(This post is sponsored by iConnect and Huntington Learning Center. All opinions are my own.)
In April I took Princess to the Huntington Learning Center to see about getting her some extra help.
She’d recently received a report card that said she lacks focus in school. Princess is a straight A student, so I was a little concerned. My opportunity to evaluate Huntington Learning Center came at precisely the right time and I jumped on it.
I called Huntington Learning Center and was able to get an appointment for an evaluation the very next day.
The Clifton Park, NY location is super accommodating with hours and times – they offer evening and weekend appointments as well, so you never have to take your student out of school for a lesson. Each center is independently owned and operated, so the center hours in your area may be different.
When we got there, we received a very warm welcome from the Director, Laura and one of the tutors, Jana.
The entire Center was decorated with these congratulatory notes – there were hundreds of them. Laura informed me that every student’s successes – academic or not – are celebrated. One of the main goals of Huntington Learning Center is to instill the confidence the kids need for academic success. Check out Princess reading all of them!
Jana did Princess’s initial academic evaluation, which is comprised of diagnostic and achievement tests. Students are evaluated one-on-one, and tutors are able to see how your child adapts to the kinds of situations encountered at school and at home. It was almost a 3 hour process. While they were testing, Laura sat down with me and asked me about my child and my concerns, and then I went and did a little grocery shopping in a nearby plaza while I waited for them to finish. About 10 minutes before they were done, Laura called me and told me that they were almost finished.
Huntington Learning Center staff puts your student into the computer system, and then you come back and review them at a later date. When we left to go home, my daughter was slightly annoyed, because she’d had so much fun taking the test that she wanted to stay longer.
Evaluating the test results allows staff to customize a learning program for your child. Each child has a different program and different reasons why they are there. For us, it was to figure out why she had a problem focusing in school. Other students are there because they are behind, or because they want to get into a specific program and need additional help in a certain area. Others – especially at this time of year – are there for ACT and SAT prep. I really liked that you could be there for an entire comprehensive program or just to help your child master a specific concern, like long division. The versatility of the tutors was pretty amazing.
For more than 40 years, Huntington Learning Center has offered dozens of tutoring programs for children ages 6-17—including reading, writing, math, study skills, spelling, phonics, ADHD, Common Core, and test prep for ACT and SAT to name a few. Their mission is to give every student the best education possible and realize “I can” when it comes to school success.
I wasn’t able to get pictures of the study area in the back because there were students working, but there are several rooms marked off for the different subjects and grade levels. They don’t tutor a second grader in the same room as they’d tutor a SAT prep student. Each student gets the individual attention they need to succeed.
On the second visit, Princess went to another room and colored pictures while we discussed the results.
The thing I thought was the most helpful is that they literally put all of her information in a binder and went over each and every single test question with me. We discussed what she got wrong and why.
As it turns out, Princess can read sight words on an 8th grade level. That puts her at least 5 grade levels ahead, and the Huntington academic goal is to be one grade level ahead. However, she has zero idea what those words mean or what the passage she reads is about. Because all of the answers and data had been computerized, it was able to show patterns. In our case, the inability to understand the main idea of a passage was also spilling into Math. She couldn’t understand what was required of her with the questions they were asking.
This is where the customization comes in.
Laura and her staff are able to put together a unique program for Princess that runs only throughout the summer months. Her program solely focuses on main ideas rather than learning more sight words. (If you’ve met her, you know she already knows too many words!!) This program will give her a strong foundation for next year.
School year programs run a little bit different than summer programs.
During the school year, the Huntington Learning Center staff actually goes out to the schools and meets with the teachers (with the permission of the parents). They want to be sure that they are in full agreement with the school’s curriculum and the students’ needs. They also schedule regular meetings with parents and/or guardians to discuss progress. In the summer, there are less parent meetings, simply because the summer programs are shorter.
Huntington Learning Center in Clifton Park is an Accredited Learning Center.
It has earned the designation of “Supplementary Education School” by the regional accrediting association.
Overall, we are thrilled with Huntington Learning Center. The staff was so helpful and friendly and I feel great knowing that Princess is getting the help she needs. She wants to be a veterinarian someday – and I’m hoping for lots of scholarships!!