Teachers cannot actually come home with their students, even though it felt a little like it last year. And that's one of the biggest obstacles for capable kids who struggle, as the distractions and difficulties of student life beyond the classroom could improve most from one-on-one attention.
That's where Staying Ahead of the Game comes in. The academic coaching company was founded in 2006 by Evan Weinberger, who says he started the company he needed as a kid.
"I was lucky enough to grow up with a live-in shrink — my father was a clinical psychologist," he says. "That certainly helped, but there wasn't a turn-key solution to help capable students with executive function challenges to succeed in school."
So he developed an approach that is more than merely tutoring. While help in specific subjects and standardized test prep are offered, the company's core goal is to improve students' executive functioning skills. In other words, they help students build the foundational skills they need to succeed independently.
Positive reinforcement is key as the coaches/tutors cover topics such as goal-setting, organizing, prioritizing tasks, note-taking, learning strategies, problem solving, communicating effectively, managing impressions, and self-advocating.
Instead of simply memorizing or repeating lessons, students are equipped with the systems, habits, tools, and skills they need to manage stress and achieve greater success. Put simply, students in their unique program learn how to learn.
"Students only spend a fraction of their academic pursuits in the classroom," says Weinberger. "Most of the 'mistakes' occur outside of the classroom: driving to and from school and extracurricular activities they lose a homework assignment, they find it difficult to focus at home, or they struggle to self-assess and self-educate with tough concepts.
"Teachers cannot make sure students keep their backpack organized or manage their time effectively. Students need to learn how to succeed at home and in the classroom. In other words, they need a coach who sees them in the home environment."
It's important that Staying Ahead of the Game is local, too. Weinberger points out that they often have relationships with the heads of school, counselors, and learning specialists inside the school who can and will collaborate with his staff (with the proper parent consent, of course).
This has all helped the company grow to be one of the largest local academic support service companies, and has even sprouted a sister company called Illuminos that serves the Washington, D.C. metro area with a similar curriculum and localized approach.
We'll be taking a closer look at Staying Ahead of the Game's approach in future articles, but you can find out more in the meantime by visiting its website or following along on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
To start your child on the path to personal success, call 713-665-4263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.