Recognized by Cincinnati Family magazine with a Best of Parenting 2011 award, Youthland Academy has been practicing a learning-by-doing philosophy for 30 years. At childcare sessions throughout the year, kids engage in age-appropriate educational programs that help preschoolers turn thought into language and middle schoolers reach their full potential. The full slate of programs are offered at nearly two-dozen locations across the Midwest and South.
More than three decades ago, educator Larry Martinek set out on a mission to develop a curriculum that would radically change the traditional approach to teaching math. Noting a "disconnect between students' basic skills training and the curriculum they [must] master in the years to come," Larry created an original teaching method designed to turn students into miniature mathematicians capable of thinking critically to solve problems. His approach, which he describes as the cultivation of number sense, strives to sharpen students’ math instincts, rather than drill them with repetitive, memory-based exercises or force them to blackmail accountants to crunch the numbers. Soon after students began using Larry's method, their test scores began to rise. In the spring of 2002, Larry's dream came true. Peter Markovitz and David Ullendorff, leaders in the education industry, made Larry and his curriculum the driving force of Mathnasium. Larry introduced his curriculum as the Mathnasium Method.
Today, Mathnasium centers can be found throughout the world. Informed by Larry's visionary innovations, the program's tutors give personalized coaching that focuses on bolstering critical thinking through written materials and mental math, forsaking many of the teaching tools found in a traditional classroom. In addition, the tutors also focus on boosting students' enthusiasm for the subject, helping them overcome a lack of confidence in the classroom or their innate fear of prime numbers.
Jelly Bean Junction specializes in tutoring programs for moldable child brains; however, they also provide daycare services for infants through kindergarteners and summer camps for school-aged children. Infant care ($215 per week) is individualized to each wobbly bairn; infants are fed, changed, and napped on their own schedule, all of which is tracked on a daily report. Toddler care ($190 per week) lets the wee ones explore and grow in a carefully planned environment, which includes mealtime, naps, and sensory-rich games. Preschool care ($160 per week) is designed for ages three to five and incorporates developmentally appropriate experiences and learning materials as well as outdoor play. Kindergarten care ($145 per week) involves nutritious snacks, computer games, and creative materials that focus on art, science, and more.
University Admissions Prep Coach's tutors all scored within the 95th percentile of SAT test takers. The whip-smart team shares their test-taking strategies and skills during a six-part program designed to prepare students for the rigors of the SAT with practice tests and 30 hours of in-class instruction. Tutors help guide their students through a battery of mental exercises, familiarizing them with standardized test fundamentals such as math, reading, and pencil anatomy.
Roughly translated, tae kwon do means "the way of the foot and the fist." With more than 2,000 years of history behind it, the ancient martial art mixes movements of karate and kung fu with Korean kicking techniques. Since 2001, Cincinnati TaeKwonDo Academy has shared this authentic style of tae kwon do with students of all ages—some as young as 4 years old.
Today, the academy divides itself into four age-appropriate programs. The Lil Leaders program, for instance, teaches young kids the basics, focusing on the eight specific skills—including coordination, speed, and structure—that are critical to performing tae kwon do and escaping the time-out corner. On the older end of the spectrum, the Impact Teens and Adult program splices tae kwon do training with functional fitness drills and reality-based self-defense practices.
J. Gumbo's summons the spices and flavors of Cajun cooking, dishing out chili and po' boys inspired by Louisiana classics. Start with the crawfish-cheese dip, a crawfish étouffée topped with cheddar cheese and served with tortilla chips ($5.50) or sink spoons into gumbo, a slow-cooked roux-based soup tweaked with onions, bell peppers, chicken, and andouille sausage ($6.50). Like a wizard with a wand made of taffy, the Voodoo chicken ($6.50) casts a spell on taste buds, highlighting slow-cooked poultry drizzled with spicy Cajun tomato sauce and vegetarians can make a meat-free meal of the white chili—white beans mingled with stewed tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and dill ($6.50). The classic po' boy sandwiches weigh down the plate like a freight truck on a bicycle kickstand and include the Jean Lafitte po' boy, an open-faced french bread nestled beneath Bumblebee stew, Voodoo chicken, cheese, jalapeños, and sour cream ($6.50).