Tutoring vs. Learning Enhancement Centers Services

Recently, there was an article in the local newspaper talking about the increase in tutoring services in our area. This subject is obviously something that is very near and dear to my heart. How do parents determine which service will meet their child’s needs? How do they know if all their child needs is tutoring, or if there is something more going on that is causing the difficulty in the first place?

At the Learning Enhancement Centers, we often use the analogy of a tree to help parents understand how we are different than a typical tutoring place. Starting from the bottom of the tree, we think of the roots. If you saw a tree dying, you would assume it isn’t getting enough nutrients from its roots. The same is true academically; if a student is struggling, it is usually due to weak underlying skills. These skills are the mental tools necessary to succeed. They are things like memory, attention, visual and auditory processing, and processing speed. If a student hasn’t acquired these foundational skills, school will always be a struggle.The Tree Analogy

The second part of the tree is the trunk or the stem. Its job is to take the nutrients from the roots up to the leaves and the branches. Academically, we correlate this to executive function skills. Executive function skills are the mental management skills, which impact things like time management, organization, and study skills.

The third part of the tree is the leaves and branches. We associate this part of the tree to the academic subjects such as reading, writing, math, and spelling. This is where most tutoring centers and schools focus. However, if there is anything wrong with the roots (processing skills) or trunk (executive function skills), tutoring might help for a while, but it won’t correct the problem for the long term. School will continue to be a struggle. You can try to support the leaves and branches, but the tree is still going to die.

Here is the bad news.  Weaknesses in processing skills (the roots) or executive functioning skills (the trunk) don’t correct themselves. They often get worse as the academic subjects become progressively more complex. Schools and regular tutoring centers don’t address problems in these fundamental areas. They assume that the underlying skills are in place. Many of the evaluations done by a typical tutoring center will report that a student doesn’t know his blends or certain vowel sounds, or his math facts. But that is still the academics (the leaves and branches). Rather, my question is why hasn’t the student gotten it yet? Where is it breaking down in the brain, and how do we fix it?

The good news is that building those underlying learning skills takes some very specific attention, but it can be done. The current research on the brain’s plasticity – the ability to change throughout life – is the basis of our clinically proven programs.

Trying to decide if we are the right place for your child? Want to know more about how we help? Come out to our next Parent Information Night on Thursday, June 25. We will explain what is keeping your child from learning as easily as he should, how we are different than traditional tutoring, and options for getting your child started. Meanwhile, if you want to read more about our services and programs, review our Services page.

By the way, if we feel that we aren’t the right place for you, we will tell you. We will even help you decide what other services may benefit your child.

 

 

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Summer Intensives

Does Your Student Struggle With School or Homework?
Next Year Can Be Dramatically Better!

Summer Intensives Program Will Make a BIG Difference For Your Family.

If your son or daughter is bright and struggles in school, there is a reason…and it’s NOT because they are lazy!

It’s because they are missing some skills. And it isn’t the obvious skills. It’s the underlying skills. Things like auditory processing, memory, attention, or any of dozens more.

In fact, about 30% of ALL students have either weak or missing underlying skills. We call those the “learning skills” because they make learning easy.

The effect on students and families can be devastating! Kids try really hard, but get accused of being lazy. Often schools say there is “nothing wrong.” Parents are baffled and tear their hair out trying to figure out the right things to do.

It can be miserable for the whole family.

The Bad News: Schools and tutoring DON’T actually fix those skills. They are focused on mastering curriculum. When you decide to hire a tutor, you are getting “more of the same.”

The GOOD News: Learning Skills can be FIXED…permanently, but only by using programs that are focused on training those skills. That means that, even though it is hard work, it’s not like school. Building underlying learning skills takes some very specific attention. But it can be done and it doesn’t have to be a “forever” process.

That’s why so many families decide to do an intensive session. And Summer is the perfect time because students aren’t trying to juggle homework in addition to working on skills.

If…

You have had enough. If you are at your “wit’s end.” If you just count the days until you don’t have to sit with your kid spending 4 hours to do 15 minutes worth of homework. If you’re tired of how your son or daughter feels about themselves. If you’re worried about their future…

Then it’s time to make a change.

There is only ONE Reason to spend the time and money to do an Intensive Program this summer – Because it will make a SIGNIFICANT difference in the life of your student and your family next school year.

There are 5 Things you need to have for a successful Summer program that will actually change the skills to a degree that you will feel the difference next year:

  1. Focus on the right skills – You can’t be working on regular schoolwork and expect the skills to change. You have to find out which skills are not working and “attack” them. That way, when school starts in the Fall, your student will have much better tools to allow him to learn more easily.
  2. Intensity – Training learning skills is a little like going to the gym. To make real progress, you must work with some intensity. Lifting a 5 lb. weight will NOT make you very much stronger. Lifting 50 lbs. will grow the muscle. The same is true of learning skills. The process literally will form new neuro-pathways in the brain so that the skills will be automatic and your student more independent.
  3. Repetition over Time – You can’t run a mile just once and expect it to have any lasting change. It takes repetition over a period of time. Summer sessions allow you to compress the time so that the skills are built faster.
  4. One to One – There is just no way to make the kind of growth you want to see when the clinician is splitting attention between your child and someone else. Sessions are delivered with one clinician and one student so that adjustments can be made continuously as skills are developed. That’s how to make the fastest growth possible.
  5. Sessions need to be fun – There is no way for this kind of intense program to work if kids aren’t having fun. Don’t misunderstand…no one would mistake sessions for a trip to Disneyland. Students work hard. But it’s the kind of work that they enjoy.  They see the progress they are making each hour. They can feel the new skills becoming automatic. Students that can’t sit still in class for more than 15 minutes find themselves fully engaged for 3 hours each day (yes, there are short breaks at the end of each hour).

And it makes next year much different than it would have been.

Here is a quick summary of Summer Intensive Sessions:

  • Choose between a 5 week or 10 week session.
  • Come 2-3 hours per day, 2-4 days per week.
  • It doesn’t take all day – Plan fun summer activities after sessions are over.
  • Doesn’t take all summer –there’s still plenty of time for family vacations and down time.
  • Savings…..special pricing for Summer Intensives
  • Make up to 20 weeks of progress in just 5 weeks.
  • Make a tremendous difference in your life…yes next year can (and should) be better! Stop the pain and frustration.
  • Summer is easier because you can focus on the learning skills when you aren’t trying to keep up with regular schoolwork…you’re not trying to do 2 things at once!

“Does that mean when the 6 weeks are over my child will have no more learning challenges?”

Each student is different. For some, that’s exactly what it means. But for most students, the answer is, “No.” There is usually more that needs to be done.

The Goal of a Summer Intensive is to make a big impact on next year. It is a huge start in the right direction. And it is a difference that will make your life and your child’s life better when school starts again in the Fall.

Please know this – If we don’t think we can make a huge difference, we will tell you!

Everything we do is designed to make permanent changes.

  • It’s time to stop living with learning problems.
  • It’s time to stop taking hours to do short homework assignments.
  • It’s time to stop trying to find ways around learning problems and start solving them.
  • It’s time for parents to stop feeling guilty.
  • It’s time for families to live without the strain and stress of learning issues.

Are you ready to get started?

Call us and let us help you change the lives of your child and your family. Next year really CAN be better.

Contact us today or see our Summer Program 2015 page for more information.

 

 

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