Every child will struggle with school at one point or another. There will always come a time when, regardless of how brilliant your child is he bumps up against something out of his comfort zone and requires a bit of extra help. When a child is young, his parents are usually up to the task of stepping in with that helping hand. But as grade school gives way to middle school and then high school it becomes harder and harder for parents to offer the expertise a child really needs. You may understand a subject, but that doesn’t mean you can teach it, and often a tutor is the key to helping a student overcome those educational roadblocks and succeed. But what if you can’t pay for a tutor? Luckily, there are some free options you can turn to. Here are a couple of places to look.

Reach out to your child’s teacher and see if there are any opportunities at school. It’s difficult for teachers to give each child a ton of special attention, with overcrowding and dwindling budgets a common reality. But many districts hold after school tutoring sessions that are free for those that need it most. If you are in financial trouble or if your child has special needs there will certainly be a program for you. Even if you are not in either of these situations you may be able to find some options.

If the school doesn’t have anything for you, head out into your neighborhood and ask around at the library, the community center and various churches. Many of these non-profit organizations offer specialized tutoring, often in conjunction with a local community college or teaching program at a four-year university. These may be specialized for certain courses, and you’ll have to register your child for a specific class. But each of these will be free or incredibly inexpensive.

Next, look more closely at the teaching programs at those local colleges. Colleges that have educational programs often set up their student-teachers to tutor the local community for class credit or simply to gain some additional experience. You’ll have to bring your child to them, but the free, high quality tutoring will be well worth it. These student-teachers will also be privy to the latest educational techniques, and since they are young and hungry they will work incredibly hard for your child.

If you strike out here, reach out to your extended community. You may have a family member, a friend or a former associate who knows a teacher or is an aspiring teacher. If you’re really lucky someone’s child might be interested in tutoring for free to get some experience, if they’ve never done it before. You might strike out, but gaining support from your network will never be a bad thing.

Finally, look to the world wide web. With so many people requiring inexpensive alternatives to traditional education, you’ll find a wide range of free resources. Some sites may provide an online tutor if you join their service, others will provide lesson plans and suggestions to help you step up for your child. And don’t forget to look at YouTube as well. Many teachers actually upload lesson plans and step-by-step guides for certain subjects. With the internet on your side, no subject will be too difficult for your kids.