Enrichment

tutor in los angeles

Time for a Tutor?

It’s tough to watch your child struggle in school. As parents, we instinctively step in and try to offer some extra help. Sometimes, that’s enough. But as curriculum and methodologies continually change, you may feel challenged, too. And, let’s face it, not every parent is great at homework help. Perhaps it’s time t o consider a tutor. Though there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, tutoring may be just what your child needs...

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STEM in Los Angeles

The Many Faces of STEM

STEM programs provide interdisciplinary, inquiry-based and real-world problem-based challenges. They use an integrated approach to teach students about science, technology, engineering and math. Here are some of the many fun hands-on learning opportunities in the L.A. area that can get your kids excited about STEM. One was even founded by a local teenager. Transformation Through Robotics Ben Indeglia, who went to high school at New Roads School in Santa Monica,...

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Mixed-Media Classes Promote Fearless Art Making for Parents in L.A.

We all know how important exploration and creativity – and schools and programs that encourage them – are for kids. But how about teaching by example? Letting your kids see you dive into creative pursuits shows them you practice what you preach, and mixed-media art classes can be a fun place to start. “Mixed media” refers to art that incorporates many different materials and processes. It can include collage, painting,...

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kids classes in los angeles

Trying Something New

“We can’t do Thursday, we have taekwondo.” “But we can’t do Friday because of swim class.” “Well, Monday is no good because of gymnastics.” “Yeah, but Tuesday, we have Rock Band.” This is part of a recent conversation I had trying to schedule a playdate with two other parents of kindergartners. You’ve most likely had similar talks with fellow parents, which is no surprise. From rowing to robotics, pastry-making to...

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5 Ways to Inspire a Love of Music in Kids this Summer

I took my first piano lesson from my mother when I was 5 years old, and have made music my life’s work. I have taught so many gifted children and seen them overcome shyness and embrace the joy of music. Here are five tips for inspiring a love of music in your children this summer. Take them to concerts. There is nothing more musically inspiring than experiencing live music. Taking...

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Compton/Woodley Los Angeles Enrichment Program Teaches Kids to Fly

On a recent chilly and rainy day at Compton/Woodley Airport, clusters of middle and high school students buzzed around the facility. Some hung out inside the airport’s Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (TAM), staffing the front desk, lounging on couches or working on computers inside the experiential classroom. Others braved the weather and ventured outside. A few of them settled with ease inside the cockpits of single-engine airplanes. The tweens and teens...

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Junior White Coat Ceremony Graduates 159 Local Students

The Saturday Science Academy II at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine (SSA-II), a STEM program for youth from underserved communities in L.A., graduated 159 K-12 students at its 18th annual “Junior White Coat Ceremony” on Jan. 20. SSA-II is a year-round program with three eight-week sessions during the school year and a four-week summer course. The program is open to all students, but ultimately seeks to inspire students of color...

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Aligning Your Kids’ Enrichment With Your Big-Picture Goals

My 7-year-old son is a joiner. He plays Little League, basketball and dances in a hip-hop class. When the brochure for after-school enrichment comes home in his backpack, he pores over the choices, circling everything that interests him. This past year, he tried drum lessons, skateboarding, game design and cooking. I love his enthusiasm, but almost every day I see articles online about the dangers of having overscheduled kids. Am...

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audiobooks for kids

Audiobooks for Kids: Reads for the Road

Four years ago, my family and I were preparing for a camping trip to Camp Whitsett in the Sequoia National Forest with my son’s Cub Scout pack. Ben was 8 and he loved books. I loved to read to him, but I get carsick if I try to read in the car. Obviously, my husband couldn’t read and drive at the same time. I was worried Ben would get bored...

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ucla meteorite collection

UCLA Meteorite Collection Rocks Your World

As you’re looking to fill the long days of summer with educational activities for the kids, we’ve got one to add to your list: the UCLA Meteorite Collection. The experience is free and open to the public most days of the week, offering hands-on learning opportunities about those crazy rocks that sometimes fall from the sky. On Sunday, docents are on hand to guide visitors. Bonus: it’s air-conditioned.  The entire...

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Bridging the Summer Gap to Prevent Learning Loss

Now that the academic school year has ended, students are ready to enjoy summer and all of the fun that it promises. Beach days, family vacations, swimming pools and waterparks; activities that bring fun memories, social time with friends and a highly anticipated break from the classroom. Unfortunately, with all of the fun that summer has to offer, the gap between the end of one academic year and the beginning...

