Tutoring has a dramatic effect on the success of students. In fact, research shows that 98 percent of students who receive tutoring perform better on tests than those who don't. Unfortunately, a good tutor can cost a lot of money. However, tutors aren't the only option.
Benefits of Tutoring
Tutoring, and other forms of personalized support, offers an advantage that lasts far longer than a student's years in school. By improving their grades and test results, students put themselves on track to earn more money throughout their lifetimes. According to the University of Miami, male high school students with 4.0 GPAs earn just under $50,000 per year during adulthood. The average is closer to $35,000 per year for female students. Students with 2.0 GPAs can expect to earn considerably less. The average male graduate makes about $33,000 per year and the average female earns a little over $20,000.
Parents who understand this are often willing to do anything to make sure their children succeed in school. For many, that means hiring a tutor. While this is an adequate solution, it comes with a lot of problems.
Problems With Hiring a Tutor
Cost is the most obvious problem with hiring a tutor. In New York City, parents can expect to pay tutors $75. In San Francisco, tutors charge an average $63 per hour. While hourly rates vary from city to city, they are rarely affordable for most middle class families. (see infographic)
While cost is the biggest obstacle, it isn't the only one. Parents often struggle to find qualified tutors. Hiring a fellow student is more affordable, but it's unlikely to produce the same results as hiring an experienced, well-trained tutor who knows how to develop effective teaching plans. Even if the tutor says he or she has the right qualifications, how many parents have the resources and time to check their references?
Taking students to a teaching center can help ensure that the tutors are properly qualified. Unfortunately, only a few of those tutors will travel to the students. That means parents have to arrange transportation for their kids, which could force them to leave work early or pay someone else to take them, both of which are serious financial burdens.
Just because students need personalized instruction doesn't necessarily mean that they need live, in-person tutors. LearnBop is a self-paced online program that simulates a one-to-one learning experience for students in grades 3 through 12. Unlike most math software, LearnBop does more than just test a students’ ability—it teaches them—and enables them to solve problems on their own through step-by-step guidance built into every problem. Simply put, it teaches students just an expert teacher would.
LearnBop's adaptability is another of its great features. Since it interacts with students in real time, it can locate knowledge gaps and provide immediate instruction. For instance, if a middle school math student fails to solve a quadratic equation, the software will break the problem into smaller parts and encourage the student to think through each step until he or she has the underlying skills needed to solve the whole equation on his or her own. In the process, students learn problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that will aid them throughout life. This is the same approach an experienced teacher or tutor would take, but parents don't have to spend nearly as much money when they choose LearnBop.
Subscriptions start at just $14.95 per month. After a whole year using LearnBop, a student's parent spends roughly the same amount he or she would pay a tutor for three hours.
Whether it’s to catch-up, get ahead or simply brushing up on their math skills, many students need individualized support outside of the classroom. Parents should consider all the options available, including online programs like LearnBop, an effective, affordable tool for teaching math concepts.