Below are unsolicited and unedited testimonials of what student families are saying about DEFT Learning Academy.

Trevor de Freitas


'We really appreciate the program and that (Student Name) is self-motivated to do the work.  She understands the importance.   The new grade 9 de-streamed math is very upsetting to us and so we are very happy we made the decision to go with you for (Student Name).  She wants to pursue a professional career path ... and she will need this work as we don’t believe the regular public system will provide the challenge.' ... DEFT Mom (Dec. 2021)

'This was indeed a difficult year for everyone.
I feel very lucky that I found your institute and I really appreciate the way you teach my kids and help them progress with their education.'

... DEFT Mom (Dec. 2020)

'I'm so proud of the girls ... the fact that all 3 are now ahead of where they would be in class is a great accomplishment. Thanks for all your help.'

... DEFT Dad (Sept. 2020)

'I'm so glad we have joined Deft - I think this will be very good for the girls.'

... DEFT Mom (July 2020)

​'Wanted to share the good news with you that <Student Name> got admission in IB. I just received an email about the same from Merivale High School. This would have not been possible without you and Janice being there for him. I thank you for all your guidance and support.'

... DEFT Mom (March 2020) 

‘I also wanted to let you know that <Student Name> is really enjoying the program. She is working hard and more eager than ever before to do homework. I also see her gaining confidence in her reading skills, which is so great to see. She really loves going to DEFT and I think it's a great fit for her.

... DEFT Mom (March 2020)

"I appreciate your’s and Janice’s keen observation and an eye to detail. No wonder it is said that a teacher can make a significant difference in a child’s learning journey and you and Janice are two such teachers."

... DEFT Mom (December 2019) 

"He got a really good mark (94 !!!!) at school and his teacher said there are no concerns with him. Therefore I appreciate Deft even more. "

... DEFT Mom (November 2019) 

"DEFT math has been such a positive experience for our son. In grade 6 we noticed that he was “doing fine” in math but that he was occasionally struggling and fighting us about helping him.  We took him to DEFT for what turned out to be a very thorough, though kind and comfortable. assessment and he started with Trevor and the team immediately. He spent a couple of years solidifying basic skills, his math marks and engagement starting to increase.  He just finished grade 10 with over 90% in math!  The DEFT team cares and ensures that concepts are understood and practiced so they are learned.  It isn’t a fast fix but a road to ensure mastery of concepts.

... DEFT Mom (November 2019) 

In grade 6 we noticed that he was “doing fine” in math but that he was occasionally struggling and fighting us about helping him.  We took him to DEFT for what turned out to be a very thorough, though kind and comfortable. assessment and he started with Trevor and the team immediately.  He spent a couple of years solidifying basic skills, his math marks and engagement starting to increase.  He just finished grade 10 with over 90% in math!  The DEFT team cares and ensures that concepts are understood and practiced so they are learned.  It isn’t a fast fix but a road to ensure mastery of concepts."
... DEFT Mom (October 2019) 

"Hi Trevor, I knew you know how to teach you are professional there is no question about that."

... DEFT Mom (March 2019)

"Her math scores at school are impressive, and she has marks that are in the higher percentile.

Thanks to your help of course.
... DEFT Dad (November 2018)

"<Older sibling DEFT student> did the same thing. She is now in Grade 8. In the enriched Math program, thanks to Deft. 

Clearly, deft pays off.
... DEFT Mom (October 2018)

"Both girls have been talking about how much they love math and about how confident they’ve become since starting with you. This is such great news for us as confidence is math can be hard to come by."

... DEFT Mom (June 2018)

 "I wanted to touch base to let you know that <Student Name> scored a 1320 in the SATs - 660 in each area.  He was above average overall…

Thank you for the work which you did with <Student Name>. It would have been great if he could have started with your org earlier."

<This represented a 22% score improvement in five weeks  ... from initial diagnostic.>
... Mom - DEFT SAT Prep. student (May 2018)

You are making a wonderful difference in both girls life!"

