Parents really get anxious when they kids go through troubles at school. And such anxiety is essentially rooted on the fact that they feel they cannot really help them, because they lack the knowledge to do so. Parents seem to mortify themselves for not knowing enough math to help their troubled kids, but in reality their responsibility is not necessarily giving that kind of help themselves, but the actual procurement of it.
Truth is that only a small percentage of parents will have the technical and pedagogical tools to teach math themselves to their kids in case they need it. So what to do then? Answer should be clear: find someone with the proper expertise and tools to help you. That is the simple answer. Then it opens up a topic of who has the proper expertise and tools. A local tutor? An online service? A study group? All those options are valid, and you will have to explore them to see what works best for you and your kid.
Where To Begin?
First you will need to make a proper assessment of the needs of your kid. When I say kid, I mean either your high school kid, or your homeschooler or your kid go already attends to college. Find out what is missing, what is troubling them. If possible, talk to the teacher to see an external view of the problem. Is the kid stuck on a specific math topic or he/she is really not getting anything? Try to think if math has always been a problem before, or is it the case that your kid is only now, for the first time, in dire need of math help? All those elements will be taken into consideration.
Often times, a presential tutor is the best option when the student is lost on some specific topics, but there is more or less certainty the shortcomings are very specific and restrict themselves to only a few topics. Then, the math tutor will reinforce that topic with examples, solved problems, exercises until the kid catches up and is good to go. But sometimes, there are shortcomings that are more systemic, and a more holistic approach is required.
Math Help Via Online Providers
Let’s face it: sometimes they will simply won’t get math. Some parents seem to take offense of the idea that their kids could be bad a math. Suck a math. It can happen, it is not their fault and there is no need to get offended. Then, all you need to care about is to provide the right math tools to your kids to at least perform successfully in their required math courses. There is no need to push a kid who does not like math to become a math super star. All you need to do is find a way to meet the requirements imposed upon him or her.
When some systematic help is required, you will probably need some online math help (Places like www.onlinemathlearning, www.mygeekytutor.com or udacity.com come to mind). Such online system will scale better and will be more cost-effective for when your kid requires more intensive help. A presential local tutor will charge on a per hour basis, and such arrangement won’t scale up: if you need 100 hours of math help, the tutor will charge (reasonably) 100 hours of work. There is no bulk pricing there. Online math systems will have much more strength in terms of achieving economics of scale and they will be able to offer a flat fee for the whole semester for example.
Ultimately, it is not all about the cost, that is just one part of the equation. You need to get some needs covered, and you will have to consider all the moving parts as a whole.