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Thank you to Explore Horizons for partnering with us on this post! #fearlesslearning #fearlesswriter #fearlesstesttaker #fearlessmath
Often when people hear ‘tutoring’, they think of help for those falling behind or struggling with certain aspects of their education. I’ll admit that I used to think that way, too! Since letting all of my kids try out the program available at Explore Horizons, it’s changed my perspective. I’ve learned that children of ANY level or ability can really benefit from Fearless Learning Support at Explore Horizons – whether it’s to catch up, stay strong or even get ahead!
With five kiddos, we have varying levels of learning – they each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and don’t all learn the exact same way. This can be hard to meet ALL their needs in a typical school setting, because they need more individualized help to really assist with their learning. That’s one reason I’ve loved the past few weeks at Explore Horizons, because their method is a ‘whole child’ approach. They provide tutoring for kids of all abilities in the Pre-K through 8th grades in math, reading and writing that’s engaging to the kids, making them actually EXCITED to learn. Every child receives a plan customized to their own individual needs, really increasing their likelihood of success. And when a child truly feels confident that they can succeed, that’s when they can truly conquer anything. It’s an amazing compliment to a school education, and can really give them a stronger foundation for success.
So how does this work, you may be asking? First, Explore Horizons has several locations available around the Dallas-Fort Worth area – so go to their site and locate the one nearest you. Contact them to schedule your child’s evaluation, which helps them put together a plan that will best assist and support your child’s educational needs. Once the plan is in place, they’ll explain how the sessions and such work. Basically, with the monthly fee you receive:
- Up to two tutoring sessions per week, 75 minutes each
- Professional educators
- Individually tailored tutoring
- Regular one-on-one parent progress meetings
- Open homework clinic on Wednesday evenings
- Reserved one-on-one tutoring session per month
You’re able to drop in during their operating hours without having to pre-book (super convenient if you don’t know you’re exact schedule in advance – just decide the day of!). Their customized plans align to your school district’s curriculum, and they offer preparation for test taking. With the STARR tests coming up, I loved being able to take my 4th grader to those STARR prep sessions for a little extra confidence and support for her! Oh, and they offer ne thing that would’ve helped ME a ton in my youth – handwriting development help!
I was nervous at first that my kids would be annoyed when I told them they were going to be attending a tutoring session – and they were, until they got there. They absolutely LOVED the staff, who were so friendly and knowledgeable (and patient – a huge benefit when working on learning) and the learning program is actually fun for the kids, so they look forward to attending each week. Some of my kids need a bit of extra help to catch up to their current level, while a few are ready to advance more but don’t receive that time or attention in school. Explore Horizons was perfect for this, because they cater it to that child’s particular needs and levels. It’s NOT just for kids who need extra help – my more advanced kids loved being able to work on more challenging things above their ‘normal’ grade, and it helped them feel more motivated to learn.
A typical session for us – we arrive and are greeted by the awesome staff. They call my kiddos ‘the clan’ because it’s FIVE of them 🙂 My kids write their name and arrival time on the sign-in sheet, and I’m told what time about they’ll be done. It’s typically 75 minutes long. They get their books, are assigned a station, and get working on their goals for that day with the assistance of the staff. Each station has up to six kids with one tutor helping just those kids – I love the smaller sizes, so they can really get the help, support and attention they need! After working their time, they have a ‘recharge station’ where they can play some games and have a little bit of earned fun. At the end, they’re given up to 4 lizard cards (depending on how many they earned for how well they did their goals for the day), and told how many spaces to move their name on the lizard chart – more on those rewards later though! Then they’re released to me at pick-up, and I’m updated of how each child did that day. I love the great communication between their team and us as parents – it takes a village, that’s for sure!
When kids feel like they’re able to learn – and enjoy it – a whole new world opens up and they really up their effort. I love how excited they are when they understand something new, or overcome something that they were struggling with before! That’s one thing that Explore Horizons believes in – creating a generation of fearless learners.
You’ll be kept updated of their progress each session, since when you pick them up one of their awesome staff lets you know what they worked on, what they may have struggled with a bit, and what they did amazing on (whether it’s asking for help, learning a new concept, or figuring out a new way to work a problem). The kids’ goals are clear from the start of each session, so they know what to work on. During your monthly progress meetings, they’ll give you a DETAILED report of how they’re doing, including what level they’re working at and with what average score and mastery scores. For example, I knew Black Widow was reading at a higher level than her grade, but didn’t realize she was doing really well in reading AND math at a whole grade level above where she’s at!
Their engaging program helps keep track of where the kids are at, and adjusts as needed. One of my twins is a bit lower in reading than his ‘actual grade level’ is, so the program adjusted to fit that AND adjusted to ensure that his math was where HE needed it, not where the grade level said. It’s great knowing that not only is the staff customizing their tutoring session, but the program they’re working on will cater to their individual needs, as well.
They also have a reward system – because we know kids LOVE rewards – in which they earn ‘lizard cards’. The kids get a kick out of these fun cards, which they can collect. They also move up the lizard chart to earn certificates, and there’s a prize shop where they can earn enough cards to ‘buy’ a cool prize. They’re so excited for it, and it gives them even more encouragement and motivation to do their best!
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