Commonly Asked Questions at Symbols

As a parent trying to keep track of your child’s busy schedule, it can be difficult having questions that you don’t know the answers to. Below is a list of commonly asked questions or concerns that we often receive from parents. Some of these topics have been covered in previous blogs, but still come up frequently in our emails, so here we clarify and answer some questions all in one place!

  1. Is the intake assessment necessary, or can the tutor skip it and just start teaching right away?

    The intake assessment is actually very important. It typically lasts for about the first three lessons. Based on the results of this intake assessment, the tutor will know in which areas specifically that a student is already strong in, and also where focused support will be required. This assessment is what allows us to individualize our program for each student. We will also discover how a student learns best, whether that is visual, auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic, which allows us to ensure new material is delivered optimally for the student. For more information on the intake assessment:

  2. Can my child come only once a week, or do they have to come for two?

    With new students, it’s important that they start coming two times a week. This was discussed previously,, but to recap, yes- a student should be coming twice a week. This is to help the tutor and student form a bond, and so that the child doesn’t feel like they are putting in extra work, and still not able to keep up with their classmates, which is not good for their confidence levels.

  3. If a conflict comes up mid-term, and my child can no longer attend one of the two days, what do I do?

    The first thing that we try and do is see whether the tutor your child is with has an opening on a different day that does work with your schedule. If this does not work out, we discuss with the tutor whether they think the child would be able to succeed at just one lesson per week. If the tutor believes the child is stable enough, we can drop to one day per week- however, just as if you were taking your child out of the program, 30 days notice must be given.

  4. How will I know how much progress my child is making?

    We believe it is very important for you to see the progress your child is making, and also to see what areas they still need to work on. After every lesson, lesson notes are sent to either one or both parents, and can include classroom teachers, or anyone else. You can email us at any time and request that an additional contact be added in to receive email updates! Monthly report cards are also issued, that state what was learned that month, what will be taught in the upcoming month, and general comments on progress/areas of work. These are emailed out, and if you have questions, you can simply reply to the email. As well, after every lesson, five minutes is dedicated to the tutor discussing with the parent how the lesson went.

  5. My child isn’t able to focus well in class- how will this be different at Symbols?

    All of our lessons at Symbols are individualized, so your child will have the full attention and efforts of the tutor. As well, we try and make learning fun! We have lots of different activities that we use, where different senses are engaged, and this variability often helps keep a student focused.

  6. What happens if I have to cancel a lesson? Can I make it up?

    This is the MOST common question we receive, and the answer is yes! However, we allow for a make-up only if you have given us enough notice for the cancellation.  We need 24 hours notice for a make-up lesson (but usually we will accept notice if given the night before- for example, 9pm when lesson is the next day at 3:20pm- or very early in the morning on the same day; we just need to let the tutor know that the lesson is cancelled before they leave their home for work).  If you can’t give enough notice for a make-up, but you can give at least 3 hours notice, we will create a specialized take-home work package for you to do at home instead of the lesson. You can call or email us at with any cancellations. Here is a more complete posting of our policies.

  7.  What exactly is a specialized work package?

    This is a package that the tutor specially makes up for a child. Tutors always have their lesson plans for the day planned out in advance, so if they receive notice that a child will not be there, they can use their lesson notes to put relevant topics into a work package. The tutor will often use the time slot where they would have been tutoring the student to put together the work package, and it is ready for pick up at your child’s next lesson. As well, even if 24 hours notice are given, some families are very busy, and do not want to schedule a makeup lesson. A work package can be requested in lieu of coming in for a makeup.

Rob Wahl