... DEFT Mom (Jan. 2018)

with <Student Name> we’ve seen a notable improvement in her level of reading, skill, and her interest in reading and writing.

... DEFT Mom (Jan. 2018)

"Thanks again for all you do - it’s made a noticeable impact on their understanding of math and confidence as well.

... DEFT Mom

​" We have seen a big change in <Student Name's> reading and writing. I really appreciate that your staff helped <Student Name> to have more confidence in reading and writing." - DEFT Mom

"... Trevor ... your program works.  Not only is she making progress but she is catching up to her peers which is a huge accomplishment." - DEFT Dad

"I was wondering if you would still take me on as a student here as I found it so helpful over the years."  - Grade 12 DEFT student

"You ARE a genuine and trusted educator and a very nice person." - Former Teacher and DEFT Learning Academy Associate

"We have joined Alta Vista Kumon and have not been very happy with the results. … - there is very little personal attention, they don’t really know the students, and there is no instruction. It’s hard for me to imagine the kids doing the math without any help. We would prefer to quit Kumon, …

I hope you’re doing well in your new venture. You are very missed.

Former Kumon parent – DEFT parent (July 2015)

"My daughters have been attending Deft Learning for more than a year. They have benefited greatly from it, and they have enjoyed their experience too. The curriculum is engaging and is flexible enough to accommodate different learning speeds and schedules. The weekly visit to the centre keeps the girls motivated and on track. Especially helpful is the way Trevor and Janice and the staff monitor the girls' progress and are able to suggest changes to our approach to help the girls succeed. I would gladly recommend Deft Learning to other parents.“ – DEFT Dad

… she received all As in math on her report card - I am thrilled!!!" – DEFT Mom

She likes that she gets to work with a (Teaching) Assistant, and she likes the structure– DEFT Dad

<Dad’s name> and I really appreciate the help that you gave to him for his test prep.DEFT Mom

"We were very grateful to you for all the help you gave our girls.  Not only were their academic skills enhanced, they also gained much self-confidence and maturity.  It was evident that this was not just a business for you, but rather a vocation." - M. O. (Father)

"I would like to thank you for all the wonderful work you have been doing. I appreciate your unlimited commitment to your ... students and parents." - A. S. (Mother)

"Based on what I've observed, Trevor de Freitas is ... a skilled, patient, and hard-working educator who, in the case of my son, has helped bring about an almost miraculous improvement in an important area of knowledge (Math)." - R. K. (Father)

The DEFT Difference!

About the Academy Director

Trevor de Freitas, B.Eng., P. Eng.  is the Founder and Academy Director. He is a former franchised Math & Reading Centre operator with over a decade of experience in supportive education. Trevor is a Certified Trainer, and Advanced Academic Coach and Mentor, and a member of the National Tutoring Association. He is also an accredited 4MAT Teacher/Trainer Practitioner. For more on the 4MAT brain (quadrant) -based learning model, please visit Over the past 13 years, Trevor has instructed, coached, and mentored hundreds of students in math, reading, and numerous standardized test prep courses (such as the CAT, PSAT, SAT, SSAT, and ACT).  Trevor is father to two sons, one a Veterinarian, and the other studying Business and Law. Trevor is a First Degree (Shodan) Black Belt in Shotokan Karate-Do and an avid & competitive tennis player, and Tennis Canada -certified Tennis Instructor. A strong proponent of Progressive Tennis, Trevor enjoys mentoring junior and adult tennis players alike. When not in a classroom, Dojo, or on a tennis court, Trevor's balanced lifestyle includes artistic expression as a musician (guitarist/singer).

​Enthusiastic and supportive, Trevor brings an active, engaged, and mature approach to discerning each individual student’s academic needs, learning style and preference, and establishing a personalized plan to help each student achieve his or her academic goals. 


