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How to choose an elementary school reading tutor

Why you should try an elementary school reading tutor, skills they can help your child develop, and how to find the right tutor for your family.

If you're wondering how to choose an elementary school reading tutor, we're here to help. At Outschool, there is a great choice of elementary-level tutoring, including reading tutoring and reading and writing classes

If you're considering a reading tutor for your child but aren't sure if and why they might need one, here's what you need to know. 

Why are elementary reading tutors helpful?

Reading tutors are useful beyond just helping your child achieve a better grade in reading comprehension or improving their reading speed. Reading is a core skill every child needs throughout their educational and life development. 

A reading tutor can enable your kids to get the most out of reading, allowing them to stay engaged as they progress. A reading tutor will empower your child to think about reading as an enjoyable activity, not just something they need to do for school. 

Many studies have shown that the more a child reads, the more well-rounded they become. It's even been shown that kids who read tend to develop into nicer, kinder people than those who do not.

And yet, the statistics on children and reading are not encouraging. Recent government research shows that one in three fourth-graders struggle with reading.

There are many reasons why this is the case. The pandemic, with its socialization challenges, hasn't helped, and socio-economic factors often prevent kids from learning to read. 

However, often the main reason why reading is difficult for a child is that they struggle to engage with what they're reading.

A great reading tutor will find a way to make reading a fun activity that your child looks forward to, rather than seeing it as a chore. Once the tutor has found a subject the student is interested in, all future reading becomes much easier.

Core skills elementary reading tutors can help develop 

There's much more to reading than literacy. A reading tutor should help your child develop the following core skills.

Build your kids' vocabulary

The more a child reads, the better their vocabulary. Whatever your child chooses to focus on as they grow older, they will be better positioned to succeed. Even if they want to become a scientist or medical professional, having a rich vocabulary will help them with critical educational milestones like college admission essays.

Develop your children’s critical thinking

Reading helps children develop critical thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to ask searching questions about situations and phenomena. Rather than taking everything at face value, children who read learn to think independently by asking relevant questions and forming arguments.

Help them establish a good work ethic

It's never too early to start instilling a good work ethic. A dedicated study ethic will help your kid with all their future learning endeavors. As your children regularly meet with a reading tutor and practice daily, they’ll learn that disciplined efforts pay off. Building this routine also means they'll be more likely to pick up a book themselves.

Boost your kids' confidence 

Children who are confident readers do better in other subjects. Becoming confident readers helps them build their overall confidence and belief in themselves. Reading aloud is especially important for confidence-building. Children who are comfortable reading aloud tend to perform better academically and socially.

Develop their independence

Reading is an independent activity. A good reading tutor will eventually help your child transition toward independent reading. They may do so by gradually introducing elements of choice into what your child reads or encouraging them to read by themselves for short periods. 

Teach your kids patience 

When your child learns that they may have to work at something for a long time to get a result and gratification, they learn how to be patient. Reading is an excellent activity for instilling patience because you need to get to the end of a story to get its full meaning and all the pleasure the book offers.

Spark their imagination 

Reading encourages your child to be imaginative and look at the world more creatively. That doesn't necessarily mean they will want to pursue a career in a creative field when they grow up. It does mean that your child will grow up knowing how to seek creative solutions to problems, no matter their interests or field of study. 

Teach them empathy

Another critical skill that's never too early to start learning, empathy allows your child to understand others' feelings. A child with empathy wants to help others and feels for those having difficulty.

Research shows children who read a lot, especially fiction, are more likely to be empathetic and build greater social-emotional and relational skills. Reading helps you put yourself into others' shoes. Fostering this skill early is good for your child and everybody else.

How can one-on-one tutoring help kids overcome learning loss and catch up?

It's no secret that the pandemic has profoundly affected children's learning. Many kids experienced what's known as learning loss because they didn't have access to classrooms, social activities, or their peers.

Covid aside, seasonal learning loss, known as the “summer slide,” is also a common culprit for skills regression. For example, some research shows younger children are more likely to have a slide, citing that 3-5th graders lost an average of “20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent of their school-year gains in math during summer break.”

Children suffering the psychological and social effects of learning loss and resulting stress may be more likely to fall behind in conventional school settings. 

But a good tutor will help focus on core skill mastery first, as well as supporting outcomes and test results. The benefit of having a one-to-one reading tutor is that they will tailor their support to your child’s unique needs. 

The bottom line is, if your child is struggling with academic tasks, including reading, and you suspect they're suffering from learning loss, a tutor can help.

Find the right elementary reading support for your child

Reading is an essential activity for students at all stages of their educational journeys. Hiring a reading tutor is an excellent way to boost your child's reading ability and confidence. 

Likewise, it's also a good idea to look into English tutoring and English classes. Here’s how to choose an elementary school English tutor for your child. 

We offer both at Outschool, plus a wide selection of Language arts classes, and more. If you’re new to online tutoring, here’s a quick guide on how it works and the pros and cons of in-person vs. online. 

If you’re worried about learning loss, looking for a new approach, or have a kid who hates reading, Outschool can help. See for yourself how getting the right support can make all the difference. 

Anna CottrellAnna Cottrell is a freelance writer and editor with a background in higher education. She has taught English and is the author of a book about 1930s literature and culture.

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