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opinions on sylvan learning center

I am thinking of enrolling my 6 year old daughter in Sylvan learning center. I was wondering if anyone has used them before, and could give me their opinion on their services. thanks!

Re: opinions on sylvan learning center

  • Though I have not used them personally, I used to teach elementary school.  I can attest that they can work well when there's a good tutor/student fit.  But they're pretty expensive.  Some parents used to hire private tutors or education students from local universities at a cheaper rate that were just as effective.
  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    I think you have to work upfront to get a good fit.  I don't think it's hard to become a tutor - I could have applied for a job b/c I had good SAT scores .  That doesn't make me a good teacher. 

    I know people who have used Sylvan and Kumon and have had good results, but I think you can't take a good experience for granted.  I would also suggest you talk to your dd's last year teacher (or next years teacher) to get them on board with what needs to be stressed. 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • You would probably get a better individualized experience for your DD by hiring a private tutor at around the same or even a lower price.

    DH (who is a licensed preK-3 teacher) worked for them for a short time when he was in between jobs and his biggest complaint about it was that he HAD to teach by the books given to him by Sylvan regardless of how well it was or wasn't working for the students he had. They are very much a structured program, which isn't all bad, but their structure doesn't work for every student and the tutors aren't allowed to change anything even if it would be of benefit.

  • I used to work for Sylvan. You had to be a certified teacher- didn't matter grade level or subject. It works for many, but not for all. At 6 years old, I don't really think its necessary. We had young ones in there, but sometimes all they needed was a little extra attention. I will say, we saw some excellent results at all ages/subjects, and then there were times we saw very little improvement.

    They have a specific program that is followed, regardless of the child. Skill level and goals determine where the focus is on your child's lessons. It is not cheap. By any means. I don't know what area your child is struggling in, but it would probably be cheaper, and more efficient to hire someone to work with your child for $10/hr or so.  

  • I used to tutor at Sylvan.

    I am not a fan of the Beginning Reading program, and I think that at 6 that your daughter would be in that program.

    The math and Academic reading programs are very good, as well as the writing. 

    Find a tutor that is knowledgeable about Direct Instruction.  It is without a doubt the best way to teach reading.  SRA Corrective Reading is a great curriculum.  There are others but just make sure that it is indeed a Direct Instruction approach.

    If you have a local university, find someone getting their M.Ed in Reading Education, Special Education, or Elementary Ed.  Young teachers are often willing to tutor for extra cash. 

    www.Readinga-z.com  has free sample pre-decodable books to download, you can practice with her at home.

    In her sparetime, www.starfall.com is a pretty good resource as well as www.scholastic.com.  Here is the scholastic K-2 resources for parents in reading page http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/search?isParent=Y&isBrowse=Y&Nr=AND(Audience:Parents,Subject_Val:Family%20Activities,OR(Grade_List_Val:K,Grade_List_Val:1,Grade_List_Val:2))&N=2111

  • Meh.

    If your daughter has some sort of learning or attentional issue, she would be better served by differentiated instruction by someone trained to manage whatever she's struggling with.

    Sylvan is the MickeyD of education. They hired mostly inexperienced teachers to deliver a generalized approach to all comers. If she's struggling to learn to read, a reading program with Lindamood-Bell or Orton-Gillingham would be a better use of her time and your money.

  • image -auntie-:

    Meh.

    If your daughter has some sort of learning or attentional issue, she would be better served by differentiated instruction by someone trained to manage whatever she's struggling with.

    Sylvan is the MickeyD of education. They hired mostly inexperienced teachers to deliver a generalized approach to all comers. If she's struggling to learn to read, a reading program with Lindamood-Bell or Orton-Gillingham would be a better use of her time and your money.

    To an extend, I agree.  I think that they do a large service to many students that are struggling. The center that I worked at had teachers of all ages, experience levels, and teaching areas. We were great and the school system uses Sylvan tutors and the Sylvan program for after school tutoring in several of the middle and high schools. I tutored 4 students for the GED and all of them passed it, and our students definitely improved their grades in school and study habits. 

  • image *PinkCupcake*:
    image -auntie-:

    Meh.

    If your daughter has some sort of learning or attentional issue, she would be better served by differentiated instruction by someone trained to manage whatever she's struggling with.

    Sylvan is the MickeyD of education. They hired mostly inexperienced teachers to deliver a generalized approach to all comers. If she's struggling to learn to read, a reading program with Lindamood-Bell or Orton-Gillingham would be a better use of her time and your money.

    To an extend, I agree.  I think that they do a large service to many students that are struggling. The center that I worked at had teachers of all ages, experience levels, and teaching areas. We were great and the school system uses Sylvan tutors and the Sylvan program for after school tutoring in several of the middle and high schools. I tutored 4 students for the GED and all of them passed it, and our students definitely improved their grades in school and study habits. 

    I'm sure you're all great teachers and that you mean well, but if a kid is struggling more time spent using the same strategies that aren't working at school is just wack and yet I see folks line up to do just that.

    One situation where a place like Sylvan makes sense is to break the cycle of negative parent/child interaction around homework compliance but that's not likely the case for the OP's six year old.

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