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Seven Summer Activities for Learning in and Around L.A.

It’s a sweet synergy when you can have fun with your kids while they’re learning. Los Angeles is a big city with even bigger opportunities for families to discover and explore together, but you might not have heard of these lesser-known gems. Among them are a path-blazing center that rescues animals while helping kids connect with nature, a shop where you can go back and forth in time (or, rather,...

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kids improve at music

Help Your Kids Improve at Music by Praising Mistakes

It may seem counterintuitive, but telling your children they’re good at something — whether it be math, sports, or music — is a surprisingly effective way to ensure they don’t get any better at it! How could complimenting your children possibly be a bad thing? It’s not the compliment that’s the issue, but what you compliment. Did you praise your child’s talent on the clarinet, or the hours of practice...

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move the world

Taking the Stage to Move the World

They learn to dance and they dance to create change. The L.A.-based participants in the nonprofit Move the World, most ages 9 to 21, create and perform original dance works that spotlight causes from the health of our oceans to homelessness among our youth. “I wanted to teach the kids not only to love performing, but for there to be a purpose behind it,” says Move the World Executive Director...

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enrichment

Free Music-Tech Classes for Girls Come to Pasadena

In 2011, Erin Barra, an associate professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, began a music revolution by teaching music technology classes to elementary and middle school girls across the country. Beats by Girlz has reached young women in New York, Boston, Minneapolis and San Francisco – and Barra is now bringing the program to Pasadena. “The creation of Beats by Girlz started back at a workshop the Lower...

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parenting

Small Books With a Big Mission for Multilingual Kids

Board books and babies just go together. But when L.A. moms Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein shopped for their little ones, they didn’t find any that reflected the Latino culture they grew up with. “We both knew there was something missing for our children,” says Rodriguez. Best friends since childhood, the two worked together to create Lil Libros, a line of simple board books that teach letters, numbers, shapes and...

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choir programs in la

Choir Programs Let Kids Sing a Song

Given the chance, most kids love to sing and lots of L.A. programs will help them tune in  As Artistic Director Misha Shtangrud plays the piano to start a rehearsal for MUSYCA Children’s Choir, he sings, “Hello everybody, yes indeed, let’s make music, yes indeed.” His young students joyfully sing along, clearly enjoying the upbeat music and seamlessly transitioning to “Do Re Mi” and “Seasons of Love.” The kids, ages...

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enrichment

The Importance of Sticking with Enrichment

When interest fades, should kids quit or power through?  When Natasha Vogt, a San Fernando Valley mother of two, watched her younger daughter enthusiastically perform in her dance recital, she breathed a sigh of relief. Earlier, her 4-year-old had decided she wanted to quit tap and ballet lessons, but had been convinced to stick with it at least until her recital. “She enjoyed being on stage so much that we...

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positive parenting

Finding Diversity in Children’s Books

Five Easy Ways to Find Inclusive Reads Your Kids Will Love “There were tons of brown kids just like me running around the neighborhood where I grew up in East L.A. in the mid-90s, but I never came across a single book about anyone who looked like me until high school,” says Julia Casas, youth services librarian for the Santa Monica Public Library’s Ocean Park Branch. When Casas, a Latina,...

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Chat Room: Molly Newman: Shepherding Students Toward The Arts – and Beyond

Molly Newman was the kid who loved books, stories and writing. She followed her love for literature and started her career as a high school English teacher. As the Director of College Counseling for Idyllwild Arts Academy, she now helps students follow their passion for the arts to college and beyond. Idyllwild Arts, located in the pine-forested San Jacinto Mountains, is an internationally acclaimed residential arts high school with programs...

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community news

Art Lessons That Think Inside the Box

When a friend bemoaned the limited art instruction options for her son in their school and community, Lauren Perelmuter, founder of Art to Grow On Children’s Art Center, sent the boy a Frank Lloyd Wright lesson in a box. His mom was so thrilled that she brought the program into her second-grade classroom, and The Art Box Academy was born. Art to Grow On offers mobile art classes in schools,...

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parenting

The Importance of Enrichment for Your Child

“Enrichment” is a catch-all term used to describe just about anything a child does after school – from supervised kickball on the playground to advanced music or performing arts instruction or Olympic-style training. But many of these programs play a vital role for students looking beyond traditional academics for a chance to shine. They give kids the opportunity to discover new interests or develop existing talents that might not be...

