What tutoring and the education system

DOES NOT teach your child...

Here are some questions to ponder:
Is your child disenchanted with the education system?
Should information flow in just one direction?
Should students be the ones asking the questions?

In an education system that favours completed worksheets and test scores, it’s not likely that kids are being prompted to ask more questions unless the questions are about what’s going to be on the test.  In many classrooms, stopping to encourage and ponder questions could be perceived as wasting time.  Our education system simply isn’t set up to foster that love of curiosity when we are racing the clock to get ready for the next exam.  After all, as teachers, we do have to get through the expectations of standardized curriculum to ensure students tap into the “right” answer.  Now, I’m all for the right answers, especially when it comes to answers on a spelling  or math test, but how do we get students to extend their learning beyond the right or wrong answers?

At PREPSKILLS, we prepare students for high stakes entrance exams (SSAT, SAT, ACT, PSAT, CAT) as we believe it is a necessary skill asset for students that supports one measure used for entry to educational systems and corporate or expert professional programs – systems that have few coveted spots but many applicants - from private schools, to top universities to climbing the corporate, medical or legal career ladder, these tests serve as one aspect of the selection process. But the key focus of our standardized test preparation program is really about teaching students “how to take the test and navigate the system creatively.”  In other words, content knowledge and tutoring is NOT the way we propel our PREPSKILLS students’ success.  Rather, the learning takes place in helping students make the critical connection between what is learned in school from a content perspective, to what techniques and approaches can be applied to a test-taking situation.  It’s about putting a spirit of fun and play in the test-taking process.  Rather than fearing the “wrong” answer, our certified teachers encourage our students to use their curiosity to think like the test writers and find the gold stars in navigating through the test as they would a game – using strategy and time/energy efficiencies in getting to the next level.  It means persisting when you can’t get the answer right away, and trying to think of another question or approach to get you there.

As parents, do you find yourself caught up in the race - being the best helicopter rescue parent, striving to do whatever it takes to elevate your child’s success?  If so, you’re not alone.  However, spending countless hours and dollars on getting our kids “tutored” to supposedly fill in the knowledge gap or stay ahead is NOT the answer.  More knowledge is not the key here.  Releasing the curiosity in your child is what leads to success, not traditional subject tutoring.  Your child needs to be excited about learning and interacting with people who will push their boundaries and question their views.  We need to encourage divergent thinking and push our children out of their comfort zones.  As parents, we all remember our budding toddlers who explored the world with curiosity.  What happened to that innate drive to figure out how the world works?  What happened to kids asking the questions Who am I?  Why am I here?  We need to bring this innate curious edge to education.  It’s curiosity that is directly linked to success – however you measure it.  It’s time our kids learn how to learn, and enjoy it!

At PREPSKILLS, we believe it’s curiosity that promotes creativity and original thinking.  While schools are terrific at disseminating information, most of them are not as remarkable at promoting curiosity.  The school system pedagogy of the teacher holds all the correct answers needs to change.  Our kids are suppressing their own insights and ideas while trying to figure out what the teacher wants to hear.    The system is about convergence rather than thinking divergently – coming up with several novel and unexpected possibilities and getting to the “why” and “why not” that infuses our curiosity and propels innovation and growth.

When kids are encouraged to explore and figure things out on their own, they learn more.  Our education system needs to promote a culture of inquiry.

According to Claude Legrand, co-author of Innovative Intelligence... “In the knowledge economy, the person who wins is the one who has the process to solve complex problems.” 

It’s important that we teach our kids how to be receptive to change, and possess the mental and emotional flexibility and desire to continue learning with a curious mentality – learning to ask the WHY questions.

At PREPSKILLS, we are proud to be Canada’s educational innovators focused on ensuring that advanced preparation translates to endless opportunity, while supporting our students in maximizing their next progressive milestone of success.

PREPSKILLS is really in the business of helping our students tap into their innate curiosity and determine where they want to end up.  “Focus on the end.” and “Work smarter, not harder.” are deep-rooted at the core of PREPSKILLS’ educational spirit.  Take the classic corporate question – where do you see yourself in 5 years?  We ask students to reflect and consider new possibilities.  This process in turn requires discipline and a fundamental belief in themselves while also stretching limits.

The real point of education is NOT knowledge and tutoring, it’s about encouraging and fostering certain traits like curiosity, so that students want to keep exploring and learning far beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

PREPSKILLS developed our PrepEssentials program with these strategic vision outcomes in mind.


  • The value of the spirit of curiosity.
  • The value of stepping out of their comfort zone.
  • The power of WHY and WHY NOT?
  • How to tap into their hunger to explore, inquire and discover.
  • How to understand yourself and the world better.
  • How to find solutions and embrace innovation.
  • How to think in order to face new challenges and solve new problems.
  • How to engage with students in different grades with different perspectives.
  • Open ended learning in an environment that promotes mistakes for the sake of progress.
  • How to take intellectual risks by asking questions.
  • Experiential learning with peers.
  • How to challenge what they think they know.
  • Self-knowledge to clarify ways to stretch and improve limits.
  • To harness their existing natural curiosity and unleash their true human potential.
  • The value of EQ (emotional intelligence) as compared to IQ.
  • How to change their MINDS so they can change their LIVES.

Interested in upcoming PrepEssentials classes? View our upcoming schedules.