Frequently Asked

Questions

How do we get started?

If you are interested in joining Bright Minds:

  1. Send us an inquiry to speak with one of our administrators, request more information and set up a virtual assessment.
  2. Schedule and confirm an online assessment with one of our experienced math and/or literacy teachers.
  3. Go to our Registration Portal and create your family profile. Once your email address has been confirmed, you can log in to register for the courses of your choice.
  4. Receive virtual meeting links and other important information via email to join classes and pick up your child’s class materials.
What is Bright Minds ?

Bright Minds offers mathematics and English Literacy enrichment and remedial courses for children aged 5 and up. Students receive weekly online classes and homework with materials unique to the Bright Minds program.

We offer optional online Chess Club and daily Flex tutoring sessions in order for students to receive extra support outside of their scheduled class times. Starting in the fall of 2021, we will also be offering in-person Flex tutoring sessions twice per week for students that are able to join us on the Renert School Campus.

How is your program different from other tutoring programs?

Bright Minds more than a tutoring program. Teaching and learning takes place in a small group environment which has students engaging in collaborative and creative activities.

In mathematics, we foster deep understanding by augmenting our curriculum with brainteasers, lateral thinking riddles, puzzles, questions from math competitions, and thinking games. The results are students who become creative thinkers and strong problem-solvers, and not just in mathematics.

We acknowledge each students’ ability to work at their own pace in order to stay challenged and engaged.  We both allow and encourage each student to progress at a pace that is best suited to their abilities.

Do you offer online classes?

Yes we do. Parents have clearly expressed their preference for online class delivery, combined with the ability to attend in-person open study halls (also known as Flex tutoring sessions), as needed.

In 2021-22 weekly classes will be delivered through Zoom, in order to allow for flexibility, greater access, and to minimize driving time for the parents.

Students may join us online daily for homework assistance in Flex, be it  for school math or Bright Minds math or literacy homework. Twice per week students may choose attend in-person to do their studying with our tutors.

Weekly online Chess and Math Competition Clubs are available for interested students at no extra cost.

What other Enrichments are you offering Bright Minds Students?
We are offering the Bright Minds Chess Club for students at all levels of chess. This is an integral part of the program and does not cost any extra to attend. Our chess program also includes participation in chess competitions and tournaments.
 
In addition, starting 2021-22, we will be offering the weekly Math Competition Club (MCC). This is an additional session for students interested in honing their math competition skills and strengthen their analytical creativity. 
What is 'Serious Fun'?

Serious fun is our way of getting kids to love math. Serious fun is when challenge meets ability, and learning happens because activities are engaging, interesting, and fun.

How is Bright Minds different from the math my child learns in school?

Our innovative curriculum emphasizes mental arithmetic, deep mathematical understanding, and creative problem solving. We do not give kids grades or marks; we only assess to determine what your child’s needs are in order to provide appropriate support and challenges. We encourage students to explore mathematics as they learn it. Most of all, we have fun with mathematics – playing games, tackling challenging problems, and having deep and interesting discussions are a big part of what we do.

Who is Bright Minds for?

Bright Minds is for any student who is motivated, has a keen mind for learning, and is willing to practice daily to acquire a skill that will serve them for life.

Ongoing, daily, deliberate practice—whether it is music, sports, English Literacy or mathematics—is absolutely necessary to improve and master a skill.

Is my child too young or too old to join?

Since the Bright Minds program sorts students into groups by level of understanding rather than by age or grade, we encourage parents of children of any age to inquire about the program.

We are currently working with students starting as young as 4-5 years old and up to students at the high school level.

My child hates English and/or math. Why would bringing them to Bright Minds help?

When children hate English or math, it’s generally because they have not been challenged by it at the right level. This happens all too often in typical schools. If the work is too easy, it becomes tedious and boring. If the material is too hard, it is embarrassing and frustrating. At Bright Minds, we are dedicated to giving kids the right challenges and proper support, and we do it in a way that is engaging and fun.

