By Sean Alexander

In elementary school, math can be an easy subject for students. As they move into algebra and calculus, the concepts become more complex. You may need to find a math tutor for your child.

Whether your child stops liking math, or they don't have time to study it alone, consider how to find a math tutor. Then, your child can get the help they need to do well in math.

Does My Child Need a Math Tutor?

Before you find a math tutor, you should consider if your child needs one. Some children may need a math tutor earlier than others. Everyone is different, so you shouldn't compare your child to an older sibling or cousin.

There are a few signs you can watch out for. Then, you can start to look for a math tutor who can help your child.

Consider the following factors, and how they can affect your child's need for a math tutor.

Their Grades

The most obvious sign it's time to find a math tutor is if your child's grades are dropping. If they used to get good grades in math, but are now doing average, they may need some help.

While you can help your child with their homework, it can be challenging. The parent/child relationship is not conducive to tutoring. Often parent tutoring sessions result in fighting and tears. This is the worst thing you can do for your child, as they will start to resent math.

Furthermore, you must be an excellent mathematician in order to teach math. Just because you are an engineer does not mean you are qualified to teach math. Teaching math is a skill in itself.

If your child is in high school and wants to get into a good college, hiring a tutor can be a good investment. The tutoring can help your child get back on track with their math class.

Their Confidence

As your child reaches advanced math classes, they may start to feel they aren't as good at the subject. For example, some students might find algebra difficult, while geometry was easy.

If your child isn't feeling confident, or they don't look forward to math like they used to, they may need a tutor. A good tutor will teach the concepts, and they can help your child feel better.

Your child might start to love math again, even when the concepts are more difficult. When that happens, your child will be more willing to study and work on homework.

Their Schedule

If your child has a busy schedule, they may not have time to do their math homework. They may take to guessing on questions, which can affect their overall grade.

This can be a big problem if your child doesn't know how to manage their time. You can find a math tutor to help your child learn math and prioritize their time.

While you may need to cut an extracurricular activity, it can be worth it. That way, your child can have the time they need to focus on learning math.

How to Find a Math Tutor for Your Child

Having a tutor can benefit kids in many ways, even if they don't show signs of needing one. Before you research the average cost of a private math tutor, you should consider how to go about your search. Finding the best math tutor will depend on how much research you do first.

Every child is unique and will have individual needs. If you've hired a tutor for an older child, their tutor might not be the best fit for your younger child. Tutors specialize in different subjects and age groups. Some tutors work solely with elementary school children. Some work only with high school students. Not all math tutors can teach calculus BC. You should consider the age of your child, and the subject when looking for the right tutor.

Here are a few things you can do when looking for a math tutor, so you can find the best one for your student.

Consider Their Needs

First, you should think about what math class your child is in and why they need a tutor. Many tutors can teach algebra, but not higher-level math classes. So if your child is in algebra, you might not need a high-level math teacher. If they are in precalculus or calculus, then you need a serious mathematician. Don't underestimate the difficulty of these classes. You need to be a professional mathematician in order to teach them. Many college students offer tutoring as a way to help pay for college. Be careful hiring college students, even if they are math majors. There is a big leap to go from knowing high-level math to teaching it. Teaching is a skill independent of your math knowledge. Most college students don't have teaching experience. Don't be lured by their cheaper rates.

You should consider your child's schedule and your schedule. If you can only do tutoring on the weekends, that can help narrow your search. Not every tutoring agency offers weekends.

Think about how much help your child needs based on their grades and attitude about math. Then, you can find a math tutor that will benefit your child.

Talk to Your Child

Talk to your child about hiring a tutor first. Get their input. Some kids are open to getting a math tutor. Tutoring is much more effective when it's the students' idea. They take ownership of their learning. This is much more effective than making them do it. The student should see tutoring as their idea, not imposed upon them.

Other kids may resist the idea of getting a math tutor. They might not like math, or they don't want to take the time for it. That doesn't mean you don't have to keep looking for a math tutor. In fact, it's a sign they definitely need one.

Knowing how your child feels about tutoring can be useful. If your kid doesn't want a tutor, you can look for someone who can work with a resistant student.

Ask for Recommendations

One method for how to find a good math tutor is to use word of mouth. Ask parents you know if they've hired a tutor, and if they had a good experience. An ineffective tutor is very frustrating. It can be a huge waste of money. The best way to know if a tutor is effective is past results. Therefore, asking your parent's friends is the first thing you should do.

