What is the history of Wiz Kids Learning Centers?
The first Wiz Kids was opened in Pearl City in 1994, and Kaimuki opened in 1998. The founder, Scott Evans, was a special education teacher in Hawaii for 15 years. The Wiz Kids system of instruction grew out of his experiences teaching at Lehua Elementary and Pearl City High Schools. We also borrowed some ideas from other established learning centers. Over the years we have refined our system so that it is rigid in structure yet highly flexible in content and style.
How is Wiz Kids different from other supplemental programs?
Some learning centers offer similar services, but they can be expensive. Others may be less costly; however they do not consistently provide personalized attention and direct instruction. Private tutoring can also be very expensive and is often done in a home or public library. The Wiz Kids Learning Centers are designed to create an environment that enhances learning. Our student to tutor ratio is never more than 2:1, and our lessons are 70 minutes in length. We include brief computer segments to enhance lessons. We also give homework assignments.
Who will be my child’s tutor?
Most Wiz Kids tutors are university students; many of them are education majors and are in the process of becoming certified teachers. Some of our tutors are already certified. All are trained in the Wiz Kids method of delivering lessons.
Will my child have the same tutor for each lesson?
Whenever possible, but not always. We have about 20 tutors and 250 active students between the two centers. It is rare for schedules to mesh perfectly. Your child will probably work with about 4 different tutors over the course of 20 lessons. However, all the tutors use the same materials and are trained to deliver each lesson in a consistent format.
Will my child be given homework?
Yes. We usually assign 2 sheets on an activity or skill that has been taught in the lesson. At the parent’s request we can give more or less.
Should I correct my child’s homework?
No. Please do not make corrections. If there are mistakes on the homework we know we need to re-teach that skill. We ask that parents only make sure the assignments are completed. Occasionally, a limited amount of help from the parents may be appropriate; however, students should be able to do their assignments independently.
How will I know how my child is progressing?
After each lesson parents have the opportunity to briefly meet with the tutor to discuss what skills were covered in the lesson. After 20 lessons a formal test will be given and compared with the pre test.
Are lessons done on a computer?
We occasionally use computers as a tool to enhance the teaching of basic skills. The tutor selects the program which reinforces the academic goal of that lesson. However, most of the instruction is from the tutor, not a computer. WiFi is available for students who need to connect to school based computer programs.
May my child do both reading and math?
No. We have found that greater success is achieved when we teach one skill at a time. Because students come only twice a week, there is too large of a gap between lessons if we alternate between math and reading.
What is a Wiz Report?
Part of each lesson is a written summary, prepared by the student, called a Wiz Report. We ask that the parents review this Wiz Report with their child. The most effective way to do this is to have your child orally explain the information to you. This process of talking about the recently completed lesson to someone of importance to the student is a good way to reinforce the learning. This often leads to useful questioning and conversation regarding the specific skills, stories and activities.
What are Wiz Dollars?
We use a simple incentive system to encourage and reward participation. Each student has a bank book. There are no physical Wiz Dollars only entries into their account. Wiz Dollars can be earned by: being on time for the lesson, returning a library book, and completing the homework. At the end of each lesson the tutor and student evaluate the student’s effort and behavior and then the student is rewarded with one or two extra Wiz Dollars. Usually a student earns 5 Wiz Dollars per lesson, so at the end of the 20 lessons they can earn a maximum of $100 that they can use to buy a toy. Students also learn about deposits, withdrawals, balances, and saving.
How much do lessons cost?
Lessons are $35. each and are 70 minutes long. Most students come two times a week. We do lessons in sets of 20. The total price is $785.34. This includes everything: Pre-test, post-test, 20 lessons, materials and taxes. A 10% discount is given for a second child.
Do we have to commit to 20 lessons?
Usually yes. We have found that a minimum of 20 lessons is needed to make significant improvement. Most students come two times a week so the 20 lessons are usually completed in about 10 weeks. After 20 lessons we always give a post test to measure how much progress your child has made. Actually you receive 22 sessions, as we do not charge for the pre nor post tests. Occasionally an emergency arises and you are unable to finish the 20 lessons, we can then make adjustments to our agreement.
Can I pay on a credit card?
Yes. We accept Visa, Master Card and Discover; a personal check or cash.
How do I make payments?
Simply drop off a check at the front desk, according to the payment plan you selected at registration. Please write your child’s name on the memo line of your check. We do not normally send out statements.
Will I be charged if we miss a lesson?
No, however, please call us 24 hours in advance when you know you cannot come to a scheduled lesson. We can reschedule your lesson or add it on to the end so that you receive a full set of 20 lessons.