For our latest Meet a Mom, we spoke with Lauren Robinson, Head Consultant at WhizKidz Tutoring. This mom of three has a background in early childhood and elementary education. She joined WhizKidz as a tutor during the pandemic and quickly expanded her role to lead consultant for clients in Rye, Rye Brook, Harrison, West Harrison, Purchase and Greenwich CT.
We spoke to Lauren about a wide range of topics from family and life in Westchester, to how she is helping students as we come out of the pandemic.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children. Brett will be 21 and is studying business at Indiana University, Chloe is 18 and about to start college at the University of Texas, and Chase is 14 and will be entering high school in Harrison in the Fall.
What do you love about living in the Rye and Sound Shore area? What are your favorite places for shopping, dining and family activities?
I love living in Purchase, a small hamlet near the Rye/Rye Brook/Sound Shore area. My home is five minutes from the town of Rye, where I enjoy picking up trendy and classic items at Great Stuff, looking at art at Gallery 52, or walking my dogs, Cinnamon and Maily at Playland Beach. Living near the Sound allows me to take advantage of the nearby beaches like Tods Point, Playland Beach, and Compo Beach in Westport. Purchase is only 35 miles from Manhattan, which offers many amazing experiences from museums to Central Park, Smorgasburg, the trendy Meatpacking district and Hudson yards. Each town in Westchester has its own unique personality and makes living here exciting and fun. I am also close to Greenwich, CT, where I love to spend the day on Greenwich Avenue eating and shopping. I enjoy sitting outside at Terra for lunch and catching up with friends.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
People would be surprised to know that in addition to being an educator, I am also an artist. My oil paintings typically feature seascapes. They evoke a feeling of serenity and tranquility by blending muted oil paint colors that transport the viewer to my favorite respite, the beach.
Tell us about your career and background, how did it bring you to WhizKidz?
My career and educational background are a perfect fit for WhizKidz Tutoring. I hold a Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I have taught at the preschool level for many years and love working with the youngest learners. During Covid, I took a break from the classroom setting due to my own children’s remote learning schedules. This led me to WhizKidz, which offered me the flexibility I needed. I worked with a pod of Kindergarteners, a pod of first graders and third graders in New York City, and individual students as well. My passion for elementary education was reignited!
After working as a tutor for WhizKidz, I realized that I could also benefit WhizKidz’s clients by helping our CEO, Erica Maltz, focus on working with our tutors and clients in the towns of Rye, Rye Brook, Harrison, West Harrison, Purchase, and Greenwich, CT areas. I am now the Lead Consultant for clients located in those towns.
Can you tell us more about the tutoring services you offer for different age groups?
WhizKidz offers tutoring services for all grade levels PreK through College in every subject. We place our emphasis on finding the right tutor for each individual child. Each student has a unique learning style and we take that into account when we match the student with a teacher.
In addition to tutors in math, ELA, Sciences, Social Studies, and a variety of languages, WhizKidz also has Executive Function Coaches. Our coaches have a variety of specialized skill sets which address organizational skills, study skills and time management. We also have Orton Gillingham certified, PAF, Wilson’s, and other literacy specialists for children who are struggling with reading. WhizKidz has handwriting specialists and Speech Therapists to work with our clients as well.
Additionally, we provide college counseling and essay writing guidance. Through my experiences with my own children, I can personally attest to the importance and benefit of working with a knowledgeable and skillful counselor to help navigate a potentially stressful and overwhelming process.
Finally, we have teachers who specialize in test preparation which can make a huge impact on the student’s confidence and readiness to excel on ISEE, AP exams, Regents, ACT and SAT tests.
Are you seeing differences in the support kids need now compared to before the pandemic?
The pandemic impacted students of all ages- academically, socially and emotionally. The foundational skills, which are so important in Kindergarten and First grade were difficult to build when learning was primarily virtual. Older elementary and Middle and High School students struggled without 5 day a week in person learning and collaborating with peers. The good news is that with one-on-one tutoring these students can get up to speed quickly and without lasting deficits.
What are some things parents should look for that might suggest their kids would benefit from tutoring?
Parents might notice that their child is reticent to begin or complete their homework. Additionally, they may see their child struggling with how to approach studying for tests. They might notice that their child rushes through work without fully following directions.
Organizational and time management issues might be apparent. Parents may hear from teachers that there is a disparity between the child’s aptitude and the work that he/she is producing. Finally, parents know their child best. If your intuition tells you that your child could benefit from extra help or conversely is seeking enrichment to supplement their learning, follow your instincts.
How do you balance your career and family life? Any favorite tips you’ve received from a mentor or fellow mom?
Finding a work/life balance can be difficult. I was fortunate enough to be able to wait until my children were older to return to a full-time work schedule. Now that my children are older and self-sufficient, I have found that hiring an Executive Function Coach and tutor from WhizKidz, to assist my youngest has been invaluable and has alleviated the pressure on me to act as homework police, freeing me up to just be mom, avoid disputes, and focus on my work with WhizKidz.
What are you looking forward to now that we are in spring and moving past COVID (hopefully!)?
This Spring I am cautiously optimistic that the worst of Covid is behind us. Masking requirements are loosening up and it’s a pleasure to see my students’ smiles again. I am hopeful that this summer children will be able to fully enjoy their friends, camp, and family vacations, all of which are so important for their development.
Where can we go to get more information about WhizKidz and WK Pods?
You can go to our website here
WhizKidz Tutoring – 914.200.3512