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Learning how to read is one of the most important skills a child can develop. However, many children struggle with reading and need extra help to succeed. If your child is falling behind at school or wants to excel in exams, a reading tutor can help them in leaps and bounds.
Reading tutors assist children in reaching their fullest potential and becoming confident readers. They can help your child learn the basics of reading, such as phonics and sight words, or more advanced reading comprehension and vocabulary. The tutors provide the strategies and tools they need to read more fluently.
Below, we explore reading tutors for both children and adults, and how to find competent tutors based on your learning goals and needs. You can get personalized tuition in person or online, depending on your reading goals.
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Why Get a Reading Tutor?
A designated reading tutor can be very beneficial for your child, no matter their learning journey. Private, interactive lessons build confidence and self-esteem in students while improving their academic skills. The lessons are often designed to be engaging, especially for young learners, which will help their love for reading flourish.
You may be surprised to know that reading tutors also help high achievers. According to multiple studies, tutoring can help average students make significant academic gains. In some cases, it has helped students vault to the top 2% of their class percentile-wise. Tutored students outperformed non-tutored students due to the additional practice.
A reading tutor provides one-on-one attention your child may not receive in the classroom. A tutor tailors lessons to your child’s individual needs, abilities, and learning styles.
Reading tutors can also make learning fun. They can use games and activities to engage your child and help them stay motivated. The child builds confidence as the tutor celebrates their successes.
Finding a Reading Tutor
When looking for reading tutors near your home, consider the following factors:
- The tutor’s qualifications
- The tutor’s experience
- The tutor’s teaching style
- The tutor’s availability
- The tutor’s location
There are a few different places you can look for reading tutors. One option is to contact your child’s school. Many schools have programs in place to help children. You can ask other parents for recommendations, check with your local library or community center, or search online.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out this list of recommended tutoring sites to find your perfect tutor.
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”— Frederick Douglass, American social reformer, abolitionist
Find Your Tutor Online or In-Person
Here are some websites that offer a variety of tutors to choose from, so you can find one that fits your child’s needs and your budget.
Varsity Tutors (varsitytutors.com)
- Over 40,000 quality tutors available who work with students of all ages, including adults
- Meet online or in person anywhere
- One-on-one tutoring and group classes are available
- Their educational consultants listen to your learning needs and goals and help you connect with an expert tutor
- Pricing is unclear on the website, but reviews reveal it costs between $50-$95 per hour depending on grade level and number of hours booked
- Small group classes and one-on-one reading sessions with native English teachers
- Many live and interactive classes to choose from with independent teachers
- Criminal background checks are conducted on all tutors; however, tutors who join the platform might not necessarily be degree-qualified
- Mainly fun course-type classes that suit a variety of needs
- Most classes are relatively cheap at $15-$20 per class
Online Reading Tutor (onlinereadingtutor.com)
- Suitable for adults and children
- Teaches fluent, automatic decoding skills
- Phonemic and sound-symbol association exercises and games
- Specialized in teaching reading to dyslexics and others who experience reading challenges
- 95% of children develop grade-level reading comprehension in under 12 months
- 20-30 minute practices 5-6 days per week
- A mixed learning approach, with some online daily practice lessons and one-on-one live lessons
- $49 for one week trial; plans start at $179 per month
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- Compare online tutors, their qualifications, reviews, pricing and teaching styles
- Only pay for the lessons you need; no subscriptions
- Find tutors nearby as their tutors span nationwide
- Schedule a lesson at any time that works for you
- Tutors come to you or meet online
- Pricing is set by the individual tutors, but most charge anywhere from $40-$160 per hour
Princeton Review (princetonreview.com)
- Best for exam prep, such as SATs and TOEFL
- Available in person and online
- Supports grades 6-12, college or graduate level
- Make and set goals that are tracked and monitored
- Highly-trained tutors that are backed by a dedicated tutoring team
- Pricing depends on learning goals and the number of hours booked but can start anywhere from $55-$200 per hour
- 24/7 online tutoring support in reading and other subjects
- One-on-one classes with vetted, expert tutors
- Available on desktop or mobile
- Lessons adapt to your child’s learning level and pace
- Pay-as-you-go pricing starts at $0.65 per minute
- Available for all ages, from kindergarten to adults
- Similar to Outschool but has many learners who speak English as their second language
- Live, expert tutors in reading and other subjects
- Flexible scheduling and direct messaging with the tutor
- Clear pricing and packages of around $15-$20 per class
- Get $20 off your first class here
What to Look for in a Reading Tutor
If you are looking for a reading tutor for your child, there are several things you may wish to consider.
First, you may want to ensure the tutor is qualified and has a degree in education or a related field. They should have some experience teaching children how to read. The websites mentioned earlier require a teaching background check (where applicable) and criminal check, so you can rest assured that you will receive quality tuition.
Consider the tutor’s teaching style and methods. Some tutors use a more traditional approach, while others may be more creative in their methods. Ask the tutor about their methods and see if they would fit your child’s learning style.
You may be able to ask the tutor to provide you with references or reviews from previous clients. Knowing about the tutor’s experiences and how they have helped other clients in a similar position to yours can give you some peace of mind.
Ask about the cancellation policy if you decide to hire a reading tutor for your child. Some tutors require 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel a session. Others allow you to cancel sessions without penalty if you give them enough notice.
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Low-Cost Alternative: Apps for Reading
There are also some great apps for reading that can help your child improve his or her reading skills. One such highly-rated app is Homer. This app helps kids aged 2-8 with phonics, sight words, and comprehension. It is cheaper than private tuition and may work for some parents.
Read Aloud With Your Child
In addition to getting a reading tutor, consider spending more time bonding with your child over a good book for a few minutes daily. Research has shown that reading aloud benefits children by improving listening habits, vocabulary skills, thinking, and comprehension skills. Not only that, reading aloud supports the child’s emotional, social, and physical development.
Here is a list of outstanding books for kids to read aged between 4-14. Taken from The International Literacy Association’s Teachers’ Choices project in 2020, this is an invaluable list of book choices recommended by teachers. The books answer important life questions, teach morality and encourage the growth and development of your child’s reading skills.
We hope we have provided you with a comprehensive guide to answer your burning question on where to find a suitable reading tutor.
While it may seem a little overwhelming with the array of options, many dedicated tutors are available near you, enabling you to take classes anywhere at any time. With a little research, you’re sure to find a great fit to help your child improve their reading skills!
Also, consider reading aloud to your child for a few minutes daily or incorporating a reading app into the learning routine for added benefit.
Have you had any luck finding a reading tutor? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments below.
I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
I enjoy traveling, nature walks, and soaking up a new culture. Please share the posts if you find them helpful!