How to Choose the Right Tutor – 5 Questions to Ask

How to Choose the Right Tutor

If your child is in need of some academic help, you may be considering a tutor. According to Dr. Sandi Ayaz, executive director of the National Tutoring Association, over the past eight years private tutoring in the U.S. alone has “exploded tenfold”.Some parents hire tutors to help their children overcome academic obstacles, while others hire tutors to encourage and challenge their children in ways that might not be possible in a traditional classroom setting.

Whatever the objective of tutoring for your child may be, it’s important for parents to take the time to locate and hire a tutor who will work well with their child’s learning style and personality. To make sure you find the right tutor for your child, ask your tutor the following questions before beginning lessons:

1. What is your teaching style?

Every student learns differently, which is why it’s impossible for school teachers to structure their classroom lessons to match each individual student’s preferred learning style. The right private tutor, however, can adapt lessons to cater to your child’s strengths whether he is an auditory learner (learns best by listening), visual learner (learns best through sight) or a kinesthetic learner (learns best through experience). Before you hire a tutor, find out if he can structure lessons in a format that is conducive to your child’s preferred learning style.

2. What is your plan for helping my child?

While this may seem like a loaded question for someone who has not yet met your child or even seen examples of his school work, the response will reveal the tutor’s thought process for diagnosing your child’s needs and creating a plan to achieve the desired results. The right tutor will have a strategy, and possibly specific methods, for identifying problem areas and understanding the child’s learning behavior. An effective tutor will also recognize the importance of working with the student (and in some cases, the parents) to establish performance improvement goals that are both measurable and attainable.

3. Why do you tutor?

Tutoring is about building a productive learning relationship between a tutor and student. The most effective tutors are individuals who are passionate about teaching and are able to derive value from seeing their students succeed. While many tutors provide lessons as a primary or supplemental source of income, the ideal tutor will take a vested interest in your child’s progress and have the patience and willingness to do whatever it takes to help your child succeed.

4. Do you have any references, or have you worked with students in a similar situation as my child?

Objective, reliable references are very informative but they can also be hard to come by. Online tutoring marketplaces like WyzAnt Tutoring compile lesson ratings and written reviews from actual students who have previously worked with tutors. Reading third-party reviews from parents and students who have worked with a tutor will provide invaluable insight into what you can expect from a tutor in terms of subject proficiency and personality. If you choose to hire a tutor on your own rather than through a reputable marketplace, it’s still a good idea to ask for references; however, the reference you receive may not be a completely impartial source.

5. How can you help my child become an independent learner?

The most effective and valuable tutoring relationships will help the student become a more engaged, independent learner. Memorizing and mastering very specific topics or skills may yield some results, but it is ultimately a short-term solution to the student’s broader educational needs. While certain lessons may focus on a particularly troublesome topic, learning to understand and appreciate the learning process, theory and logic behind concepts will help your child overcome subsequent obstacles, avoid future frustration and flourish as a student.

WyzAnt Tutoring is an online marketplace for private tutors. WyzAnt’s network includes more than 75,000 active private tutors nationwide in subjects that range from math and science to test preparation and music.

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50% Off at Mabel’s Labels – Pirates and Planes

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For TODAY and TOMORROW ONLY, Mabel’s Labels is offering two great 50% off promotions! You can get 50% off Pirate Ship or Skull ‘n’ Crossbones Sticky Labels in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Plus tomorrow, 9/20, Mabel’s Labels is offering 50% off Plane Sticky Labels for their second year of Talk Like a Pilot Day, created by Mabel’s Labels. Don’t miss your chance to stock up on new labels for your little ones!

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends DVD Reader Giveaway


Strawberry Shortcake fans have a brand new adventure to take with the new DVD released this week: Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends. Your little ones will learn about being a good friend while having a fun time with Strawberry Shortcake and HER friends!

