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Does anyone know how Sylvan gets kids a grade or two ahead in reading?

I can't afford Sylvan, but I've heard really good things. I want to help my son myself but I don't know where to start or what to do. If anyone has put their child in Sylvan, what do they do? Is it something that could be done at home?

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Asked by kristinas8 at 4:53 PM on Aug. 3, 2009 in

Level 8 (235 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • My mom tried to put me in sylvan when I was younger, all they do is make you take a bunch of test and charge you up the but for them, I don't have a clue what they would do to make you ahead because after all the pre test they told my mom it would be $9000 to go further. nice huh

    Answer by NicholeAT at 5:04 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • I don't know sylvan's method, but my middle daughter is in vision therapy and is behind in reading. I'm a homeschooler and have looked at probably most of the curriculm's out there. There are only 2 main types of reading programs, phonic's or whole word, phonic's is only 67% effective, and whole word reading is only about 57% effective.

    Vision therapy told me that phonics wouldn't work on my daughter, I researched all sorts of curriculm trying to find the right one. I finally accidently found one that seem to be working. The book is called Reading Reflex, and it teaches with a phono-graphix approach. After just a few lessons, she's reading a whole lot better! We've only been doing it for a few weeks and she's still not on grade level, but I'm opptamistic.
    The book was under $20 and the program is a lot easier then any other one I've used. It only takes about 30 min. a day, and you only need to do it 3-4 days a week.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • You can definitely do this yourself. It is all about reading and writing. Have your child read at least one book a week, each week a different category (science fiction, nonfiction, historical fiction, etc.), and write an analysis of the story.

    I had my daughter posting book reviews on Amazon.

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:22 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • The good thing Sylvan does is lots of assessment. Once they know exactly what he's weak in they can target those skills and get results fast. I question the actual teaching at Sylvan. I'm sure they have great tutors, but I had a few friends who worked there and were basically told to lie and say they were certified teachers when they weren't.

    It's hard to say the best way to help him when kids struggle for so many reasons. Talk to his teacher and she if she can give you ideas of what to do at home. You could also look into hiring a private tutor. Teachers at my school will do it for less than half what Sylvan charges. Sylvan pays the teachers very little compared to what they charge, so lots of great teachers would rather tutor on their own.


    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 7:59 PM on Aug. 3, 2009

  • I went when i was a child and though i know now it was expensive personally i think they are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its more the one on one with special trained teachers. I love them and think they are great!!!!!!!!!

    Answer by Brandy8308 at 8:13 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I worked at Sylvan for a few years. Before kids start, Sylvan gives them lots of tests to pinpoint the exact skills your child needs to work on. The going up 2 grade levels is based on another test that the child is given after going to Sylvan for a certain number of hours, then that test score and the first test scores are compared. I think that Sylvan is good in theory, but they charge parents a lot of money and the teachers don't get paid very well. I was only getting paid $9 an hour, yet I was working with 3 kids at a time whose parents were each paying around $40 for their child to be there that hour. I did see it help kids, but I don't think that they need to charge as much as they do.

    Like someone else said, if you want to have your child tutored try finding a teacher from his school that might be willing to tutor him. I'm sure they would charge you less than Sylvan and he would be getting 1 on 1 attention

    Answer by Sillieguze at 9:38 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I thought Hooked on Phonics was great. I learned stuff while teaching my daughter.

    Answer by LoveMyDog at 9:55 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • All you really need to do is sit there and read together (do some out loud, some silently) and help your child sound out or figure out words and context.

    Answer by Fistandantalus at 10:09 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • By reading every day, reading more challenging material as their ability progresses and having the child look up words that they do not understand.

    The main thing is to READ, READ, READ. There are no short cuts.

    Answer by Niki_sd at 11:24 AM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I found when teaching my child to read it is helpful to read material on their reading level. Not on grade level. So say your daughter is reading on a 2 nd grade level find books she would love, like about sports, dogs, horses, what ever fascinates her. Simply not to frustrate her.
    Like previous people have said keep reading together. I was a slow learner and it is imperative to let the kids find that they love the books. We did a slide show, made the scenes out of construction paper and then read the script making a little show. It was such an awesome and special time. It didn't seem like work.

    Answer by mmmegan38 at 1:13 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

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