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How to choose a high school English tutor

Ways a high school English tutor can help your child reach their academic and life goals, and tips for finding the right one.

Many parents seek tutoring to help their child succeed, and there's never a better time than high school. Whether your child plans to pursue higher education, enter the career field, or even if they're still deciding, English tutoring can help them reach their goals.

This article helps you navigate how a tutor can help and the best way to find one, breaking down core high school English skills your learner needs.

How can an English tutor help my high school child?

1-on-1 tutoring is one of the most effective learning models out there. Funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, this study demonstrates significant learning increases for 9th and 10th-grade students participating in a tutoring program. The results continued years after tutoring completion, with students showing lasting improvement in GPA and graduation rates over time.

How can a tutor help your high school child? Here are a few ways a high school tutor could benefit your learner as they grow into adulthood.

Improving specific skills

An English tutor can help your high school learner improve skills they struggle with. A tutor can provide targeted instruction and adapt content as your learner progresses.

If your child goes to public school, ask your student's teacher what skills a tutor could help them focus on. Teachers can provide input on study topics based on test results and classroom observations, helping you make the most of your child's tutoring time.

If your child homeschools, gather your curriculum's assessment materials and monitor your child's progress to pinpoint any problem areas in English that your child could use extra help with.

Prepping for standardized tests

Most high school students plan to take the ACT or SAT at some point in their high school career. In addition to these college prep tests, many take content-level tests for advanced placement classes. 

ACT and SAT English tutoring provides targeted practice on the English section of these tests to prepare your learners with test-taking skills.

Helping with homework and improving grades

As each year passes, many children struggle with keeping up with the increased homework. With many teachers moving to online learning or hybrid models, particularly for homework, keeping up with home assignments can be challenging for some kids. Getting help with homework skills now can give your child the tools to succeed with fast-paced college coursework down the road.

A tutor can help your child get organized, be proactive in finishing work, and produce higher-quality work. If you and your child have goals of increasing GPA, assistance with producing quality, on-time work can help improve grades for increased access to scholarships and college admissions.

Supplementing homeschool

If your family homeschools, outsourcing some English classes and seeking outside tutoring can help supplement your homeschool curriculum. With many class times and schedules available on Outschool, online classes completed remotely at home can fit seamlessly into your homeschool schedule. 

What core skills can a high school English tutor provide?

High school English teaches your child reading and writing skills that will benefit them for life. A tutor can help your high schooler with the following core English skills.


In high school, students must develop increasingly complex and lengthy essays and articles in many modes, including narratives, persuasive essays, and expository nonfiction. Students taking the ACT and SATs must be able to produce essays on the spot– a task many students struggle with.

High school students must also learn to cite sources using a style guide such as AP format. Many college and scholarship applications include a writing component as well.

Excellent writing skills aren't just crucial for university, though. The Association of American Colleges and Universities reports that over 90% of employers deem effective writing skills "important" for the workforce. In today's digital age, excellent written communication skills will serve your child well in any life or career path.

College prep writing classes and writing tutoring can help your child improve writing skills, giving them a key to success no matter what college or career path they choose.


High school literature introduces texts with increased vocabulary difficulty and more complex themes. Most high school curriculum includes lengthy novel studies of classic American and World Literature with language that can be hard for a teen to grasp, such as Shakespeare.

You can help your student interpret classic literature and even develop a passion and appreciation for it by arranging a literature tutor

Reading and study skills

It's never too late to improve reading comprehension skills, and practicing understanding and retaining information from nonfiction texts can pay off as your child continues their studies.

A tutor can help your child learn nonfiction reading and study skills.

What should you look for in a high school English tutor?

Searching for the right tutor doesn't have to be overwhelming. Think about these considerations as you select a tutor.

What qualifications and experience do they have?

Research a potential tutor's qualifications to help you select the right fit, including teaching experience and certifications. Read the tutor's bio, and don't be afraid to schedule an interview if you'd like more information to help you decide.

What skills do they specialize in? 

If your child needs help in a specific area, consider finding a tutor specializing in that topic. Many tutors have additional qualifications to teach a specific topic or test prep category. Using these search terms is a great way to find the right fit.

What are their ratings?

Parent recommendations are a valuable tool to help you select between tutors. On Outschool, all teachers include an overall ranking and typed parent reviews to help empower your decision. 

In addition to tutoring, consider joining an Outschool online high school English class for weekly supplements in literature, writing, and test prep studies. 

Help your high schooler reach their full potential with an online English tutor on Outschool today. 

Whether your child needs specific help in a problem area, homeschool support, or you'd like to be proactive in teaching them skills that will help them in future studies, you'll find the right tutor for your child that fits seamlessly into your schedule on Outschool.

Catie MacDonaldCatie is a freelance writer with a passion for words and the drive to exceed expectations. As a certified Language Arts educator, she has years of experience teaching children to love reading.

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