Finding a Math Tutor

Updated on February 23, 2010
B.C. asks from Arlington, TX
6 answers

I am needing to find a math and science tutor for my 9 year old. I'm open to all options, and I'm looking at Kumon and Sylvan. What are the costs associated? Success stories? Please help!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I am a tutor and also have ran a company similar to Sylvan. I would ask your local school for a referral to a tutor they are fimilar with. That person will be able to give your child the one-on-one attention he needs, especially if he needs help with current classwork. It will be less money and possibly hassle. (I drive to the student's home or meet them at the library.) Most private tutors charge per hour ($25 - $40 an hour). I work with the kids either 1 - 3 hours a week depending on their needs. You can also look at to find a tutor in your area. Make sure they have their degree in education and have a background check ( does this).

Sylvan will work on the skills your son is lacking, but not current classroom work. He will be placed in a group of up to 3 kids and be asked to attend 3-5 hours a week. They charge between $40 - $50 an hour and pressure parents to pay up front for several hours at a time.

Sylvan and Kumon are great for when you can't find a tutor that knows what they are doing or when your child is 2 years or more behind. They use a lot of drill and memorization which is fine for most kids. If you have a kid that needs to draw, imitate or manipulate objects to understand it, it is not the best environment for them. The tutoring center is also great over the summer when kids get a chance to catch up to their peers and not worry about daily homework. You can also find a private tutor to do the same IF they have curriculum that can be tailored to his needs.

Hope this was helpful! Please note I am not against Sylvan or other tutoring companies. They are a great resource for when you can't find the perfect one-on-one tutor.

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answers from Dallas on

I think the best option is not an outside source (Sylvan, etc) but someone who teaches your child the way that child is taught in his/her school.

MANY teachers tutor on the side for extra money. The guidance counselors at the schools know who these teachers are and can recommend a good fit for you. Your child's teacher may be able to recommend someone as well. Expect to pay about $50 per hour.

We've had tutors in the past....for math and LA I've spent $50 an hour, private cheer coaching I pay $70 and hour and private violin I pay $20 per half hour.

I like having tutors on the side because it is a good investment, our daughter maintains A's in honors classes but these tutors help her gain the knowledge needed to stay ahead. As you well know, all teachers have their own way of teaching and the tutors can teach from another perspective which helps the child "get it". I LOVE the extra support,our tutors have all been Plano ISD teachers either working on the side OR on maternity leave. If you can't afford a teacher, you might be able to find an honors/IB student from high school or college who tutors for extra credit (community hours) and less money.

I've heard about the Sylvan's, etc but they have a specific way of teaching and the LAST thing you want to do is confuse your child.

Best wishes!


answers from Houston on

Try asking some of his teachers. I had placed my son (9yrs old at the time) at Sylvan. I am not happy with the results! I got a loan for $6000.00 to have him there during the summer. A total of 36hours, an hour a day for 6.5 weeks .They tested my son and said, his reading and math were at a 2rd grade level. My son was entering the 4th grade. They promise they will improve the child’s grade. But be careful, they forget to tell you they will get him just one grade level so, if he’s behind as much as mine was he was still behind when he finished the program. I ended up hiring my son’s teacher and that worked out so much better.

Good luck,


answers from Dallas on

I checked out both of those centers but preferred Oxford Learning. If your are near Keller, Ft Worth, Watauga area. They are located off Beach just 2 min south of North Tarrant.

There are more hands on then Kumon by far and more advanced. You will get your money back. They are working wonders for my daughter.

Let them know E. Cronin sent you. They give a free evaluation where is sylvan wanted almost $200!!!

or you can also call local high schools they have students tutor for 10-15 an hour.




answers from Minneapolis on

I am a Junior High math and science teacher, and I recommend Kumon for students with math. I do not recommend Sylvan or Huntington for most students, because they are expensive (I think absurdly expensive) and I haven't seen the results with them that I have seen with Kumon. Kumon is FABULOUS for teaching students basic skills and computation. However, it is not good at teaching reasoning skills.

My recommendation for most parents is to call the local universities and to see if there is a student in the education department or in one of the science departments who might be interested in tutoring. We are lucky in St. Paul to have 6 universities right in the area, several with specific programs for "Science Education," and "Math Education." I don't know what's available in Arlington, but you might also be able to talk to your local high school and see if they have students who might want to tutor with science.

Good luck!



answers from Jacksonville on

Personally I have no experience with these but a good friend of mine had her 2nd grader in Sylvan and she is now doing math ahead in her 4th grade. She just had to "get" it.
Also I use ALEKS math from and it seems to help the kids, we homeschool. It seems to pinpoint some problem areas then gives them extra practice on things they don't get.
It is $20 a month. SO far my kids think it's cool. We've been using it since JAnuary.
We also have Timezattack which my son loves. It is multiplication tables.

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