I’m a mom of 4, married for 24 years, and have four young adults. Last year I would’ve said I’m a mom of 4 children, but after this past year, my children have proven they are no longer teens or children; they have graduated to adults. Our kids graduate kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, so why not have graduation from childhood.
I’m not sure every child graduates childhood at the same age. Some may become adults in their teen years due to responsibilities at home. I’m sure they don’t want to be adults at that young age, going to work, cooking, or caring for younger siblings, but it does happen. Probably more than most of us realize. Some children don’t graduate to adulthood until they’re in their 30’s or 40’s. We’ve all met a few of those “failure to launch” adult children who just never figured out how to leave the nest or support themselves. There are extremes on both ends for sure, but most kids graduate to adulthood between the ages of 19-25.
Before this past year, I still saw my children as children. When the pandemic hit, I started noticing how my children had grown while away at college. We had 3 in college when the pandemic struck. They would come home for the summer, but they had jobs and friends and were happy to have mom cook a few dinners. I never really had time to observe the changes in their behaviors. The pandemic was different because they still had classes online, we had a business to pivot and run, and it was every man/woman for themselves.
They were cooking lunch and getting into a new home routine. I saw them have empathy and concern for family, friends, and strangers suffering from the pandemic. I saw resiliency as they found new ways to stay connected with their classmates. My oldest, ROTC, kept his 5 am ruck runs and workouts and did class with the other cadets in the evening. My daughter had a trunk event with her friends in a parking lot. The girls all sat in the trunks while backed into a circle laughing and enjoying a Spring evening. My other two boys were gamers and had regular game nights with their roommates. The one that was in a Fraternity hosted a couple of social events online. They, too, were learning to pivot and adjust. I never heard them whine or complain.
I probably did more of that than they did, especially when my oldest didn’t have graduation or one Senior event they had been planning since junior year. It was Senior sunrise, the senior black-tie formal with parents, and of course, graduation weekend. He left for spring break on March 6th and never saw his roommates or college friend in person again. I was sad, but he shifted and moved on, looking at what was most important, and that was finishing commissioning into the US ARMY in hopes of learning how to fly Blackhawks for the DC National Guard. We held mock graduation for him in our backyard. His sister insisted on being the keynote speaker. His brother produced the graduation video, and my other son helped set up computers that zoomed-in grandparents and friends. He laughed and enjoyed it even though it was void of classmates. The good news was it wasn’t too long, he didn’t have to pose for endless pictures around campus, and no one got drunk that night. A child sulks and whines. Adults run with what they have and make the most of it.
One night, taking pity on us and probably seeing the stress we had been under, the children decided to cook us dinner and treat us to a date night. They cooked the food, set the table with candles, and even had music. Then they disappeared downstairs for the evening, the 4 of them playing cards and watching a movie. I saw them grow closer last year. Spending more time together can either make or break a family, and I am more confident today that it brought our four closer together. We played a lot of cards, rummy, and Euchre mostly.
The children of yesterday deserve graduation into adulthood after the pandemic of 2020. They finished schools years, applied to colleges blindly with only online presentations, lost income, lost friends, saw death on a larger scale than any other generation, and learned how to slow down, pivot, and embrace new ways to learn and enjoy life. For many of them, this is the slowest life has ever been. There were no sports practices or parties to attend. What they learned how to do last year was adapt.
These things’ empathy, resiliency, adapting to change, and loss are life skills you need to be an adult. They got a crash course and are better because of it. They preserved, they learned, and they will be better adults because of this past year. So, this year I want to celebrate my children and all the children who became adults this past year. I want to celebrate graduation that has never been acknowledged or perhaps even thought about, but I believe it should now be a regular occurrence. Age doesn’t make you an adult, college doesn’t make you an adult, graduating high school or college doesn’t make you an adult. Drinking alcohol or having sex doesn’t make you an adult.
Living through this past year and gaining life skills like how to adapt, pivot, and preserve makes you a pretty awesome adult in my eyes. Throw in empathy, tolerance, kindness, and I see a very bright future for this next generation.
