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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 11, 2007

Your child may need tutoring

By Ruth Dalisay

If your child is beginning to fall behind in a certain academic area, it is important to take action as quickly as possible to help her or him get back up to speed. A tutor may be able to help your child by accelerating the learning process in an intimate, one-on-one setting. A tutor also can help compensate for anything that your child has missed in the classroom by offering individualized attention and teaching.

There are signs that can serve as an early indication that your child might benefit from tutoring. For example, your child may make excuses as to why they have not done their homework as a way to avoid a subject he or she is struggling with.

Here are a few tips on how to find the right tutor for your child:

  • Ask friends and your child's teacher for recommendations when reviewing databases of groups or individuals who offer tutoring services. Ask friends and others about what to expect from a tutor, and how to help prepare you and your child for the experience.

  • Research alternative organizations. Several organizations offer informal tutoring services, often for less money. For example, Big Brothers Big Sisters offers a school-based mentoring program that allows students to talk with adults about a wide variety of topics, as well as do homework and read together.

  • Check credentials carefully. Don't hesitate to ask questions to get a feel for how compatible a tutor would be with your child. Possible questions include, "What is your educational background?" "How many other children have you tutored, and what was the outcome?" and "What would your specific teaching approach be with my child?"

    Ruth Dalisay is a Farrington High School teacher and a member of the Hawai'i State Teachers Association.