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Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Brainy Bears? 

 

We’ll try to answer it here for you! If you can’t see the answer you’re looking for, please email us and Jessica will be in touch with you.  Brainybears@outlook.com

Does my child need to know how to read before they go to school?

 

Starting school is an exciting time for both the child and their families. However, the demands both socially and academically are huge in the first year of school.

Learning to read is not easy or natural. It is a complex process. Oral language and pre-literacy or phonological awareness skills support early reading and writing development.

 

Skilled readers have good decoding skills (word recognition); understand what they read (comprehension) and read with fluency (Maureen Pollard -Little Learners Love Literacy).

A child’s level of phonological awareness (ability to identify sounds and sound patterns in language) is an important predictor of their later reading development  (Maureen Pollard - Little Learners Love Literacy).

We believe that if your child begins school knowing something about sounds, reading and writing it can make a significant difference to how they feel as a learner and how easily they settle into that new school routine and expectations.

Why do you teach sounds?

The awareness of sounds and spelling patterns is a fundamental skill for reading. In fact, research has shown that reading can be broken down into two main skills.

1. Decoding (understanding sounds) 

2. Oral language comprehension 

Learning to speak is natural. 

Learning to read is not. 

Children need explicit and systematic instruction in listening for sounds, segmenting sounds, blending sounds, and then finally matching sounds to letters. 

At Brainy Bears, we use the Little Learners Love Literacy program for our school readiness, Kinder and Early Primary classes. The program is developed from evidence-based literacy research that emphasises the importance of explicit teaching, along with a focus on:

 

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Phonics

  • Vocabulary

  • Fluency

  • Comprehension

It also includes the teaching of handwriting skills as an integral part of literacy learning.

Are you a tutor?

Yes, we are a tutoring service that provides targeted support to each and every child. However, we don't like to consider ourselves a 'tutoring service' in the traditional sense of the word, as our programs are more interactive, explicit, evidence-based, and fun! Check out this table comparing Brainy Bears to other traditional tutoring services in the area. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the best part? We’re also much more affordable than a traditional tutor! View our rates here.

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What is the benefit of small group classes?

 

Small groups provide a fun, safe, and interactive learning environment for young children. When you are with peers at a similar level to you, you can build your confidence together while learning communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills. Where traditional school classes average 21 students per classroom, small groups ensure your child will be given lots of attention to help them thrive. 

 

As a bonus, they get excited to see their new friends outside of school! 

Is Brainy Bears only for children who are struggling? 

 

Not at all! Our early learning literacy programs are for children aged 3-8 of any reading and writing level. If your child is aged 5 or older, we will assess their competencies and work with them in a way that will best develop their skills. If your child is performing well, our small group environment will help reinforce and accelerate their learning even further. If your child needs more support, that’s okay too. They will learn so much through our explicit and systematic teaching model. It’s why we’re here!

Does my child have to come to every class?

We know that sometimes you won’t be able to make every class. We do not provide a refund for the missed class, however, where possible, we will help you find another class to attend to make up for that absence. Since we use a systematic approach to learning Every class builds on the one prior, so we highly encourage you to commit to the class timetable.

Once my child starts school, do they still need Brainy Bears?

 

Your child will learn so much about the world when they start school. For some children however, once the school bell rings, sometimes learning can go in one ear and out the other. 

 

For others, they may find it a bit hard to keep up with the teacher’s pace. If a child feels they can’t pick up reading and writing as quickly as the other students, they can experience lower levels of self-confidence and start to disengage from the teacher.  

 

An extra class a week can help reinforce what students learn at school and also check that they really did understand the work. This way we can pick up on any challenges immediately and start to teach them in a way that they can understand. It won’t take long before they are looking forward to reading and writing at school!

Does my child need to practice at home?

The more your child practices at home the more they will benefit from the program.

 

At the end of each session, parents/carers are invited into our learning space. Your child will begin by explaining something they did or learned during that session. This is a great way for them to become reflective learners and improve their oral language skills.

 

Ms Jessica will guide you through our learning and provide you with activities/ideas to continue practising at home. Partnering with families is one of our core values and we take pride in this aspect of our program. 

If you want to improve your own content knowledge in order to help your child with their reading, check out our parent workshops. 

My child finds reading difficult, will your classes help them?

Brainy Bears will give your child the extra support they need to become a successful reader and writer. Some children will catch on quickly and others may take longer. It is important to note that learning is not a linear process and every child learns at their own pace. 

 

We use a different teaching style to some of the local schools, and this can be the difference between your child loving and loathing reading, writing, and spelling. 

Does Brainy Bears cater to children with special needs or challenging behavior?

 

Yes, we do, on a case-by-case situation. We do our best to assist all children, however, we also need to consider the needs of all our students. If your child has special needs or challenging behavior, please don't hesitate to contact us so we can discuss the best way to support them in beginning their learning journey at Brainy Bears. 

Are parents allowed to stay in the class? 

 

In the first week or two of our program, we are happy for parents to stay for a short while at the beginning of each session, however we are encouraging resilience and independence as an important pre-school skill and therefore this is better developed without parents in the class. If your child is upset or not coping with the class we would contact you and discuss a plan.

What do they need to bring with them? 

 

Each week children should bring along their Brainy Bears tote bag, a water bottle, their workbook and any resources that were sent home the previous week.

 

The children will receive their Brainy Bears tote bag and workbook in their first session.