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“My daughter started attending Back to Basics Private School during the third marking period this year (11th grade). I have to say they made all the difference for her. She was struggling at her old school (which was also private). Both her grades and her emotional well being have gone way up. My daughter used to dread going to school and would make every excuse to stay home. Now she she gets mad when I mentioned that the school year is almost over. She can’t believe the interest the teachers have taken in her. As she said to me “they really care about me”. This school as been for us a God send. I only wish I had found it sooner.” — James Tyre
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“Both of my children have had Mr. Power as their math tutor at different times. They have decided that he’s a math god. He has a gift for explaining the most complex math topics in a way that has enabled each to not only understand the information during the tutor session, but also retain the information and build upon it as each math chapter is covered at school. More than once on the day after a tutoring session with Mr. Power, they’ve been asked how to figure out a problem by one of the other students in their class – and they’ve been able to explain it to the other student and have been told, “Now I get it.” This is just one example of how effective Mr. Power is as a tutor.”
— Nathan Midgett
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“I was so pleased with my daughter’s experience with Back to Basics tutoring for the SAT. My daughter improved her score in Math SAT from the PSAT by over 200 points. Not only was she instructed in the math skills she needed to improve her score, but she also was instructed in general test taking strategies which helped in all of the sections of the test. I highly recommend Back to Basics SAT tutoring.”
— Sheila Mangan
“Ms. Lantz was a great tutor for our daughter. We had a wonderful experience. Our daughter’s confidence in math has gone up tremendously. We would definitely recommend Back to Basics to our friends.”
“Joy’s [SAT] scores went up almost 200 points in the short time Bob worked with her, and she got her Writing and English scores up to a level that she had good choices for colleges. She was just accepted at Syracuse in the Economics Department. Your help in getting us help for her at the 11th hour helped make that possible.”
“I have never before used the services of any tutor, however, I must tell you what an exceptional experience it has been to have Miss Keren work with our son Matthew. Keren is very warm, kind, patient, and effective teacher. Keren has gone above and beyond what I would expect any tutor to do. My son has made incredible progress since he has been working with her. Keren has been able to have Matthew do things for her when no one else could. My son has autism and a very short attention span. He gets frustrated very easily and will either have a tantrum or give up in tears. From the very first day Matthew began working with Karen he was like a different child. Karen has been able to have him work for up to 4 hours in a session with only very minimal breaks. Matthew has not once had a tantrum or showed any signs of frustration and is always happy to see her when she comes to work with him. Keren even attended my son’s IEP meeting with me to help advocate for what we all believed what was best for him…Keren truly is an exceptional person and teacher and I could never ask anyone for more than that.”
— Lori Newcomer
My daughter loves the one on one attention and [Back to Basics’ tutor] Winn makes learning fun!
“Mr. Duffy was an excellent match for Peter. He understood Peter’s limitations, discussed Peter’s limitations with teachers, and was able to have Peter’s assignment in history changed to something he could handle. Nobody had ever done that before.”
“Dave Powers is a great asset to Clem’s learning style. He is on target with his instruction and he’s a great support! In addition to my gratitude, I give him an A++!”
— Parent of a Back to Basics 1-on-1 tutoring student
“Just wanted to drop a quick note and let you know the Krystina raised her reading score from 560 to 720 and her writing score from 610 to 760 after 16 hours of reading tutoring. This has opened up multiple scholorship opportunities for her. Her SAT went from an 1880 to a 2190, and her ACT went from a 28 to a 33. Many thanks for the tutor she had. Definately well worth the investment. She already has a full tuition + scholorship to Alabama.”
— Parent of a Back to Basics SAT Prep student
“We wanted to let you know how pleased and appreciative we are regarding Sean’s progress during this school year.
Sean’s academic growth in all subject areas has been a true delight to witness and simultaneously has caused his self-confidence to soar. He enjoys the challenges of his school days, is proud to be learning a second language, and eagerly completes home assignments.
The staff has been wonderful in recognizing Sean’s learning strengths, while also helping him grow enormously in the areas in which he previously struggled. He is now a motivated learner and truly happy with the social approach of the program this year.
John and I extend a heartfelt thanks to you and your entire staff. We highly recommend the program every chance we get. Bravo!”
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“It was June of our daughter’s sophomore year in high school and we didn’t know where to send her for her junior year. We could not work with the public school system to get our daughter some of the special needs that she required. A half a semester at a private school was equally frustrating. The teachers and staff were not capable of dealing with a child that did not fit the mold.
When I called Back to Basics to ask about tutoring, I was put through to Beverly. What a godsend! She understood what we had experienced in the traditional school systems and I know we had found the right place. The entire staff was very supportive. The teachers were excellent and really boosted our daughter’s self-esteem. The attention, nurturing and education she received were phenomenal. Our daughter completed both her junior and senior years at Back to Basics and even received significant scholarships from four different colleges.”
