Why does my child have academic difficulties?

Throughout his or her academic journey, your child undergoes major changes, both physical and psychological. All these changes can cause short- or long-term academic difficulties.

In some cases, an academic difficulty may be caused by psychological factors such as increasing stress, a lack of motivation, or a lack of self-confidence. Sudden upsetting changes such as divorce, illness, or a move can also sometimes be the cause.

In other cases, academic difficulties are the results of other problems. It then becomes important to ask the right questions to figure out if it might be a medical problem or a mental, visual or hearing deficiency. It could also be a learning disability such as dyslexia, dysorthographia, or ADD/ADHD.

In short, parents must pay close attention and should not hesitate to consult a specialist to better understand what is going on and to keep their child from falling too far behind at school.

What prior evaluations are recommended before starting tutoring sessions?

As soon as we open a file, we set up a meeting with an educational advisor to collect all relevant information relating to the student’s academic and personal situation. This information will be used to define his or her needs more precisely. A copy of documents such as report cards, intervention plans, and evaluation reports from certain professionals will be included in the file.

The tutoring plan suggested by our educational advisor will also take into account any recommendations coming from these outside sources and focus on achieving specific goals.

Since certain professionals’ evaluations can be costly for the parents and, in some cases, difficult for the student, S.O.S. Studies promises to use all previously acquired information in the most efficient way, and therefore avoid needless repetition.

However, in some cases we will strongly suggest your child first gets evaluated by another specialist (neuropsychologist, speech therapist or occupational therapist) in order to get a better picture of the situation and help us better tailor our tutoring plan to his or her needs.

How many hours of tutoring a week are needed to overcome an academic difficulty?

The number and length of tutoring sessions can vary from one student to the next depending on circumstances, the nature of the difficulty, and the goals given to us. Therefore, the number of hours a week depends on many factors and is determined on an individual basis.

How long does it take to see improvement?

Usually, if all goes well, the positive impact of well-organized tutoring sessions will be noticeable after about a month. This depends on the student’s regular attendance to his or her sessions and also on the student’s personal level of commitment.

If nothing has changed after a few weeks, it might be necessary to review the tutoring plan. In some cases, if our sessions with the student have given us cause for concern, we might see fit to refer the student to another specialist (special education teacher, speech therapist, psychologist, neuropsychologist, or occupational therapist).

What educational resources are used during tutoring sessions?

In order to stay as close as possible to the pedagogical approach used at school, the starting point in terms of resources will be the student’s own from school. However, the assigned S.O.S. Studies tutor will likely also use complementary resources to fit the student’s needs. Computers and educational software are also used more and more.

How qualified are your tutors and teachers?

For academic support services, most of our employees have qualifications in education or special education and have a teaching certificate. Student teachers in their last year of studies are also part of our team. Members of our team are carefully selected based on their expertise, experience, and personal skills in academically helping students on an individual basis.

As for the language courses in our Outaouais centre, all of them are taught by qualified language teachers.

Finally, S.O.S Studies is lucky to have a stable team with little employee turnover, which means each student can benefit from the experience his or her tutor has acquired throughout the years. In fact, most of the members of our team have been with us for more than two years.

Do I have to sign a contract?

Upon registration you have to sign a contract that gives us permission to work with your child and that defines administrative details such as pricing, method of payment, location of classes, etc. In fact, according to the Consumer Protection Act, all academic support services must be made official by a written contract. However, you do not have to commit to a set amount of time or classes. You can also be let out of the contract, without penalty, at any time, providing you give us 24 hours’ notice.

Can I cancel or reschedule classes along the way?

We have a very flexible policy that allows you to cancel a session or reschedule at any time as long as you give us 24 hours’ notice. In case of sickness or special circumstances, it is possible to cancel a session the day of without penalty simply by giving us an explanation.

Are S.O.S. Studies services eligible for tax purposes?

Most of our services are eligible for federal tax credit. We invite you to visit the Canada Revenue Agency website (www.cra-arc.gc.ca) to find out more or to contact the S.O.S. Studies centre in your area.

Are your services subjected to GST and QST?

No. All our services are exempt of GST and QST.