After chatting with Hallie from SciLearn, I also had the opportunity of talking with Nick Andreotta, the US and Canada private provider consultant. He shared his knowledge on Fast ForWord, tips from other providers and his own experiences doing the program. Thank you, Nick and Hallie, for taking the time to talk to us!
1. Why is summer such a great time to do FFW?
The biggest reason is that there’s a break, and summer is a way to help the child catch up before going back to school in the fall. It’s not like summer school. It’s 5 days a week, 30 minutes a day. You can do it Monday through Friday, Sunday through Thursday, or whatever is best for you. Everybody has 30 minutes over the summer.
2. Why is it that schedule?
Five days a week, 30 minutes a day is our minimum protocol. The way that the program works is that it receives student data and reboots on Sundays. But, if weekends are just better, then you can do weekends and pick three days throughout the week. You could even break it up into three 10 minute sessions when you log in. If Wednesdays are tougher than Fridays, then you can do a 10-minute exercise in the morning, afternoon and evening. There’s a lot of flexibility.
Working FFW into a home lifestyle is critical. Like I said, everyone’s got 30 minutes a day, so working at your best times is important. The point is that it has to become part of your daily routine, like going into the gym. Having that family support at home is also important, and the advantage is that it’s web-based so you can do it with a private provider or you can do it at home.
3. Do you have any advice for parents who work with their kids at home to complete FFW every day, especially during summer?
I’ve talked to providers who shared their strategies. FFW has a point system, so you can track your daily points and log points every day. Try to help their kids to try to beat their highest score from the previous day. Get a folder and make it fun and exciting. Tell your kids that we’re going to beat yesterday’s score, and when that happens, give them a reward. I’ve heard of a provider who had some sort of currency program, where the points added up to a number of prizes or tickets. I think it was like Pokemon trading cards, so that at the end of the week, the kid had a deck of cards.
Make it fun. Like I said, break up the exercise. Do an exercise, then go play catch or have a five-minute dance party. Do some jumping jack. Have a good time. And, there certainly should be some sort of reward system. Get some ice cream!
4. How long does it take to see results?
It’s completely contingent on the protocols. The minimum is 5 days a week, 30 minutes a day, and it’s estimated that you’ll see gains in 12 to 16 weeks. As you increase up to 90 minutes a day, it’s estimated you’ll see gains in 4 -7 weeks.
5. So, you’re doing FFW right now! What do you like about it?
I like the flexibility of doing it here at work or at home. It makes it easy to work it into my daily routine. Some days I’ll do it for 30-minutes straight, and there are days like today where I did one exercise, have a call, do another exercise and another call.
6. Where can we learn more?
You can visit www.scilearn.com/parents to learn more about FFW, who the program is appropriate for, and how and why it works.
Learn 2 Focus is currently offering a special summer promotion for Fast ForWord from now through May 27. We are offering 4 month licenses! It's a great opportunity for families who are crunched for time during the school year. Our students recognize gains in as little as 4 - 12 weeks. Visit our home page for more details! http://www.learn2focus.com/