Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the cost of tuition?
    Tuition will vary because we customize our instruction to meet the specific needs of your child. Top Learning Center tuition is affordable and cost-effective, guaranteeing that your child receives all the help they need without breaking your budget. To get the most specific information about pricing and payment options, contact your local Top Learning Center Branch.
  • What makes TLC reading and writing classes unique?
    This after-school language arts program is the only one of its kind. It provides high-quality individualized instruction to students in a small group setting. Our literature based program has been specially designed to give students a strong foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking.
  • How are the classes organized?
    Students are grouped by age and ability. For the younger children (K-4) the skills emphasized include reading comprehension and retention, vocabulary development, oral expression, writing fundamentals and grammar, spelling, and dictionary skills. Older students attend separate classes for reading and writing, each class emphasizing in-depth skills in reading comprehension, critical thinking and composition.
  • Are these remedial classes?
    Our classes are designed to help students who are struggling, as well as advance students who are already excelling in school. These programs seek to enhance and enrich students' learning skills by providing them with opportunities to build on their regular school instruction. Students also have the chance to explore special topics of interest to them that may not be available in their daily classrooms.
  • What do the students read?
    Our students read the best literature available. The texts we use are classics, Newbery and Caldecott award books, or books the teachers consider especially relevant to the development of critical thinking and an appreciation of fine literature. Our reading program often supplements subjects students are currently studying in school.
  • What writing curriculum is available for my older student?
    We focus on essay writing and creative writing. Students are taught basic formats for writing different types of essays, as well as strategies for organizing and taking timed essay tests. Because writing is a critical thinking exercise, attention is paid to helping students develop and explain their ideas logically and clearly. Our creative writing program teaches students how to develop their own voice in exploring story elements of plot, character development, and description. Students are also encouraged to explore their use of literary devices, such as symbolism, metaphor, and personification. Methods of critique and revision are introduced to facilitate students understanding of writing as a process that must be continually developed and refined.
  • What benefits can I expect from the reading and writing program?
    In the short term, we expect our students to improve in their communication skills, both as writers and speakers. We encourage students to listen carefully and evaluate the information they hear, in order to better understand what is said as well as what is implied. In the long term, we teach our students to take responsibility for their own minds; to learn to trust their own informed judgment based on critical standards of thought and values that affirm life and truth.
  • How are math assessments used to evaluate students?
    We seek to discover your child's strengths and weaknesses in specific math concepts. We do this through a diagnostic assessment, then we evaluate your child's current math level and create a personalized curriculum to help them reach their goals. Our qualified educators review foundational concepts and preview new material to help you child gain knowledge and self-confidence in mathematics.
  • What is Common Core?
    State education chiefs and governors in 48 states came together to develop the Common Core Curriculum, a set of clear, college- and career-ready standards for Kindergarten through 12th grade in English, Language Arts, Literacy, and Mathematics. Today, 42 states and the District of Columbia have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement these standards into their public schools. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to take credit-bearing introductory course in two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce. Please visit www.cde.ca.gov/re/cc for more details.
  • What is the SAT?
    The SAT is a standardized exam that is used by colleges to measure a student's knowledge of reading, writing and math. Please visit http://sat.collegeboard.com/why-sat for more information.
  • What is the PSAT/NMSQT?
    It stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), an exam that provides practice for the SAT. It also provides a chance to win a scholarship. Please visit http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html for more information.
  • What is the ACT?
    The ACT is a national college admissions examination and an alternative to the SAT. Please visit www.act.org for more information.