Fifth grade student Mark, who has graduated from the Genie Academy program, has consistently been placed into his school’s accelerated math classes since he was in the first grade. Having gone to Genie Academy classes since he was only 3 years old, he gained a stellar foundation in math, reading, writing, and coding that led to a long streak of academic success. Last year he was also part of his school’s Gifted and Talented program studying engineering, although it unfortunately is not running this year due to COVID-19.
Mark started with Genie Academy young to help give him an academic boost. He started with the reading genie program for about a year, then switched to math. He went back and forth between these two programs, improving his skills as he went along, until third grade. “His writing skills are only good because of Genie Academy,” his mom told us. “I think if he wasn’t in Genie Academy he would have struggled in school because the way the school teaches I don’t think allows for the boys to thrive.”
Now Mark is taking sixth grade math, and is poised for continued success. Mark is one of the few boys in his school that is in the accelerated math program, and one of the only ones who has been in the program since first grade. “That’s really, truly credited to Genie Academy,” his mom said.
When Mark graduates to middle school after this year, if he continues on the accelerated track, he may even skip a grade. In any case, he will be a sixth grader working on eighth grade math, and by the time he finishes middle school after eighth grade he will have completed Algebra 2 or even geometry. His mom is confident that he will be prepared for the advanced material.
An educator herself, Mark’s mom witnessed firsthand the effects of different tutoring programs. She noticed that her students who were in Kumon or other tutoring programs would get overwhelmed with the amount of work without making much progress in their studies. “I saw a lot of students getting stressed out in my class because they didn’t finish their Kumon homework. That’s not what tutoring is supposed to be,” she said.
Genie Academy, on the other hand, focused on helping Mark succeed with his work without overloading him. “I feel like we made a lot of progress with Genie Academy; he was not crazy overwhelmed with homework and was succeeding,” his mom said. Instead, Genie Academy helped Mark cultivate his independence and confidence. After starting Genie Academy, Mark’s mom never had to hover over him or make sure his work was done. “Fourth grade was a big turning point for him,” she noted. “Genie Academy gave him the foundation to do all his work by himself.” She also appreciates the feedback the teachers at Genie Academy give at the end of each class, where she can not only hear about how Mark is doing, but she can also ask any questions.
Virtual learning this year did present Mark with some challenges, but he was able to hone his skills he learned at Genie Academy to better strategize and manage his time. His mom said that at the beginning of the quarantine, he would spend a lot of time getting his schoolwork done, sometimes working until 8:00 pm. Mark then started to regulate himself, without his mom having to step in, so that he would finish his work earlier and earlier. Now he finishes early in the afternoon, and always completes his work. “I never needed to hover over him and make sure he got his work done; he needed to sink or swim, and he swam,” his mom said.