Now that it’s a couple months into the academic year, you’re probably starting to notice your child’s strengths and weaknesses in school, as far as grades go. Maybe they’re acing language arts and struggling in math. Maybe foreign language classes are causing some headache and they could use some help keeping up with the rest of the class. Regardless of which class your child needs help in, there is a solution: tutoring.
Unfortunately, tutoring can be very pricy, with some experienced tutors charging in upwards of $20-30 per hour, depending on their educational background and whether or not they work for an established tutoring company. If you want to help your child improve their academic record without breaking the bank in the process, the following five alternatives to overpriced tutoring services might alleviate some of the financial burden:
Many high schools require a certain number of volunteering hours as a prerequisite for graduation and, given the relative lack of on-the-job skills high schoolers have, many gravitate towards tutoring or coaching younger students. As a parent, contact a high school or other volunteer organizations in your area such as YMCA or perhaps your local church has educators or students willing to donate a little of their time to help a fellow student. Although this is unpaid help, it’s generally recommended that you buy a little gift or something for the tutor when your child no longer requires the assistance of one.
Hire a Student
If there aren’t any volunteers, then hiring a student is the next best thing. Not only are they already immersed in an academic environment—and the ones offering tutoring services tend to be at the top of their class—but they won’t charge you an arm and a leg for elite tutoring services like a full-service tutoring center would. The unemployment rate is quite high among those in high school (even college students aren’t doing so great, employment-wise), so many would be grateful to have some source of regular income. Many students set their own rates (generally a little above minimum wage or even as high as $20+ per hour, depending on the demand for tutors in their specialty), and although they’re not high school or college grads yet, independent student-tutors are fantastic alternatives to paying exorbitant prices for tutoring elsewhere.
**Note: be sure to check their qualifications thoroughly prior to hiring (maybe even ask your child’s teachers or fellow parents for recommendations).
Online tutoring services, whether they’re conducted over email, chat, or live video chat, are becoming increasingly popular in this digital age. Thanks to today’s technologies, even students in rural areas can get top-notch help from tutors and the wide variety of tutors available all over the world means you can do a little price-comparing before selecting a tutor that’s right for your child’s needs. You can also search for online course coupons through sites like Coupon Sherpa, offering savings to Rosetta Stone, Shaw Academy and more. This is especially great for foreign language students who want a tutor whose native language is the one they’re learning.
If hiring an online tutor isn’t right for you or your child’s needs, then check around for local coupons and coupon codes to see if tutoring centers or private tutors have any specials or coupons for first-time customers.
Request a Discount
If you can’t find coupons readily available, you could always just ask. The worst they can say is no, but many places are willing to offer group discounts for multiple students utilizing their tutoring services. Others offer package deals (e.g., sign up for three months and get the fourth month free). The problem with signing up for several months is that you don’t know how long your child will need help in the subject they’re having trouble with, so as a general rule, avoid signing up for several months of tutoring in advance.