Learning Centers

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by shellyd67, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Just taking a poll to see if anyone has used a learning center for their difficult child's or easy child's ???

    difficult child is in need of some serious tutoring and we just can't seem to find the right fit for his needs and had him evaluated at a top name center.

    They want him to go 6 hours per week and it is very $$$$.

    Sigh ...:hamwheelsmilf: Once again I am at a loss and unsure of what to do.

    6 hours is a HUGE amount of time but he is so far behind with his comprehension. I just can't imagine him going to school (which is hard enough) and then on top of it going M-W-F from 6-8 pm. It just seems so extreme.

    Would love some feedback from anyone who has utillized these types of services.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My gd has been sent three times to the local (National chain) of learning centers at the expense of the School Board. She has identified issues, IEP etc. and easily slips behind. There has been awesome improvement each time she has gone and she moves closer to grade level. I also know individual parents who have taken on the financial debt of the same learning center and it has been an awesome strain...one, I know had to get a 2nd mtg on her home.

    Any chance you difficult child would be financed by the school system? DDD
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    A large nation chain came into my dad's school for several years before he retired. They were super careful with which kids they picked, and often they pushed parents to pay fo a LOT more out of school stuff "help". The long term results were NOT better than with any other tutor unless the child had an Learning Disability (LD) that was undx'd. Those students were the "star pupils" that were dragged to show how great the program was - but they were ALL easy child's with LDs. difficult children were totally overlooked for ALL services through the school (NOT the contract, but no one enforced it) and their parents were told that if they loved their kids they would send them to this chain's programs that were super expensive.

    I have known people I went to college with who worked for a national chain and who worked with them in college. I have freinds who took their kids to the chan place and friends who used other resources. Invariably the ones who went to the national chain were not helped as much as those who worked with other resources and tutors. Mostly because the chain place uses a formula - if you have this problem, this is the solution. Period. If that solution doesn't work? You did it wrong, try again but listen to me this time. Those who worked there were NOT impressed by what they saw and were supposed to do.

    I do NOT think these are all bad. They work wonders for SOME kids, but since it is a chain, there is a lot of tab a into slot a, and more rigidity to the solutions. I just don't know if they would work for a difficult child.

    Is there a university near you or even a junior college? You might be able to find a tutor through them. Our local 4yr univ has a reading and math center that does a LOT of tutoring with kids and uses many different approaches to figure out what works for a child. That isn't what I have seen/heard of with the chain places.

    You should also call the school and ask if they know anyone who tutors, esp ask the teachers who;s classes he s having problems in. You can also ask if anyone at the high school is willing/able to tutor in a certain subject. The dept heads at the HS should be able to help.

    I don't know if difficult child has hit puberty, but we found that for WIz a female tutor who was cute gave him great incentve to go to tutoring, lol. But it is a thought.

    There are some incredible computer games/programs that might make a big difference to difficult child. You may have to bribe him to try them, but many are fun.

    What subjects is he having problems in? How can you make them FUN?
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanks ladies for your replies. husband and I are just so darn frustated but NO ONE is more frustrated, stressed and worried than my poor difficult child.

    He is in a "Blue Ribbon" school district and I am convinced they are so focused on that and some kids are paying a heavy price for it.

    The Learning Center insists he needs to be "re-taught" that his reading comprehension is so, so poor.

    They seemed to hit the head on the nail but are they so well trained that they just know all the right things to say?

    The fees do worry me ($6,000 for the projected amount of hours he needs) but the time and hours he needs to complete worry me more.

    I just cannot imagine my difficult child going to school all day and then having to go there for 2 nights/2hours at a time.

    He does have a 504 plan and he does have modifications but we just need to go to the core of the problem but we are getting no where.

    Ironically, the Reading Specialist at his school is a good customer of our business and husband spoke with her and she is willing to help him but difficult child would rather go to the Learning Center. Not that it is up to him to make such an important decision but we all know with difficult children how hard it is to get them to comply.

    Sigh... husband, difficult child and I have alot of talks in the works this weekend.
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Have you looked into a private tutor instead? I tutor students in high school math and get $40 an hour for individualized instruction. You could get a lot of hours of tutoring for $6000! I have worked with students that have gone to a learning center type of remediation and have been told it is not individualized tutoring. One parent told me the student was handed workbooks and was checked on every so often. They said they got a lot more out of the one-to-one instruction that I provided.

    I would definitely ask a lot of questions before I signed on to any tutoring program that costs $6000.

    One other thing . . . the money that you are paying does not go to the instructors. I looked into tutoring for one of those places and was shocked to be told they pay tutors $15 an hour! That is nothing compared to what certified teachers get for private tutoring. I laughed and said no thank you. I know that my neighbor who is a media specialist in an elementary school tutors students in reading. I am sure you could find someone like that for private tutoring.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The learning centers use a formula. They do NOT do the individualized things that our kids need and I don't think it is a good choice for your son. I also think that adding 2 hrs 2 times a week to his academics will make him HATE reading and that is NOT what you want.

    Have you had a PRIVATE speech/language evaluation, esp for auditory problems and other learning problems? I think it would be a FAR better choice to help difficult child, and a far less expensive and more effective one. This place is NOT going to figure out his problem unless it is pretty minor because that is just how they are. They do NOT have staff with enough real experience and training to do what your son needs. The school reading specialist would be far better but if he can't work wth her (personality clash, whatever), then another person who is truly experienced would be a much better choice. You could ask other school reading specialists in your district if they would tutor him, and if there is a 4 yr university with a college of education, it would be an EXCELLENT resource. the person who would work wiith your child might be a student, but would be closely supervised by professors, or you could get a grad student or professor to tutor him. The reading/math center at the college her is incredible - they do comprehensive testing that makes the franchise places look like a 5 min dr appointment and they choose the tutor for kids carefully based on who is best qualified to handle the problems AND who will work best with the child. We go to church with one of the directors, so I learned a lot about it.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I know next to nothing about specific educational needs for an eleven year old but I do know that just "a teacher" isn't necessarily the right choice. My sister has multiple degrees but she also has certifications that are specific to remedial reading at the elementary level plus some others. Just from listening to her over the years I gather that there are "teachers" and then there are "specialized teachers" who are trained in a variety of methods of instruction.

    My first difficult child (GFGmom) for example learned to read by color coded phoenics at a private tutoring center run by two Phd's from Australia. I had tried tutors who were nice people but they used the exact same standard methods that the school utilized. That method worked well for the majority of students but it just did get through to difficult child. Once she learned the color coded method she was never behind again in reading and is a lifelong pleasure reader.

    Back in the day they didn't have specific testing methods to find out what type of reading problem existed. I still don't know "why" she got so far behind. I do know that I lucked out and found the right help for her. I'm not sure but I think math might be less learning specific. Hope you find the right fit for difficult child. DDD