LearningRx brain training proven to
increase academic performance
Jen Beyst, co-owner, provides training in Mantorville
Jen Beyst and Susan Bestgen are co-owners of the LearningRx Brain Training Center in Rochester. Four days a week Jen Beyst, a reading specialist, comes to Mantorville and works at the Train A Child Center (TACC) located in the former school. LearningRx operates a satellite office in the TAC Center providing one-on-one brain training to students both enrolled in the program and from the community.
Both women have children with learning challenges, and this along with their association through homeschooling brought them together to seek solutions for their children’s struggles. Initially, they were overwhelmed with the options available. There were numerous tutoring options and specialty businesses out there saying they could make the difference.
After extensive research Jen and Susan found LearningRx and were excited about the possibilities after attending a "discovery day" in Colorado Springs, CO. They said that it really opened their eyes to the science of brain plasticity, and the procedures they used in brain training made a lot of sense.
Buying into the franchise was not a "rubber stamp" process. They had to qualify and meet training requirements. One feature Jen and Susan really thought was valuable was that LearningRx Training is in a one to one setting. "This way we can cater to individual weaknesses and work on strengthening them," said Jen.
The brain is complex. Fifty years ago the belief was, "What you are born with (as far as brain skills) you have to live with." Recent research has indicated however, that the brain is not limited by heredity but can be developed.
Brain training can be compared to the athlete working out to get his or her body in shape. Brain training at LearningRx creates a mental workout that pushes the brain to its cognitive maximum.
Parents interested in enrolling a child will first receive an assessment of their child’s cognitive skills. The assessment only takes about a hour and will give them an benchmark of that child's cognitive skills such as memory, processing speed, and reasoning.
They are then invited back for a consultation once LearningRx has generated a report from the assessment. This report reveals the underpinnings of the challenges children face in learning. Susan calls this the "ah ha" meeting because parents will ask, " Why can't he get math? He has always struggled in math. " The evaluation often provides the answer.
From the information gathered in the assessment and consultation interview a customized regimen of brain training is developed. This is then implemented by a trainer, who acts as the child’s personal brain coach, taking them through exercises that develop the skills they need improved. The training is four hours a week, and sessions are typically one hour each. "They are intense and it's important to have that frequency," said Jen. Training can last anywhere from 12 to 36 weeks and fits the individual's needs. "The training also has to be fun, interesting, and engaging," adds Susan.
LearningRx would not be as successful if it were not for who the team owners refer to as training coaches. Of the 12 trainers at LearningRx in Rochester, a handful come from a background in education and a few have psychology backgrounds. "Our trainers are innovative and are high energy," said Jen.
LearningRx training proves that memory, attention, sensory processing and reasoning can be increased with proper training. Training incorporates these seven foundations: Specific targeting, a non-academic format, one-on-one coaching, proper sequencing, immediate feedback, high intensity and progressive loading.
An example of how brain training can help with learning difficulties can be found in struggling readers who tend to look at the first couple of letters and then guess at the word. At LearningRx a metronome is used so the student keeps a beat, and the brain's ability to blend/segment sound allows the brain to become more fluid and automatic in processing sounds into words. The metronome also helps keep the youth focused.
Once the training is completed the student is retested and parents are asked to fill out a survey. LearningRx of Rochester has had 286 clients, and those clients have ranked LearningRx an average of 9.7 on a 10 point scale. A year later the client is invited back and retested. Results show 93% of the skills gained by the student are retained after one year.
Students at LearningRx have raised their IQ an average of 15 points. They are able to think faster, remember things more fluidly, concentrate for longer periods of time and hence they learn more easily. They also have greater confidence in their own abilities which has helped many both socially and academically.
What is the reward? "Students are encouraged and we help each one reach their potential," said Jen. "We've had tearful parents tell us LearningRx has changed their child's life. We have made a difference," added Susan.
LearningRx is a franchise. However, for Jen Beyst and Susan Bestgen, this business is very personal for them. The success they see in each student is personal. They have been able to make a difference in the lives of families and for them this is the greatest reward.
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