A classically trained pianist and organist with more than 35 years of experience, Fran Brar passes her musical wisdom onto students during individual and group piano lessons. Her sessions take place in her private home studio or can be held at students' own homes, lest their own pianos start to feel abandoned.
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, which stresses professionalism and confidentiality and encourages pupils to improve their grades honestly through dedicated study rather than shortcuts.
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 design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and 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. 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.
Though many students come to Mathnasium having fallen behind their classmates, a mathematically advanced child sparked the learning program’s creation. As founder Larry Martinek’s young son, Nic, developed an appetite for higher-level math concepts, Larry found himself developing an entirely new teaching language to explain them in an age-appropriate way. The kind of instincts he sought to build up couldn’t be nurtured by drills and rote memorization. Instead, they required a deeper understanding of the principles at the root of mathematical operations, delivered in a way that grade-school kids could apply throughout their academic careers.
In just a decade’s time, Larry and his team have established Mathnasium centers in most U.S. states and more than a dozen other countries. At each, tutors who earned a 700 or higher on the math portion of the SAT develop custom learning plans for students in grades K–12 based on The Mathnasium Method. The system combines an education strategy of conceptual, tactile, and visual techniques with a curriculum structure that ensures kids can count, think proportionally, and tell the difference between a multiplication sign and a plus sign by scent alone. Tutors allow some time each session to help students with the concepts in their math homework, and the centers regularly check report cards and standardized tests as further measures of progress.
The staff at Dynamic Learning Adventures entertains and engages budding minds with an ever-changing stable of week-long enrichment programs. Students test their skills during five days of strategy games, team challenges, and simulations. All the week’s activities immerse kids in a single historical topic such as ancient China, the Civil War, or the Oregon Trail. Kids in grades four–six pick up problem-solving skills and unleash their creativity as they travel to historical civilizations in their minds. Dynamic Learning Adventure's programs are divided into three-hour a.m. and p.m. modules, and the programs integrates state and national standards so campers can use their newfound skills back at the classroom in the fall. Each class is also limited to 10 students, to ensure low instructor-to-student ratios and plenty of chances to tickle the imagined elbow of Abraham Lincoln.