Skip to comments.Huntington Learning Center, Good? Bad?
Posted on 10/17/2005 12:22:29 PM PDT by Do Be
Has anyone had any experience with Huntington Learning Center?
I have a child who has been struggling in school for some time and our efforts have not improved the situation much.
My wife suggested we take him to a learning center and we went to Huntington Learning Center, where, after a long discussion with the woman who owned it, we made an appointment to have him tested.
The results of the test confirmed what we already knew ($170.00 for the test) and we were then subjected to a 2 hour conference where we were informed that my child's only hope was enrolement in the Huntington Learning Center to the tune of about 240 hours and $10,000.
They make the claim that they can completely turn around both my child's ability to learn and his academic performance. Completely. No doubt. As certain as the next sunrise. Almost like having a new kid. Yet not quite guaranteed or my money back.
I have my doubts.
The money would have to borrowed but my child is all but failing and if what they say is true I think it is worth the investment.
Input would be greatly appreciated.
I've never heard of this learning center, but please keep in mind that someone is earning a comission on that fee that was quoted to you. They are using FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)statements to get you to go with them, an unforunate common practice in high-pressure, business to consumer sales.
Best to do it yourself Do Be, like your screen name. You have no question about YOUR motives.
HLC may be effective, but it is still, after all, a business. Businesses value profit over all else, including your child's future.
Is homeschooling an option? Sometimes just the environment change can do wonders for a child. Not every kid is cut out to do well in a state-sponsored, pro-union setting.
Have you contacted your local school district for their advice? Ask them if they would recommend the learning center. Good luck to both you and your child.
I had experience with Sylvan Learning Center which I believe is similar. I enrolled my 6th grade son with them for MATH ONLY. We paid near 6000 for 108 hours. It worked.
I also got to know one of the instructers as due to my son being enrolled there I had an apartment for rent and he became one of our tenents.
I can not offer advice on all around subjects but just what I needed which was math. My son has had a complete turnaround. They pinpointed exactly where he was lost in math somewhere back in 2nd grade and began there. He did not approach a new skill until the last one was mastered. To me it was a complete success. He just started 8th grade and is doing pre -algebra on his own. : ))))
I wish we could have done this at home. We were at our wits end. Any attempt to have him due math turned into arguements and severe crying fits. My husband and I were at the end of the rope so to speak.
We did do most of the work over the summer. He either went 4- 6 hours per week at 2 hour sessions.
They also do a reward program.
Again I am only speaking for the one subject which we did MATH. I have no idea how an all around program would work.
I did homeschool my child for a year and have spent many, many hours working with him. This isn't a case of a child being ignored by lazy, neglectful parents. He has a problem learning that I have not been able to help much with and the Huntington people say that it is something they can accomplish.
What I am hoping to get from this is responses from people who have shelled out their hard earned money to Huntington and can comment from personal experience whether or not it was or is worth it.
Thanks for your reply.
I am looking for more such feedback.
I'm just trying to find out if Huntington is such a place, but yes, your question is one that I have been asking myself.
Hope you don't mind my reference to the One I love.
We are going to talk to Sylvan and other schools.
The same does not appear to be true for my son.
You're welcome. I am sure whatever you choose to do will be the best for your child. Best wishes to both of you.
While I consider it my responsiblity as a father to do the best I can for my son, I have no doubt where the true power lies. I can only do the best I can.
BTW after the 108 hours were up I got the pressure sale to take him to a higher level. I listened to the suggestions and said I really have to wait and see how he is doing in math at school.
I think the post by alisasny (#7) is very much on point, and gives a clue as to how you might fix the problem yourself. Nearly all schools have a fixed curriculum, and they keep moving the whole class along it, even if a few kids are totally lost. Their efforts, and unfortunately the efforts of a lot of outside turoring organizations too, are designed to get the child to earn passing grades in the onward-marching curriculum. Trouble is, that rarely translates into mastery or confidence on the part of the child.
The fifth-grader who is getting Ds or Fs in math or reading, may need to be focusing on 2nd grade level math or reading in order to build a foundation for mastery, but schools and tutors usually only back up a year or so in the curriculum, or else back up further but then rush the trip forward, in order to get the child's grades at the current grade level up to Cs or Bs.
