Is your child aiming to rock accelerated math? Itching to code video games? No matter her interest, there’s an after-school enrichment option sure to give her a boost.
Since academic workloads and schedules are busy during the school year, be sure to keep expectations reasonable and give your kids time for play, says Jeff La Marca, PhD, assistant professor of special education at Seton Hall University.“Educational psychologists and well-established theories of learning have long recognized the importance of play,” La Marca says.
If you’re looking to fit after-school enrichment into your child’s schedule, read on to find a program that’s right.
*Due to COVID-19 health guidelines, please call centers or check their websites for up-to-the minute information on what they are offering.
ENGLISH & MATH
Closter, Fort Lee
AbaKidz’ multisensory approach melds visual input, auditory stimulation and the tactile manipulation of abacus beads to boost memory and enhance numerical fluency. Kids attend virtually one-on-one sessions to three times per week and get daily homework.
Chatham Learning Center
After-school enrichment offerings include tutoring in math, reading, foreign language, writing and AP courses along with homework help and summer enrichment. There’s also SAT and ACT test prep and psychoeducational evaluations for students who are struggling academically.
City Kidz World
Cranbury, Kendall Park
Classes teach reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing skills to kids ages 5-18. Ask about the New Media Program for your aspiring journalist. Currently classes are offered virtually.
Eye Level Learning
The goal is to help foster independence, initiative and achievement through weekly math and English classes, daily homework and online learning. They have Eye Level On Air, which is virtual learning with enhanced online curriculums.
Huntington Learning Center
Kids in K-12 get one-on-one tutoring in math, reading, phonics, writing, science, study skills and test prep. HLC typically recommends two or more sessions per week; hours are flexible and there are remote options available.
JEI Learning Center
JEI’s individualized, workbook-based model (once per week plus daily homework) includes classes in problem solving, math, English, reading, writing and critical and creative thinking. They offer remote learning options as well.
Strengthen their math and English skills with two weekly classes featuring timed/evaluated worksheets, plus 20-30 minutes of daily homework. Virtual classes are available for Pre-K through high school.
Boost your K-12th grader’s knack for numbers with a methodical yet personalized curriculum designed to help strugglers improve and superstars soar.
Lit-loving tweens and teens can workshop ideas, hone their craft and get constructive feedback amidst a supportive group of young scribes. Their in-person studio is closed, but your teen can still do virtual classes.
Sylvan Learning Center
Sylvan offers custom tutoring in math, reading, writing and more, plus homework help and coaching to sharpen their study skills. They are currently offering their same programs online.
The Wizard School
Storytelling, play and meditation help kids in grades 3-5 find their voice, master technique and learn the elements of good writing. Go to a small-size class once or twice a week.
The Writer’s Circle
From folktales to poems, weekly workshops have one goal: Ignite a creative spark in storytellers grades 1-8. Currently offering virtual zoom calls.
HudsonWay Immersion School
Native speakers help kids in pre-K through grade 5 navigate fun, 90-minute immersion classes in Spanish and Mandarin. Offering remote and in-person options.
A Spanish and Mandarin immersion private school by day, Jump also offers a separate Saturday immersion program for kids ages 4-12, plus after-school classes to help former immersion and heritage speakers. Their weekend immersion programs are available online.
The Language Institute
Ages 6 and up can try Saturday or weekday classes (with a max of five children per group) for 10 weeks. Kids develop speaking and comprehension skills through games, songs and hands-on projects. All classes are currently online.
The Language Workshop for Children
Interactive hour-long classes feature boisterous stories, snappy songs and engaging dialogue to get kids ages 3-8 excited about learning French or Spanish. Online instruction is currently available.
Kids ages 7-14 can master coding skills at their own pace and convenience (drop in anytime). They’ll earn colored wristbands as they level up in coding and create games. Locations are separately owned, so call to see if your nearest location is offering in-person or remote classes.
Little Ivy Academy
Grades K-8 learn the tech behind toys at labs that teach coding, gadget creation, robot making, website development and more.
Mad Science revels in hands-on classes in forensics, astronomy, magnetism, slimy stuff (chemistry) and other natural wonders. Offering interactive online classes.
Montclair Learning Center
Flexible and fun classes range from engineering and coding to 3-D design and Minecraft. Offering small in-person classes with CDC guidelines and virtual sessions.
Steam Works Studio
Ignite your child’s passion for learning with a curriculum of math and science for ages 4-18, plus weekend maker fun such as Flying Machines (aerodynamics) and 3-D printing/modeling (engineering). Offering online classes.
—Jennifer Kantor is a lifestyle and parenting writer. She lives in Maplewood with her two kids.