Real Stories: A Grade Ahead Helped My Child Succeed

In 2019, A Grade Ahead had the great honor of celebrating our very own Diya J., a fourth-grade student who won a big prize and a trip to the National Invention Convention. During our interview with Diya and her mother, Monika, they expressed gratitude for A Grade Ahead’s curriculum and highly-qualified teachers that helped Diya succeed. Diya designed an original invention, tested it out in A Grade Ahead classrooms, and used that feedback to make her invention into the version that won 2nd place at the Ohio Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Competition. Diya will move on to the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneur Expo (NICEE) later this year.

To read more about the competition and Diya’s invention, read our Student Success Story here. We wanted to see how Diya and her mother felt about A Grade Ahead as an educational enrichment program. Check out Diya’s thoughts below, and keep reading to hear what her mother thinks about A Grade Ahead’s educational enrichment!

Student Perspective: Find out how Diya feels about A Grade Ahead

Diya told us she really enjoys classes at A Grade Ahead, and she’s gotten to experience both our math and English curriculums! She noted that A Grade Ahead classes have helped her complete schoolwork and  improve her grades. Specifically, Diya is grateful for A Grade Ahead’s help with testing in school: along with the invention convention, her proudest moments are feeling accomplished on tests at school (thanks to the help of A Grade Ahead)!

Diya was happy with the material she studies at A Grade Ahead, which is written in our Powell, Ohio, headquarters by experts in the appropriate fields. Diya shared her favorite features of our curriculum:

I like doing [numericals], and in reading, I like learning about this topic we’re learning right now which is commas and quotation marks, and it’s kind of challenging for me, and I like challenges…With things in reading, like other words, things I don’t know the meaning of, there’s like some words, the vocabulary words, and then [they come up] in my tests, and I’m like ‘oh! I know them now.’

In addition to 3-4 days of varied homework, our unique math material includes worksheets called “numericals” to practice advanced skills for grades Kindergarten to Pre-Algebra 1. (Higher levels have more comprehensive lessons and homework and have already built the key skills practiced in numerical.) Our English material includes weekly vocabulary words for grades Kindergarten through High School, and the 8th grade material even introduces the most commonly tested College Prep words! 

We loved hearing how much Diya felt like A Grade Ahead has helped her, including the specific help she got during her product testing stages. To read more about Diya’s experience with A Grade Ahead during her product testing and improvement stages, check out this blog.

Parent Perspective: Find Out What Diya’s Mother Thinks About A Grade Ahead’s Educational Enrichment Program

Why did you decide to start Diya at A Grade Ahead?

She was part of a different program before coming here, and a lot of it had to do with the style of how you teach and what material is presented… I thought, when I looked at the material, that there was a lot more critical thinking as opposed to sitting there and memorizing a lot of the stuff, or just recalling math problems…

Children grow, they memorize – they’re like sponges, you know. They’re able to just soak up all the information but [it’s important to] be able to translate that into understanding and to comprehend it, and to be able to verbalize that. I felt that when I came here and looked at the material, [it] would help her down the road, as opposed to where she was before.

What would you say is the number one benefit of A Grade Ahead?

It definitely is a grade ahead… When she goes to school, some of it would be more repetition or reinforcement to her…I feel that when you learn something or read something once, and then to be able to go back to school and hear it, I think it reinforces what you learned and it’s easier to understand.

I like how it is challenging for her. When she was doing both [subjects], it was a challenge for her. A lot of thinking to do and then she was drained by the time she was done with it, so, for me, I see that and I’m like “Yes, she got something out of it, hopefully.” And then when she’s able to reproduce that, even though during that time period she may get a little tired. But then after that, when she sees it again, she’s like “A Grade Ahead helped me with that. With testing, for example.

Is there anything in particular that you think helped Diya succeed at the Ohio State Fair?

Presentation – knowing how to pitch your product. She was able to verbalize an understanding of what she created, [and] how she did it. Vocabulary [at A Grade Ahead] has helped in being able to communicate what she thought about it. She was more confident to answer the questions, because a lot of times when she comes here, a lot of times they ask questions… You’re put in a position where you have to speak in front of people, so it definitely helped her be a little courageous and stand there and present to the judges. There were two judges and they’re sitting there with their charts and filling out points, so [you have] to be able to actually pitch your product and know it well, and there’s a time restriction – three minutes.

Would you recommend A Grade Ahead to other parents?

Absolutely. And we have!  So, when we are asked, “Where does she go? What do you think of it?”, we’ve always had positive things to say.

We loved hearing Diya’s and Monika’s thoughts about A Grade Ahead’s educational enrichment program. Do you agree with Monika? Share your experience with educational enrichment in the comments below. There is nothing better than hearing from our readers!

Author: Brenna Waugaman, Curriculum Writer at A Grade Ahead


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