Feb 9, 2021
Welcome to the first episode in a short series about alternative academic programs. There are so many parents that I see whose children are struggling in traditional learning environments and they’re looking for options. So let’s explore some of those options over the next three episodes, starting with the independent study option.
Today’s guest is Maya Varga. She is the Director at Hayutin & Associates which is a boutique education company headquartered in Los Angeles. Hayutin provides students with support in executive functioning, content tutoring, educational therapy, and design and implementation of independent study programs.
Is an independent study program right for your learner? Listen on as Maya describes what an independent study is, what types of students would benefit from this type of schooling, and how Hayutin & Associates curates the program to fit each individual student and their needs.
[2:15] - Karen is seeing a lot of students who would benefit from independent study programs and Maya sees many of Dr. Wilson’s clients at Hayutin & Associates.
[2:39] - Independent study and homeschool can and sometimes are used interchangeably, but Maya explains that independent study is preferred because the student is still enrolled through an accredited program.
[3:40] - At Hayutin & Associates, Maya meets with families to help determine the right program for their learner and really creates a personalized path for them.
[4:41] - A traditional homeschool PSA gives families flexibility in curriculum choices and students are not at all enrolled in a specific program.
[5:41] - Every student is different and everyone has different needs. Maya explains that they work a lot with athletes and children who are performing artists who need the flexibility of an independent study program.
[6:05] - The first thing that Maya looks for is accreditation, especially in the high school level.
[6:22] - The next thing looked at is a calendar. A self-paced calendar is a perk of an independent study program.
[6:51] - Another thing that Maya looks for is the number of classes a student needs to be a full time student.
[7:49] - Because of Covid, if you were to search for online education programs, there would be an overwhelming amount of results. Maya explains that if you don’t research them, the programs may not be accredited programs or a good fit for you.
[8:32] - Hayutin & Associates completes a consultation with families and finds programs that would fit the needs of each individual student and provide options.
[9:19] - Because a lot of independent study programs do not have a lot of live instruction opportunities, Hayutin also provides that extra support through a teacher team.
[10:53] - The challenge of a one-on-one environment is there is nowhere to hide. These programs are great for the student who needs more support and guidance.
[11:31] - Pre-pandemic, Hayutin was also involved in helping students with the socialization piece of their school days.
[12:40] - For the students who don’t have many opportunities for socialization, Hayutin tries to provide groups and outlets to broaden their world.
[13:43] - Maya explains that independent study programs allow students to work ahead in some areas and slow down in others depending on their needs. They do not need to wait for others in a class to keep moving forward.
[14:39] - The first step in determining if an independent study program is right for a student is to assess what is or isn’t working about the traditional learning environment and what their needs are.
[15:37] - Some students go through an independent study program with Hayutin for a certain amount of time and shift back into a traditional learning environment. This could be for preparing for the next grade level or for remediation.
[16:56] - Hayutin has a very robust team that includes educational therapists that can assist students with learning differences and make the curriculum accessible to them.
[18:07] - Student interests also play a big role in the student’s experience with independent learning.
[19:32] - Maya has been surprised with the increase in students in elementary school students in independent study programs and shares that they are thriving.
[20:51] - Maya shares a story of a brave student who shifted to independent study her junior year of high school.
[22:10] - Due to Covid-19, Maya sees less of a stigma surrounding the idea of independent study programs and homeschooling.
[23:52] - Hayutin’s goal is to maximize the time students have and this includes any interventions that might have been crammed into their school day in a brick and mortar classroom.
[25:30] - Maya strongly believes that all students would benefit from an independent study program because they are so individualized. She describes different scenarios of students that these work for.
[27:08] - This mode of instruction also helps eliminate distractions for many students as compared to a full classroom. The program is curated for each student.
Maya Varga is the Director at Hayutin & Associates which is a boutique education company headquartered in Los Angeles. Hayutin provides students with support in executive functioning, content tutoring, educational therapy, and design and implementation of independent study programs.