The childhood of today at face value appears vastly different than the childhood of yore. Saturated with myriad activities under the so-called helicopter generation of parenting, 70 percent of teenagers identify school related issues—homework, grades, and getting into college—as their greatest stressors by far, according to a recent study by NYU and Columbia University. Gil Gibori, founder and CEO of The House Tutoring Lounge, created the space in Glencoe alongside his wife, Carrie, with the intention of it being an oasis for children. The House serves as a place for children to step outside of their high pressure lives where multiple priorities constantly compete for their attention.
When The House opened in December 2018, they found clients coming from Barrington, and other communities, seeking assistance with schoolwork. Designed with an atmosphere conducive to learning, it is a space to socialize, be with friends in a no-pressure environment, and an added boon is that on-demand help with tutors is there at the push of a button.
As one Barrington resident, Jason S., shares about his two children’s experiences as members of The House, “all of a sudden my children are fascinated to learn, explore and spend their time in the lounge challenging each other … the experience has made my kids so much more comfortable in school.”
“I’ve been in tutoring for 25 years,” shares Gibori, “and I recognized early on that the ingredient to a successful tutor/child relationship is connection.” Building upon this, Gibori’s education team looks for key connections and interests before placing a child with a specific tutor. “Does this child identify with a surfer? Guitarist? An athlete?” asks Gibori.
A high priority for Gibori is atmosphere and community. “Much like the wildly popular Soho House model, we curate a community through what we offer.” Similar to Apple’s Genius Bar help desk, The House’s app allows for on-demand help to be as close as the click of a button. “Sometimes all a student needs is a quick 10-minute call on one math problem,” says Gibori. “We help them at the time they need the help, not at a prescheduled hour.”
In spring 2020, during shelter in place, The House offered a new service—coaches to check in on students remotely a few times a day, answering any questions about schoolwork, and ensuring their work was getting done. Reporting back each day to the parents to let them know how the child’s academic day went.
Another popular tutoring model new to the scene since COVID-19 is the much-talked about “pod.” Taking various forms, at its core, The House POD is a curated mini-classroom consisting of a group of students chosen by their parents across a spectrum where they can socialize and learn together. For K-5 students, The House’s PODs are mini-elementary school classrooms in the students’ homes. “For teenagers, the pod is like the TA break-out session that does a deepdive on the professor’s lectures,” explains Gibori. “Our mission is to make the child better at what they are learning within the teacher’s construct.”
The tutors all at minimum have a master’s degree, many have PhDs and JDs and content mastery is their specialty. While once only offering tutoring for grades 6th to 12th, The House has expanded to now include Kindergarten through 5th grade.
A second location is on track to open in Highland Park, and capital is currently being raised to take The House nationwide. As a solution for parents and to support families, The House offers varying levels of service, from a la carte, to homework help, one-on-one tutoring sessions, to a curated pod. “Parents are running a marathon right now with taking on teaching responsibilities,” explains Gibori, “they can choose to stop for a drink of water if they want. That is what we are here for, to help alleviate the stress.”
For more information, visit the.house.