Are you looking for a great elementary school math tutor to help your child with his math homework and prepare for tests but don’t know what to look for in a math tutor for kids? When you interview a tutor, you want to make sure they are up to the task. A good idea is to ask them questions about their tutoring experience, methods of tutoring, how they gauge their students’ progress, and more. When you pick a good dentist, you want a good one – not one who would numb the wrong tooth. Deciding which math tutor to hire is just as important. Here are 4 considerations to make when hiring a math tutor for h.w. help and preparation for tests and quizzes:
A good elementary school math tutor cares deeply about their students and roots for them as they do better and better. A great tutor will never give up on a student and support them during their most difficult moments. If your child takes a step back from getting A’s. The tutor should encourage the student, letting them know that taking a small step back after taking large steps forward is perfectly normal, and encourage the student to continue their efforts so that they can get back on track to achieving their academic goals.
Math covers a lot of ground. Even elementary school math accelerates in difficulty from adding and subtracting to multiplying and dividing, combining fractions, all the way to order of operations and the great killer – negative numbers. A good math tutor, whether it is in Maryland, D.C., Virginia, or California might have to look at a few notes here and there, but they should have command over the subject. But if you or your child find that the tutor is constantly looking up and reading material, wasting valuable time during which they should be engaged in explanations and guiding the student, you should consider looking for a more prepared elementary school tutor for homework help in school.
- The Socratic method.
Great math tutors don’t lecture endlessly. If you want a lecture, listen to your schoolteacher. If you want to think critically and reason through word problems on your own, then you should look for a math tutor who guides you through the math problems, rather than spoon-feed you.
- Building a rapport with the student.
A good tutor makes a student feel comfortable. When a tutor is so brilliant that they don’t understand a student’s mind block, the student might find it hard to bond with the tutor. Don’t look for a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering to tutor 5th grade math. A great tutor makes the student feel at ease, not inadequate. Instead, look for a personable and supportive tutor who has challenged themselves in their studies, and is equipped to challenge your child in math.
- Going beyond math.
An ideal math tutor has taken courses in science, economics, finance, engineering, or in other fields with applications in math, so that they can help a student understand why math is important in their daily lives. A pure mathematician might not themselves understand applications, and they might not interest a student. Look for a tutor who adds application problems and helps elementary school students with their math homework interesting and even exciting. Students who begin to enjoy math homework will do better because they will be more motivated.
Dan Eiblum is the president of TutorPro (www.thetutorpro.org), an in-home tutoring agency serving Greater Washington D.C. and Maryland and Virginia cities like Bethesda and Fairfax.