— Parent of a Back to Basics K-12 Private School student (name withheld upon request)
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— Cynthia Stewart
“Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing with our son. We are thrilled to see his self-confidence returning and his grades improving. It is a relief to know he’s getting the best help possible. If you ever need someone to talk with parents about the quality of your services, I hope you’ll call on us.”
— Charlene Bradley
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— Mrs. Cook
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— J. Mette
“Both of our sons have been fortunate enough to work with all the wonderful staff whose warmth and caring has brought out the best in them. The have learned more at Back to Basics than they could have possibly learned in any other school. The opportunity to choose their own courses made learning an enjoyable experience for them.”
— Mr. and Mrs. Davis
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— Curt and Jackie (Back to Basics Private School parents)
“His attitude towards school is completely changing around. He realizes teachers care and are truly interested in his future success.”
— Mrs. Scalia (Back to Basics Private School parent)
“On behalf of our family, I am writing to both commend and thank you for the tutoring service you provided to our grandson David. With the help of Sonia Hewitt, David received an award at graduation as the most improved student. He ended 9th grade with mostly D’ and F’s. He graduated with all A’s! Sonia communicated his progress and needs to us and Angie always responded to my concerns as well. Continue your good work.”
— Anna E. Krall
” I sent [tutor] Gerald a thank you email because I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated him helping my daughter. When Gerald took over my daughter had a 69 avg. So it was no small feat to end the last marking period with an 82. My only regret is that he did take over sooner. In my opinion Back to Basics has some of the best teachers my daughter has ever had.”
— Jim T.
“[Back to Basics’ tutor] Sharon does a great job. She has worked with the cadets for three years now and they love her. They see true value and definitely feel that she helps them a lot.”
— Delaware Military Academy
“I found the staff cooperative and someone was always available to answer any question I may have had. It made my job easier as the program coordinator not to have to worry about the quality of the tutors or to supply any needed substitutes. Working with Back to Basics and Beverly Stewart has been one of the better educational experiences I have had during the 35 years I spent working in an elementary school.”
— Lorayne Titter, Program Coordinator, Extended Day
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— Ms. Madson
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— Italo Carrieri-Russo
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— Michael Lester, Back to Basics Private School Student
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— Brian J. Crowley
TUTOR & STAFF REVIEWS
“For more than ten years, I have had the privilege of working in an educational institution which embraces high academic standards and lovingly tells every student who walks through the door that success is within their grasp. I have witnessed countless student transformations focused not just on academic achievement, but self-esteem and awareness that learning is a lifelong process. The compassionate and dedicated staff led by a tireless and respected leader has come to be synonymous with excellence and success. I am honored to be part of the Back to Basics Learning Dynamics family.”
— Elizabeth Roberts, Instructor
“I have been an instructor of mathematics, physics, and chemistry at Back to Basics for 11 years. In that time, I have had the pleasure of instructing over 300 students in a 1-on-1 format. My students have thrived with the individual attention. I have witnessed their blooming confidence and enjoyment in being able to learn effectively. For me, each student’s instruction has been a unique journey. It feels good knowing I have definitely made a significant contribution to each student’s education and well-being.”
— Dave Power, Tutor
“For the past several years, I have had the honor of representing Back to Basics Learning Dynamics as a tutor, interpreter, and translator. Whether inspiring a love for Spanish in the hearts of students through one-on-one tutoring, bridging communication gaps at parent-teacher conferences, or producing high-quality translations of critical documents, I have enjoyed a sense of purpose and happiness in meeting the standards of academic excellence that Beverly and the Back to Basics family have been demonstrating since 1985. I am grateful to be a part of the family and for the opportunities for professional growth that I’ve enjoyed as a result. These experiences have enhanced my individual performance, expanded my cultural awareness, and deepened my knowledge in the fields of education and translation. Whether working locally or remotely, Back to Basics has been the best career choice for me.”
— Luz E. Digsby, Tutor, Interpreter and Translator
“I have been a tutor, translator and interpreter at Back to Basics for 14 years. Back to Basics began small in a crowded field of translating and interpreting but today has a large portion of the market in Delaware in schools, hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies. I am proud to have played a small part in providing services to international families who need our services. I believe that such services are not only necessary but helpful to the families as well as the institution. Beverly has set a high bar of professionalism and skill attainment for her tutors, translators and interpreters to meet. She has provided certification opportunities as well as professional development so that each translator and interpreter has the best and highest skills he/she has the possibility of attaining. I am happy to be part of an organization that is at once so professional but also so caring. ”
— Sara Nehra, Tutor, Interpreter and Translator