Every parent has had to make the decision at least once: keep pestering the kids about their book reports and math homework, creating an atmosphere of tension around the house, or just drop it so that they can enjoy some peace at the dinner table.
Erika and Rosetta Abel, owners of Education Avenue Learning and Homework Center, hope that their services will reduce homework related stress for both parents and students.
The center, which opened Nov. 11 at 7740 Madison St., offers homework assistance as well as individual and group tutoring, ACT preparation and English as a Second Language courses.
Rosetta Abel, who retired from the Chicago public school system four years ago after 35 years spent teaching all grade levels from kindergarten through high school, said she came up with the concept for Education Avenue after tutoring her then 7th grade nephew.
“I began to wonder if there are a lot of working parents out there who need this kind of service,” she said. “I think a lot of parents need that supervised setting to know their kids are getting their homework done completely.”
Though Abel had plenty of educational experience, she needed to find a partner with some financial know-how to make the concept a reality.
She did not have to look far, as her daughter Erika, who has worked in both marketing and real estate for 13 years, was immediately attracted to her mother’s idea.
“The vision seemed unique,” she said. “We’re offering something more specific (than other centers) regarding homework assistance…especially with the focus on different learning styles.”
The center is able to give students a series of tests called a learning skills inventory, which assesses each student’s unique learning style and allows Abel and other tutors to mold their lessons accordingly.
Abel has developed several learning tools and games customized for each learning style throughout her teaching career, and uses these creations to both peak students interests and make the learning process easier for them at the center.
“We’re catering to the eclectic style of learning in each child as opposed to the canned package of learning,” she said, noting that she takes great pleasure in being able to work with students individually.
“It’s a relief for me not to have 35 kids at one time,” she said.
Though for now supervision and tutoring sessions are handled by Abel and one college aide, the center is actively seeking part-time tutors as well as both high school and college students who would like to assist.
The younger Abel, who occasionally helps with tutoring but mostly sticks to administrative duties, said that working with her mother has been a joy so far.
“We’ve talked about going into business together for years…we both know when to defer to the other person, so there haven’t been any problems,” she said.
To celebrate its grand opening, the center will be holding an open house from Nov. 14 to 19, featuring giveaways and discounts on services. The week will culminate with the center’s official ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony to be held Saturday, Nov. 19.
Education Avenue can be reached at (708) 488-8966 or visited on the web at www.educationavenuelhc.com.