I don't know the specifics of your child's situation, but I'd recommend asking yourself first, whether it matters if your child gets Fs. A school grading system's assessment of your child, is not necessarily the assessment scale you should focus on. Try sitting down with your child, and figuring out at what level his mastery actually is. If he's in 4th grade and his mastery level is kindergarten or 1st grade, fine. Start from there. And if your child is making progress at mastery, ignore the 4th grade Ds and Fs. What matters is if your child is mastering the next step from where he's starting. If he's mastered 1st grade level material, and then masters 2nd grade level material, he may still get Ds and Fs in 4th grade, but that doesn't matter. And you should make that clear to both school officials and your child. Make clear that you are the ultimate authority on your child's education. If the school is assigning mandatory homework and "projects" that aren't effective for your child's academic progress, tell the school point blank that he won't be doing the assignments and that they are not to criticize or chastize him for not turning them him. Have him spend homework time on the things he really needs to be doing.
Can you describe the problem? Give a very specific example of something he didn't understand, and how you tried to get it across to him, without success?
I'm no expert as I have no children yet, and have never been an academic teacher (coached competitive gymnsatics for many years though). But I've done a lot of reading and given a lot of thought to the subject of education, since I absolutely hated school, and don't want my children having to spend most of their waking hours doing something they dislike and haven't got the faintest interest in. My number one conclusion is that my kids will do NO homework before high school, and even then not much.
Did you know that studies have found no correlation between pre-high school homework and academic achievement? I'd recommend the short book "The End of Homework". Articulates the whole problem very well -- destruction of family life, disengagement of kids from family/church/community/informal play activities, as they constantly labor under the burden of homework assignments, complete elimination of parents' role in choosing what children should learn and how fast, conditioning kids to be workaholic adults who constantly bring job-work home with them. Schools need to get the message that they need to get all academic work done during the school day. Cut out all the garbage that most schools waste time on, and that would be no problem. It's simply absurd to pretend that a child needs to spend more than 6 hours a day on academics.
Many years ago, a school friend of mine who was the daughter of a British diplomat was sent off to a good boarding school in England, after her parents were appalled with the American public school where she spent one year (also the only year I ever went to public school). In letters, she told me all about her new school, and the most interesting thing, which I'd never heard of before, was that students were absolutely prohibited from taking books or other academic materials back to their dorms with them in the evening. There were scheduled periods during the school day called "preps" (basically study hall), when students were to study and do assignments, with one teacher on hand to help if they really got stuck on something, and they had to learn to get their academic work done in that time. A very good lesson for adulthood IMO, and a policy that would do wonders if implemented in the average American family and school.
As for your son's dislike of lighting for studying, does he have a single light on his desk, with the rest of the room dark, or just everything dark? If the former, it does tend to keep attention focused on what's on the desk. If the latter, well it's a little odd, but if it works I wouldn't worry about it. I've found that as I get older I need much more light to see clearly, so what would seem like insufficient lighting to me, would probably be plenty for a teenager.
I was reading a book written by a special ed teacher several months ago who referenced a problem that sounds similar to this. Some children have trouble reading because of the contrast between black print and white paper. Glare from lights exacerbates the problem. The teacher used different colored transparent sheets over the white paper to help these kids. Most children did better when one particular color was used but I don't recall which color it was. Sorry!
I worked for this company on the corporate level and can tell you that it is ALL about the money....if you enroll your child you can pay monthly for a minimum amount of hours per week (push for 3-4 hrs) and pay them monthly. They will have to refund any time you don’t use.
I worked there for about a month. They tell you that your child’s education plan is “individualized according to your child’s needs...” The results of this are based on a diagnostic test they give your child to start. (Supposedly) I have looked at many programs and they are all extremely similar. They will have your kid in some combination of these “subjects” (Main Idea, Drawing Conclusions, Sequecing, CARS, Facts) Vocabulary for sure. Ask to see the program they create for your child. It will look pretty similar to the programs I listed. These things may help your child improve a standardized test score, but I don’t think it will help you with grades. Facts is basically rote memorization of facts that are irrelevent to school.
That being said, the math aspect of the program could be helpful. They are doing actual problems that are age appropriate.
