The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they use a four-step Sylvan Insight process to design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. SylanSync technology complements in-person tutoring sessions, allowing kids to use iPads to further their learning. After-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
Adult Literacy League's adult education programs are geared toward adults 18 or older who read at or below a fifth-grade reading level. Students in the financial-literacy program learn basic economic principles, including how to budget, use a checking account, save money, and begin to accumulate assets such as a home. More than 70 percent of the program's students are struggling with insufficient income due to unemployment, a lack of savings, or poor credit, yet the league never refuses services to participants unable to pay for their books. With the help of a Money Matters workbook, students can begin managing their finances and plan for other financial opportunities under the guidance of a tutor.
More than three decades ago, educator Larry Martinek set out on a mission to develop a curriculum that would radically change the traditional approach to teaching math. Noting a "disconnect between students' basic skills training and the curriculum they [must] master in the years to come," Larry created an original teaching method designed to turn students into miniature mathematicians capable of thinking critically to solve problems. His approach, which he describes as the cultivation of number sense, strives to sharpen students’ math instincts, rather than drill them with repetitive, memory-based exercises or force them to blackmail accountants to crunch the numbers. Soon after students began using Larry's method, their test scores began to rise. In the spring of 2002, Larry's dream came true. Peter Markovitz and David Ullendorff, leaders in the education industry, made Larry and his curriculum the driving force of Mathnasium. Larry introduced his curriculum as the Mathnasium Method.
Today, Mathnasium centers can be found throughout the world. Informed by Larry's visionary innovations, the program's tutors give personalized coaching that focuses on bolstering critical thinking through written materials and mental math, forsaking many of the teaching tools found in a traditional classroom. In addition, the tutors also focus on boosting students' enthusiasm for the subject, helping them overcome a lack of confidence in the classroom or their innate fear of prime numbers.
Each year, hundreds of people beg Cirque du Soleil to teach them how to do what they do—only to be told to get off the stage and return to their seat. Orlando Circus School gives you an "in" that doesn't interrupt any shows. The school's founders, Andrei Roublev and Irina Roubleva, both worked in the famous troupe during their nearly 20 years in the circus industry, and a number of their instructors are still active Cirque du Soleil members today.
Orlando Circus School’s studio is equipped with all the accoutrements needed for building one's crowd-wowing skills—plus moveable, colored lights for staging full performances. There, students of all ages can hurt gravity's feelings on the flying trapeze and catch one another in mid-air. Hanging silks and Spanish webs treat you to the sensation of pirouetting perpendicular to the floor. Even if students prefer to remain earthbound, they can hone their juggling, cartwheel across the floor inside a German wheel, or practice tightrope-walking at a height that would hardly terrify an ant.
Most of the tutors at Teaching for Tomorrow just graduated from college themselves. That means that, when they guide a student through a academic tutoring and SAT prep course, they do so with their own exam experience relatively fresh in their memories. They can relate to the grueling process of preparing for the SAT or learning a new subject, so they make things a bit easier on nervous students by creating custom-tailored plans of attack. For the SAT, these target each of the three components (math, writing, and critical reading) and incorporate at least 10 practice exam pieced together from past SAT questions. For academic tutoring, they offer leveled-courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, physics, chemistry, biology, and history.