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

Prepaid six-month tuition for November 1 through April 30, 2012 is only $594 per subject (equal to $99/month)! Signed authorization must be delivered no later than October 28, 2011 to receive this discount. No refunds and no additional sibling or multi-subject discounts.
Key Points In Mathematics

Let's talk about homework! Several of our Pinecone students say they have too much and are struggling daily to get it all done. The higher the grade, it seems, the more overwhelming the work. Some kids, perhaps those that need extra help most, are dropping out of Pinecone because they don't have time to do the daily work or come to class. Please read on... at the end, I give you some possible ideas and alternatives.

In my 20 years of work with K-12 kids, I have definitely seen an increase in the volume of work and the stress levels of students from third grade on. I attribute this to four main factors:

1) California has adopted the Common Core State Standards (you can also click on the English Language Arts standards) which has raised the bar considerably for elementary education. The standards are being imposed now for grades that did not have a chance in the earlier grades to work up to them properly - sometimes a big leap.

2) Budget problems have diminished resources, including closure of school libraries, reduction of vital counseling services and special programs to help bridge these gaps especially with slow learners.

3) Our general educational practices in this state and this country - we have many wonderful teachers going above and beyond despite their diminished resources, but we also have teachers who do not excel in their subjects. We generally do not require advanced degrees in subjects taught and we don't pay teachers enough to compete with other industries who may often be drawing the experts in their fields.

4) Student and family commitment. Each family has its own ideas of balanced family time, needs for activities such as sports, music, friends as well as its own particular schedule challenges with work, siblings, grandparents, etc. I am constantly amazed that you can do it all as well as most of you do. But I also see the difference in families who put a high priority on well-structured homework time. You don't necessarily have to be a Tiger Mom to make sure your student is practicing excellent study habits and sticking to a disciplined routine of focused study for an hour or two each evening.

I know many of you only wish it was just an hour or two of homework and I believe it should not be more. I think students who struggle beyond this amount of time on a regular basis may need help with their foundation skills and study habits to get them more up to speed and able to complete their work more comfortably, confidently and independently.

I am working with some families to do a "flex" Pinecone program which combines the vital basics mastery with homework help. I am able to work with a limited number of students, sometimes in their homes and also in the classroom at certain hours, to be sure the school assignment is understood and completed and that the Pinecone assignments are directly relevant or filling important gaps. There is an added cost for this and it should be viewed as a temporary bridge until the student is better able to handle current homework. Please contact me if you feel this may be appropriate for your situation.
Why are Learning Centers Significant?

PineconeIn the current competitive environment children are burdened by an overwhelming pressure to perform toward predefined goals and objectives. The bane of the present schooling system is the apparent necessity to compare a child with the vast percentage of his or her peers, as a benchmark or yardstick to determine the likelihood of success or failure. The measure of success is when grades and performances are at par, or above that of contemporaries, based on a presumption that all children possess the same abilities or the same degree of motivation. Such an approach leaves little leeway for a child to work at his or her own pace where some might be slower while others faster. In most school settings, catering to differential abilities is neither practical nor possible. In most schools, grades are determined by the performance of the majority of students. This draws a clear demarcation where students falling below the bar are considered slow learners, or worse, are deemed to be encumbered with a learning disability. This unfortunate conclusion is conveyed each year to thousands of parents who are informed that their child suffers from a learning disability or problem, even though the child rates normal or above average on IQ tests.

Many children considered to have problems are placed on medication or have their education bolstered through special education classes or tutoring. Very often these remedial measures fail to produce the results expected by parents and teachers leading to general disappointment and discouragement in the child. The vexing problem which arises to haunt both parents and teachers is why is the child performing well below its potential? Why, for example, does one child read, assimilate and comprehend much quicker than another when both have a comparable IQ and background. Why is one child able to finish a test in time and deliver good grades while another, unable to finish in the prescribed time limit, fails even though he or she knows the answers? Such problems tend to escalate with time leading inexorably to further erosion of self-esteem and confidence with each academic disappointment.

In many such situations learning centers play a significant role in the development of children with what are perceived to be learning disabilities. Many parents of such children notice a marked improvement in academic performance almost immediately after a child begins to be tutored at a learning center. Pinecone Learning, a Bay Area learning center, believes in letting the child set its own pace. It follows the 'Active Learning' method of tutoring where the tutor plays a passive role of a guide and motivator rather than a tutor. The active learning method encourages a child to explore and reason for itself and in so doing obtain a better understanding of a subject and a firmer grasp of its contents. In time the child begins to develop a greater level of confidence and self-esteem toward overcoming impediments that were earlier supposed to be learning disabilities.


As I've said before, I'm so glad we found you. You have been the bright light for Jessica these past few months, and she is doing wonderfully well. The principal switched her last week to a different second grade. Things are already improved, and I'm much less nervous. The way the other teachers did things and handled things was just not working for us."

~ Gail


Michaels last month of your program, after 8 years, is going to be March...

This program has been very good for him, and has given him confidence in other areas of his life. We have been on top of it nearly every am for a lot of years, and he will be able to sit and plug through other homework and ultimately real work in the years to come with greater ease because of your program."

~ Vicki Hodgman
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

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Happy October Birthdays To:

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