Tutoring Centers vs. Online Tutoring: Which is Better for You?

Tutoring Center vs. Online TutoringIf you have decided that your child needs tutoring, it may seem like that was a big enough decision on its own.  And, really, it is huge.  Give yourself a pat on the back for being productive and engaged in your child’s academic future!  Unfortunately, though, it’s not the end of the road.  You still need to decide how your child will receive tutoring.  Generally, there are two paths you can choose between. You can visit a tutoring center, or you can engage with an online tutor.  This, of course, begs the question: which is right for your child? Here are a few simple questions to help you decide between a tutoring center and online tutoring.

What are your goals?

What are your reasons to start tutoring?  If you have a more long-term goal, such as getting caught up in a subject or trying to move to a higher grade level, there’s a good chance that a tutoring center is a better move.  A tutor your child meets with regularly will be able to track your child’s progress and set goals, as well as ensuring your child completes homework assignments completely and correctly.

The online tutoring services we found typically connect your child with a random tutor who is logged in and qualified in the subject matter, so your child will be meeting with a new person for most sessions.  This means that the tutor won’t know your child’s history but will instead only be dealing with whatever issue your child brings to that session.

If you have more short-term goals, such as help editing a paper or clarification of a confusing topic, online tutoring may be a better fit.  Your child will have the option of logging on only when he or she needs help, rather than committing to a regular session.

How independent is your child?

If he or she is older, more mature, and fully capable of understanding when he or she needs help, online tutoring could be a good fit.  Your child will be able to decide for him or herself when his or her academic workload becomes too much and can log on to receive help at that time.  That way, he or she will only be receiving help when he or she needs it.

If your child seems like he or she may have trouble figuring out when he or she is falling behind (which is normal for most kids), in-person tutoring is likely the way to go.  The tutor will make these determinations and decide how to best approach the situation to get your child performing at his or her best.

What is your price range?

As you may have gathered from some of the above descriptions, this type of online tutoring happens less frequently than tutoring in a center.  Therefore, it will be less costly.  If you know your child needs help but are unable to afford an expensive weekly tutoring session, online tutoring could be a good compromise.

Another option if you are trying to save money is to enroll in an after school enrichment program, which tends to be more cost-effective than tutoring.  This can be a good option if your child needs a bit of help or is in need of a challenge, but doesn’t necessarily require an individualized setting to learn.

How busy is your child?

Sometimes, a child’s schedule can be pretty daunting, so if your reasons for enrolling don’t require a tutoring center, online tutoring could be more beneficial.  That is, the in-person tutoring won’t be nearly as helpful for your child if simply making time for the appointment each week is a stressful ordeal.  Online tutoring offers more flexibility, so your child can get help when it’s convenient and with no notice.  In-person tutoring offers some wiggle room, but you still have to give your tutor plenty of notice if you need to shift or cancel appointment times.

Should your child have a slightly more open schedule, in-person tutoring won’t cause unnecessary stress.  And truly, if time does allow for a regular meeting, it’s almost definitely going to be the better option.  Kids understandably can have trouble knowing if they’ve simply misunderstood a solitary concept or if they’re missing the big picture on a subject.  Meeting a tutor regularly in a center helps make sure your child receives help when he or she needs it, not when he or she thinks she needs it.

Does this guide help you decide which tutoring option is best for your child?  Do you still have questions on choosing a tutor?  Let us know!

By Victoria Kerns, teacher at A Grade Ahead

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