My child is behind grade level in math and/or English. Can they join the program?

We are sensitive to the needs of all students who come to us for help, and so, while we place students in groups based primarily on their ability, age and maturity level are also important factors.

Many of our students have come to us after years of difficulty with math and/or English in school. So, we can almost always find an appropriate peer group for your child.

Why does my child need to have an assessment before joining the program?

We strongly believe that children should be placed with peers who are like-minded in terms of ability and skill-level. This is the key to getting the most out of the class time, and for students to have a good experience.

Since the Bright Minds program is unique, our assessments bare no reference to grades in school and are simply a tool to allow us to to place your child in a group that is best suited for them in terms of ability and the Bright Minds level they are working at. We do not give kids grades or marks; we only assess to determine what your child’s needs are in order to provide appropriate support and challenges.

We schedule separate online assessments for Math and for Literacy for children who wish to join both courses.

What does the assessment cost?

We do not charge separate fees for assessments as the sole purpose of our assessments are for placing students in appropriate Bright Minds classes. We consider the assessment fees to be included in the tuition upon registration in the program.

What do we need to bring to the online assessment and how long will it take?

Students should come to their online assessments with a pencil, scrap or lined paper and an eraser.

We will provide all of the materials and workbooks your child will need after they have been assessed and placed in a class.

Assessments can take anywhere from 15-60 minutes depending on the age of the student. Parents should allow the student to perform the assessment independently but be nearby to receive instructions or discuss results afterward.

Do you offer trials or drop-ins?

We do not offer any free trial sessions, and there are no drop-ins available. Real benefits come from long-term engagement.

How big are your classes?

Our classes typically have between 5 and 10 students. Larger classes will always have instructors and assistants working in tandem to ensure each student gets the attention they need. We cap our classes at 12 students but most are not at capacity as we are always opening new classes as demand increases.

Our family has a tight schedule. Is there a class at the right level and at the right time for my child?

We have many classes available at all levels and are almost always able to accommodate busy family schedules.

While students work best with others who are at their own level, it is not necessary that they be at exactly the same book to work well together. In fact, each of our classes accommodates a range of levels which means we often have several class options available to families joining the program.

Once your child’s assessment is complete we will offer several class options for you to choose from.

What does my child need to bring to class?

Most importantly students should come prepared to work, engage and participate in their classes. Students also need pencils, an eraser, a ruler, some scrap or lined paper and their Bright Minds workbooks for their online classes and Flex tutoring sessions.

If attending an in-person Flex tutoring session, students must come prepared to work in their Bright Minds workbooks, and bring pencils, erasers and scrap or lined paper. No food or drink other than a sealed water bottle are allowed in in-person Flex tutoring sessions.

What happens if we miss a class? What if we miss a few classes?

When students miss a class, they are expected to catch up on all materials covered while they were away; as they would when they miss a class at school. Luckily, we offer plenty of support to keep students on track.

Parents are provided with teacher email addresses so you can let your child’s instructor know you will be away or if you wish to inquire what was missed in class. Flex tutoring sessions (available online for drop-in daily) are the best way to keep up with homework and seek support, whether you’ve missed classes or not!

What if my child has questions about Bright Minds assignments during the week?

All students registered in the Bright Minds program may attend any or all of the Flex tutoring sessions we offer.

Parents are also encouraged to contact their child’s instructors via email at any time to seek clarification or ask questions.

Who are your teachers and what are their credentials?

Our instructors are experts in English Literacy and mathematics. We do not have any generalist instructors in Bright minds. They typically hold university degrees in English, mathematics or science and are passionate about teaching their respective subjects. They are deeply knowledgeable and committed to the intellectual growth of their students.

Do your students participate in math competitions and contests?

We prepare students for and offer opportunities to participate in math competitions as we believe it is a great way to learn mathematics and to test their abilities. Competition preparation is one of the best ways to become good problem solver.

Starting in 2021-22, we will be offering our Math Competition Club (MCC) weekly online. This is an additional session for students interested in honing their math competition skills and strengthening their analytical creativity. Participation in the BM MCC is included in your Bright Minds registration fees.

