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 and any requirements
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 virtual one-on-one or group sessions once or twice 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, psychoeducational evaluations for students who are struggling academically and Orton Gillingham tutoring (that is, specialized literacy training for those with dyslexia and other reading difficulties).
City Kidz World
Cranbury, Kendall Park
Classes teach reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing skills to kids ages 5-18. More specifically, vocabulary, grammar & punctuation, writing and reading for 1st-6th graders, more advanced reading, grammar, high school prep for middle schoolers and college prep, SAT and ACT training and high school curriculum support for high schoolers. Ask about the New Media Program for your aspiring journalist. Currently classes are offered in-person on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 4:30-7:30 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am- 1 pm. Remote classes are also offered, as well as virtual language arts and math classes.
Eye Level Learning
The goal is to help foster independence, initiative and achievement through weekly math and English classes, daily homework and a mix of “offline” and online learning. Students can either learn in-person at an Eye Level Learning Center or through Eye Level On Air, which is virtual learning with enhanced online curriculums.
Kids from pre-K through high school can learn Spanish, Italian, French and Arabic at this center which uses a culturally authentic approach to learning a new language. In-person and virtual lessons that use the full immersion method are offered.
Huntington Learning Center
Kids from kindergarten through high school 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, as well as in-person tutoring at various locations.
JEI Learning Center
JEI’s individualized, workbook based model (one session per week plus daily homework) includes classes in problem-solving, math, English, reading, writing and critical and creative thinking. A low student-to-teacher ratio ensures that all students will receive plenty of personal attention. Remote learning options are also available.
Kumon offers worksheet-based educational services for kids as young as three through high school. 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, but students can also receive in-person instruction at many locations.
Boost your K-12th grader’s knack for numbers with a methodical yet personalized curriculum designed to help strugglers improve and superstars soar through a combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile and written exercises. Tutoring sessions are currently being offered by appointment via video conference and in-person.
Project Write Now
Lit-loving kids, tweens and teens can workshop ideas, hone their craft and get constructive feedback amidst a supportive group of young scribes. Online classes and tutoring sessions are available for younger children, while teens can take virtual classes or participate in a virtual internship program. Project Write Now also offers community outreach programs aimed at helping underserved and vulnerable groups develop crucial writing and communication skills.
Sylvan Learning Center
Sylvan offers custom tutoring in math, reading, writing and more, plus homework help and coaching to sharpen students’ study skills. Older kids can also get AP class support, help with college essays, and SAT/ACT prep, along with tutoring geared toward higher level skills. With 11 locations in New Jersey, you’re sure to find one nearby or you can sign up for programs online.
The Writers Circle
From folktales to poems, weekly workshops aim to ignite a creative spark in storytellers grades 3-12. The Storytellers Circle, Story Magic and Out of this World are perfect for young writing enthusiasts, while middle and high schoolers will enjoy the Tween and Teen Writers Circles, respectively. The Circle is currently offering in-person and virtual options.
HudsonWay Immersion School
Native speakers help kids in pre-K through grade 8 navigate fun, 90-minute immersion classes in Spanish and Mandarin. With a mix of novice, intermediate and advanced classes, kids will work on their skills in foreign language listening, reading, writing and speaking. HudsonWay is currently 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. 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.
The Language Workshop for Children
Interactive, private classes feature boisterous stories, snappy songs and engaging dialogue to get kids ages 2 and older excited about learning French, Spanish or Italian. Qualified instructors also provide language tutoring for older students.
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 individually owned, so call ahead for in-person classes, but virtual activities such as At-Home Coding are available as well.
Little Ivy Academy
Grades K-8 learn the tech behind toys at labs that teach coding, gadget creation, robot making, website development and more. Kids can have fun with STEAM virtually through the Academy Online or participate in a variety of robotics/computer science-related programs at the Little Ivy Academy campus in Ridgewood.
Mad Science revels in hands-on classes in forensics, astronomy, magnetism, slimy stuff (chemistry) and other natural wonders. Interactive online and in-person classes designed for students between the ages of 5-12 will take them to the stars or teach them about engineering through LEGO building.
Montclair Learning Center
The center specializes in computer science, learning games, math, science and technology. Flexible and fun classes range from engineering and coding to 3-D design and Minecraft. Offering in-person classes.
STEAM Works Studio
With a focus on math and science for ages 4-18, STEAM Works offers small class sizes ensuring each student receives individual attention. Hands-on experiments keep everyone engaged. The studio also holds weekend classes covering disciplines such as animation and 3-D printing/ modeling (engineering). Offering both in-person and online classes.