There is also a kind of writing program that they might have you do. This can be helpful if your child is struggling with grammar. It does not teach students how to write a thesis statement, structure/organize essays or how to effectively use the various purposes of writing (ex. persuasive, narrative, and expository). In my teaching experience, these are common aspects of writing many students struggle with. It is also what grades are predominately based upon.
In my opinion, it is a big waste of money. They are going to recommend that your child spend over 100 hours in the program. Your money and your child’s time could be used to talk with the teacher and ask him or her what specifically your child is struggling with. Are assignments not being turned in? Are there aspects of writing your child is struggling with? Another thing is that the curriculum is in no way modified for students with learning disabilities. Is this the first year your child has been struggling? If your child has been struggling over the course of a few years, test for learning disabilities. Special Education classes and or an IEP will give your child the opportunity to be tested and evaluated. It will also ensure that your child recieves more individualized attention.
I do not know as much about your child’s specific academic problems as you do. However, Huntington is not helping your child with homework. A good portion of your income taxes pay teachers in public schools, so you already are paying for education. 100 hours of school work outside of school is going to improve grades. Huntington tries to make their tutoring sound magical. (It is far from it.)
If I was in your position, I would have a conference with all my child’s teachers and have them help you construct a plan to help your child be successful.
I think parents should have a clear understanding of what they’re getting for the money they’re paying. I hope this information can help you!
I can also tell you that very little of that money is going to us teachers.
My son is a B+ student in high school and came to HLC to improve his SAT and test taking scores. His SAT WENT DOWN 100 points!! $3000 of totally wasted money. They never even spent time with him in test taking strategies. I had to actually pay more to get that part of it.
This is an organization that does nothing to actually help a student. You can accomplish the same results by doing nothing at all.
Spend your money on training books with more problems for your child to do. That's all that Huntington does while they are there anyway.
A COMPLETE FRAUD AND WASTE OF MONEY - STAY AWAY!!!!!!
We are on a limited budget ( as many families are) we signed up for a bit of a striped down version of the package that they wanted to sell us. They suggested some $2,400. for SAT prep. I let them know that was way more than we could afford. We agreed on aprox. $1,000. I recently received a bill for hundreds over what was agreed upon. I was in shock !! I asked them to look into it .. They took over a week to get back to me.They found a slight error and credited us for a pre-test that was complementary but had been bill out for $100. It still seamed off so..... I then asked for a line by line accounting of the fees.... They had padded hours on the sessions by billing us for time before my child even arrived ... a half hour here and there .. it adds up to HUNDREDS out of your pocket. The worst part of all of this is the fact that we have another SAT this weekend and with their bad billing we are out in the cold. Check your local Craig’s list you might find what you are looking for without the problems and more cost efficient.
Everyone should ask for their bills to be listed line by line. This allows you to track the time your child is actually receiving instruction.
Another friend of ours checked through her bill and found the charges for days the tutor had cancelled were not credited .....
Yes the tutoring does help but watch them on the $$$ Make sure you are getting all that you paid for.
When our son returned to 2nd grade after the summer, we were shocked to find out he dropped almost 1 year reading level. He struggled all year to catch up, and homework sessions were more like tutoring sessions for two to three hrs at night at home. So we thought it was a good idea to send him for a few hrs a week to the Huntington learning center second half of the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade. I had like an hour twice a week in mind. When we had him tested, he was tested for end of 3rd grade, even though he had not even started 3rd grade yet. He did OK, only his reading seemed to be a problem. Even other subjects, whenever it required to read instructions or word problems, he did not very well. When we were shown the suggested program, they suggested to send him 5 days a week during break and 3 days a week for 3 hrs a night after school started. I mentioned that the idea was to help my son and not to punish him and make it harder or spoil his summer. I received the speech about how we would see the results, and how we would set him up to fail if we don’t help him now. Still in sticker shock about the $8000 plan, I searched the web and bought “hooked on phonics”. When my son returned to school, he had completed one out of 4 modules, and this time skipped a whole grade reading level, and is now reading 5th grade books. For 6 month we have not heard from Huntington L. Ctr., and now we received a letter to pay the test fee, otherwise they would send the bill to the bill collector. I called, remembering I paid. I really don’t think he would have let me leave without paying ;). I was told our account did not show we paid. I had to get out my cancelled check from July. Wonder how many people they are trying to scam this way. All I can say is: spend some time with your child, or get a private tutor which many college students and new grad teachers offer to do. And if you should choose to go for the testing, save your receipt!
