The chapter of using our first professional tutor opened in fall of 2012 and closed later in the fall of 2012.
We hired our first private tutor for my older son to help him with chemistry. We hired the assistant coach of his rowing team, so it was someone that my son knew, liked, and trusted. He was open to it for this reason. The guy is a college student who is an engineering major whose passion is chemistry.
The situation is that the chemistry text my son is using is condensed and minces no words. If you do not understand it based on the one way they explain it, you are lost. All the tutor did with my son was explain things in different words until my son could understand it. This is the very thing that I have been doing with homeschooling for my son's entire life.
This tutor helped my son go from failing, the worse score was a 38, to getting grades ranging from Bs to Ds. The grades were not the tutor's fault, the issue is my son was not putting forth enough effort in studying and memorizing terms once he had a basic understanding. He understood the concepts but was just not memorizing enough. My son was still rebelling at that point against the formal way of school learning and was refusing to study and do what it takes for what we call academic success = getting high grades.
The transition from alternative homeschool education to traditional school ways is not as smooth as other homeschooling parents and magazine article writers and book authors have portrayed. I believed those people when they said that by high school kids mature enough to buckle down and do what it takes to get good grades in courses that they are taking to prepare them for the paths they are choosing for themselves. This process is slow going and may take an entire academic year to develop. Or maybe my son just needs to mature more? I don't know. I do know that no matter how hard I want my son to do this or that he is striving for independence which means almost anything I try to encourage him about he rejects and rebels against. I am getting more gray hairs by the minute. I didn't used to think I was a controlling person but the more my son goes down a path that is not ideal the more I want to intervene and help which comes across as me taking control and is seen as me pushing and coercing.
One thing I learned is that tutors are half the cost in Houston than in Fairfield County, Connecticut. In Connecticut adult teacher private tutors range $70-$110 an hour.
In northwest Houston:
A high schooler doing tutoring costs $20 a hour.
A college student doing private tutoring is $30 an hour.
A professional teacher adult doing private tutoring is $40 an hour.
Tutor centers are $60 an hour and the teacher gets half of that.
Our local community college offers free tutoring for residents, even high schooler aged residents of this town who are not enrolled in courses at that school.
This nice assistant coach tutor moved away to attend college elsewhere so we lost his services. I went in search of a new tutor for the rest of the school year.
When Parents Are Not Experts
My son is taking a chemistry course taught by a retired medical doctor at a Christian homeschool co-op. The class started with eight students and is now down to four.
This is an example of how homeschool parents do not have to be experts in every field. I never took chemistry in high school or college. In this case I am paying for professional services for my son to learn chemistry. I could probably read the book and understand enough to try to help my son but he is going through this teenage search for independence and wants to separate from Mommy phase so it is best for us to hire a private tutor to help him, so long as we can afford to do so.
Tomorrow I will blog more about the next tutor we hired and updates on how this process is going.