depends on your budget and your preference. If you’re interested in a tutor to help your child, though, here is our recommendation for the best tutor for reading. Surprise: it doesn’t necessarily involve an actual person!
The Private Tutor
There are many companies that offer tutoring services; these companies may link you up to a private tutor who has been vetted and meets your needs. Typically, parents can find rates to figure out if the cost is in line with the budget. Angie’s List says that parents may expect to pay anywhere from $45 to $60 per hour. The rate, though, may depend on the company, individual and the subject.
Tutoring—private tutors—can get expensive over time. If your child needs tutoring multiple times a week, the cost will go up quickly. While tutors are a great option to help a struggling reader, they certainly aren’t the only option.
Parents need to feel comfortable with the tutor’s abilities, background, and, of course, pricing, before moving forward with lessons. Parents also may need to figure out times that work with the tutor’s schedule and the child’s schedule, too. Unfortunately, this can be a lot of juggling, especially if the child is involved in multiple sports or activities.
A Virtual Tutor
If a private tutor isn’t an option because of cost, time or personal comfort (some parents just aren’t comfortable), then a virtual reading tutor also could be a solution. Some companies offer parents an online tutoring option, which, during Covid, could be ideal. Again, though, cost could be a factor.
Another way to find a virtual tutor is by using a reading program at home. Some reading apps like Readability include an integrated AI-guided reading tutor. The tutor recognizes the child’s voice and provides feedback and assistance when a child struggles during lessons. Readability’s AI tutor also asks questions related to the story’s content to gauge understanding.
A virtual tutor built into a reading program can provide feedback and guidance similar to an in-person tutor. The difference for parents is that programs like Readability are typically charged per month, not per hour.
A virtual tutor also could provide parents with more control over lessons. Readability includes a Parent Dashboard that shows how long a child used the program as well as their current reading level and progress. There isn’t a question about if the program is working. If a parent is concerned about progress, they simply need to review the dashboard.
Are There Free Reading Tutors?
Parents may wonder if they can find free tutors. While programs exist that could provide free tutoring to students in need, these may be limited. Children also may need to qualify; some are provided to children who have a diagnosed medical condition. Others may be tied to high school programs and may only be offered to certain grade levels (high school children may only be able to tutor middle schoolers or peers in their school).
Many tutors will charge for their services, although parents might find relatives who may offer services for free (maybe an aunt was a former teacher). While free programs may be limited, parents can still research programs offered in their area. It never hurts to research free programs.
Before committing to any tutor or program, parents should make sure that the program or individual is vetted. Background checks are typically required by tutoring companies. Make sure all tutors are properly screened, and parents also shouldn’t hesitate to inquire about educational background.
Do Tutors Offer a Free Trial?
Unfortunately, when you hire a tutor you likely won’t be able to secure a free trial. Not many tutors would be too willing to tutor for free just to make sure that the parents are happy. However, using a reading app allows parents to try the virtual tutor free of charge.
If those reading scores were just a little low and parents need to get a child back on track, they may want to try out a few programs before committing. Many apps or programs will provide a free trial period for this reason. Readability offers a seven-day trial period that gives children access to the app’s features and benefits. If parents aren’t happy with the program or the child just doesn’t like it, just cancel and move on.
Ready to try Readability? Sign up for a free seven-day trial today!