Let’s Start Smart Ranked 2nd Most Effective Online Resource


Honolulu-based TLC for Kids’ phonics videos earn national recognition as “Most Effective” Learning Resources by OpenEd

TLC for Kids, a Honolulu-based language enrichment program has been recognized for its phonics video series, Let’s Start Smart, as the 2nd Most Effective Learning Resources in the nation by OpenEd, the largest online educational resource library. OpenEd’s ranking is based on data analysis from more than 200,000 teachers nationwide who use OpenEd resources and assess- ments with their students. OpenEd has collected over a million assessments, homework assignments, videos, games and lesson plans for every Common Core and Next Generation Science standards.

“We are honored to receive such a prestigious national recognition by OpenEd,” said Toru Funatsu, founder and owner of TLC for Kids. “We developed the Let’s Start Smart video series more than 8 years ago so parents could take home the phonics lesson we teach to our students in the classroom.”

The Let’s Start Smart video series covers various phonics lessons that use songs and short animations. The videos were created in Honolulu by Funatsu, who used his home-based music studio to put together the songs and animations featured in the videos. The OpenEd analysis of various learning resources concluded that more focused specialty publishers such as TLC for Kids (92 percent) and The balanced Literacy Diet (90 percent) had a much higher average effectiveness score than more general, widely known publishers, such as Khan Academy (66 percent) and LeanZillion (66 percent). In addition, the OpenEd research revealed that short, engaging instructional games and videos are most effective in moving the needle of student achievement. Established on Oahu in 2001, TLC for Kids provides early language and reading enrichment programs to children ages two to six years old, and language tutoring for Kindergarteners through 12th graders at its Honolulu office located at 1314 S. King Street. TLC for Kids teaches English language learners of all backgrounds with individualized student learning curricu- lum that uses songs, flashcards, and games. Since opening its doors, TLC for Kids has reached over 3500 students on Oahu. Currently, TLC for Kids offers English and Japanese classes to children at its Honolulu office.

“We’ve seen that using such techniques, like music and flashcards have proven to help young learners build foundations to mastering spelling, phonics, working memory and many more skills needed to succeed in schools,” said Funatsu. “TLC for kids focuses on the needs of each child’s specifically by targeting their level and fostering their learning milestones and achievements.”

HONOLULU, October 5, 2015