After school tutoring is one of the most common forms of academic support. Since it is so popular, it must be effective.
Unfortunately, after school tutoring is not a cure-all for academic struggles.
In some situations, tutoring can reinforce bad habits and create long-term challenges for the student.
At the end of the day, parents want a solution that helps their teen improve their grades while building confidence and the right academic skills to succeed in the long run.
Let’s break down tutoring and see if it’s the right solution for your teen.
Will After School Tutoring Solve your teen’s academic challenges?
Before diving into the benefits and shortcomings of tutoring, it is vital to categorize the two most common types of academic challenges students have. The first type of academic challenge is content-focused.
This type of challenge is directly related to the content taught in class. For example, your teen may have trouble understanding a specific mathematical formula. This is the most common type of academic challenge.
The second type of academic challenge involves a lack of foundational academic skills. Foundational academic skills include note-taking, study skills, staying focused in class, self-advocacy, and writing. This type of academic challenge will impact all aspects of a student’s academics.
Students who lack foundational academic skills almost always have content-related challenges. Or if they are achieving good marks, they are spending far too long studying to get the results they want. Both outcomes have negative long-term consequences.
If a student’s foundational academic skills are improved, many content-related struggles will be alleviated. Furthermore, strong academic fundamentals will allow students to succeed in the long run, not just in their current classes.
After School Tutoring Benefits
Now that you are aware of the two kinds of academic challenges that your teen faces, let’s look at the benefits of after school tutoring.
Tutoring can improve comprehension of core content
After school tutoring, also known as content tutoring, excels at helping students overcome content-related academic challenges. Additional review with an after school tutor can clean up any blind spots that your teen may have. Tutoring is particularly effective if a student has specific questions about a topic.
After school Tutoring can boost grades (in the short run)
Tutoring can also boost student grades. However, this improvement can be limited to the assignments that the tutor assists your student with and may not extend to in-class assignments or assessments.
After school tutoring benefits are limited to specific content-related academic challenges. However, this type of challenge is often a result of poor academic fundamentals. Subject-specific tutoring will do little to address these systemic issues.
The Shortcomings of Tutoring
Tutoring Does not address the systemic issue(s)
Most tutors focus on a specific subject or content area: Algebra I, AP English, Biology, etc. They can help your teen with content-specific questions.
Unfortunately, little attention is paid to academic fundamentals by after school tutors. A subject-specific tutor can help your teen learn a concept, but that assistance does nothing to solve the problem of why your teen didn’t learn the concept in the first place.
Hiring a tutor to work with a student who lacks foundational academic skills is like putting a patch on a leaky tire.
It’s a quick fix, but it doesn’t solve the problem.
After School Tutoring can Build dependence
Using the band-aid approach of content tutoring can create a pattern of dependence. Using the tire analogy again, if you keep patching the tire instead of repairing it, it will slowly leak and continue to be a problem. The problem is never truly solved.
Similarly, teens can become dependent on tutoring to keep up with the pace of their classes. Instead of learning the material, your teen can come to rely on the additional assistance that a tutor provides.
A tutor is a band-aid in this situation, not a lasting solution to your teen’s academic challenges.
Hiring a Tutor(s) is Expensive
Since tutors often focus on one subject, a struggling student may need multiple tutors. The price of this kind of support can rapidly increase and become unsustainable.
The average cost of hiring a tutor is around $80 per hour and rapidly increasing. If your teen needs a tutor in multiple subjects, this can put the price of tutoring in the hundreds of dollars per week.
This is a steep price to pay, especially for a short-term solution.
Tutoring does not empower the student
A passive learning style is one of the most common student behaviors that lead to academic struggles.
Students with a passive attitude view themselves as an empty vessel to be filled with the knowledge of a teacher, tutor, or another adult. This type of behavior can lead to poor grades and work ethic in high school and turn into a full-blown disaster at higher levels of education.
Tutoring can reinforce this learning style. When a content tutor helps a struggling student, the student becomes an empty vessel to be filled with the tutor’s knowledge.
Empowerment is the solution for many students. Passive students should be encouraged to find their solutions and identify the steps needed to achieve success.
In summary, tutoring has its benefits, and it can undoubtedly help your teen in the short run. However, it is more of a band aid than a long-term fix.
Alternatives to After School Tutoring
If your son or daughter is struggling in school and you recognize that their content-related struggles result from poor academic fundamentals, you may be at a loss.
Don’t worry. You are not alone.
Many parents struggle to find the right type of support for their teens.
Fortunately, there is a solution that can help empower your teenager and give them the academic fundamentals that they need to succeed.
An academic coach is the perfect type of after school assistance for students who are struggling due to their poor academic fundamentals. Rather than focusing on subject-related specifics, an academic coach works with students to improve their foundational skills and empower them to take charge of their academic experience.
An academic coach can help your teen develop long-term and lasting solutions to their academic challenges by addressing the foundational academic issues they face. An academic coach will also empower your student to identify their problems and potential solutions and help them become an active rather than a passive learner.
By addressing the student’s foundational challenges and empowering them to take on a more active role in their education, academic coaches can give your teen lasting solutions to their content-related challenges and confidence moving forward.
If you are ready to help your teen solve their systemic challenges and build strong academic fundamentals, let’s talk. I have helped hundreds of students reach their academic potential, and your teen can be next.
I have curated a program designed to end the late-work cycle in one quarter. But it is not one-size-fits-all. Book a free discovery call to find out how I can best meet your teen’s specific needs.
About the Author: John Hyde
I am an educational coach specializing in teaching students’ academic fundamentals and a growth mindset.
After graduating from Duke University in 2015, I taught at a public middle school from 2016 to 2019. Although I loved working with students in the classroom, the public education system was not teaching students the skills essential to academic success.
I left the classroom in 2019 to start Academic Empowerment Academy. Since then, my coaching program has helped hundreds of students realize their academic potential by assisting them in building confidence and empowering them with the skills and mindset to meet their goals in school and life.
If you’d like to discuss how I can help your teen be more motivated, foster good habits, and improve academic organization/performance, Book a Complimentary Discovery Call Here.
Hi I’m John, author of this blog, academic coach, and founder of AE Academy.
I help teens reach their academic potential by empowering them with academic fundamentals, a growth mindset, and critical thinking.
If your teen is struggling to reach their academic potential, or isn’t learning the skills they need to succeed in school, we should connect.
It’s on me – Book Your Free Call Here