You won't find a single screen in most of Brainy Academy's classrooms—no smart boards, no computer monitors, no TVs. In fact, students spend very little time passively taking in information at all. In nursery-school sessions, enrichment classes, and private tutoring meetings alike, instructors are guided by the principles of Montessori learning, which help develop problem-solving skills and creative thinking through hands-on activities.
That doesn't mean that the programs lack structure. Kids prepare to compete on a global level with the Singapore Math system, and an analytic approach to English swiftly lays the foundation for advanced reading and writing skills. The school's methods are suited equally to expanding learning capacity in kids with learning difficulties and in those ready to move beyond their peers. (Several programs are designed to prepare kids for the citywide gifted and talented test.) Summer Russian, lego science, and English programs keep children in touch with academic concepts and away from roving gangs of philosophers trying to teach them arguments against math's existence.
British Neuroscience Association and MENSA member Martin Walker loves the brain for its potential. As the founder of mind evolve, he has created MindSparke—a company dedicated to creating innovative brain training programs designed to hone the user's working memory. MindSparke's central program, the Brain Fitness Pro series for ages 11–adult, is based on dual-n-back training—a method designed to improve working memory and fluid intelligence simultaneously using visual and aural memory exercises.
The web-based program, which has been likened to "…boot camp for the brain…", adapts in real-time; using each participant's unique personality profile to slowly increase the difficulty of the exercises. Using this strict regimen, Brain Fitness Pro may improve cognitive stamina, focus, and general memory, as well as attention and memory problems associated with ADD, ADHD, and OCD.
Fashion shows, wedding ceremonies, and war zones were the training grounds for the tutors at Digi Foto School, an online repository of knowledge for amateur and professional photographers alike. Bearing such credentials, the faculty is more than qualified to lead online courses that cover everything from broad photo basics to niche specialties. Courses hone in on landscape photography, portraiture, and the extremely close-up style known as macro photography, perfect for a poignant image of a single flower petal or a terrifying journey into the nostril. The lessons and lectures may take place online, but the student-support team and the teachers themselves are always available for any questions about the course.
The team at Mi Atico takes a different approach to learning the Spanish language. You can find the staff out and about in the city with their clients at a coffee shop or your favorite spot in the park. The staff specialize in providing educational, social, and cultural immersion in a fun and exciting environment. The adult-based program introduces its clients to the Spanish language and culture in New York City through a sundry list of social events and classes such as Bailando Cultura where students can lear dances such as salsa, cha-cha-cha, merengue, bachata, and paso doble. The program also features private tutoring sessions and group classes that cater to clients looking to practice their Spanish with new people.
The story of Penny and the Puppettes traces back to Bob Munstedt, a children's musician and puppeteer who captivated youngsters from the 1940s through the 1970s. Inheriting her father's love for kid-friendly performances, Munstedt’s daughter Jane Stratten founded her own touring puppet show, Jane Stratten's Musical Puppets. The family business entered its third generation when Jane's daughter, Merissa Morin, graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and founded Penny and the Puppettes, a program dedicated to delighting children with interactive, educational, and engaging shows and classes. Morin's and her staff's mission is to give kids an outlet to improve their musical, creative, and social skills.
Drawing on years of teaching experience, Park Slope Tutoring's instructors help kids refine their math, English, and test-taking knowledge. Their work in mathematics run the gamut from lessons in more basic fields such as pre-algebra to advanced concepts, including proofs, matrices, and calculus. In English, instruction likewise ranges from fundamentals such as spelling and reading comprehension to techniques for writing essays and creative pieces. During test-preparation sessions, tutors can not only focus on the PSAT, SAT, and ACT but also impart test-taking strategies for high-school admissions exams and state standardized tests, which determine whether kids are entering middle school with cooties.