While most parents nurture the common aspiration of seeing their child excel in almost everything in life, academics consistently rank at the top of our priority lists. And there comes a time in almost every child's academic career when they struggle, whether with a particular subject, a new school, or an insecurity. Parents are often at a loss when their otherwise hardworking and intelligent child starts to get low grades in school, something that statistics have shown often happens when they reach middle school. There are several social changes that could be the cause, but it is important to identify exactly what is at the heart of their poor academic performance, so that we, as parents, can ensure we get our children the right help after school hours.
The concept of private tutoring or tuitions is well known, but instead of hiring a tutor to offer individualised assistance with homework, parents in Muscat now have the option of enrolling their children in a complete, holistic programme that can change the way their child approaches learning.
Sylvan Learning, established in 1979, is America’s largest and most trusted name in tutoring and academic enrichment. There are nearly 800 Sylvan centres worldwide, mostly in the US and Canada, with nearly a dozen branches across the GCC region, with further expansion planned. In March of this year, they opened a centre in Shatti Al Qurum, providing Muscat parents with a true alternative to traditional private tutoring.
“We plan to make access to quality education a community project. We are learning that parents, schools, and businesses want to get involved and play a role in the academic achievement of the kids. Someone just needed to take the lead and organise some activities,” said Bashaer Abu Khatim, Sylvan’s academic Programme Manager.
Meant for students of all skill levels from grades K-12, Sylvan is best known for personalising academic programmes and their tutoring programmes, which are tailor-made to fit individual student needs, allowing each individual to work at his or her own pace. The programmes aim to groom a child not only for primary and secondary school, but for college, and their eventual career choices — learning for life.
Sylvan Tutoring is a personal, innovative approach to building confidence in a child, while Sylvan Edge introduces STEM and accelerated programmes including robotics, coding, math edge, study edge, and early reading. Though they feature many programmes, Sylvan puts a special emphasis on mathematics, a subject in which most children struggle. They have programmes to boost speed, proficiency, and accuracy in mathmatics, which has proven tremendously helpful to many of their students.
When a child is enrolled at Sylvan, they are first evaluated on their strengths, needs, and attitude. Based on this evaluation, a personal education plan is created, unique to that child. The teaching methodology, system, and pace are adjusted according to the child’s needs.
“Our teachers do not just teach. Instead they understand the needs of each child and motivate them to give their best,” said Bashaer.
Jeffrey Smith, Chief Operations Officer for Sylvan in the MENA Region, is passionate about his centres, as the vision of Sylvan goes far beyond improving marks. The true aim at Sylvan is to help children to develop a love of learning, which he feels is possible for any child through individual learning. No two children are the same, so why should their learning experience be?
"We are not private tutors. We are bringing Muscat the most advanced assessment and teaching tools in the industry. We are handpicking talented, patient, warm, and caring subject matter experts to ensure that we build confidence and instil a love of learning in each and every child who walks through our doors," Jeffrey explained. "We know that quality, effective supplemental education can truly be life-changing for students and their families."