A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
Stinging nettle, lambsquarters, and mugwort: as ubiquitous weeds around the LA area, it’s a rare sight to see them celebrated as elements of gourmet cuisine. But the duo behind Transitional Gastronomy, Pascal Baudar and Mia Wasilevich, are changing that with their inventive approach to foraged food. Baudar combines his background in French and Belgian country cuisine with more than a decade of experience teaching survivalist classes and studying wild food in Southern California. On the other hand, Wasilevich’s own diverse heritage informs her more modern approach to the culinary arts, which incorporates molecular gastronomy as well as more traditional methods. Each dish they create depends on whatever seasonal botany they come across, in addition to careful research on how each ingredient was used through history.
The pair has been celebrated in local and national media for their educational excursions and culinary innovation, from mentions in Time and the Los Angeles Times to features on NBC and ABC. Their experiments have yielded dishes as diverse as lambsquarters bisque and mousse to flatbreads topped with acorn, nettle pesto, and homemade preserved lemons. Transitional Gastronomy’s team shares their passions through small-group foraging hikes and cooking classes, which also include Baudar’s expertise in Old World styles of preservation and fermentation. Elderberry wine and mugwort beer make frequent appearances at each workshop, proving that you can even celebrate happy hour if you were stranded in the forest or on a spaceship that harvests elderberries and mugwort.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
Break Into TV equips aspiring television personalities, including news anchors, meteorologists, and television hosts, with the skills necessary to become top-notch broadcast talent. During the weekend or month-long course, students can hone their on-screen personas under the attentive tutelage of AMS-sealed meteorologist, TV host, and news reporter Jonathan Novack. Intensive weekend courses pack two days chock-full of training in teleprompter reading, voice delivery, live reporting, and interviewing skills, imparting essential skills such as which questions not to ask during color pieces featuring water-skiing squirrels. During the two-day course, students also work under the watchful eye of the pros to construct a submission-quality 60-second demo reel.
With 30 years' experience choreographing fight sequences for television and film, competitive-fencing instructor Tim Weske leads SwordPlay Fencing Studio's intrepid teachers in demystifying the art of the sword for students. His combat choreography sequences have touched films and TV shows as diverse as I Love You, Man and Angel, and he has safely instructed celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Brad Pitt to convincingly parry with their onscreen opponents and dual for red-carpet supremacy.
At SwordPlay Fencing Studio, once-a-week group sessions or private lessons in foil, épée, and saber provide pupils with fun workouts by engaging minds with subtle strategy while burning calories, increasing agility, and building muscle tone. Afternoon and evening sessions are held Monday through Saturday to fit hectic jobs and busy mornings repainting the neighbors' lawn flamingos.
Trips and training form the centerpiece of PCH Scuba's services for area hydronauts. Programs range from beginner-level certification to search-and-recovery training, and adventures journey both close to home and as far ranging as Fiji. The Open Water Diver course makes for a fun and accessible first foray beneath the waves, incorporating a deep-delving adventure to Catalina Island, which is named after the third queen of Spain: Queen Island. The staff leads explorations of San Diego's collection of wrecks and adventures on chartered dive boats. Whatever sort of wave-blanketed voyage the aquatic adventurer desires, PCH's community of Master Scuba Diver–certified teachers and dive leaders are eager to chaperone.
Using experience gleaned over years as a broker and educational consultant, Kartik Subramaniam and Adhi Schools have been guiding students toward real-estate licensure since 2003. With detailed online and in-person courses, Adhi helps prepare each pupil for the California license exam via included textbooks, three preparatory exams, and a guide to garage-door whispering. The school also assists graduates by placing them in contact with brokerages to start their new careers. The Adhi Schools' curriculum is recognized by leaders in the real-estate field, from large brokerages including Century 21 and Prudential to national training companies.