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What if I Can't Afford a Private Tutor?

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

The school year has started in some states and will start soon in others. If you're a parent who knows your child can benefit from some academic support and you are not sure how to afford it, I have some tips for you.

ONline tutoring helps!

Tutoring is a wonderful way to support students as they learn. One-on-one tutoring and small-group tutoring sessions allow your child to get help and focus on the areas that specifically need work.

Sometimes students are embarrassed or too shy to ask questions in class. Sometimes the teacher is overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of the classroom to help each child at the level needed. Having a tutor regularly meet with your child can boost confidence and understanding of what is being taught in class.

The Brookings Institution, a non-profit public policy organization, published this article on tutoring, saying:

"As educators will attest, tutoring ranks among the most widespread, versatile, and potentially transformative instruments within today’s educational toolkit. We found that tutoring is remarkably effective at helping students learn, with over 80% of the 96 included studies reporting statistically significant effects. Averaging results across the studies included in this analysis, we found a pooled effect size of 0.37 standard deviations. In other words, with the help of tutoring, a student at the 50th percentile would improve to the 66th percentile. In the field of K-12 education research where there is little agreement on what works, these findings are remarkable not only for their magnitude but also for their consistency. The evidence is clear that tutoring can reliably help students catch up."

Since COVID-19, remote learning has become more common. Some parents may feel that in-person tutoring is better for their child. If that's the case, I won't push online tutoring. For those parents who are on the fence about it, consider these benefits of it:

  • Health - Especially in times of a pandemic, there is no need to worry about someone meeting with your child in person and someone getting sick....even if it's just a cold!

  • Convenience - If your child switches households during the week or is not at home for a session, it is still possible to have a session as long as there is an internet connection.

  • Technology - Online tutoring enhances students' comfort level with computers, the internet, and typing. I've witnessed my own students pick up new skills quickly on the computer and even teach me a few things!

  • Multimedia - Tutors can incorporate multimedia and interactive activities and games into the sessions, making the child more engaged and interested in learning.

As on online tutor, I feel that I'm able to do everything with my students online that I'd do with my students in person. In fact, I feel that I have easier access to my resources as an online tutor since I can find them on my computer and upload them to the screen instantly. There were many times when I was tutoring in person and I wished I had a certain piece of paper, book, or image with me. This easy access to materials benefits your child when I am working online.

but how can my child get a tutor if I can't afford one?

There are ways to find an online academic tutor who is eager to help. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased federal and state funding to "close the gap" and provide support to students who need it. Responding to the needs of U.S. schools faced with the risk of learning loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provides $123B for K–12 public schools, the largest single stimulus funding ever directed to K–12 education. These funds must be used by September, 2023. Low-income districts may receive up to $8K per student; high-affluence districts less than $1K per student.

One type of online tutoring that has been shown to help students is called high-dosage tutoring. High-dosage tutoring consists of:

  • Intensive tutoring that occurs one-to-one or in very small groups on a sustained, frequent basis, during the school day

  • An intentional use of additional time with a specific focus on building prerequisite knowledge and skills while also integrating new learning that is part of the grade-level curriculum.

There are companies that provide high-dosage tutoring to schools, but your school district has to know about it first!

Parent advocacy is very important and can make a difference. If you'd like your child to receive high-dosage tutoring provided by your school (and free to you!), make sure you speak to your principal or superintendent about it.

There are many companies offering high-dosage tutoring. Here's a list of some of the companies that your school administrators can look into:

I have personal experience as a tutor with Air Tutors and I can say that working with the kids during their school day is fun for them and gets them excited about the subject. They receive individualized help, get to use computers, and improve their academic skills. Students can ask questions, work on classwork or homework, and help each other over the platform. All of the tutors I interact with from that company are motivated to help and love what they do.

With Air Tutors and Littera Education, the tutors work with each school and its needs and use whichever curriculum aligns with their classroom instruction. With Catapult Learning and Carnegie Learning, the companies use their prescribed method of learning.

Your child's education is important. Speak to other parents in the district and see if you can gather interest in building a program that would be funded by government money. As always, reach out with any questions.


Melissa Agocs

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