Conversation ideas to help your child prepare for tutoring

For families

As parents and caregivers, you want your children to make the most of their academic journeys. You provide support in countless ways: finding them the right school, teaching them, modeling positive behaviors, offering words of encouragement, and simply believing in them, just to name a few.

One way that parents and caregivers help students toward academic success is by signing them up for one-to-one tutoring with experienced educators. But even adults who know and value the benefits of tutoring will probably struggle to get their kids to agree that tutoring is time well spent.

It’s not just children—even as adults, we often have misconceptions about tutoring, too. By learning more about tutoring and who it’s designed to help, you can help your child see tutoring for the positive experience it should be.

Tutoring is valuable, but it’s not an easy sell

Tutoring provides dedicated, individual time and space for kids to grow as learners. They may need extra support to stay on track in their classes, or they may need to be challenged beyond what their schools can offer. In either case, tutoring provides structured, expert guidance that helps children deepen their academic learning while developing their abilities to study, plan, and stay motivated.

Still, many parents and caregivers might expect their kids to say they don’t want to try tutoring because “it sounds boring.” Digging deeper to understand what specifically about working with a tutor is off-putting can help you better address any concerns.

Here are some perspectives to consider when discussing tutoring with your child.

1. Tutoring doesn’t mean you’re “bad” at school

A common misperception about tutoring is that it’s only for kids who aren’t good at school, get bad grades, and don’t try. Research suggests that even children as young as seven may have a sense that others will judge them if they seek outside help like tutoring. Assure your child that this doesn’t have to be the case.

Tutoring helps help children feel more motivated and improve their grades. But remind your child that seeking extra motivation and time to study doesn’t make someone stupid. Instead, tell them that seeking support and working hard makes them wise.

Students with good grades can benefit from tutoring, too. It can stimulate and challenge them beyond what they need to know for school. Tutoring is practice: It helps learners stay sharp and maintain what they know so they’re ready for anything that comes next. In any case, tutoring is a smart choice.

2. Tutoring doesn’t mean a boring, rote curriculum

People often assume that tutoring involves “drill and kill” memorization and scripted curriculums. This is true in some cases. But working one-on-one with an experienced, expert tutor is a different experience altogether. In these cases, tutoring sessions can be designed with a child’s existing knowledge, motivations, interests, and goals in mind.

Working one-on-one can also feel less intimidating than a classroom full of people. It allows kids to feel safe and more comfortable about freely engaging in dialogue with their tutor. They can ask questions and even attempt to answer questions without fear of being wrong or judged.

3. Tutoring doesn’t mean you're under- or over-privileged

Often, people form assumptions about who gets tutoring. They may think it’s something just for students from struggling schools that have little to offer. Conversely, they may believe that tutoring is only for fancy, rich families who push their kids too hard.

But tutoring is for everyone. Tutors work with kids from a wide range of backgrounds who are more successful in school because of it. These are students with a range of abilities, talents, grade levels, ethnicities, income levels, and family structures.

4. Tutoring doesn’t mean you’ve let someone down

Children don’t want to disappoint their parents or other adults they respect. If you bring up tutoring, make sure they know it’s not because they have let you down. Instead, remind your kids that you want them to attend tutoring sessions because you believe in them.

The fear of disappointing familiar adults and family members also sometimes leads young people to hide their struggles, act like they don’t care, or not ask questions. Online tutors specifically can be helpful here. While they do build positive relationships with their students, tutors are outside adults whose only role is to help. Knowing this can allow children to feel safer asking questions and taking risks—lessons they can then take into other aspects of their lives.

5. No one else needs to know you work with a tutor

Even if your child understands that attending tutoring doesn’t say anything about who they are as a person, they may worry what others think. Given the misconceptions people have about tutoring, this concern is understandable.

Online tutoring is a major plus for this reason: Sessions can take place somewhere a child feels they have privacy—and they don’t have to tell anyone they don’t want to tell.

Encourage your child to try out tutoring by dispelling some of the myths so they can start with an open mind. In time, with an expert, caring tutor, they’ll see that you were right.

Remind Tutoring can connect you and your child with a qualified, experienced tutor for sessions that can take place anywhere you have an internet connection. If you’re ready for your child to benefit from the tutoring experience, sign up here.