Many parents want to give their children an edge in their education or get them caught up if they are behind their peers. It is not uncommon to spend $5,000 or more per year on services such as Sylvan, Kaplan or private tutors. Tutoring works well for most kids, so the investment in a child’s future is well worth, but is it possible to recoup or better manage these costs? The answer is it depends, and it can be quite complicated, but it is worth the time to research your options. Here are some avenues to investigate:
- Utilize tax benefits
In some cases, the cost of tutoring can be considered a tax-deductible expense. If your child has been medically diagnosed with a learning disability or has a medical condition that affects their academic performance, you may be able to deduct the cost of tutoring as a medical expense. To take advantage of these tax benefits, be sure to keep all of your receipts and invoices for tutoring services. You will need to provide documentation to support your deduction when you file your taxes.
- Negotiate payment plans
Many tutoring services offer payment plans that allow you to spread out the cost of tutoring over several months. If you are concerned about the cost of tutoring, consider negotiating a payment plan with the tutoring service. This can help make the investment more manageable and reduce the financial burden on your family.
- Consider group tutoring
Group tutoring can be a more cost-effective option than one-on-one tutoring. Many tutoring services offer group tutoring sessions, which can be a great way for your child to receive academic support while also interacting with peers. Additionally, group tutoring can be a fun and engaging way for your child to learn, as they can work collaboratively with others to solve problems and complete assignments.
- Take advantage of free resources
While tutoring services can be extremely helpful, there are also many free resources available that can supplement your child’s learning. Consider using free online resources such as Khan Academy or YouTube educational videos to help your child understand difficult concepts. Additionally, many libraries offer free tutoring services or homework help programs.
- Research Your Local School District
In some cases, your local school district might reimburse you for the costs of tutoring. This can be very time consuming to pursue and be successful at, but federal law mandates that if your child is not getting the appropriate level of education, they must provide for it on other ways.
It is common for a school district to claim that their program for your child is sufficient and that they are doing all in their power to help. There are several areas of recourse ranging from moving your child to a different school at the district’s expense to getting tutoring reimbursed if the school does not change their education plan sufficient to improve testing scores. There are attorneys that specialize in this area of law, but there are no guarantees of success.
- Encourage your child to take ownership of their learning
Finally, it is important to encourage your child to take ownership of their learning. While tutoring services can be helpful, they are not a magic solution to academic struggles. Encourage your child to be an active participant in their own learning and to take responsibility for their academic success.
Your financial planner and accountant will be professionals you want to confer with to get other ideas and best practices on lowering or better managing this vital investment in your child’s future.
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