The teachers at Smart Start International know that there are a lot of different teaching philosophies, from that of the Waldorf School to Montessori to the one where they just give everyone a mortarboard and call it a day. But they don't subscribe entirely to any of those methodologies. Instead, they tailor their approach to each pre-schooler and kindergartner in their classes. It's more than just math, reading, and writing classes, too. Students explore their creative side in music and dance lessons, and get in touch with their bodies with yoga and karate. Finally, the school puts a heavy emphasis on developing social and emotional intelligence because a healthy adult life begins in childhood.
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Triple C Landscaping & Lawn Care is the brainchild of Zane Neugebauer, a certified horticulturist who started the business six years ago. He and his team of professional landscapers beautify lawns with a full menu of services. In addition to mowing the grass, trimming hedges and laying down mulch, they also help out with more labor-intensive projects such as planting trees and evicting intransigent garden gnomes.
Preschool Plus provides a fun, safe, and stimulating environment for 3, 4, and 5-year-olds to preheat their brains before the emotional and social rigors of life in kindergarten. With 25 years of experience as an early-childhood teacher and director, Kathy Hughes leads a team of certified educators that focus on cultivating the cognitive and developmental needs of each child. Although each instructor is equipped with eyes in the back of her head, a small teacher-to-student ratio ensures each child is nurtured and cared for. Based on the retention theory of the "Song That Never Ends," monthly themes are incorporated into every section of the curriculum. Each classroom also contains interest centers geared toward literacy, science, music, and how to properly eat an overstuffed burrito.
Ten-year-old John refused to wear socks. His Asperger’s made him hypersensitive to touch and unpredictably violent with siblings and classmates. Four years on medication weren’t bringing the results his parents were hoping for, so they enrolled him at Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a network of therapeutic facilities aiming to assuage the symptoms of kids’ behavioral disorders without the use of pharmaceuticals. Within three months of starting his program, John’s tantrums lessened significantly, he became a member of the Boy Scouts, and his doctor approved eliminating his medication.
John’s journey is just one of many success stories shared by Brain Balance. Their programs strive to remedy the adverse effects of functional disconnection, a miscommunication between the two hemispheres of the brain, which they believe to be the root of conditions such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD.
After an assessment of a child's physical and cognitive ability, a team of professionals designs a custom program of academic exercises, sensory-motor activities, and nutritional changes that can improve brain function. Along the way, continual feedback keeps families notified of the child’s progress. To achieve further awareness of developments in children’s neuroscience, Brain Balance partners with various research facilities such as New York’s F. R. Carrick Institute and the Children’s Autism Hope Project.