Whether young or old, at the top of his class or barely getting by, every child needs a helping hand with school work at one point or another. No one is equally good at every subject, and sometimes the difference between success and failure is knowing when you have to ask for help. You don’t want your kids to think they have to be perfect to impress you, and if you are involved in their education you’ll know when they are struggling. Of course, for most of us it’s been quite some time since we’ve delved deeply into many of these subjects, and you won’t always be able to help them the way they need. In these instances, hiring a tutor is a great choice. But what if your budget is limited, as it is for most of us these days? Rest assured that you can find resources to provide free or low cost tutoring options for your kids. Here are a few places to start your search.
Your first step should always be contacting your child’s school. Many public districts have after-school tutoring programs that are completely free of charge. They are often taught by each school’s full-time teachers, but sometimes you’ll also find student-teachers taking the opportunity to hone their craft. These tutoring sessions won’t be private, but they will give your child consistent, quality attention that could get him back on the right course. Find out what’s available right at your child’s school before expanding your search.
You may have to expand your search though, especially if the demand is high. In that case, check with the library or local community center. Town libraries often provide extra help on specific subjects, though they will generally trend towards english, reading and history. Community centers provide a place for tutors to work very inexpensively, and since they don’t have to come to your home and can see several students in one session they could give you a steep reduction over their regular rates. These options may be more limited, but ask around before coming out of pocket.
Next, check the local universities. There will always be college students looking to make some extra money, and many of them do so by tutoring. In this case you might even be able to set up private tutoring out of your house. Make sure you check their references so you know who you are dealing with. But in order to keep costs low, consider driving the tutor back and forth, setting up the tutoring sessions on the college campus, or even bartering with the student for a reduced rate. You have no idea how far the offer of homecooked meals several nights a week could go, but it never hurts to ask.
Finally, fire up the internet to find some alternative tutoring options. You’ll quickly notice several websites that offer inexpensive tutoring in a wide range of subjects. But also hunt around for some of the new open source educational systems that have popped up. Many of them are app-based, and some will even provide an accredited online tutor, all for free. They also have classes detailed in a wide range of subjects, so you might be able to download the tools that will help you handle the tutoring yourself. In the end, online options are your best bet for free tutoring, but sometimes it is worth it to find a bit of money to spend for that personal, one-on-one attention a professional could give your child.