One local center is consistently seeing tremendous results from the students who finish their program. They are not selling a “Magic Pill”; it takes time and commitment from the student, the parents, and the entire Huntington Staff.
This local Center is committed to helping kids succeed in school and they are getting the results with students of all ages.
They are also getting it done in the Exam Prep Program. One student went up 8 points on his ACT. They are consistently seeing 4-5-and 6 point increases on the ACT. The last 4 students who reported their SAT scores...had gone up 360 pts, 360 pts, 380 pts, and 420 pts!!!!
Several students have gained academic scholarship money, due to their hard work, commitment, and score increases.
In most cases it takes a lot of hours. They can't help the kids if the kids are not there. 100 hours at Huntington is the equal to approx. 12.5 days of school.
The majority of the Staff at the this local Center has all been there for over 8 months and several have been there over a year or longer!!!!
Simply put, this center is getting the results and they have helped a ton of kids!!!
Their math curriculum is completely outdated. My third grader received no help in algebra or geometry 3rd grade elements that were part of his end of year state test. They told me he needed to master addition-multiplication. My son is doing long division and fractions in 3rd grade.
It’s a waste of money in my opionion.
Go to homeschooling sites and read reviews. There are some nice packages out there for 200 or less. Teaching Textbook comes to mind with computer DVDs works great uniil 7th grade
Let’s get started.
If you have a child who is a B student, he does not have to go here, even a C student. If you think to yourself, and say, “our son / daughter is a smart kid” this is not for you. Unless your child is one of the very few that is a 17 year old and still cannot read the word “addition”, then fair enough, send him all you’d like. But it up the unthinking parents to send a B student to this oh so useless facility. Is it really worth $6,000 out of your pocket to bring up a grade level? If you have a smart kid, and he gets B’s, please take into account that it may be other things, he or she is not stupid. If he can piece together a sentence using even a slightly high vocabulary for his age his program isn’t worth your, or their time. I am a student who goes to this program 3 times a week, and more often than not outsmarts most of the teachers there. My parents put little to no thought into this decision and now they hear from the “professionals” that I need help and they don’t listen to what I have to say. I find the program so incredibly easy, I blow through every lesson like it’s nothing, so they began trying to make it harder. Time limits, higher grade levels programs, more work. And after all of that, I still get through everything with great ease. I have to come up with games such as “scare the tutors” to keep myself interested. I do this by when I write sentences for words they think I don’t know, like vigorous (which I’ve known since I was 8), I write sentences that scare them, I just do it because it’s funny. I almost knocked a teacher off her feet by a sentence about how your skin is porous, she was blown away. Ok, well enough about Rambling on about this awful program, Huntington Learning Center, I award you a 1/10, better luck next time my friends.
I have seen great success at Huntington. The tests they give offer clear information and the program starts in a place that helped my kid build some confidence in himself. The price was definitely worth it.
This huntington learning center of Canton is run so unprofessionally. If you seek help for math tutoring, and you are a high-school level student, they start you on second -third grade math level because that is the math comfort level of the manager. There is only one certified math teacher at the center who comes once a week and he won’t help you. It would take the student few months to advance to the high-school level math. By that time, they have made their money on the student and they claim that you established a solid foundation. Don’t waste your money at this center. Go to mathnasium if you need help with math.
Hi I want to say the Huntington Learning Center they start your child with low level math because those are the skills that other teachers missed with them. Math is built on a foundation you need to understand fractions and exponets before you can use them in algebra. They test the kids and go back to where they are lacking. The teachers are all either certified or have masters or double bachelors degrees, it is their policy. Some teachers are more qulified than others and I suspect you wouldn’t want the biology teacher instruction you child in english which is why you have to make an appt when they are available. Most of them work as teachers or in their field of study so they are doing two jobs. You may pay more and it may take longer than you want but the results will be better than somewhere that only puts a band-aid on the issue rather than going back to address the underlining causes.
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