It’s friends first for Strawberry Shortcake and her favorite gal pals in Berry Best Friends! When Orange Blossom’s general store overflows with a new line of fruits and veggies, she tries to handle all of the details without any help from others, and, as a result, she’s exhausted! Strawberry is excited to be building a new marketplace, but has a tough time learning how to graciously say, “no, thank you.” Both soon learn that talking about what you need is the berry best thing to do. When the BFFs form a new band called Strawberry and the Sweet Beats, they’re all jazzed to head out on the road…except for Orange, who is afraid to admit that she doesn’t want to leave home. Once she tells her friends how she feels, she’s ready to set out for a rockin’ good time!

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For some extra Strawberry Shortcake fun, we have a printable Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends Printable Coloring Sheet.  Just print it out and grab some crayons or markers!

Reader Giveaway:  One lucky Jinxy Kids reader will win Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends on DVD. To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 10/8/14. Good luck!

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Enter Your Child for a Chance to Win a Trip to Disney’s Big Hero 6 Premier in LA!

xprize contest

Now through October 12th, your child can submit a video to enter for a chance to win Disney’s Xprize Challenge! The winners will win a trip to Los Angeles and walk the red carpet at the Big Hero 6 premier!

Here are a few things you need to know:

  • Have your child create a video where they “harness their creativity and come up with innovative ideas to tackle the world’s biggest challenges using science, technology, engineering, art and/or mathematics.”
  • Submit video here by October 12th
  • Ages 8-17
  • 6 Winners Will be Chosen

This is an incredible contest with amazing prize packages! In addition to the trip to LA, the winners will receive free registration to the Lego Leaugue competition, a NASA space kit and a cloudbit Starter Kit!

Head over here to get details on this contest and to get your child excited about creating their video!

Easy LEGO Storage with a Toolbox

Easy Lego Storage

While LEGOs are one of the most awesome toys out there, they can also be a nightmare when it comes to storage and organization. The trickiest part can be the teeny tiny LEGO pieces. They easily fall to the bottom of the storage container if you store them together with larger pieces and they are easily lost too.

An easy way to coral those tiny LEGO pieces is with a standard toolbox. The box we used is a Stanley SortMaster Organizer, which is designed for small things like nails and screws. It works perfectly for little LEGOs too! We just sorted each color into a separate compartment and then used the remaining compartment for a sort of catch-all for pieces that were unique from all the others.

The great thing about this type of case is that it snaps tight and keeps each compartment secure, so you don’t have to worry about the LEGOs getting mixed up again! Storage solution solved!

Lego Storage Container

LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: Counting On Lemonade Reader Giveaway



When life gives you lemons, what do you do? With LeapFrog Letter factory you can turn them into learning fun with the new LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: Counting On Lemonade available today on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD, Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and leader in educational entertainment, LeapFrog Enterprises. This all-new and exciting CGI animated story features the next generation of lovable frog characters made famous in the highly-acclaimed and award-winning original Letter Factory DVDs with lots of fun and learning along the way.

This fun DVD helps teach your little one about numbers including counting to 20, addition and subtraction. These lovable frogs definitely make learning about numbers fun!

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For more LeapFrog Letter Factory fun, we have this FREE LeapFrog Coingo Printable Activity.  Play Coingo with a friend by taking turns drawing coins out of a bag (no peeking!). Put each coin onto your card until you have five in a row. Then yell, “Coingo!” to win!


Tad, Lily, Leap and friends stir up lots of learning fun when they decide to sell lemonade and use their earnings to buy new books for the library. With the help of Cousin Toad, Matilda, Quigley and Burfder, the twins apply their new skills in counting, addition and subtraction to their new venture of making the most delicious lemonade ever!

Teaching early math skills and problem solving for preschoolers to first graders, LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: Counting On Lemonade focuses on counting to 20, addition and subtraction, and features three all-new original learning songs, plus curriculum commentary for parents.

Reader Giveaway   One lucky Jinxy Kids reader will win LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: Counting On Lemonade.  To enter, just complete the entry form below by 11:59pm ET on 9/29/14.  Good luck!

