As soon as children are old enough to walk, they are old enough to begin honing their coordination, body-awareness, and basic motor skills through engaging and age-appropriate gymnastics lessons. That's the central philosophy driving the instructors at Byers Gymnastics, which has four locations, and a 40-year legacy of providing both basic and competition-level training for boys and girls ranging from toddlers to teenagers. While youngsters learn the fundamentals of jumping, balancing, and rolling, older students can master more challenging routines and learn to safely use various pieces of traditional gymnastics equipment, such as the balance beams, floor, vault, and tumble trak, and the slightly off-kilter stepladder. These year-round programs cater to visitors of virtually all interests and levels, and share the common goal of building stamina and flexibility, while also teaching students the value of perseverance and self-determination.
The equestrian trainers at Foxtail Farms conduct horseback-riding lessons for riders seeking leisure time atop a steed and for those considering competition. Amid a rural landscape of patchwork crop fields and untamed plains, horses lope, gallop, leap, and waffle on which shoes to wear that day as instructors lead intimate training sessions. Skilled in teaching the ins and out of hunter, jumper, and equitation riding, instructors help to foster horsemanship skills while preparing riders for many situations, including the show ring. Believing that success can only be found when both rider and horse have created a special bond, the trainers also work to create an atmosphere in which that bond can be nurtured and tempered.
Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios caters to both a younger and older crowd. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases and flatware—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze and fire it for them before customers retrieve the finished piece a few days later.
Since 1977, Huntington Learning Center has employed a battalion of highly trained tutors to help students triumph over math misgivings and phonics fears. Young scholars ages 5–17 begin their gold-star-seeking journey with an academic evaluation lasting 3.5 to 4 hours to pinpoint their individual needs. After the exam, the center's staff will create a detailed analysis of each student's strengths, personal goals, and spitball-accuracy stats. In one-hour one-on-one sessions, tutors encourage pupils to work at their own pace while focusing on areas in which improvement is needed. Huntington often welcomes parents into its centers of cerebration for complimentary workshops on creating a learning environment free of distractions such as stress and constant gossip about the family dog.