Should You Tutor Your Own Child?

The simple answer to this is maybe.   There are several factors to consider – your ability, your availability, you and your child’s personality type and rapport, your budget, and your desire.  If you are considering being your child’s tutor, ask yourself the following questions:

(1)  Do you have personal expertise in this subject?  If your child is taking AP Calculus and you never made it through Algebra II, you are obviously not the right tutor.

(2)  Do you have any talent or experience teaching this subject?  For instance, you may be an excellent reader.  But if you don’t have any idea how to teach reading, you may be setting yourself up for frustration.  Even if you don’t have experience in teaching but have interest in learning methods for reading instruction (and have time to look into it), then you may want to give it a try.

(3)  Do you have the time to devote to regular academic tutoring and the discipline to make it happen?  For the best results, you need to be committed to at least two more lengthy tutoring sessions per week OR daily briefer tutoring sessions on top of whatever homework you are already helping with.  Consider your other family members and what they have going on.

(4)  Do you have generally good rapport with your child when discussing academic subjects?  You should have an idea based on the quality of homework time you have spent with your child.  If you have a tendency to be impatient, you may want to hire a professional academic tutor instead of jeopardizing your relationship with your child.

(5) If the factors above check out, do you have the desire to tutor your own child?  Sometimes tutoring can be a very bonding experience.  Conversely, even if you have talent, time and teaching ability, if this isn’t something you truly want to do, it will most likely not be a positive experience.

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