Learning About the Learning Centers

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Toddlers through teens are filling the nation's after-school learning centers.

Kumon, Sylvan, Huntington and Score! (whose parent firm is owned by The Washington Post Company) are among the half-dozen or so companies catering to this growing market. The monthly cost ranges from about $80 to $500.

Why are so many kids going to these places?

Some possible reasons: Parents think their children aren't learning enough in schools that might be crowded or troubled; kids need help to pass the growing number of required tests; and because getting into certain colleges is tougher.

The centers differ from one-on-one tutoring, which helps kids with the specific work being done by their class. Learning centers follow their own lesson plans to teach basic skills.

Austen Whibley, 7, thinks over a math problem.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company