The general consensus is once kids hit about 3rd grade, with words like Common Core buzzing about, parents are maxed out on the know-how for assisting with homework. Embarrassing as that may be, The House in Glencoe has set out to introduce families to a brand new, parent-free approach to tutoring. This student-focused, lounge concept gives kids the educational assist they need, while also addressing their social-emotional need for peer connection. Read on to learn how this could be the homework frustration antidote your family never knew they needed.

The Basic Concept
Employing knowledge gained from their successful Chicago Academic tutoring center, Chicago natives and co-parents of four, Gil and Carrie Gibori, are looking to disrupt the traditional tutoring model. Starting right here in Glencoe, they are setting a trend the industry will very soon follow. The House is a membership-based, education lounge with 7-day drop-in tutoring and pre-scheduled private tutoring in a trendy, urban setting that includes peer-to-peer brainstorming booths, quiet rooms, cozy corners, swings, couches, private tutoring rooms and more. Their ultimate goal is to provide a positive hangout environment that feels like an extension of home, while minimizing the stress of homework time for your family.

Target Age for The House
The House has a strict no-parents policy. They’ve found that adhering to this protocol enables kids to authentically be themselves, engage in social-study and de-stress, without mom and dad helicoptering. The typical age range of a member is 6th grade through high school.

Subjects Covered by Tutors
You name it, if it’s taught in local schools, they tutor it using Chicago Academic’s proven methods and instructors. The House tutors are all Masters-level and above with expertise in a variety of subject areas. Your kids will think they’re cool, too. . . think champion, tattoo-sleeved surfers with PhDs. And, they’ve even been known to spin some pretty sweet beats as DJs when the need arises. While The House opens at 3 p.m. on school days, tutors typically punch the clock around 4:30 p.m., unless you have a private session booked prior to that. They’ve found kids like that initial bit of after-school time to decompress and catch up with pals without the tutors lingering about.

Along with subject-based tutoring, The House can also prepare kids for ACTs, SATs and AP test prep.

Types of Homework and Social Spaces Inside The House
Recent studies have show students perform better when they’re given flexibility within their workspace. This means the olden days of the uncomfortable molded metal desks, with a chair attached to a table that wraps around the student, are thankfully out the door. Many local schools are adopting a flexible concept that introduces soft surfaces, adjustable chairs, tables of varying heights and more. The House was designed with this new direction in mind, so you’ll find sofas, hammock chairs, tables that encourage collaboration, rolling chairs that are comfortable and adjustable, bean bags, and bleacher-style seating with cushions and pillows. Your student can decide which area fits their mood and study needs.

Private Tutoring Setup
The House has a basement with glass-walled rooms that offer privacy for one-on-one tutoring sessions. The House members can utilize roaming tutors to help with quick 10-minute questions, but anything beyond that would be handled with a private session. This can be done ahead of time, or on-the-spot using The House’s app. If your student is working on an assignment and finds themselves stuck, they can launch the app and lineup the assistance needed. The basement is kept locked and can only be accessed by a keycard-carrying tutor or staff member. So, no worries about kids wondering off to the basement unsupervised.

Summer Programming Plans
Your student’s needs obviously change during the summer months, but having a membership to The House can certainly help with that pesky summer slide. During that time, the focus transitions to on-going subject-based tutoring, college test prep, college essay coaching, entrance exam prep for middle schoolers and personal interest-based learning, such as coding, writing and park district-style classes and camps. However, if you’re not using your membership throughout summer, a small fee will hold your spot.

Do You Have to be a Member to Get Tutoring
No. While membership offers both quantifiable and immeasurable benefits, you do not need to be a member to utilize the tutoring services. Subject-based and test-prep tutoring is available to anyone, but members get priority scheduling and a 15% discount. Members also have guest passes they can use to bring non-member friends. This is particularly helpful if they are working on group projects.

Food Options On-Site
Anyone with a growing kid knows their appetites can be insatiable. The House has a self-service store that works on the honor system with healthy meals, snacks and drinks. You load money on your kid’s membership card designated for food, and they make purchases as-needed. Meals are provided by Osteria Langhe’s chef, an exclusive to The House members, with microwave instructions.

Other Programs and Social Opportunities.
Weekend evenings are more play, less work. There will be a rotating schedule of social activities, like movie nights, themed food nights and jam sessions, for members. The summer months will be a time where younger students find themselves getting cozy at The House, participating in camps and classes.

Future Expansion Plans
Work has already started on Lincoln Park and Highland Park locations. Look for those coming your way this summer.

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Cost for Membership and Tutoring
There is no minimum contract, membership is month-to-month. There is a $100 registration fee and membership is $350/month. Private tutors are $115/hour for academic tutoring and $170/hour for test prep. Members receive a 15% discount on private tutoring.

If you are unsure about the cost-to-benefit return of a membership, schedule time to speak to the staff. The inspired enthusiasm and love for students and learning they exude will more than likely turn you into a believer.

The House
682 Vernon Ave., Glencoe
847-461-3616
Online: the.house.com

—Maria Chambers

photos courtesy of The House