Academic tutors: giving the gift of learning

Academic tutoring isn't just about a quick lesson on reading, writing, or math. Sylvan Learning Centre's Jade Chan says that students need to learn about life too.

"At Sylvan, students earn tokens throughout their academic programs," Chan explains, "and they can spend these at our store. We teach them how to save tokens for something they really want. It’s important that they begin to grasp concepts such as budgeting at an early age.”

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Sylvan also offers help with basic study skills and includes a component on current affairs. "We want kids to be aware of their surroundings,” says Chan, “We make sure they’re aware of what's happening in the world and take a look at how it’s affecting them and what they can do about it."

Recognizing that kids tend to be more focused on checking out social media or texting their friends, Sylvan offers classes designed to stimulate their interest in technology. Robotic classes and camps, for example, teach children to build and program a variety of robots using LEGO®bricks and high-tech software.

Similarly, Coding for Kids encourages students to develop their own video games and animations. It's a cool, 21st century introduction to programming, problem solving, and logic. At the end of the Coding for Kids camp, children design a video game that they can play with friends.

It's not only younger children that can benefit from an academic tutoring program of this nature. Sylvan helps with college preparation by offering sessions on SAT and ACT tests. Providing small group instruction with experienced tutors, Sylvan's SAT preparation sessions include personalized homework and flexible hours to fit a teen's busy schedule.

Signing up for the in-centre prep system means students also get access to Sylvan Prep Online, a personalized, online learning environment. Here, a potential college student has access to thousands of videos on how to approach SAT test problems, as well as subject-specific video lessons and full-length, timed practice tests.

Jade laughs when asked how Sylvan Learning Centre keeps the attention of students in the age of cell phones and mobile devices.

"We have a 'no cell phone use in the learning area' policy," she says, "but it's enforced with friendly reminders, not punishment. It's hard for teenagers when there's a flash on the screen. We understand that. At the same time, we know that it’s hard to be productive when you’re constantly being interrupted.”

If you think your child could benefit from understanding tutors and a high-tech learning environment, contact the Sylvan Learning Centre, Richmond at 604.273.3266 or email richmond@sylvan.bc.ca, or catch them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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