FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who are the clinics for?
Our clinics are designed for children who are bright but who struggle in some ways to express their intelligence in traditional academic settings due to learning differences and/or attention and executive functioning challenges.
Why are your clinics only for these kinds of kids?
By keeping our clinics limited to these kids, we create a safe environment where they can learn how to manage their learning differences. This allows us to create an open atmosphere free of judgment from peers and teachers, sparking kids to embrace their individual learning styles.
Why do your clinics focus on kids entering the 5th grade and up through high school?
Many excellent programs exist that work with kids younger than 5th grade to remediate basic reading, writing, and oral language challenges. However, as kids enter 5th grade, the basic skills learned in these programs must be built upon. Sparking Your Genius is focused on guiding kids through this key transitional phase, when school environments emphasize reading and writing as the central focus of learning, require working faster and more independently, place increasing grade weight on long-term projects and more complex subjects, and present information in abstract ways.
Do your clinics require pre-testing or screening?
As students get older, they become more complex, as do their learning and school environments. Discrete, skill-based screening cannot adequately give us a sense of each child’s unique needs. Instead, we ask for student grade reports and existing psycho-educational evaluations, discuss the child’s needs with parents and school learning specialists and teachers (if necessary), and on the first two days of all clinics, make detailed observations of how each child manages the complex learning area focused on in the clinic. Based on all this input, we develop individualized instructional plans to guide each through the next two weeks.
How big are the clinics and why?
All of our clinics are capped at six students, with a teacher-student ratio of 1:3. In order to open a clinic, we normally require a minimum of three students. We believe that kids benefit from a small group setting where they can learn from each other and have some sense of a classroom environment. We also strongly believe that any larger group of kids means that they lose the equally important benefit of constant individualized attention. Our classroom size and teacher ratio actually is in line with most schools that specialize in working with these kids.
How long are the clinics?
All clinics are two weeks. Once a two-week sequence is completed, one-week extensions are possible, if time permits.
When I sign up for a session, does my child have to attend for the whole day?
No. Your child is free to come to one morning clinic over a two-week period, one afternoon clinic over a two-week period, both one morning and one afternoon clinic in any two-week period, or multiple clinics across the five-week run of the summer clinics—whatever works best for your child’s individualized needs and the realities of your family’s summer plan.
When I sign up for a morning or afternoon, does my child attend all the clinics offered or just one?
Your child signs up for only one clinic for the morning and/or only one for the afternoon of any two-week period. If you would like your child to take more than one morning or afternoon session offered, then s/he would have to attend more than two weeks.
What are the age ranges of the clinics?
The morning clinics are open to any child entering 5th-12th grade. The afternoon clinics are tiered by age levels. See the Services page for more information.
Who teaches the clinics and what are their qualifications?
All of our staff are highly credentialed, experienced educational professionals, with a minimum of an M.A., and having many years of classroom experience, as well as multiple years working with us.
You can find more specific information about each of our staff on our About page.
How long has Sparking Your Genius been offering these clinics?
We started in 2005 with a group of six kids around a dining room table. We now offer multiple clinics to dozens of kids each summer.
Where can I find more information about the clinics?
Give either Paul or Christine a call. We are happy to answer any of your questions.
How can I get an enrollment form?
We do not have enrollment forms available for downloading on our website, since we want to first talk at length with each parent and be sure that his/her child is a good fit for the program. We often also encourage further conversations with school learning specialists and teachers, to make sure that if the child enrolls, s/he is in the appropriate clinic or clinics. Only then do we send out enrollment forms. We want to be sure your child gets the most out of working with us!