Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Founded in 1977, Huntington Learning Center employs a battalion of highly trained tutors who help students succeed both at school and in standardized testing. The academic evaluation, consisting of exams performed in a simulated classroom environment, yields a comprehensive collection of data that tutors use to design a custom learning program and a personalized, in-class obstacle course.
Former math teacher Lindsey Thompson left Highland Park High School to pursue a PhD in math education, and she now uses her powers of explanation in private and small group tutoring and educational-therapy classes at Park Cities Academic Services. Educational therapy is a method of scholastic training that focuses not just on the content of the class but also on the sociological and emotional barriers students face, such as the desire to make their report card spell “DAD.” Tutoring sessions might focus on standardized-test preparation, college applications and essays, or paper writing, and Thompson also fills her calendar with craft activities and field trips.
In the face of informational overload, Iris Reading helps students maintain a laser-like focus so they can cut through their reading material with speed. Online and in-person classes utilize drills to change old habits and drum up reading speed while still maintaining comprehension. And these techniques aren't just useful for literature and cereal-box backs. Classes cover strategies for magazines, newspapers, technical manuals, and websites, stressing the importance of retention and productivity along the way. Upon completion of Iris Reading's courses, students have reported the ability to tear through their reading material up to five times faster.