“I hate this!  I’ll never finish this homework!  I give up!”  Sound familiar? If your child’s algebra homework is keeping you up all night, you are not alone.

A recent survey found that almost 50% of parents can’t help their kids with homework because they don’t know the material. That’s no surprise. Many subjects are taught differently today and let’s face it most parents haven’t sat in a classroom looking at equations for 20 years.

Don’t stress. Help is available and it can bring peace back to your house. Almost 30% of middle school and high school students use a tutor at some point to keep their grades up, build confidence and work on their study skills. 

There are many tutoring options available to students from small group sessions at tutoring centers to tutors who come to your house and online tutoring that you can access anytime. If you’re thinking about hiring a tutor, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Get Help Early:  A survey of 500 math tutors found that the number one reason students are struggling is because they missed an earlier concept in class. Students fall behind, get frustrated and sometimes give up. Getting help earlier keeps students on track with their class. Often, just a few sessions with a tutor can get great results and keeps the cost down too.

Choose One to One over Group Lessons: Students are sitting in classrooms learning in groups all day. When they have a homework problem, the best solution is personalized help that focuses on their needs and learning style. Too many tutoring centers rely on group sessions and worksheets. It’s better to invest in one to one tutoring to get great results. In the long run, you’ll spend less and your child will learn more.

Get Help on Your Schedule: Parents and students are busier than ever before. Work, sports, and other activities keep your child going all day long. Students walk in the door exhausted and the last thing they want is to sit down with a tutor for an hour.  Find a tutor who has flexible hours to meet the needs of your child and your family. Online tutoring solves this problem by being available 24/7.

Pick the Right Tutor: Here’s what parents should look for in a tutor: passionate about teaching and connecting to your child; experienced in the subject your child needs help in; teaches your child the concepts they need so that they can do the next problem on their own.

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Make Sure it Works: Parents and students often use tutoring to improve grades. If you work with a tutor in your home, make sure you build in time to review your child’s progress with the tutor. Online tutoring captures every tutoring session and emails it to your inbox so you can review your child’s work.

Cost:  Costs can vary widely based on the type of help you select and where you live. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$150 an hour for both tutoring centers and for tutors who come to your home. Most tutors work with your child in your home for an hour or two each week for several months. Many online tutoring sites offer a free session or two so that you can try out a tutor and see how the experience works.  Online tutoring is usually under $40 an hour.

Once you have selected a tutoring option that works best for your child and your family, check in with your child to see how they are feeling. And take note of their behavior. Does homework time seem less stressful? Do they complain less about school and the subject they are getting help in? Beyond grades and completed homework assignments, this lets you know that the help is working. Need more information about tutoring and homework help? Go to Tutor.com.

Tutor.com General TipsMandy Ginsberg: Mandy is a seasoned CEO and a mom. After seven years of helping make Match.com one of the best know dating sites in the world, she was ready for a new challenge fueled by her passion for giving kids a great education. After watching her fifteen year old daughter use Tutor.com for help with physics and algebra ll, she wanted to learn more about the company. Several months later, she joined Tutor.com as CEO. While she is best known professionally for the “Real First Dates” campaign for Match.com, Mandy has also been a student and single mom while getting through Wharton Business School and raising a toddler.

Now married with two children, Mandy is experiencing the exhilaration and fear of having a teen daughter who is starting to think about college and a five-year old daughter just beginning elementary school. Mandy is helping moms navigate the day-to-day homework and longer road to college with insights from Tutor.com’s community of 3,000 tutors and almost 10 million tutoring sessions. 

Mandy was a competitive soccer player at the University of California at Berkeley and she has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She is on the Board of Care.com

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