DEFT Learning Academy offers an innovative, refined, reasoned, and pragmatic approach to academic improvement in Ottawa.  Our commitment is to help students improve their skills in Math and English Language Arts. Students need to start at the level that is right for them. We determine this using a research-based and time-tested diagnostic that is a Canadian curricula -recognized and comprehensive inventory of basic skills. This enables us to create a personal plan to respond to each student’s academic needs.

An after-school, supplemental education program should be aligned with, and supportive of, Canadian core curricula in order to deliver timely and tangible benefit to every student. DEFT Learning Academy has selected best-in-class resources that have been developed by highly-respected and experienced educational publishers to support students in Math, English Language Arts, and Test Preparation.

Our Approach

DEFT Learning Academy is founded on guiding philosophies that have been forged from experience with fostering academic excellence in hundreds of local children over the last decade.  We know that simply handing out worksheets - that are often unrelated to a student's grade level curriculum - for them to struggle with can often lead to the student becoming frustrated, discouraged, and bored. Developing independent learners is important but along the way students often need support.  At DEFT Learning Academy, students benefit from a blended approach of independent learning and traditional tutoring, via paper-based and computer or tablet -based assignments. A low student to Teaching Assistant ratio in Academy sessions ensures that students have attention if and when they need it for their paper-based assignments.  For homework assignments, we harness the power and utility of computers and tablets blended with paper worksheets to create a learning experience that is engaging, flexible, portable, and curricula-aligned, while requiring minimal parental effort. The use of tablets and computers also accommodates greater family scheduling flexibility, and introduces an environmentally-sensitive alternative for academic improvement.

In addition to on-going programs that address Math and English Language Arts, DEFT Learning Academy also runs courses to prepare students to write standardized tests such as the CAT, PSAT, and the SAT. 


The curricula used by DEFT Learning Academy has been meticulously researched and selected to offer a best-in-class supportive and engaging academic experience for our students. The Math program is 100% Canadian curricula aligned. It addresses all strands a Canadian math student will see in school through the use of a diverse collection of resources.  This includes the international benchmark for math excellence, Singapore Math, around which the U.S. Common Core math standard was developed.  Our English Language Arts curricula is richly-pedigreed, supported by extensive academic research, and developed and tested by internationally-recognized experts.  Both programs offer leading-edge online components that are also fully Canadian curricula aligned (in the case of the Math program) and U.S. Common Core aligned (in the case of the English Language Arts program). 

Things to know


Prior to registering in a Math and/or English Language Arts program, every student is tested to determine his or her optimal starting point. Our diagnostic is comprised of an Ontario grade-specific comprehensive inventory of basic skills. This enables us to create a personal plan to respond to each student’s academic needs, whether the student needs to review previous material or is ready to move ahead. Tests must be booked in advance and take between 45 and 60 minutes to complete. There is a fee for testing; price available on request.
Just as each student is unique, we recognize that their families as a whole have their own challenges and constraints (both time and money). Given this, there are options in the Deft Learning Academy program offerings that allow you to decide if the student will attend the Academy once or twice a week (DEFT-IN-ACADEMY) or work entirely at home (DEFT-AT-HOME). Homework is also an option for DEFT-IN-ACADEMY students. (Please see Our Programs for more details).

Tuition rates are competitive and affordable. Rates are available on request.

DEFT-IN-ACADEMY students who choose to add the homework option, and DEFT-AT-HOME students must have a tablet (Apple IOS or Android) or computer to work on, and access to the Internet.  A permanent connection to the internet is not required to enable completion of digital assignments. In other words, homework can be downloaded and cached, and subsequently uploaded after the assignments are completed. This means that the student may complete their homework anywhere, at any time, and receive near real-time feedback from the Academy Director. 

A place where students feel welcome

A personalized academic plan for each student

A qualified and trusted educator and Academic Mentor

Our curricula-aligned Math and English Language enrichment programs prepare students for excellence on standardized tests such as the EQAO, CAT (IB), Gauss, PSAT, SAT, SSAT, ACT, & others. Contact us for details.