If your child is having trouble in school, you may want to find them a tutor. The best way to help your child is to find him a secondary school tuition so that his grades can improve. But before you rush out to find the most highly qualified professional tutor your money can buy, consider peer tutoring as an alternative. Peer tutoring, or tutoring done by one of your child’s classmates or peers, can have many advantages. Although professional tutors are available in most communities and even online, peer tutoring can be a better value, and may be just the type of teaching your child needs in order to succeed. Here are a few reasons why.
Peer tutors are up-to-date
As a homeschooler, I have discovered that kids are taught many things differently than they were when I was in school a generation ago. The terminology in various subjects has changed, as has the subject matter. Even the things that have stayed the same are often taught in a different order.
Having a degree or teaching certification does not necessarily mean that an adult is familiar with the new terminology and subject matter of today’s classroom. A peer tutor, although younger and not degreed, has been taught the subjects in school the same way as your child, so there is no generational conflict.
Peer tutors have proven knowledge
Schools have long depended on peer teaching in the classroom as a way to help raise the grades of underperforming students, as I mentioned in a previous article. A gifted student who is making an A+ in their class is likely already teaching their peers on a regular basis, and likely knows their subject backward and forward.
Your own child is probably the best judge of whether one of their peers knows what they are doing in class. It’s easy for the other students to tell when one of their classmates zooms through every test and aces them all while barely studying at all. These kids need no resumes, their reputation precedes them.
Peer tutors know the teacher
When I was in high school, most of the students I tutored came from the same math class. The teacher was brilliant, and very good at teaching kids who caught on quickly. But those who struggled with a concept often got lost in his class. Because I knew the teacher, I could tell my students, “You know when the teacher said…?” and then explain exactly what he meant. It’s a level of familiarity professional adult tutors can’t possibly have.
Peer tutors are safer
Chances are, your child knows most of his or her classmates and has for years. You may even know their parents, especially if you live in a small community. A peer tutoring relationship is much safer than hiring someone you’ve never met from an advertisement online.
Peer tutors are cheaper
With tutoring prices ranging from $25 to $50 an hour on sites like WyzAnt.com and Care.com, or more depending on the subject and your location, you could be out hundreds of dollars before your child is caught up in class. Peer tutors are an economical alternative that won’t break the bank.