If you’re thinking about getting a tutor for your child, there are many factors to consider, including cost and qualifications. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about tutoring and how it differs from educational therapy.
What types of tutoring are there?
Tutors provide extra instruction, outside of the classroom, that can help your child work on different skills, prepare for tests and get better grades. Tutors are often former or current teachers. Sometimes they’re older students skilled in certain subjects, such as geometry or biology. There are also online tutoring services and learning centers that hire certified teachers to provide tutoring.
Some types of tutoring focus on specific areas such as remedial instruction or test prep. But not all tutors specialize in working with kids who have learning and attention issues. Depending on your child’s needs, you might want to consider using an educational therapist or a special education teacher instead of a tutor.
What is an educational therapist?
An educational therapist is specially trained to work with kids who have learning and attention issues. Not all educational therapists are teachers. Psychologists, occupational therapists and speech-language therapists may also provide educational therapy services. The therapist will work with you and your child’s teachers to come up with a plan to address your child’s needs.
An educational therapist may work on school subjects with your child as part of an overall learning plan to address skillbuilding. But the main goal is to teach your child strategies to become a more effective learner. That means the therapist closely monitors your child’s progress and may change teaching strategies, if necessary, so that your child develops the skills to become a successful and independent learner.
Can a tutoring center help with dyslexia?
If your child needs help with issues that arise from dyslexia, it might be better to seek out an educational therapist or a reading specialist. That’s because the tutors at many tutoring centers might not have specific training to work with kids who have dyslexia.
However, there are some centers that offer specialized services for children with dyslexia. For example, there are 50 or so Children’s Dyslexia Centers in 13 states. The centers provide free tutoring for students who have been formally evaluated for dyslexia. The tutors at these centers are trained in multisensory approaches that help with dyslexia.
Do schools pay for tutoring or educational therapy?
In most circumstances, a public school will not pay for private educational therapy. However, there are situations in which the school may provide a tutor free of charge. That’s a result of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. If your child’s school is labeled as “needs improvement,” your child may be eligible for free tutoring.
Being labeled as “needs improvement” means the schools has failed to meet the state’s “adequate yearly progress” standards for more than three years in a row. The school must also be a Title I school. That means at least 40 percent of the students are low-income. You will get a notice in the mail if your child’s school meets these criteria. You will have to sign up for tutoring and choose a tutor from a school-approved list.
Is an “executive functioning coach” a type of tutor or an educational therapist?
Technically, an “executive functioning coach” is not a tutor. This type of coach may be a psychologist, a social worker or an educational therapist who can work with your child to improve his executive functioning skills, such as learning how to plan ahead and organize his work space and belongings.
This coach can also work with your child on setting goals, prioritizing, problem solving and keeping track of his progress. She will work to build a trusting relationship with your child. This can help him feel more comfortable taking risks and learning new ways to approach problems.
How can I find a tutor?
First, figure out the area in which your child needs extra help. You can also:
- Ask your child’s school for recommendations.
- Call local children’s hospitals and colleges to see if they have a list of providers.
- Contact the Association of Educational Therapists or the National Institute for Learning Development. Both organizations keep lists of certified educational therapists.