I get it. It’s so much easier to pay someone else to do something for us.
When I needed my house painted, and my air conditioning replaced, I paid professionals. There wasn’t much benefit to me trying to figure out how to do it myself, and a lot of costs and risks if I did.
When I need my oil changed, I let a professional handle that as well. However, I actually learned how to change my oil when I was a teenager. And I still CAN. Knowing how to change my oil and some of the basics of how my car works has helped to make me a good car owner, even if I don’t do any of the maintenance myself.
I know to check the fluids and tires and brakes. I know which questions to ask the dealership if they try to tell me I need some repair. (Also, my Father-in-Law owns the best car repair shop so I’m not about to let anyone else tell me what my car needs.)
And in an emergency, I CAN take care of my car.
When you hire a tutor, you run the risk of having your child’s education be very piece-meal rather than the more impactful approach of being cohesive and self-reinforcing.
If the tutor uses vastly different methods, curriculum, and content than you or a teacher or the book or wherever else your child is gaining information, your child will have a hard time generalizing those skills and will be slower to make progress. They may also get frustrated much more easily.
The reason that homeschooling is the most ideal way to educate your child is that children are learning all day long, wherever they are, and you can keep reinforcing the same concepts over and over in tiny bite-sized ways to reinforce the information or skills.
In the morning you do a 10 minute lesson on adverbs, and then a 20 minute math lesson on adding fractions with like denominators.
After lunch, you are baking together and you have your child practice adding ⅓ cup sugar plus ⅓ cup butter plus ⅔ cup flour. In the moment, your child can see what all of those pieces add up to and that learning gets reinforced. You also have a conversation thinking up as many adverbs to describe the verb baking: “quickly”, “carefully”, “lazily”... What kind of baking would be problematic? “Haphazardly”, “mindlessly”, “distractedly”...
While sorting socks later, you discuss that ⅛ of the pairs of socks are black and ⅜ of the pairs of socks are striped. How much is that together? (And I’d dig a lot deeper here, before moving on to…) What adverbs describe how we are sorting right now? “Slowly”, “Thoughtfully”, “meticulously”...
And on and on and on. Reinforcing over and over day after day.
Do you get that with a tutor or with a teacher? Yes, you might vaguely know what your child is working on and be able to reinforce it. You might also confuse them because, “That’s not how Mrs. Smith does it!”
If your child is struggling with something like dyslexia, your ability to reinforce those same tiny skills all day long, will be way more powerful and way less overwhelming for your kiddo than a 1-2 hour intensive session every day.
If your child is struggling with anxiety or ADHD, you’ll be acutely aware of whether or not NOW is a good time to have a math lesson or to advise a correction on their writing. You are tuned in to your kid.
I absolutely think that tutors can be wonderful, and I believe that all kids should be involved in some kind of regular structured environment to learn something fun with others. However, it’s not always the best choice for helping kids with learning challenges to overcome those challenges.