For many parents who have a student struggling in school, the idea of tutoring can seem like a great idea. After all, it’s not that expensive if you find something to fit your budget; everyone else is doing it (or at least it seems that way); and you figure you can just try it out for a little while to see if it helps your kid’s situation. Tutoring seems like a panacea for everything from your kid’s perceived weaknesses to your school’s weaknesses to those dreaded nightly homework fights.
The reason I started this blog, though, is that like other things you may consider trying “just once” or “in moderation”, tutoring has an uncanny habit of drawing you in deeper and deeper. And like those other addictive things (I’m talking about chocolate, of course, what did you think I was talking about?), after the initial rush of the first few visits has passed (happy kid, better grades), you will likely find yourself being drawn in deeper and deeper despite diminishing returns and increased expense.
More hours spent at the center.
More subjects your student is getting help in.
Like sugar, tutoring can be a fine thing in moderation, but it often becomes an addictive and self-reinforcing habit that will draw you in deeper, sucking all the money you have to give and yet you always being aware that somehow you always wish you had just a little more (sugar). And who’s going to be there to help you quit? Not the tutoring company, that’s for sure; they’re the ones who made you sign that 12-month commitment just to get started!
Your kid certainly isn’t going to make it easy for you to quit either, considering he’s getting someone else to do his homework for him. And since you’ll probably have new pro-tutoring friends — other tutoring parents you see at the center — there’s no one there to help you kick, even if you wanted to, which you won’t because tutoring has after-effects and repercussions and family dynamics that somehow make it seem like the only fix is more tutoring.
A dose of reality
Since everyone else in your life is going to be pushing you into more tutoring, I want to use this blog as the voice of reason, letting you know that it’s okay — heck, it’s even recommended — that you exhaust all the other possibilities available prior to wading into the world of tutoring (and tutoring companies).
And by all means, try a video service like ours first to maintain your student’s confidence!
But if you do decide to take the plunge into in-person tutoring (or if you are already in too deep), I want to use my inside knowledge of the industry — as seen by a long-time high-priced tutor on in Santa Monica & Brentwood — to help you navigate your tutoring experience:
- How to wait as long as possible before taking the tutoring plunge, then wait a little longer;
- How to smell the ripoff when the tutoring company goes for the upsell;
- How to keep an eye out for the warning signs of Tutoring Dependency Syndrome
- Why not to go with that tutor recommended by everyone else in your kid’s school (or the counselor’s office);
- Why to look for an independent tutor who has actual experience, rather than a company that will send you a 20-year-old sporting a “system” she learned over a weekend-long training session.
Or, you could just skip the drama and put you or your student on a healthy diet of ThatTutorGuy.com videos (because anyone who says you can do better in math without a lot of hard work is selling you something).
So check out the site, poke around, and learn a bit about the industry that’s been good to me but might not be the best fit for your family.