When a child experiences difficulty academically, parents feel their child is the only one having trouble. The truth is, many children present with difficulties in reading, math or both. As with learning to roll over, sit up, walk, or talk, each child develops academically at his/her own individual pace. Sometimes parents feel they would like to help speed up the learning and begin to look into the many different tutoring avenues. However, searching for the most suitable choice can be daunting. Attempting to narrow the search on the internet turns out to further complicate the matter.

Based on my experience as a teacher and mom, there are a few things that I consider to assist students before recommending the best tutoring alternative. I first like to know the age of the student and the subject of concern. If reading is the issue, I begin to uncover whether the difficulty is with auditory processing, decoding, fluency, comprehension, difficulty with sight words or any other area. If you know your child’s reading level, in relation to their grade, that is also helpful. If math is the area of concern, I like to see if the student has trouble with understanding new concepts, difficulty with drill and practice, retention of skills, or any other relevant information. From there the process begins to fit each student’s needs with the many tools that are out there.

In assisting students, it’s important to develop a strong rapport with them and their families. Having taught students in preschool special education to grade 8 with a variety of learning needs, as well as having two boys myself, I see that each student has very specific needs. Not one program fits all. Each student should have access to a program that is focused on their needs and be accessible to the family’s schedule. Because of this, I see great strength in having online programs available for students 24/7. For families, being able to access resources in this way, makes tutoring an option with our often busy lives.

As you see, there are many things to consider, but essentially it comes down to identifying the student’s difficulties, sifting through the variety of options available, and then matching the student with an appropriate online tutoring method.