NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Summer is already over for thousands of students across Middle Tennessee, and even more students are set to start the new school year next week.

Tutors said it might be better to start looking for a tutor now rather than later.

Staff with Thrive Tutoring, a Nashville-based private tutoring service, said things become a little quieter when the school year starts.

However, around exam time each semester or the end of the school year, they find that there’s a large influx of families waiting until the final hour to get extra help for grades.

“In the last-minute hours, everyone is panicking. Mom, Dad, tutor, student, everyone is working hard toward the goal and if you get ahead of it, it is so much less stressful. You have a plan, you’re knocking things out one-by-one and working toward really clear goals, and that is so much better,” said Katy Schmitt, the owner of Thrive Tutoring.

Staff recommend starting early, not only so students can maintain grades, but so they can get assistance with organizational and prioritization skills and tackle any learning gaps that still need to be filled following COVID learning changes.

“COVID comes up in nine out of 10 conversations, like, ‘My kid was already struggling in this,’ We weren’t quite sure cause they were so young and here we are. We’re so behind,” said Schmitt.

In many cases, Schmitt said the students who reach out to request help are not failing or falling behind; they are looking to maintain their good grades and get a jump on how to handle their next educational level.

“Maybe they have some A’s and B’s in school, but we’re working on executive functioning to set them up for success later on as things get more rigorous,” said Schmitt. ”I feel like a lot of families are nervous to reach out because they’re child needs help, but it’s actually such a great skill – when to know to reach out for help. I really hope families realize that reaching out for a tutor is really a positive and good thing.”

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The private tutoring service is hosting free monthly ACT practice tests for students this year! Every student who tests will receive a basic score report. Families can pay $20 for a detailed score report (10-15 pages breaking down each skill area).

If you are a student in need of extra tutoring services, you can visit Thrive Tutoring’s website for more details.