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Free Printable Minecraft Crossword Puzzle

Minecraft Crossword Puzzle

Do you have a Minecraft fan in your household? I thought we might be able to escape the Minecraft mania, but my 6-year-old nephew has recently become hooked! You can play on that Minecraft obsession and encourage some word exploration with this feee printable Minecraft Crossword Puzzle.  

Thanks to Shindig Prints for supplying us with this printable.

Adorable Customized Character Water Bottles only $11.99! (reg $25)

jane water bottles has these adorable custom water bottles on sale right now for only $11.99 each! These are absolutely adorable and are over $10 off the regular price of $25.

And there are several characters to choose from including Disney’s Frozen Elsa and Anna! And the name is customizable with the font and letters.

These would make a great gift for the little one in your life. Shipping is $3.99 for the first and $2.49 for each additional one that you purchase. Head over here to grab this great deal and here are a few additional details:

You will ❤love❤ your personalized water-bottles, they are eco-friendly chic. Perfect gift for Birthdays, Holidays, Teacher Gifts, Sports Teams as well, they are too cute you can gift them just because you love them so much!!!!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that help support our site with no additional cost to you. See our complete disclosure policy here.

Printable Eric Carle Activity Sheets and New Sleepwear from Gymboree

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Gymboree has teamed up with Eric Carle, the beloved illustrator of such children’s classics as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to create a line of adorable sleepwear featuring our favorite Eric Carle characters.  The Eric Carle Collection available at Gymboree even has adult sizes (online only) so grown-ups can get in on the fun too!

To celebrate this partnership, there is more fun including activities and chances to win!  There is a daily giveaway where you can answer Eric Carle trivia questions for a chance to win clothes and an autographed print. Tomorrow is the last day to enter!  You can also enter the photo contest using the hashtag #WhatDoYouSee for a chance to win one of 10 gift baskets.

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There are also ten fun printable Eric Carle activity sheets featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear. Print them out and have some pre-bedtime fun!

Head over and visit the Eric Carle Collection available at Gymboree. These may be those jambes that your kids never want to change out of!

eric carle gymboree

Eric Carle Printable Activity Sheets

12 Fun Ideas for the School Lunchbox

12 School Lunchbox Ideas

School is back in session and for many that means daily lunchbox packing. It can be a challenge to find new ideas to keep your kids’ lunch boxes fun, fresh and something they will actually eat!  Kids are known to be picky and there are always the favorite and not-so-favorite food items.  Planning a lunch that is appealing to the taste buds with some visual fun thrown in is the best chance to ensure that the lunch is eaten to provide fuel for learning and development throughout those school day afternoons.

We have rounded up a dozen ideas fun ideas for the school lunchbox, both from our parent site and from other awesome bloggers.

12 Fun Ideas for the School Lunchbox

Puppy Themed Bento Box - This fun box from Two Little Cavaliers features mini sandwiches, string cheese, fruit and veggies.

Southwest Turkey Wrap - This wrap would please adults or kids and makes a filling, complete lunch.

Homemade Pizza Lunchables/Bento Box - Again you can save vs. packaged Lunchables with this fresh recipe from Cincy Shopper.

Homemade Uncrustables PB&J - Our recipe to make your own Uncrustables will save you a lot of money vs. the pre-made.

Camping Theme Lunch - So cute!  I love this original idea from Frugal Coupon Living.

Chicken Taco Bento Box Lunch - Tacos are always a hit and this bento box lunch plays on that classic theme.

Apple Sandwiches - Who says you need bread for sandwiches?  These are made with apple slices.

Tortilla Pinwheel Lollipops - Turn lunch into a lollipop with this fun recipe from Home Cooking Memories.

Peanut Butter and Fruit Pizza - Clever Pink Pirate shares this unique twist on a pizza idea.

Lunchox Kabobs - Your kids can have fun creating their own kabobs with this idea from A Mitten Full of Savings.

Hardboiled Egg Chick Bento Box - These adorable chicks from Sweet Bella Roos will have your kids gobbling up their lunch.

Chicken Taco Roll-Ups - We can’t have just one taco-theme in our round-up so we top it off with these roll-ups from The Tiptoe Fairy.

Which one will you try first?

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