Many kids begin to struggle with math once they start taking algebra because this is when they are just beginning to learn higher level mathematics. Having some trouble learning the concepts is normal but if your child seems to be struggling a lot it might be time to consider hiring a tutor.
Kids struggle in school for many different reasons. Some struggle due to some sort of learning disability which prevents them from applying the knowledge they are learning in school. Some struggle because they didn’t master the basic math principles taught to them in school which makes algebra much more difficult because math is a subject where principles build on one another. Or some kids may struggle with the organizational skills required to study and keep up with their homework.
If any of those descriptions sounds like your child then they could benefit from the help of a qualified algebra tutor.
The best place to start is probably by talking to your child and explaining why you think a tutor might be helpful. Some kids may feel embarrassed that they are having a hard time in school and may reject the idea of tutoring at first so it is important to help them understand why you think it will be beneficial. When children are given an opportunity to be part of the process they are usually more open to the idea of accepting outside help.
Talk to your child’s teacher or other parents and ask for recommendations. There may be some great tutors available locally that could meet with your child in-person. Online tutoring is also a great option because it provides a lot of flexibility in terms of scheduling and pricing. Consider interviewing several different tutors with your child. Obviously you are the parent and the final decision as to who to pick is up to you but it can be helpful to get a sense for who is a good mesh for your child’s personality and individual needs.
Find opportunities to observe your child working with their tutor. See how your child reacts to the tutor, how hands-on the tutoring sessions are and whether the learning seems engaging. Obviously work has to be done and it will not always been exciting but a good tutor should find ways to pique their students’ interests.
Stay in contact with your child’s teacher to gather their thoughts on what kind of progress your child is making. Change doesn’t happen overnight but there should be some kind of noticeable improvement a couple months into tutoring.
Your child’s tutor should have developed some kind of plan for the material they will be working on and areas of weakness they will be working on improving. Ask the tutor for regular updates on the progress your child is making and what needs to happen for them to continue improving. Tutoring should not go on indefinitely and the goal of any tutor should be to help their students eventually become self-sufficient.