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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:05 am
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Location: LONDON
Has anyone heard of or had experience of the student support centre. They offer home based study programmes in maths/english through the use of DVDs and work books, all designed to support what is currently taught in schools through all key stages up to GCSE. They recently sent some info (minimal) to my childs school claiming they work out much cheaper than tutors normally are, although they don't give prices on either their leaflets or website. To get any more info one of their reps needs to come to my house a bit like a kitchen or double glazing rep. Before I called anyone in I would like to know what I am letting myself in for. I'm considering this for a child in KS3 (year eight) who needs to strengthen up his English (level 5a English but level 7s in maths and science).


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 5:45 pm 
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Their info looks very poor - I would avoid them. There's lots of free websites and you can buy very good study support materials.

Ask them how they monitor your child's progress and target areas of weakness - report back before you sign anything.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:05 am
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Location: LONDON
Thank you for the swift reply. I was surprised that the school sent the leaflet out although they did make a point of saying that they did not specifically endorse the products. Part of the problem is that I need to help my child improve his English but wanted to find a way of not having to spend hours of my own time in the process. I have never been overly impressed with the idea of Kumon and wondered how similar this was. I guess I'll call them in like you suggested and let you know more. Watch this space.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:15 pm 
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Schools get commission for passing on the leaflets .... need I say more!


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:53 pm 
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I clearly need to learn to become more cynical!

I'm going more and more off the idea of entertaining these people in my home.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:15 pm
Posts: 483
Location: North Kent (surprise!)
Loulou

We bought the whole package following a leaflet from the school. They come to your home and"assess" you child and tell you where on their programme they need to start.

Continuing assessment is done by your child working through the lessons on the video's completing the work sheets and marking off each lesson on a large chart. When they reach a certain point on the chart you contact the centre and they send out a type of exam paper which your child does and you return it and it is marked by the centre.

This whole package cost us approx 2,500 3 years ago. They do a good sell, show you the magazine which comes regularly full of testimonies from pupils on the programe etc. They do tell you that you have to make a commitment to ensure your child does their homework 3 times a week, actually I think we signed something to say we would! The video lessons are only 5 mins long (in Australian!) and they make it sound really good.... yes I know Guest55 we were gullible, and we fell for it and bought the lot.

The whole package has sat in the cupboard for the last few years! Now this is my own opinion and others who have had the package may disagree but my daughter never got any benefit from it, admittedly we gave up on it fairly soon but personal tuition worked for her not a 5 min video lesson. I wouldn't recommend it, very expensive and you have to be very committed to continuing this programe 3 times a week, week after week, maybe that was our failing as we started with good intentions but it never worked for us.

Have thought about trying to recap our loses on Ebay!

You could have them round and see what you think, that doesn't cost anything but carefully consider how best your child learns. Personally I think it's best with a tutor face to face, failing that DIY, there's loads of info around (check this forum) The programe is really DIY but there are better resources around. I'm saying all this with hindsight which is a wonderful thing, just a bit late for us! :?

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:54 am 
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Northkentmum.
Thank you very much for that honest appraisal. It was exactly the sort of info I was looking for. If I have to devote that much time to support his English and spend that much money I would rather DIY and have a holiday with the excess cash!! I wonder if once a week 1 to 1 with me and daily reading will be enough at this stage. My biggest problem is that he hates reading and finds English in general very very frustrating and consequently devotes very little time to homework compared to maths , science or geography which he finds easy and really enjoys (I think one might impact on the other). At times he will produce a fantastic piece of written work and at other times it's complete gobbledegook. I have come round to the idea of abandoning the Support Centre but need advice on supporting textbooks, workbooks etc that we can sit down together and work through. Any suggestions to help a 13 year old (who is starting to become hormonal and rebellious) most welcome. if anyone feels they can give more info (especially if it involves advertising) via a pm I would be incredibly grateful


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:05 am
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Location: LONDON
I have just read an online review of the above company from someone who has recently brought the package. It appears to confirm Northkentmums opinion ie expensive need a big commitment etc. I didn't like the idea of a sales rep in my house for 2 hours persuading me to part with my cash. The company is Australian which will be why the DVDs feature Australian teachers. Have now definitely abandoned the idea and will try to source workbooks etc for home use.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:15 pm
Posts: 483
Location: North Kent (surprise!)
Hi Loulou

Glad I could be of some help and must admit I think you have reached the right decision. The only other point i would have said if you were still unsure was that most of the video's (now DVD's apparently) are for maths which was our daughters weak area, 6 maths video's but only 2 for English and these were very hard to follow and from what you said about your son I would almost definitely say they wouldn't help him in the areas you indicated, so good decision by you :)

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