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Frequently asked questions:

Program

Is there a structured program?

> Yes. The program includes many academic subjects (encyclopaedic) and intellect skills (genius). There is an emphasis on French, English, Math, Natural and Social Science. The student can explore the program seemingly at will, under the guidance of the tutor. The guidance consists also in putting the light on territories which are not appealing to the student, in order to have them explored as well.

How is the discipline policy?

> The discipline is positive and based on motivation. Motivated students discipline themselves. Internal rules have to be respected.

Are field trips and enrichment activities part of the program?

> Yes, but it is just an option "outdoor" the parents decide to choose or not in the feasibility phase.

Is the curriculum age appropriate?

> Yes, because it is organized according to the grade, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. For example, it doesn't make sense to learn imaginary numbers if you don't even know what an integer is.

Are the children happy?

> Generally yes. But sometimes, especially at the beginning, it can be difficult and challenging. Happiness comes out of achievements, met challenges and success in even the smallest task. Also, some kids find happiness in routine tasks where new learning is never involved; in those cases, habits have to evolve gradually, more in an stimulation oriented pedagogy.

What is the maximum ratio students/tutor?

> 3 students max for 1 tutor. However, usually there is only one student at a time because of careful scheduling. The supervision level is high.

How do I know my child is learning?

> After a few hundred hours of OakEdu sessions, it becomes obvious the student gradually do things never thought of before. It can be reading books after books, asking many questions, teaching the parents, changing to better friends, thinking about university, experimenting in the kitchen... Everybody is different.

Is there any sample of the educational material?

> Yes. Books, electronic documents, board games and materials of all sorts support the academic and intellect curriculum.

Health & Safety

Is OakEdu registered in the Province of Ontario?

> Yes. It is an official small business declared to the Provincial Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, under the Business Regulation Reform Act of 1997, and declared to the Federal Canada Revenue Agency. However, the curriculum content is still free of Provincial or Federal constraints. OakEdu is a one-on-one concept, highly customized; this is not an industry constrained by standards and regulations. This is quality education because no energy is spent on fitting bureaucratly designed standard curriculum; there is no budget cut in program content for administrative or political reason; no teacher strike; no downgrade of curriculum at the lowest level of understanding in the classroom. It is custom made, student centered. It allows full flexibility, quick adjustments can be done on the spot as necessary. However, there is a balance between the creative, natural and free way of choice on one side (Jean-Jacques Rousseau), and the frame of a detailed arbitrary curriculum which meets the Ontario regulations on the other side.

Is OakEdu facility inviting, safe, clean and well maintained?

> The location is often at the student home. However, when at OakEdu facility, it is intellectually stimulating. This is neither a show nor a marketing trap, this is just a learning place. It is reasonably safe and clean because it is small and under control. There is no bad influence from classmates who are in drugs, stealing, speaking slang, etc. There is no competing for superficial popularity or for not being a loser. The energy is rather channeled on intellectual achievement and knowledge development.

Are there secure pick-up/drop off procedures in place?

> Yes, it is easy because it is one-on-one based.

Is the staff trained in first aid? CPR?

> No. However, from OakEdu facility, the hospital is within 5 mn drive if anything happens, in the worst case.

Are nutritious meals and snacks served according to FDA standards?

> At OakEdu facility, no food is provided (except when the option "outdoor taste education" is selected or if the student forgets the lunch bag!).

Are sick and contagious children accepted?

> No, sick students should stay at home and rest. Sessions can be cancelled, in case no work is possible.

Are proper hand washing procedures followed by staff and children?

> Yes, always on arrival to the OakEdu facility.

Are games designed for safe play?

> Yes, it is under the constant supervision of the tutor and there is neither sharp item nor dangerous stuff.

Communication

Are the parents allowed to visit OakEdu facility anytime they want without an appointment?

> Yes, although it is often disruptive.

Is there daily communication concerning the student's day?

