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.
At Kids U, upbeat instructors camouflage learning as playtime. They invite youngsters and parents into a kid-size gym that jump starts imagination with vibrant colors and a multitiered PlayQuad. The 17-foot playground spans 2,000 square feet of indoor space, where children explore tunnels and soar in swings. At classes, teachers inject freestyle play with structure while still allowing for creativity. The small, laid-back sessions cover subjects that range from gymnastics to cooking and building with LEGOs, all while interweaving themes such as teamwork and motor skills. The instructors pioneer similar subjects in three-hour day camps, molded around the Summer Olympics. Kids U's parties combine the fun center's two signature styles of recreation—freestyle fun in the PlayQuad and ordered activities—according to chosen themes, which, like concepts kicked around for the White House Correspondents' dinner, include Rock Star and Pajama Party.
Believing that learning and behavioral disorders stem from improper communication between brain hemispheres, Brain Balance Centers offers a drug-free, multi-faceted system to boost brain function. Physical and cognitive exercises combine with easy-to-follow dietary changes to improve social, academic and behavioral issues associated with ADHD, Asperger's, and other social and learning disorders without the use of medication. Now more than 50 Brain Balance Centers practice this Hemispheric Integration Therapy, with professional teams tailoring programs to help kids improve focus and behavior, academic performance, communication, and social skills.
Since 2002, Rock House's system of musical instruction—which comprises DVDs, books, and Web-based lesson support—has helped aspiring rock stars to master strumming guitars, plucking basses, and tickling keyboards to a variety of different genres. Several renowned blues, rock, and metal artists have participated in the Rock House program, including members of Megadeth, The Gary Hoey Band, and Parliament-Funkadelic. In addition to their training materials, Rock House also certifies instructors at local music centers so they can conduct one-on-one private lessons tailored to enhancing students' strengths and neutralizing their weaknesses, such as the inability to destroy a guitar on the first smash.
A family-owned-and-operated hub for health, Topanga Training & Fitness and The Spa Loft cast a caring canopy shade over all things feel-good. The club offers challenging group classes in mat pilates ($18 per class) and indoor and outdoor boot camp ($275 for 15 sessions), as well as nutritional counseling ($200) and personal training ($64–$76 per 60-min. session) geared toward each individual and their stage in life. Fitness Over 50 sessions help clients counteract the physical impacts of aging by using training techniques that improve endurance, balance, time traveling, and flexibility. Pregnancy and Beyond sessions (personal training and pilates) follow the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' guidelines to supply future moms with specialized-fitness advice and supervision, ensuring both the bun and the oven stay at safe temperatures.
There may be a lot of playtime at The Language Workshop for Children, but don't think the students aren't learning; during classes, instructors use songs, games, toys, and more to teach children the basics of tongues such as French, Spanish, and Chinese.
The Language Workshop is the brainchild of François Thibaut, who created the school in 1973 after years of observing how children learned languages. In the same vein, instructors understand that even infants can pick up a second language, and they teach anyone from 6 months to 9 years old in group classes, with private lessons available for older students in certain locations.