Ten Important Tips for Hiring a Tutor: Homeschooling, Bartering, and Learning Differences

As a certified Orton-Gillingham Tutor, I have been very fortunate to have worked with homeschooling families from the towns of Middlebury, Vergennes, and Starksboro, Vermont. A highlight of my home school tutoring experiences came when one family approached me about tutoring in exchange for farm-raised lamb, beef, pork, goat's milk, and fresh eggs. I was to find out that I would be very glad to have accepted the offer for many reasons.

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I was so impressed by the politeness, positive attitude, and hard work-ethic of the students that I worked with. One of my students had hearing loss that went undiscovered until he started having problems with reading, writing, and spelling that didn't get any better as he got older. He and his family became very frustrated.

After trying many methods and being unsuccessful, his parents had their child evaluated at a learning center. The learning center recommended hiring a tutor. They suggested Orton-Gillingham Tutoring by a certified O.G. Tutor for at least 4 days a week because of his severe Dyslexia.

Using the individualized O.G. approach this 15 year old homeschooled student went from a second grade reading and spelling level to an eighth grade reading and spelling level in a short time with intensive O.G Language Therapy.

During the O.G. tutorials students are introduced to the elements of language through all the learning pathways. This lessens any of the student’s weaknesses, and builds on strengths. The learning pathways that are used in the O.G. approach are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile. In this way language gaps can be closed and weaknesses that have been over-looked can be repaired so that success and confidence can build naturally. This certainly was the case for this student.

When hiring a tutor, it is very important for parents to hire the right tutor for their child if they have learning differences such as Dyslexia. Asking the right questions will help make this process go smoothly. Parents can screen potential tutors by asking the following questions:

Hiring a Tutor Question #1- Parents should ask a tutor if they are certified and how long they trained. Anyone can claim that they are a tutor, or that they have taken a workshop, have a certificate, or have read materials. It takes certification in O.G. at the Initial Level to be able to understand how to use the materials and be an effective tutor.

Hiring a Tutor Question #2- Do you use an Orton-Gillingham derived approach?

Hiring a Tutor Question #3- Have you worked with Dyslexic students, or other learning differences? How long? Was it successful?

Hiring a Tutor Question #4- How many sessions do you recommend weekly?

Hiring a Tutor Question #5- How long will my child need to be tutored?

Hiring a Tutor Question #6- What are your fees?

Hiring a Tutor Question #7- What does the fee include?

Hiring a Tutor Question #8- Where do sessions take place and for how long?

Hiring a Tutor Question #9- Do you do assessments and progress reports?

Hiring a Tutor Question #10- Do you offer a discount for the first session with no obligation?

To find out more about Dyslexia and the Orton-Gillingham approach go the International Dyslexia Association's website for more information.

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