> Not especially in the routine phase, but it happens often during the beginning phase, usually as some follow-up instructions for parents to help homework.

Are assessments in place to measure the student's growth and development?

> Yes, but it is done informally, on a daily basis. No exam to prepare and no stressful tests. Formal assessment happens only at the end of the agreed number of hours (as a check-up), or at parent's request, or to motivate the student, or when the need of a change of teaching strategy occurs.

Do the tutors interact positively with the children?

> Of course, constructive criticism, respect and responsibility are the basis of communication.

What if I am not happy with the performance of the tutor that has been given to me?

> The parents and the tutor are bound by a moral contract. The commitment is to be both sides. Satisfaction depends on the expectations. Too high expectations lead to disappointment. Before judging the performance of the tutor, first make sure you allowed at least 80 hours to be taught. Also, if there is anything to evaluate, measure the knowledge talking directly to the student, asking what was learnt this week. The commitment is not about the performance of the tutor, it is about the level of knowledge of the student. Before committing, take all the time you need to measure the performance of the tutor. Explore the website, ask the tutor to teach you world geography for example. Evaluation of OakEdu's performance is difficult because the curriculum is designed to excel over 5 years. If you feel it will work, then the moral contract takes place (see assessment), if not then no damage was done.

What is the timetable for the sessions?

> The hours are scheduled months in advance. Sessions ideally have 6 hours per day, 5 days a week, 46 weeks a year, for 5 years. The hours are very flexible if the option "Flextime" is chosen in the feasibility phase feasibility, because the agreement is on the total number of worked hours.

Do hours of operation meet the busy schedule needs of parents?

> Yes because the sessions occur at the student home, and there is an option "pick-up from school then drop at home" in the feasibility phase feasibility, and there is the option "Flextime".

Does the student need to bring any material?

> No, everything is provided. However, if you have any material with a strong educational value, you can bring it with you to share with others. Also, some materials are always useful, like:
big format blank exercise notebook with lines
small pencil sharpener with catcher
good quality pencils (HB or Eagle)
dry eraser markers
white non-marking erasers
15 cm ruler, geometry tools
set of 10 colour pencil crayons, easily erasable

Membership procedure

See the assessment. Send us an email first at membership. The first contact between the student and tutor is very important, the parents have to prepare it carefully. The objectives and motivation of the student should be expressed clearly and accepted.

Originality

Why is one-on-one better than a private school with 12 students in a class?

> Because continuous attention, face to face, by a dedicated tutor with a lot of patience and coaching experience, allows feedback, adjustments, rehearsals, revisions in a much deeper way than any classroom with more than 3 students. In a small structure, neither superficial nor any usual trick can fool the tutor. The monitoring is constant, the verification of the knowledge is recurrent and the slightest sign of misunderstanding is immediately corrected. There is no social energy wasted in "what will THEY think of me", no social promotion and no classmate peer pressure. Tailored focus, on areas where the student motivation is at its best, is a better starting point than any regular group assigned homework. Developing curiosity, discovery thrill, thirst of knowledge is way superior, on the long run, to any classroom cheating practice or other school related social bad habits. All academic subjects can easily be approached in a group of less than 3 students, because there is no disruption, no side effect coming from a group life.

Why should I choose OakEdu?

> Because this is the only local educational centre aimed at long term intellectual development, by opposition to other tutoring services too much short term oriented. The goal is not only to feed the student with knowledge, as can be expected, but also to teach the student how to learn, how to think, how to understand. Over a several years program, enough time and resources are committed to guarantee the literacy, numeracy and general knowledge of the student. The goal is not a superficial success at the exams ("Oh, my kid is so smart, she's got an A"). The goal is deeper, the objective is more ambitious ("I was surprised to witness that my kid knows more than the teacher, my kid started writing a book, my 7 year old kid is programming web sites, my kid speaks 6 languages..."), this is a whole different approach altogether.
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