Aloha Mind Math's certified teachers strive for one goal: to free students from the tyranny of calculators. They’re aided in their fight by the center's Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic (ALOHA) curriculum, a program designed by a panel of mathematics experts to mitigate students’ mind-melting reliance on machine-based calculation. Teachers lead students through weekly after-school classes that increase mental processing abilities through fun, interactive lessons, keeping classes small to ensure all students receive ample attention. Though primarily focused on math, teachers also host reading and writing classes that increase literacy, reducing the chance students will accidentally sign contracts to forever trade their chocolate milk for pieces of chalk.
Signature Service: After-school care, enrichment, and tutoring
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Jonti-Craft GreenGuard furniture, Artistic Pursuits
Pro Tip: We recommend parents visit us before buying to ensure our program is a good fit for their child.
Whether guiding youths as a camp counselor or working with children at Yosemite National Park, Laureate Letters Tutoring’s founder, Sarah Steele, has always had a passion for supporting kids. When her own child began to take an interest in reading, Steele jumped at the chance to introduce him to the direct-instruction model, which is the same program she and the instructors now use at Laureate Letters. During sessions, instructors follow the text and steps in the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, using positive reinforcement to reward good work. Steele and her staff also work with parents to help them perpetuate the progress at home, ensuring kids establish a solid literary foundation and might one day grow up to be the first person to read on the moon.
Recently profiled by The Atlantic for its members' innovative inventions, TechShop’s supportive community of inventors, artists, technicians, and alchemists share their excitement about the next big idea in an environment limited only by their collective imagination. The 17,000-square-foot smorgasbord of inventive creativity beckons people of all skill levels to its DIY confines, where members can wield tools not found in most private workshops, slicing through steel with a plasma cutter or accessing 3-D design software to finally realize the goal of crawling inside the Internet. Hands-on classes jump-start creative juices, introducing students to vocational skills including welding, soldering, and woodworking. Neophyte inventors aged 12–17 are welcome but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to ensure they don't break physics.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them to firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chest. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids to feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.