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Supplemental Education – Why?


A group of students around a tutors desk getting help

Today, more and more parents consider a supplemental education program to be an absolute necessity to ensure a complete education for their children.

“Given the way school budgets are being slashed these days, I just don’t think an average education is sufficient,” says David Drum, a Toronto parent. “The real purpose of education is to prepare children to become successful adults. Children need confidence and self-esteem to equip them for their learning challenges for the rest of their lives.”

Oxford Learning Centres spokesperson, Kelley McGregor says it’s just like arts and sports programs that many students pursue outside of school. “If my daughter showed an aptitude for music I would enroll her in music lessons,” she says. “I would never expect the school system to fully develop her music potential. Given all the challenges the school system faces today, it’s the same with academic programs. It’s unrealistic to think that any school system can give a child all the education he or she needs to develop as a successful adult.”

Most commercial tutoring programs focus on academic skill tutoring using a behavior modification process. A famous Japanese company offers a home-study program that focuses on mastery through repetition. The programs offered by Oxford Learning Centres, Canada’s largest supplemental educator, encourage students to understand the material they are learning. The Oxford program develops underlying cognitive (learning) skills as well as academic skills. Over the past 19 years, Oxford’s educators have developed programs that fix problems rather than just cure this year’s crop of difficulties.

Some parents fear that a supplemental program will tire their child out. After all, she has been sitting in school all day,” is the rationale. The answer often amazes. As any parent knows, no child tires of doing things they like doing. Think back to when they were little ones; how they played at school. They wanted to learn. They loved discovering and mastering new skills.

What happened? Why did this change? The truth is that it didn’t change. Kids who do well in school, feel confident and enjoy school. Oxford’s programs help kids to rediscover that love of learning. And they do more if they help kids learn how to learn. They show them that they are capable of achievement.

With this knowledge comes a deep-seated feeling that they are OK, that they can understand the world, that they can cope. That is called self-esteem and it does not come from attention alone. Nor does it come from praise. In fact, the opposite is true. A recent study showed that students who were praised and recognized for their effort, but who neither achieved nor learned how to achieve (to learn), lost self-esteem.

The Oxford program was designed specifically to teach students how to learn, to give them the sense of control over their own minds and to build true self-esteem.

“Too many children just memorize their way through school. Supplemental programs enrich the entire education process,” says Drum. “They are part of our family’s educational experience and they will stay that way.”

By R. N. Whitehead

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