Sylvan Learning Center? Anyone Use Them?

Updated on June 18, 2010
S.H. asks from Kailua, HI
9 answers

Just wondering about general comments/feedback about Sylvan?
They seem pricey?
Has it helped your child?
Versus Kumon?

I am trying to find out about it, for the summer time, for my daughter.... she's not lagging in any way, but just to keep her
up to date and on par over the summer so she doesn't forget anything. And as she goes into the 3rd grade next year.

Thank you!

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answers from Norfolk on

I too have worked for Sylvan as both a teacher and a director, and I can say that it definitely does work. SHowever, it is expensive and I personally would not use it for summer enrichment. Lots of people do, but as an educator I feel that you really want to make learning more authentic - something real life. Sylvan is really best for when children need to catch up and need a program specific to their needs to fill in the gaps. Instead, I would just find ways to incorporate math and reading into what she does at home - are there educational summer camps she could go to or fun games you can find. You could also ask her teacher for ideas. I don't know a lot about kumon, but the few things I have heard made it sound like it was a lot of repetition and worksheets (while this works, it's not the best way to make her love learning).

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answers from Orlando on

I used to work for Sylvan years ago and it's a great program. But yes, very pricey!! And I think it's best for getting kids caught up so I don't see the need to spend all of that money just to keep her on track. Sylvan won't be teaching her anything that she might "forget" over the summer from not being in school--as long as you read with her and maybe get a math workbook, she'll be fine. Actually, there are workbooks with something in the name like Summer Bridging that are specifically what you are looking for. They are meant to be done in the summer to help keep up the skills they learned the year before and start preparing for the grade they are going into. Keep in mind that no matter what you do over the summer, all schools start the first few weeks of school as review.

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answers from Lexington on

I am always impressed with honesty and Sylvan was very honest with us. We used them for the older daughter and for a nephew who struggled to read. They were wonderful! Later, when the older daughter was in 4th grade and was found to read too slowly, instead of taking tons of money from us explained about how she could improve at home, and we set up a home course that helped tremendously.

Then, with the younger daughter who was gifted but had a specific LD in written communication, after testing, they said they could NOT help her and suggested another small tutoring center. Well, that advice was worth a lot as well!!!

I love the way Sylvan made things that were difficult for the children fun and easy. Both my older daughter and nephew became avid readers! I also love the way Sylvan said they could NOT help the younger one rather than take our money and our time. (She is now a young adult and doing fine in college - YES - she can write, and write well! But it took years)

But I agree with the other posters that I would not spend that kind of money to have your daughter just review over the summer. I'd go to a Parent-Teacher type store and buy some workbooks and review materials to do on car trips and such.

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answers from Houston on

I used to work for a competitor of Sylvan and Kumon. I don't know anything specific about these two but learning centers/tutoring in general do work. However if you are concerned about the price and your daughter only needs work to keep her skills up you might want to consider asking if any of the teachers at the school do any tutoring over the summer. Here several of the teachers are tutors and they meet with students either at the library or in the student's home over the summer. This might be less expensive and the teacher would have a good idea of what would be expected of your daughter for next year.

Good luck,

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answers from Tulsa on

they are expensive but very well worth the money my kids grades went up drastically. Heres the thing they told me he would need $5000 worth of tutoring I only had$500 ath the time to spend that $500 made a world of diffrence. I highly recommend them

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answers from Chicago on

I would reccommend hiring a private tutor instead. Most charge around $30 an hour, and it would be one-on-one. When I was tutoring, I found many students whose parents were shocked at how much Sylvan cost.

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answers from San Antonio on

I agree with other posts, look into summer camps and check out education stores for age appropriate curriculum you can do at home. I would not use Sylvan unless child is behind- it is like paying for rent on a small apartment. However, if needed it is worth it.

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answers from Detroit on

Well I am not sure if this helps, but back in the day when I was in high school ( a few moons ago) my mom sent me there for Math. It was a big help and made Math a lot more bearable and understanding.

I agree with the others, don't spend your money just to keep her "on par". I say get a bunch of workbooks and flash cards and save your money. Sylvan was great for me because I needed the help just to get through my homework.

I think it's great that your being proactive about your daughters education!!

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answers from Philadelphia on

My son, who was behind academically and has an IEP for ADHD and Autism, went to Sylvan for several years. Very expensive. Also very effective. Sylvan taught him how to read, not his school which had 30 kids in the class. He would not be where he is today if it weren't for Sylvan. He's in middleschool now in a different (much, much better school district) and he's getting good support at school, so we don't need Sylvan anymore, but I think for kids who need extra help, it's totally worth it. However, if your daughter just needs to maintain what she already knows, it's too expensive. Here's what I've done during summer for my girls (who went to Sylvan for a while because they thought it was like a fun extracurricular activity and we indulged them before we said "you don't need this, it's too much $$" and made them stop): go to a book store and buy a third grade curriculum workbook and have your daughter do 1hr/day of "homework". See if she can complete the book by the end of summer. I've done this every summer with my kids since kindergarten (they're in 6th, 3rd and 2nd grade now) and all doing very well (even my 6th grader with the IEP). Good luck!

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