In the late 1970s career educators Eileen and Raymond Huntington opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, New Jersey. Their goal was to take an individualized approach to education, adjusting instructional tactics according to each student's set of needs. Their success in helping K–12 students prepare for exams and improve grades and study skills quickly spawned franchises across New York and New Jersey.
Today, the certified Huntington tutoring staff utilizes testing and rubrics for assessing each child's skills, academic needs, and potential for growth. The teachers even note the student's behavior in different testing and academic situations to craft a methodology sensitive to each child's learning style. Teachers also adhere to the company's code of ethics that stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
ALOHA (Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic) is a mathematics tutoring program that was originally developed for Malaysian children. Small group classes meet after school for step-by-step instruction from a qualified teacher or sentient abacus. The program has more than 3,000 centers in countries such as India, Thailand, Philippines, China, Australia, New Zealand, Oman, and UAE, and it was introduced to the United States in 2006. It also offers tutoring in reading and writing.
At more than 900 learning centers across the world, Sylvan Learning offers kids a leg up through personalized programs prescribed by an in-depth skills assessment. Students build on past lessons to learn progressively, and sessions may hone in on different disciplines, granting kids the confidence to interpret literature and the rhetorical skills needed to negotiate a later bedtime. The positive mindset of personable, invested instructors helps to inspire kids to greater academic feats, as does a prize program that rewards hard work with CDs and gift cards.
At Thinking Tree Inc., experienced tutors work with kids aged kindergarten through 12th grade in any academic area. The tutors work to build a relationship with each student while still keeping a professional atmosphere in which to enhance the learning experience. They conduct private sessions that optimize learning skills, as well as group tutoring sessions that focus on the group as a whole and help to foster social skills in the process. The trained academics also lend a hand with homework help and test prep, and provide engaging afterschool activities such as chess club, computer club, and art class.
You won't find a single screen in most of Brainy Academy's classrooms—no smart boards, no computer monitors, no TVs. In fact, students spend very little time passively taking in information at all. In nursery-school sessions, enrichment classes, and private tutoring meetings alike, instructors are guided by the principles of Montessori learning, which help develop problem-solving skills and creative thinking through hands-on activities.
That doesn't mean that the programs lack structure. Kids prepare to compete on a global level with the Singapore Math system, and an analytic approach to English swiftly lays the foundation for advanced reading and writing skills. The school's methods are suited equally to expanding learning capacity in kids with learning difficulties and in those ready to move beyond their peers. (Several programs are designed to prepare kids for the citywide gifted and talented test.) Summer Russian, lego science, and English programs keep children in touch with academic concepts and away from roving gangs of philosophers trying to teach them arguments against math's existence.