The Passion to Help Every Student Learn

Published : Saturday, February 25, 2012 | 10:39 PM

Shakeh and Ara Haroutiounian of Axia Learning.

The jury is still out on the best way to motivate your child to improve their grades, tests, or academic standing. There are a lot of resources in books, CDs, or the internet, but one local resource, Axia Learning, is one you may not have heard about.

“My passion is to help every student have an easier, better way, to learn,” says Shakeh Haroutiounian, Director of Education for Axia Learning. “I specialize in how people learn and retain information. No matter what their age, we figure out how to help them learn and give them the tools to improve and retain that information.”

Axia Learning is an educational services company that helps students attain their academic goals; it was founded by Haroutiounian and her husband, Ara, who is Operations Manager and also operates an organizational psychology consulting practice.

A portion of their work is to provide in-house tutoring. Studies prove that when a student’s interests are engaged, they are more likely to put in a greater effort into learning tasks, such as doing class work and homework.

“If you’ve ever seen the show Super Nanny, then imagine I’m the nanny but I’m only working on school work,” explains Shakeh. “I actually give parents the tools to cope, because often when a parent tries to explain how they learned something and how they retained it, they try to make their child learn the same way. The problem is that he’s a different person and it doesn’t work.”

According to Shakeh, the first step is to uncover and understand why a child has lost interest in academics. For example, when a student’s interest lies in playing video games, he will put in the maximum amount of time and effort to learn and master the game. With Axia Learning, they make learning relevant to the student’s interests, capabilities, and academic goals.

“We strive to find ways to make academics relevant for your child through goal setting and planning,” says Shakeh. “One of the biggest things we try to do is to do it calmly and peacefully, because that’s a large part of successful learning.

“If a student is anxious, forget it,” Shakeh continues. “They’re not learning and retaining it. When students become aware of that, and find ways to calm down, like breathing methods, it becomes much easier to learn and retain what you have learned.”

Instructors at Axia Learning empower a student’s learning ability and understand how that student learns best. One size does not fit all. Everyone learns differently. All children have individual variation in the factors that affect their ability to learn.

“We tutor all academic subjects, except art, and the most common requests are for math, science, and reading,” says Shakeh. “Our students range from preschool to adults. We provide services including school readiness for young children up to getting ready for college, as well as helping adults prepare for tests like the GRE.”

“We have 14 instructors and they specialize not only in subjects of expertise, but also age groups,” continues Shakeh. “We have reading specialists for age kindergarten through second grade, math for this or that, and so on. We also work with students who are athletes or actors, so in some cases, we provide all their educational materials. We coordinate with school districts around the world.”

Shakeh is a California credentialed teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education specializing in Curriculum & Instruction. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish Literature from UCLA.

Ms. Haroutiounian also provides thought leadership on educational issues throughout the Pasadena community. She currently serves as Chairperson of the St. Gregory Hovsepian School Board and regularly presents parent workshops on “Happier School Nights” to provide parents with the tools to reduce the stress of homework for their children and themselves.

“I want parents and students to realize that we have this innate curiosity for learning,” concludes Shakeh. “We want to learn whether we’re four years old or 40. It’s part of human nature, and that’s what we have to tap into. We don’t need to force a child to learn. Once they’ve become calm and interested, they want to learn. Curiosity is there and no one can take that away.”

For more information about Axia Learning, call (818) 240-4044, or visit their website at www.axialearning.com.

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