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.
At Kids Party Central, gaggles of children bounce upon inflatable fortresses, glide down air-filled slides, and splash around colorful ball pits in a nearly 10,000-square-foot recreation center. Throughout the week, open-play sessions reserve for public use the facility's many attractions, including floatable forts embellished with soccer balls, pirates, and animated pals from movies such as Cars. Like particularly classy kennels, KPC requires all guests to wear socks. The center also suggests that kids don nylon pants for maximum speed on the slides and that they abstain from duds featuring zippers or hooks that may scratch play surfaces. Adults are welcome to play as well, although those found not keeping an eye on their miniature companions will be put in time out.
Kids aged 6 weeks to 6 years choose their own adventure at Portside Montessori. There, classrooms are divided into six sections, which correspond with six areas of learning: practical life, sensorial, language, math, cultural, and creative subjects such as art and music. All the class materials for each area are placed low to the ground where kids can reach them instead of perched up high collecting dust. Kids can easily go from area to area based on their interests at the time, exploring abstract math concepts, reading, or playing music. Teachers stand by to guide children along their journey but are careful to allow them a sense of independence.
For more than 20 years, KidsPark childcare centers have helped youngsters aged 2–12 boost their social and motor skills in a safe environment. The staff—certified in first-aid and CPR, background checked, and trained in early-childhood education—keeps a close watch on each kid that explores the open floor plan, where six activity areas vie for attention. In the Creation Station, projects may involve art or cooking, while the Theater promises the sound of music and stories. And school-age kids can join the Blue Crew, where they find homework help, nonviolent video games, and the chance to compare resumés with other children. KidsPark also offers preschool classes.