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Should You Hire a Tutor for Your Children's Latin Program?

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 1/5/2012

Many parents have been teaching their children Latin at home with little or no exposure of their own to the language. There comes a certain point, however, when the children's ability exceeds the amount of direction you can give them. Should you hire a tutor at this point?

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    Why Hire a Latin Tutor?

    While parents don't necessarily need to be an expert in Latin to teach their children the language at home, there will come a point where your child is asking questions you cannot answer. You may have to decide whether to allow the children to teach themselves or to enroll the children in a class. There is, however, a third option—you can hire a tutor. A Latin tutor can keep the curriculum custom-tailored to your children and can help your children stay motivated and challenged.

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    Latin Tutoring Options

    With the advent of the Internet, there are several options for finding your children a Latin tutor.

    First, you can hire a tutor online. This is a viable option, but you should note that some tutoring sites require a child to be at least fourteen years of age. One great site for finidng tutors is TutorMatch. This website lists tutors, the grades they work with, and the fees for tutoring. You can learn what experience the tutor has and about the tutor's education. Edufire is another great resource. The rates for tutors on this site are reasonable, and the tutors teach via Webcam. Parental consent will be required before students under eighteen can receive tutoring.

    Finally, you might find what you're looking for at Latin for Homeschoolers. This site contains three different options: traditional, coaching, or as-needed. The rates for this service are reasonable but not as competitive as the other sites. However, this tutor has experience tutoring those learning Latin at home.

    A second option for finding a tutor is through a local college or university. If your local college offers Latin courses (and many do) or has a classics department, you can hire a professor to tutor your child— and some are willing to do this. However, don't overlook the option of hiring a graduate student or advanced student in the major. Using a student as a tutor can save you money in the long-run (and offer valuable experience to the student).

    Finally, you can search classified ads, post a classified ad, or look in your yellow pages. No matter what resource you choose to find a suitable tutor for your child, be especially sure to get references and perform background research. You want to make sure your child is in safe hands.

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    What to Look For

    The very first thing you want to look for in a tutor is the ability to break things down in a way that is understandable to children. Not everyone has this ability. Make sure the tutor has experience with children that are the same age of the children you are having tutored. Also, if your child has special needs, make sure the tutor has experience with children with special needs or is capable of tutoring to different learning styles.

    Next, you want to check the tutor's background. The best tutors will have at least a B.A. in classical languages. Follow up on any credentials. Also, as before mentioned, make sure you get references. If the tutor will be in your home, be especially sure to get a background check on the tutor.

    Finally, talk with the tutor about the goals you have in mind for your children. What do you want your children to learn? How much instruction is the tutor to give? Make sure the tutor's teaching style and vision fit your own. A good tutor will direct the students rather than stand over the students.