Many times students need one-on-one instruction. In a classroom of 36 students, most teachers do not have the time or patience to reach each one. Time is also a factor when students need help before or after school.
Some students understand some, or even most of the material, but when doing homework or test work, they lack enough practice to show real mastery of the skills.
Independent work is valuable, but without immediate help, many students "give up." Many math texts have answers to odd problems, but students also work on evens. Without guidance students may never realize they have wrong answers or the ability to rework problems with any success.
Let's face it. Math scores in the state of California are dismal. Great students will always "get by." However, many students fall behind with little or no chance to catch up. And even great students may not get the full instruction they need to succeed. Public schools are having a hard time getting and maintaining students at grade level.
Obtaining a tutor for your student is a great motivator. First of all it shows you are willing to do something to help them advance. One-on-one tutoring is the most effective way of teaching math. It forces the student to concentrate. It provides immediate help and feedback. Students can be walked through problems, learning each step of the way.
Algebra is the wave of the future. Nobody will graduate high school or enter college without it.
If the student needs remediation and is more than one grade level behind, tutoring is not effective unless it is done on a continuous basis at least two sessions per week. Commitment must also be made to practice at home.
Tutoring is not a cure-all, but it is an important step to improvement and success.