The teachers at Smart Start International know that there are a lot of different teaching philosophies, from that of the Waldorf School to Montessori to the one where they just give everyone a mortarboard and call it a day. But they don't subscribe entirely to any of those methodologies. Instead, they tailor their approach to each pre-schooler and kindergartner in their classes. It's more than just math, reading, and writing classes, too. Students explore their creative side in music and dance lessons, and get in touch with their bodies with yoga and karate. Finally, the school puts a heavy emphasis on developing social and emotional intelligence because a healthy adult life begins in childhood.
At more than 900 learning centers across the world, Sylvan offers kids a leg up through personalized, one-on-one programs prescribed by an in-depth skills assessment. Students build on past lessons to learn progressively, and sessions may hone in on different disciplines, granting kids the confidence to interpret literature and the rhetorical skills needed to negotiate a later bedtime. The positive mindset of personable, invested instructors helps to inspire kids to greater academic feats, as does a prize program that rewards hard work with CDs and gift cards.
Ten-year-old John refused to wear socks. His Asperger’s made him hypersensitive to touch and unpredictably violent with siblings and classmates. Four years on medication weren’t bringing the results his parents were hoping for, so they enrolled him at Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a network of therapeutic facilities aiming to assuage the symptoms of kids’ behavioral disorders without the use of pharmaceuticals. Within three months of starting his program, John’s tantrums lessened significantly, he became a member of the Boy Scouts, and his doctor approved eliminating his medication.
John’s journey is just one of many success stories shared by Brain Balance. Their programs strive to remedy the adverse effects of functional disconnection, a miscommunication between the two hemispheres of the brain, which they believe to be the root of conditions such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD.
After an assessment of a child's physical and cognitive ability, a team of professionals designs a custom program of academic exercises, sensory-motor activities, and nutritional changes that can improve brain function. Along the way, continual feedback keeps families notified of the child’s progress. To achieve further awareness of developments in children’s neuroscience, Brain Balance partners with various research facilities such as New York’s F. R. Carrick Institute and the Children’s Autism Hope Project.
The teachers at Marlyvia Academy of All Stars Today, Inc. know that learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom. That's why their tutoring programs cover both spheres. Within the realm of academia, they tutor kids in K–12 or help them get ready for the SAT or ACT using techniques custom-tailored to each student's learning style. In the extracurricular enrichment courses, they focus on the nuances of socializing, from etiquette and manners to resisting peer pressure.
Giving kids the chance to stretch their creative wings is just one aspect of the philosophy at Fun Arts Afterschool. Workshops suited for kids aged 9-14 include the introductory Acting For Film, where students learn Method Acting and the Meisner Technique—which uses a series of exercises designed to help students improvise. Likewise, teens in the DVD film class acquire knowledge to storyboard, write scrips, and even act on film.