One of the hardest things about being a parent is watching my kid struggle with an academic subject. While it is tempting to do the homework for him or her hoping he/she will learn by watching me work, it does not help him/her develop problem solving and resilience. However, refusing to help or being hyper-critical will make the kid dig in and stop trying.
Looking for a tutor to help with specific subject areas is one way to help a child who is struggling academically. There are many different tactics used by different tutoring organizations. One new and innovative new place in Katy is called the Brainy Learning Club (BLC).
BLC opened just three months ago on S. Fry Road near Whole Foods on Grand Parkway. A chess board is easy to spot on a table in the waiting area. Another chess board is in the primary learning room as well. There is also a lounge area with couches and a large screen TV.
BLC has a relaxed environment with brightly colored walls. The goal is to create a less structured place than a classroom to encourage children to have fun with learning. Dr. A., the owner, said he wants to help children develop problem solving skills so they can better handle new material and situations. Chess is used as a tool for developing problem solving and critical thinking.
By engaging the brain and showing a child how to approach a problem or situation with a methodical critical thinking method, the child will improve in all areas. Learning opportunities are everywhere. In a children’s robotics class, the instructors had the teams battle with their creations. If a robot failed, each team was given 20 seconds to fix or improve the robot. As the battles continued, new problems arose with the robots. Seeing the problem and developing a fix in a short time period meant the kids were observing, analyzing, and coming up with a solution, in short learning. Even though it was a fun game environment, they learned more than they might have if they just read a text book.
By exercising decision making with chess and building robots from pieces, a child will become more aware of how to prioritize decisions while increasing awareness of the possible results of various decisions. Rather than just focusing on memorizing facts or rules, Brainy Learning Club also teaches study skills and problem solving. Reading/writing workshops are also offered.
Tutoring takes place either one-on-one or in small groups. The tutors plan with the child and parents what he or she needs to work on during the sessions. Whiteboards are also available to facilitate teaching. Brainy Learning Club develops an individualized lesson plan for each child to maximize that child’s brain development and learning.
BLC works with children in K-12 to develop problem solving skills, improve academic performance, and help with test preparation. For high school students, PSAT/SAT and ACT test preparation is available as well. They have developed their own review material with the concept that every student is capable of answering all questions correctly. Their review material helps alert students to common mistakes. It is not only review and practice; it goes beyond that.
There are currently five part-time tutors and one full time tutor. Some tutors are high school seniors who really connect with younger children. The flexibility with the sessions allows a child to work on all subjects at his or her pace.
During the summer, Brainy Learning Club will hold summer camp for Lego Robotics and the more advanced Vex Robotics. Computer building workshops, and chess coaching are all available as summer camp activities.
Dr. A has a Doctor of Science degree in Bio-mechanics and is passionate about learning and helping kids learn. Using a combination of reviewing facts and engaging the brain to improve problem solving skills, BLC has an innovative approach to helping children with academics.
A free session is available for new students to meet with a tutor and see how BLC can help them. BLC is conducting a logo design contest. The logo should be as representative as can be of a fun learning environment and/or intelligence is what Brainy Learning Club is looking for. The contest is limited to K-12 students as well as home schooled stdents. Entries will be accepted until early November. For all the details, go to Brainy Learning Club.
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-By Cynthia Marple.