Learning to read, solve math problems, or master any school subject relies on one thing: the brain. With this in mind, the coaches at Learning Solutions eschew traditional tutoring methods that focus on one subject at a time. Instead, they use brain-training games and other mind exercises designed to hone a child's overall cognitive skills. The coaches work with students of all abilities, including gifted children. They also specialize in helping those with ADHD, autism, and dyslexia. LearningRx's team also works with adults and seniors.
For decades, American Bartenders School has helped aspiring spirit spreaders to develop steady hands, sure eyes for measurement, and an encyclopedic drink-formula knowledge. All of the school's classes cover basic mixing, garnishing, layering, and glassware selection in a realistic bar setting, complete with animatronic bar regulars debating whether Woody Allen is currently the president of Azerbaijan. Students gain access to a book of recipes for shooters, including cosmos, lemon drops, and jelly beans; learn how to make frozen specialties and hot toddies; and discover how to cure hangovers and hiccups. For the 12-hour bartending-certification course, graduation sessions are held where the instructors offer helpful tips on how to get hired as a bartender, before returning home with a mixology certificate, professional resumé, and the ability to set up and stock their own home bars, all of which make a classy addition to living rooms, lounges, and butler traps.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.
Adrenaline-pumping fitness and thrilling combat come together in Rising Star Fencing Academy's classes. The United States Fencing Association-member studio's lessons are suited to children as young as 6, and every level teaches creative strategy as it hones stamina, agility, and mental discipline. On a long, rectangular dueling area, coaches and students practice the complex foot- and hand-work for all three fencing styles?foil, sabre, and epee?all using the traditional scoring system. This intensive training is possible, in part, because of the academy's rigorous adherence to safety standards: all students are outfitted with a steel mesh mask and clothed in standard-issue force fields.
A member of the American Montessori Society, Monarch Montessori School leads a variety of programs designed to educate children in the critical development period between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years old. Infants experience exercises that encourage sensory development and learn important motor and language skills through speaking and song. Toddlers work to improve their language and motor skills while grasping new concepts such as socializing and counting. Kids in their primary years develop more advanced, abstract concepts such as curiosity, respect for others, and responsibility.
Let's Play in Italian exposes kids, young adults, and adults to the culture and language of Italy through engaging programs that range from preschool activities to conversational Italian classes. Tykes up to 8 years old sing songs, tell stories, play games, and put on puppet shows and craft fairs during afterschool programs and Mommy & Me workshops, absorbing Italian vocabulary during their formative years before gray matter turns angsty and taciturn. Parents and kids alike can expand their linguistic repertoire with colorful books, CDs, and DVDs from an online bookstore.