Finding right tutor for your child doesn’t have to be tricky

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QUINCY — You might be planning to hire a tutor this school year to keep your child motivated and learning. Many kids can benefit from a tutor to give them extra support in a subject that’s difficult for them or to prepare them for a tough assignment.

Your student’s academic needs are unique. A wide variety of tutoring options are available to meet their needs. You can hire tutors who specialize in different subjects, offer short- or long-term tutoring and can meet students virtually or in-person.

It can be overwhelming to sort through all the options to make sure you hire a quality tutor for your child. BBB often receives complaints and inquiries about tutoring services. Common complaints are paying for sessions that tutors didn’t attend, dissatisfaction with the quality of lessons and difficulty obtaining a refund.

How can you make sure your student is getting the best tutoring possible?

To start, you can search any tutoring service’s BBB Business Profile to see if they’re BBB Accredited. You can look at their reviews, complaints and their rating to get an idea of their track record. Compare the tutor’s experience and teaching style with your child’s needs to decide if they might be a good fit for your family.

BBB’s tips for hiring a tutor:

  • Know your child’s needs. Set some guidelines before you begin your search. You’ll want to look for tutors or tutoring services that are knowledgeable in the subject your student needs support in and have experience working with children your student’s age. Some tutors are better at homework help, some focus on long-term learning and some excel at quick test preparation. Ask tutors how they typically work and see if that aligns with what your child needs.
  • Ask around. Family, friends or other families at your child’s school may have had a good experience with a tutor they can recommend. Ask school employees or your child’s favorite teacher for a recommendation.
  • Do your research. Search for tutors near you at BBB.org, and check out the company’s BBB Business Profile before you sign a contract or pay any money. Ask the tutor about their qualifications and job experience. Request references and call them to ask about their experience with the tutor.
  • Discuss the details. Ask the tutor about their availability, the cost and frequency of tutoring sessions, and the overall length of time you’ll need the tutor.
  • Include your child in the hiring process. Your child will learn better with a tutor they trust and like. Make sure your child is comfortable with the tutor you hire, and check in frequently after lessons begin to make sure their needs are being met.

Don O’Brien is the regional director for the Quincy Better Business Bureau. Contact him at dobrien@quincybbb.org or (217) 209-3972.

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