TODAY   |  September 11, 2013

What you need to know about tutors

Helping your child succeed often leads to some extra tutoring on the side, but Courtenay Smith and Mandy Ginsberg share what you need to know about your tutors and how you should treat your kids after and during tutoring sessions.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this morning on today's classroom, the things your child 's tutor won't tell you.

>> well, the trend is growing. whether it's one-on-one at home or a group learning center or online some children need the extra help.

>> what should you be looking for? reader's digest got the inside scoop. good morning to you both.

>> good morning.

>> let's start with a big question. do our kids really need a tutor ?

>> well, things are changing a lot. has 5,000 kids that get tutored every night. the reason is because kids are stressed because there's more competition to get into college and school is also harder. so that extra edge actually does help.

>> what are they getting from a tutor they're not getting in the classroom.

>> the classroom is a group setting and not individual one-on-one and we have kids all the time that say i don't necessarily understand the concept. and so one-on-one tutoring is all about personalized customized sessions that really help you get to the heart of where your kid is stressed.

>> they told readers's digest that parents are hiring them to do things they used to do themselves. like teaching time management , literally sitting and being a homework monitor, making sure the assignments are done. parents are overscheduled, kids are overscheduled so tutors are taking on that responsibility now.

>> let's look at this reader's digest inside scoop. one of the interesting points is the goal of tutoring is to get your child out of tutoring. all the tutors tell you that.

>> if you're checking the reference which is you always want to do, if you see there's a number of children she has been tutoring for years, that could be a bad sign and you just want to ask, why. there maybe legitimate reasons but you want to see that the tutor was able to get some children on their feet, standing on their own ground academically and moving on. ask how they set children up for success.

>> when it comes to hiring a tutor they say don't hire a teacher from your child 's school which is what a lot of people do is they'll schedule after school hour with that teacher thinking get that extra bit of education.

>> it's true and this is a surprising one. what tutors said is you want a clean slate for your child . this is about first impressions. tutors and teachers need to talk to make sure the lessons match the school 's curriculum. but if the tutor is at the child 's school , the first thing they'll do is ask the teacher about that child . the child the teacher sees in the classroom with peer pressure and distractions may not be the time child they'll get one-on-one. if you want an untanted impression, hiring outside of the school is a way to ensure that.

>> so, mandy, if i'm a parent thinking about hiring a tutor , what are some of the things i should ask a potential tutor before i make the hire?

>> we have 3,000 tutors. so we think about this all the time. three main things. make sure the tutor is passionate about teaching. the second is experience and the third thing is sometimes kids want the answers. it's not just about the answers. it's about guiding them. make sure the teacher is committed.

>> it's important to schedule, even just a little bit of down time to your child ? they need that to recharge their brains.

>> yeah, i have a 15-year-old. she comes home from school and she is exhausted. the big benefit of online tutoring is it's 24/7. at 9:30 at night, your kid is struggling, they can get online.

>> does online work as well as the one-on-one relationship. 9 out of 10 kids say it improves their grade. parent asks that but the reality is kids, they feel natural and the world changed and they use technology every day. it works for them.

>> the tutors said be cautious about group settings. they may not get one-on-one attention so you want to ask what kind of individual attention will my child get.

>> thank you so much. good advice this time of year especially. thanks for being here.

>> we're back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc.

>>> coming up, kathie lee and