Is it becoming clear that your child needs a little extra help in a particular academic area, but you’re not sure that you’re fully equipped to be the one who gives them that help?
Whether it’s a first-grader struggling with reading, a middle-school child falling behind in math, or a high-schooler who just can’t seem to grasp the ins and outs of essay writing, it can be tough to take on the task of helping your child all on your own.
If your homework battles often end in tears, then outsourcing academic help may be the way to go. There are many options out there to give your child that boost they need to improve their skills.
1. One-on-One Tutoring
Usually the most expensive of the extra-help options, one-on-one tutoring can range anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour, depending on the tutor’s experience and expertise. You can sometimes find high-school students who will do it for less, but the cost for professional tutors typically falls in this range.
The benefit is that your child will get that focused attention that he or she may need to truly learn and master a specific subject. This works well for students who are easily distracted and may lose focus in a group setting (even in a fairly small group) or students who may feel shy about asking questions with other kids around.
Many tutors will come to your home for tutoring sessions, which can also help raise your child’s comfort level. You can find a good tutor by asking other parents or teachers if they have any great recommendations, or by using a tutoring agency. Find tutors and tutoring services in the Toronto area.
Don’t be afraid to try several different tutors until you find one that’s the right fit for your child: individual tutoring is expensive, so you want to make sure your child is fully benefiting from the sessions.
2. Group Tutoring
Numerous private learning centres offer small-group tutoring sessions, with groups usually comprising about three to five students. The upside of small-group tutoring is that for some kids, it helps not to have the spotlight shining on them throughout the entire session. Being part of a group takes some of the pressure off, and gives them time to work out some of the answers on their own before the instructor steps in.
Group tutoring can be less expensive than one-on-one sessions, depending on the program—although many do still approach the prices of one-on-one tutoring, and even those that are a little cheaper may still seem fairly expensive for parents on a tight budget. Find group tutoring services in the Toronto area.
3. Free Programs
If your child needs some extra help but you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money—or any at all—there are free programs that can help. First, try asking around the school. Often there are some dedicated teachers who are willing to start up a homework club at school, allowing students who are struggling to stick around for an extra 30 minutes to an hour after school once a week to get help from the teacher.
Public libraries are a great place to look for free services. The Toronto Public Library offers homework help for teens as well as reading help for younger students through its Leading to Reading program, free of charge at select locations.
4. Online Help
The number of websites aimed at helping kids with their academics is definitely on the rise, and teachers these days are frequently recommending their preferred sites to the parents of kids who may need the help. This is ideal for the child who prefers to work independently, and for the parent who isn’t looking to spend big bucks on tutoring.
Start off by asking your child’s teacher if they have any recommendations for helpful sites to work with at home—they may know of a site or two that would perfectly address your child’s specific challenges.
Some commonly recommended sites at the elementary-school level include Starfall and XtraMath, but there is an extremely wide range of sites to choose from, and the number of good ones is growing every day.
TVO Kids, for instance, has its own Homework Zone website and BJ Pinchbeck’s Homework Helper is a gem of a site: it’s a comprehensive collection of reputable sites to help with a variety of academic subjects, from spelling to science, for all grade levels, including high school.