School’s back in session and report cards will be out before you know it. It’s important to stay proactive when it comes to your child’s academic success. If your child struggles with new curriculum, or just needs a head start with standardized testing, a tutoring service can be a valuable tool. Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona wants to make sure you get the most for your money when it comes to your child’s educational needs.
BBB complaints against tutoring services have steadily decreased over the past three years, which shows more parents are doing their homework. In 2012, nearly 300 complaints were filed nationwide with BBB regarding tutoring services. Most complaints allege their child’s grades did not improve despite using a tutoring service. Others allege refunds were not returned as agreed upon.
There are different types of services available. Private tutors can offer the most direct approach. Commercial learning centers can provide a customized learning environment for your child. Online tutoring services are also available.
BBB has these further recommendations when seeking a tutor for your child:
- Do your research. When seeking the right tutoring service or commercial learning center for your child, check out the company’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org to view the company’s complaint history and more.
- Get referrals. Ask for referrals from your child’s teacher. Other parents and friends can be a great resource as well.
- Look for credentials. Check the tutor’s credentials and make sure he or she is qualified in the right subject area for your child’s needs.
- Schedule a meeting. Meet with the tutor and discuss measurable, specific goals. While a tutoring program can’t necessarily guarantee higher test scores, a tutor can help identify problem areas and address any specific subjects where your child needs help.
- Follow up on sessions. If you use a personal tutor, feel free to occasionally sit in on a session and observe how the tutor and your child are working together. Ask the tutor for advice on what you can do as a parent to help your child learn more effectively.
- Read the terms and conditions. Be sure you understand details of your payment plan and what happens if you decide to cancel. Get everything in writing.
- Know your options. According to the U.S. Department of Education, low-income families can enroll their child in free extra academic help if their child attends a Title I school-designated by individual states to be in need of improvement for more than one year.