Mrs. James answers readers' questions about education. Send yours today: columbusparent@thisweeknews.com.

Dear Mrs. James,

Is it too late in the year to get a tutor for my kids? I was thinking we could do it next year and just get this year over with. It's been trying. Also, what is your opinion on summer tutoring? I figured we should just give kids a break and let them be kids during the summer, but I hear that more people are doing it these days. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Blair Stevens
Upper Arlington

Hi Blair,

Here's my answerNo, no, and NO! It's definitely not too late to get a tutor! The last grading period of school is a crucial point in a child's education. You definitely don't want them to coast through it and just get it over with. That's the exact opposite of the mentality that you should have.

It is important for you as a parent to develop a "finish strong" mentality in your children. Encourage them to give their best all the way through anything that they do; especially school. The last grading period of school is critical because it serves as a prerequisite for the first grading period of the next grade. Most teachers don't spend a ton of time reviewing concepts that the students should already know, so that puts your child in a rough situation trying to do well in a new grade if he/she didn't grasp the concepts in the first place. This brings me to my next point.

Summer tutoring works wonders, especially in reading and math. I highly recommend it. Summer break often becomes just that. A BREAK! A break in your child's education! Many children forget much of the information that they learned during the most critical part of the school year due to a lack of academic stimulation over the summer. Summer tutoring then becomes a bridge to the next year instead of a break between two years. Have a tutor come over once or twice a week just to review important concepts. They don't have to have homework and projects and all of those kinds of things, but the mental stimulation alone will work wonders. You will totally see a change and prevent your child from beginning the next school year behind the 8-ball. You know who to call if you need a high quality tutor! Find my information here: www.mrsjameslearningclub.webs.com. Until then

Keep up the good work!

Love,
Mrs. James

Dear Mrs. James,

Love this column and finally found a question that I think will be good to ask. When is the time to hire a tutor? It sometimes seems like a desperate measure or the last resort to turn to, but I can sort of see the benefits of doing it in other situations.

Sincerely,

Tamika Mattison
Columbus

Hi Tamika! That's a great question and I chose it because I know that many parents probably share the same curiosity! If you were to ask the average person when the appropriate time to hire a tutor would be, the majority of them would suggest when a child is failing school.

However, there are many other times to take the tutoring route. (1) Managing homework time. Many parents work and have other children and just don't have the time to devote to homework. Other parents say that they argue with their children during homework time and having a tutor helps ease the tension.

(2) Advancing advanced students. Honor Roll students can have tutors too. They can learn a higher level math or work with a tutor to increase their reading levels. They can also learn a foreign language. How awesome would it be for your child to know how to speak fluent Spanish or French before they graduate? It's a gift that is invaluable that parents can give to their children.

(3) Simple support. Some teachers just don't have the time to give all of their students individual attention. Many students need that individual attention to succeed, so a tutor stands in the gap.

I hope this helps you out. As I told the other parent above: you know who to call if you need an excellent tutor. Find my information here: www.mrsjameslearningclub.webs.com. Until then

Keep up the good work!

Love,
Mrs. James