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Pinecone Active Learning
5988 Silver Creek Valley Rd. #60
San Jose, California, 95138
(408) 270-4548 |
My Dad

My Dad, a spry 86-year old, who is also a World War II veteran, has been selected through the "Lone Eagle" program of Honor Flight, to be flown to Washington DC to visit the war memorial. If you have not heard of this program, please visit their lovely website and listen to Spielberg, Mrs. Dole, and Tom Hanks talk about it:

Here is a passage from the home page of Honor Flight:

Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.

Since all veterans must be accompanied by a guardian, I will be traveling with him. I've never been to our capital! This will also give me a chance to see more of what my Dad was doing when I was growing up without him in my early years. We will be flying out of LA where the pilot will make an announcement once airborne, that my Dad is on the flight. I've been told the crowd erupts in applause. I am bringing boxes of tissues for Dad (and me).

I will be out of class on Thursday, July 28 - but my staff will very capably take care of all of you. I will post pictures when I return. PS, Dad just retired from architecture last year (!) and is a full time artist now, living in Pasadena with his wife Evie.

Should Reading Be Put On Hold?

PineconeMany tots as young as 18 months, while still in their playpens, are able to read the names of their favorite video characters as they whiz across the screen. Six months later at 2, they are able to decipher simple words on cereal box labels. Today, many parents of children as young as 3, are cautioned by preschool teachers to watch out for what reading material, at the kitchen table, is within their reach.

Surprisingly though, many of these quick learners appear to lose ground when entering kindergarten where lessons in learning are confined to mastering one letter a week. These schools, many of them elite institutions where parents are lucky to gain a toehold, adopt a philosophy that kindergarten is not an academic year but more of a social year. Parents of quick learners are naturally dismayed that their children are hampered and not being allowed to bloom. Heads of schools complain that scarcely a week goes by without a parent expressing apprehensions about the pace.

While it is compulsory for public elementary schools to teach reading right from the inception, many private schools set their own curriculum where many decide to teach reading only from the first grade or later. Such schools believe that education is not a race where you run as you hit the ground or risk being left behind. In kindergarten children are exposed to pre-reading or reading-awareness activities like listening to stories being read aloud, making up stories and name-writing.

To avoid clashes with parents, and disappointments, these schools outline their policies during admission interviews and at open houses. They explain their more measured approach in favor of what they consider a pressured mode of teaching. However this does not meet the expectations of ambitious parents who are forced to decide between the school's methodology and the fear that their children will wilt. Many parents do not subscribe to placing a child in an environment where the pace is beyond their capability, but believe that a child should not be told to wait to learn either. Parents of gifted children or those with a natural predilection to learn are leaning toward tuition centers to sustain their interest.


"Hey Vivian,

So great to know that you are still helping kids learn reading and math because you are so good at it! Hannah is now in college. She just finished her soph year at Loyola Marymount University in LA. She ultimately wants to get her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has been on the Dean's list her whole time in college and is a very successful student in no small part due to your role in her life. I can't thank you enough for the confidence and competence she gained from you as a student and also from working for you at your center. Spencer is now a junior in HS and just got a 760 Math SAT score...

Thank you so much for helping my kids be successful in life!"

~ Norma

"Hi Vivian, Thank you for all you have done for Katie. Her focus has improved immeasurably since starting. You have made a big difference in her life. Thanks again for your support."

~ Jeanne
Pinecone's Strategy

childPinecone's methodology is to run the two foundation programs of Math and Reading at a pace which allows the child to assimilate the subject matter and apply the new acquired skills to practical problem solving. The coaching is structured so that the child is able to reason for him/herself to achieve the highest level of comprehension. Regular practice and support instills self confidence and stimulates an eagerness to progress to the next level. Each student is groomed to anticipate and surmount hurdles consistent with present day education. The end result is a happy and confident child who is justifiably proud of his or her academic achievements.

For more details of this Bay Area teaching center and its unique, result-oriented teaching methodology please visit its website at For offers and special discounts call 408.270.4548.

About Vivian Hobbs

Ms. Hobbs is a qualified educator with an M.S. degree in Industrial Psychology and 30 years of experience in math and research design. Children's education and research into the best learning methods have always been at the forefront of her career.

Where can I learn more?

Pinecone Active Learning is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter. For further information on enrollment and fee structure, please call 408.270.4548 or visit the center's website at

For more on its unique tutoring methodology, please click on

$60/month discount for Math & Reading through August 30!!!

Call (408) 270-4548 for details!

Pinecone Expands to Los Gatos

Pinecone has expanded to Los Gatos and held its first Wednesday (4-7) class on June 22 with several new students. Classes are each Wednesday from 4-7 with special discounted summer rates. The classroom is located at 987 University Ave. Suite 20 in Los Gatos, CA 95032 (right next to The Sandwich Shop). Call to make an appointment for free placement testing and to take advantage of summer pricing.
Happy August Birthdays To:

5988 Silver Creek Valley Rd. #60 | San Jose, California, 95138 | (408) 270-4548
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