What kind of results have you seen in students who join Bright Minds?
Learning new skills does not happen by osmosis. Ongoing, daily, deliberate practice in an engaged and supportive home environment—whether it is music, sports, English literacy or mathematics—is absolutely necessary to improve and master a skill.
Over the years, we have seen excellent results from the vast majority of our students who were committed to the program. Students who consistently attend their weekly lessons, seek support through our Flex tutoring sessions and complete 10-30 minutes per day of homework, it is common that within a few weeks of joining students are starting to feel more confident and at ease at school. After a few months, parents are telling us that the child is becoming one of the strongest in their class at school, and they are growing to like the subject matter. It is common for students who attend Bright Minds for 2-3 years to be far ahead anything that they do at school.
What does tuition include?

Tuition for the Bright Minds program includes everything Bright Minds has to offer: weekly online classes, online and in-persion Flex tutoring sessions, direct instructor contact, Chess Club, Math Competition Club, and all assigned materials.

Outside of the weekly classes, all other activities are completely optional and students can take advantage of them as often as they like.

Our placement assessments are also included in the tuition fees.

How long do the classes run and what are the tuition fees?

Bright Minds is a full school-year program. Classes begin in September and run until Mid-June. We do not offer classes per month, term or semester. Real, measurable benefits come from long-term engagement.

We offer sibling discounts to families who register multiple children AND a 2nd course discount to families who register one or more children in both math & literacy courses. We also offer a full-payment discount to families that choose to pay their fees in full.

Early Bird discounts are available to families who register with us in the spring/early summer for the new school year.

Because we perform detailed assessments and track student progress throughout the year, we are able to enrol students all year long. Our fees are pro-rated for families who join us during the school year.

Please contact us to discuss our yearly fees and discounts that may be available.

Do you offer classes in the summer?

Bright Minds is a full school-year program. Classes begin in September and run until Mid-June.

We do not have weekly classes during the summer months however, families that register for the new school year in spring and early summer will have access to online Flex tutoring sessions, new materials and other events we have running during the summer.

We hope to be running in-person summer camps again in 2022. Please check back to our Summer Camp page for updates.

What if my child doesn't like it? What is your cancellation policy?

Cancelation Policy:

No refunds or partial refunds will be issued for payments already processed barring a major family circumstance (which would be considered on an individual basis).

That being said, we work hard to make sure your child has a great experience in our program. There are many things we can do to give them the best chance of success. Just a few of them include:

1. Engaged, supportive parents at home are key to student success. Miracles do not happen by placing students in a class for one hour per week. Parents need to be supportive and engaged in their child’s Bright Minds work.
2. If you have any concerns the first thing to do is to talk to your child’s teacher. You know your child best and they can provide you with feedback and advice if your child is struggling.
3. Because Bright Minds is a full school-year program and we are together for many months, we know things may change over such a long period of time so our administrators are happy to work with you to find solutions  should the need arise. We encourage all parents to reach out to our staff so we may assist.
Do you offer referral bonuses?

Yes! The majority of new families that join Bright Minds are from members of the Bright Minds community referring them  and we love to say thank-you for spreading the word!

New families are encouraged to indicate the names of the parents that referred them to our program on their registration form so that we can send their friend/family member a $100 bonus! To be eligible, the referring family must be currently registered in Bright Minds. Bonuses are offered per family (not per student) referred to us. 

It is not uncommon for families to receive several bonuses each year.

How do we get started?

If you are interested in joining Bright Minds:

  1. Send us an inquiry to speak with one of our administrators, request more information and set up a virtual assessment.
  2. Schedule and confirm an online assessment with one of our experienced math and/or literacy teachers.
  3. Go to our Registration Portal and create your family profile. Once your email address has been confirmed, you can log in to register for the courses of your choice.
  4. Receive virtual meeting links and other important information via email to join classes and pick up your child’s class materials.