Affordable Reading Tutoring Options

It’s a tough time to be a struggling reader or a smart kid who’s simply having difficulty reading. Imagine a youngster learning the basics of reading having to learn all required subjects online. It’s just not natural! Yet, this is a consequence of the virtual schooling scenario. And some kids are really missing out. You might be asking, “Is there an affordable tutoring option for my child?” 

Yet, this is a consequence of the virtual schooling scenario. And some kids are really missing out. You might be asking, “Is there an affordable tutoring option for my child?” 

Tutoring for the purpose of reading involves teaching and learning important reading skills, the many skills that each individual student must possess in order to read fluently and with comprehension. To fill a learner’s reading gap(s), tutoring options might be recommended. But isn’t a reading tutor for my child expensive?

Tutoring can be expensive, but there are some excellent tutoring options and configurations available for parents of struggling readers, for which we describe the benefits—and possible disadvantages—below.

Take the First Step

Initially, a reading assessment should be administered to determine where a struggling reader may have needs. The assessment can be conducted online, and to save money, it’s good to know that many tutors and tutoring schools conduct free assessments. A reading assessment gathers reading information regarding a student’s skills—and needs—based on a student’s age and/or grade level. The reading assessment reveals sight word recognition—or, rapid recognition—phonological awareness, nonsense words, fluency, and also silent and oral reading comprehension. Typically, tests for comprehension ask students to read and respond to several passages. 

Once the assessment determines a struggling reader’s needs, a systematic approach to teaching and learning is devised. Armed with your child’s needs, this is a good time to decide on the tutoring option. Tutoring options for struggling readers typically include parent tutoring (going at it yourself), group tutoring, or a personal tutor.

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Weight Your Options

Private Tutor

A personal reading tutor is an effective option, but it’s also the most expensive. However, hiring a one-to one tutor provides your reader with a professional whose sole purpose is to meet the reading needs of your child. This is important because the teacher knows how to adapt instruction to your child’s needs. 

Personal tutors are usually expensive because they’re professionally skilled to teach reading. Similar to the schoolteacher, they’ve likely devoted years to reading instruction, and they can spot the gaps quickly and efficiently plan and carry out strategies to improve the skills of your struggling reader.

The difference between the schoolteacher’s instruction method and that of the 1:1 tutor is the varied needs of the schoolteacher’s class; with so many levels and needs, teachers tend to instruct towards the middle, leaving some kids craving more and others confused, even frustrated. The personal reading tutor, focused only on your child, can bring content-rich transformative learning to the table. The tutor is a great cheerleader, too.

Small Group Tutoring

Cheering for a small team of struggling readers can be a more affordable tutoring option, however. Often, reading tutors can ably group struggling readers into small groups of similar age and reading needs. This occurs in the classroom setting, too, but the groups are usually larger, and the tutoring time may be abrupt or interrupted.

The small reading tutor group configuration has been around longer than those old-time Dick and Jane books!  There’s a good reason for this. Learning is a social activity, so the group tutoring option takes advantage of peers, learning is enriched with each student’s perspectives. And, as a team, the struggling readers compete while they also cheer one another’s successe

Possibly more affordable and more fun, the small group tutoring option can be great as long as your child’s needs are truly being met. Even in a small group, growth can be uneven from child to child, and effective instruction must meet each student’s needs

DIY Approach

Because parents know their kids best, an affordable and fun tutoring option is instructing your struggling reader at home. Parent tutoring is also more convenient. Further, parents and family members can draw on their kids’ interests. After all, learning and practicing various reading skills is most fun when the subjects hold lots of interest. Imagine, parents can bring the subjects to life with family activities that are centered around the material being learned.

For example, suppose a child struggles with word recognition but is totally interested in science. A fun activity might be to design flash cards with many areas of scientific study: paleontology, geography, botany, zoology, astronomy, chemistry, archeology. Such an activity that requires knowledge of prefixes, roots, and suffixes helps kids understand and appreciate the magic of word parts and families. 

While easy and fun (especially if extending the activity to other words with similarities) words like geography-geothermal-geomorphology- and geometric, etc. can conjure up fascinating pictures of meanings related to words. Thus, meaning is cemented in an artistic manner.

Word recognition takes on new meaning, and the child now begins to find that word recognition opens up a world of possibilities. However, the home tutoring option should include specific goals that target and improve the child’s reading needs.

Make a Decision and Take Action

It’s helpful to know there’s plenty of affordable tutoring options we parents can turn to for help with our struggling readers. Finding the right option for you and your reader simply requires you understand your child’s needs and likes, and the time and costs involved.

Evaluate your options and make a decision before it gets too hard to catch up.