Is your child aiming to rock accelerated math? Itching to code video games? No matter her interest, there’s an after-school 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 enrichment into your child’s schedule, read on to find a program that’s right.
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 one to three times per week and get daily homework.
Chatham Learning Center
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.
Eye Level Learning
The goal is to help foster independence, initiative and achievement through weekly math and English classes, daily homework and online learning.
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.
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.
Strengthen their math and English skills with two weekly classes featuring timed/evaluated worksheets, plus 20-30 minutes of daily homework.
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.
Sylvan Learning Center
Sylvan offers custom tutoring in math, reading, writing and more, plus homework help and coaching to sharpen their study skills.
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.
HudsonWay Immersion School
Native speakers help kids in pre-K through grade 5 navigate fun, 90-minute immersion classes in Spanish and Mandarin.
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.
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 hour-long classes feature boisterous stories, snappy songs and engaging dialogue to get kids ages 3-8 excited about learning French or Spanish.
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.
This STEM-focused center offers a range of options from coding and math to competitive robotics and hands-on science.
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.
Montclair Learning Center
Flexible and fun classes range from engineering and coding to 3-D design and Minecraft.
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).
STEM New Jersey
All STEAM classes, like Coding, Robotics Club, STEM Tech and Art, boast a five to one student to teacher ratio, and are available to ages 4 and up. Kids can learn about biology, physics, chemistry, math and augmented reality.
—Jennifer Kantor is a lifestyle and parenting writer. She lives in Maplewood with her two kids.