How to find math tutors

If your child is falling behind in math and struggling, hiring math tutors is a wise investment. The sooner math tutoring is started, the better kids will do. However, finding good math tutors can be difficult. Not only do you need the right personality fit, you need someone who knows their math and can teach it too. Fortunately, you are not alone and there are several resources available to help you find the perfect math tutor for your child.

1. Ask teachers and other parents for math tutoring recommendations. Many teachers keep a list of tutors. Avoid having your child tutored by their teacher because a different teaching style can make all the difference.

2. Advertise at local universities and community colleges. Many education majors work as tutors for extra income.

3. Contact tutoring agencies such as Sylvan and online companies such as

4. Interview prospective tutors and ask them to describe how they would approach tutoring your child. What materials will they use?

5. Expect to pay from $20 to $50 an hour. Independent tutors are less expensive, but large agencies conduct background checks and are more likely to have qualified tutors.

6. Specify that you want tutors to use manipulatives and games during math tutoring. Manipulatives are things like fraction blocks, Cuisenaire rods, or even playdoh that allow kids to touch, taste, feel and see math at work. Math tutors that use manipulatives accommodate the widest variety of student learning styles.

7. Request that tutors prepare a pre-assessment test and conduct a post assessment test to track student progress. The pre-assessment should measure basic addition, subtraction, fractions, multiplication, division, word problems, ratios and decimals to spot weaknesses in fundamental math skills. The post assessment should focus on concepts covered during tutoring to show progress. Measuring progress also gives kids an ego boost.

8. Do not hesitate to change tutors if the interpersonal dynamics between your child and their math tutor are not working. Listen to your child if they express concerns because, in order for tutoring to be effective, they must be able to connect personally with the math tutor.

9. Invest in games of logic as well as math games and play them as a family. One hour a week of math tutoring isn't enough for kids who are struggling, an emphasis on math needs to be incorporated into daily family life. Any game that uses critical thinking will enhance math skills with the fringe benefit of providing lots of family fun. Older students may benefit from real world examples, such as analyzing the cash for clunker program and determining if it will be of benefit to the family.