You can also contact your child's teacher and ask who they recommend for students. Talking to the teacher is a great way to find reputable tutors in your area. Make sure to hire someone who has helped students with that particular class.

If you use social media, consider asking for recommendations there. Parenting groups on Facebook are a great resource. You can get a lot of recommendations that way.

Look Online

If the above methods don't work, you can go on Google to search for tutors. Searching online allows you to look for local tutors, so you can find people in your area. Be sure to look at their online reviews on Yelp and Google Reviews. Any reputable tutor should have online reviews. This is a great way to see if they've been effective in the past.

You can expand your search to look for remote tutors. That way your child can get help, but you don't have to go to a tutoring center.

You'll have access to more tutors when you expand your search. If your child needs specific assistance, that can be a great way to find experts online who can help.

Since Covid-19, online tutoring solutions have become prevalent. This opens up the entire world to find the best tutor for your child.

Go to the Library

Your local library is a great resource when looking to find a tutor. Libraries have community boards where tutors post flyers or business cards.

Libraries may offer a tutoring program, so you don't have to find someone individually. If your library doesn't have anything, you can check your local community center.

The center may have some flyers or business cards available. You can even post that you're looking for a tutor, so math tutors can contact you.

Contact a Few Math Tutors

Once you find potential math tutors, collect their contact information and call them or send an email. Ask each tutor about themselves, such as:

  • Their math and/or tutoring experience
  • If they have a degree
  • Their experience with kids
  • When and where they tutor math
  • Any specific services they offer

When you learn more about a few tutors, you might find one or two that stand out. Then, you can ask for a trial session to see how well the tutor works with your student. If it's a good fit, you can hire the tutor for ongoing sessions.

The most important consideration in choosing a tutor is the unique personality click between the tutor and student. They need to really hit it off. This will create a safe environment where the student feels safe making mistakes. You'll know when you've found the right tutor based on your child's reaction. They should come out of the tutoring session excited. Their eyes should light up. They should divulge details about the session. If you ask your child how it went, and they say "fine", then you can do better.

How Much Does a Math Tutor Cost?

Another thing to consider before hiring a math tutor is the cost. Even if you have a big budget for tutoring, you should still know how much you can expect to pay. You should have a clear idea of what you are getting in return.

No two math tutors charge the same amount, though most charge per hour. The national average hourly rate for a tutor is about $40.

The price tutors charge ranges from $25 to $500 dollars per hour. Your location is a big factor in tutoring costs. In San Francisco and New York, the cost of everything is higher. You can expect to pay over $100 per hour in these cities.

A tutor's hourly rate depends on their experience, and if they have a math degree. If they travel to your house, they may charge a premium for that convenience.

A tutor who offers help with test prep or other subjects may charge more. A newer tutor may charge less, but they might not have the experience your child needs.

Ultimately you get what you pay for. If you need results immediately, you should expect to pay a premium to get the job done right. Nothing is worse than paying for a tutor and still getting an F. Consider tutoring an investment in your child's future. If your child has an F in math, and they have Ivy League dreams, then you'll want the best. If you are just looking for a little extra support, then a cheaper college student could be appropriate. The tutor's reputation is a major factor in cost. The more online reviews the tutor accumulates, the more they can charge. Many parents want certainty and are willing to pay for it.

Remember, being good at math does not mean being good at teaching math. Your math tutor needs to be a great teacher above all.

Find a Math Tutor Today

If your child is struggling with their math homework, it might be time to find a math tutor. But you shouldn't just choose the first tutor you find.

Instead, search around and see who other parents have hired. Look for a tutor with the right experience so that they can help your child. Do as many trial lessons as possible at the beginning of the semester. You don't want to discover you've hired the wrong person mid-semester. It's worth putting the time in beforehand to find the right tutor for your child. Math tutoring is much more effective as a preventative measure. You'll know when you've found the right math tutor based on your child's reaction. They should be over the moon and look forward to their math tutoring each week. Finding the right math tutor takes a lot of work, but is worth the effort. A great math tutor is more than a math teacher, they are a life mentor. They will give your child the confidence they need to succeed in college and beyond.


  • Sean Alexander

    COMMAND PILOT, OWNER Sean has been a professional educator for 15 years and has taught math, physics, and astronomy at all levels.  His experience ranges from working at a high school for severe learning differences to teaching advanced physics at Stanford.  After completing his graduate work in theoretical physics Sean founded Alexander Tutoring, with the mission of revealing the deep connections between math and nature to as many students as possible. 

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