Success in the classroom and life isn’t always a straight line for many children. And in a lot of ways, Helen Young can relate. The longtime Flower Mound resident, wife, and mother of two rarely struggled in school. Truth be told, she was a math whiz practically from the word go and spent her downtime tutoring other kids on the side.
Naturally, she wanted to be a math teacher one day. But life occasionally has other plans — and an ironic sense of humor.
“I got my math degree and a minor in education from Centenary College in Louisiana, took the exam to get certified, and moved back to Texas,” Helen said. “She and her husband, Tim, graduated from Lewisville and have been in the area since 1978. “But the school districts wouldn’t hire me to be a substitute teacher until I got those certification papers — and then I’d need to take all this extra stuff to be certified in Texas. I needed a job, so I became an underwriter for Blue Cross Blue Shield. It wasn’t teaching, but I got to use math.”
She added, “Ironically, Tim has a business degree and is now a teacher at Flower Mound — and he teaches math of all things. He’s been there since they first opened. It’s funny how I end up in Corporate America, and he ends up as a teacher.”
While Helen stayed with Blue Cross for the next 27 years, she never lost sight of her passion for working with kids. She looked into various educational opportunities, but nothing quite fit the bill until 10 years ago when she came across a commercial for The Tutoring Center. With over 120 franchise locations coast to coast, including eight in North Texas, The Tutoring Center has been the go-to source for one-to-one after-school learning instruction in reading, writing, and math since 1994.
It was the perfect leap for Helen, who didn’t hesitate to leave her stable job to pursue owning a business.
She and Tim opened their first location in Flower Mound and will celebrate their 10th anniversary in May. Seven years ago, they expanded into a space in Lantana Town Center in Bartonville. Helen is now a mentor for other franchise owners and is toying with opening a third location somewhere down the line to make their tutoring services accessible to even more families.
“I had no idea how to run a business. But my passion was always to work with kids, and I loved everything about The Tutoring Center,” she said. “I wouldn’t turn back. I love this, and I see the difference it makes for so many kids — especially now with what we all went through with COVID-19, online school, etc. These kids need the extra help.”
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has an abundance of award-winning school districts and a who’s who of popular after-school tutoring facilities. They have programs designed to fill the gaps for students who struggle in school or have fallen behind their grade level. But parents are often hard-pressed to find a center that offers reading, writing, and math all under one roof.
That’s where The Tutoring Center has made its mark, and parents are driving their children from near and far to ensure they get the extra help they need to excel. Helen’s locations primarily service Denton ISD, Lewisville ISD, and Argyle ISD students — offering classes as early as 2:30 p.m. for homeschool families and 3:30 p.m. and later for kids in Kindergarten through senior year in high school. But they also have kids driving in from Northlake, Coppell, Grapevine, Sanger, and even Pilot Point.
Many of Helen’s students stay longer than a year, and several who moved away ultimately returned.
“We have some kids who started here as kindergarteners and are now in the fifth grade. Others left and went out of the country, then returned,” Helen said. “Parents really do drive from all over to get their kids the tutoring they need, and the results in this system are significant. And because they pay month to month, parents can have their children stay for as long as they feel their child needs it.”
The Tutoring Center uses a patented Rotational Approach to Learning (each class has six kids and three instructors, and each child rotates from one station to the next with one 30-minute section and two 15-minute sections) and One-To-One Instruction. Both methods were developed by Edward S. Thalheimer, Ph.D., and provide far more individualized instruction than a child typically receives in larger classrooms and other small groups.
They have several programs to meet the needs of every child regardless of age and tutoring needs. Their Geniuses in Training Math Program focuses on computational and problem-solving skills while preparing kids for classroom challenges such as daily assignments and chapter tests. Their FastTrack Honors Math covers past, current, and future math levels in a year and a half, and their AP Math Program covers high-level math through calculus and the applications of integrals.
Beyond math, they focus on reading comprehension, phonics, sight words, and vocabulary building for kids in kindergarten through third grade. By fourth grade, children are tackling complex texts and learning mechanics of writing — all of which help prepare them for subjects like social studies and science, where reading comprehension and writing are crucial. Their writing program covers everything from grammar and punctuation to writing with clarity and conviction so that students have the tools to communicate effectively with the written word as they graduate and move on into college.
The Tutoring Center also offers a Kindergarten Program, FastTrack Homeschooling, enrichment and honors programs, study skills sessions, a Pre-Calculus curriculum that covering algebra and trigonometry, and SAT/ACT test prep courses. Even better, each family receives a no-cost diagnostic assessment that the staff uses to develop a customized program for each child’s needs.
But ask any student or parent why they continue to choose The Tutoring Center, and they’ll tell you it’s the relationships they build.
“When kids come in for their diagnostic assessment, they see our Wall of Fame with headshots of all of our students and immediately look for kids they know,” Helen said. “This is a family, and as soon as they see someone, it helps them feel even more comfortable. The kids love coming here, and the parents are excited to bring them here. And I think a big reason for that is that our staff makes it a priority to build relationships. We’ve created a fun, safe place for these kids to learn.”
To learn more about The Tutoring Center in Flower Mound and Bartonville, including available class times and how to get your child involved, visit www.flowermound.tutoringcenter.com or www.bartonville.tutoringcenter.com.