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fun ideas for kids

Angel City Derby Gets Girls into Four-Wheel Drive

It’s Saturday morning, and a couple dozen girls age 7-18 are skating around a Gardena warehouse on old-fashioned four-wheel skates. As their coach, Shilow “RegulateHer” Castro, shouts instructions, they pair up and practice nudging each other out of the oval track striped on the cement floor. The girls wear helmets, knee and elbow pads and wrist guards, which are standard for their sport: roller derby. Their team, Angel City Junior...

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parenting

Back-to-school Readiness For Music Students

As a piano teacher and the founder of Music Teacher LA, I am often asked how to help young music students get ready for back-to-school time. For families whose children are taking private music lessons, such readiness is essential to ensure that children have a smooth transition from a summer of laid-back music study or vacation to motivational weekly music lessons. Additionally, feeling confident and prepared helps kids to begin...

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positive parenting

Tips to Help Your Child Deal With Recital Nerves

As the end of the school year draws near, we are entering into “recital” season. Your child may soon be participating in a dance recital or dance show. It is normal for them to be excited about the upcoming performance. In fact, these nerves are a sign of energy. Nerves are often transformed into an exciting on-stage charisma and a successful dance performance. But how do you help your child...

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Meet L.A.’s Hummingbirds

Los Angeles is crammed with contradiction. We are plagued by some of the world’s ugliest traffic, yet Terry Masear, best-selling author of “Fastest Thing On Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood,” says we’re also home to more beautiful hummingbirds than any city on Earth. Angelenos’ increased sightings of these flying jewels are due in large part to the conservation efforts of hummingbird rehabbers like Masear. Locals who put up feeders for...

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8 Creativity Boosters for Kids

One of our jobs as parents is to find new ways to inspire and encourage our children’s curiosity, creativity and interest in the world around them. Try these eight tips to spark your child’s inner artist, actor or architect. Role Playing. How often have you heard the words, “Mom, can you play with me?” And what kind of games do our kids want to play most? The most exciting and...

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Is Your Child Ready for Piano Lessons?

Parents who enroll their children in music lessons can provide a powerful boost for their youngsters’ overall development. A number of studies suggest that formal music lessons help develop hand-eye coordination, improve language skills, teach children to use both the left and right side of the brain simultaneously, instill confidence and develop discipline, patience and music appreciation. Additionally, studies show that adults who played instruments during childhood have sharper hearing...

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12 Great Books for Black History Month

Your child may be awash in historical stories of notable African- American heroes this Black History Month. We’d like to add to the conversation with our list of relatable stories that will help your child see themselves in children from different backgrounds. Here we present books that feature young characters of African descent, among others, and show them working together through fictional and a few lesser-known historical situations. This list...

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Nontraditional Sports That Think Outside the Ball

Jennifer Jones first introduced her daughters to parkour on the streets of New York. “We traveled to New York in 2014, when my daughters were 7 and 8 and my stepdaughter was 15. I was concerned about the younger ones wanting to be carried as we walked 20 blocks at a time,” says Jones, owner of Market clothing boutique in Brentwood, “so I thought outside of the box and set...

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Read Aloud Like a Rock Star

Seven Secrets from Voice-Over Actors, Teachers and Literacy Experts Early in my time volunteering with BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools), I picked up my first valuable lesson on what not to do when reading to kids. On that fresh, September morning, my read-aloud selection for the 20 eager third graders gathered before me at Paseo del Rey Elementary in Playa del Rey was an educational but – in...

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BARK Dogs Help Children Fetch New Reading Skills

Between 1997 and 2006, Long Beach resident Josie Gavieres raised six puppies to work with Guide Dogs for the Blind. The last dog she raised, Groucho, had an especially sweet temperament, but didn’t qualify for the program. Gavieres decided to take advantage of his gentle disposition in a different way. “I had always wanted to be a first-grade teacher because I think reading is so important,” Gavieres says, “so I...

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DJing and Music Producing For Kids

As a young teenager, I always looked for something that would allow me to express myself. I tried taking piano lessons for two years, but felt that there was something missing. As amazing as it was to play music by legends such as Beethoven, I didn’t feel that I owned a piece of it. I always had the desire to perform for a crowd and create something of my own....

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Tips For Buying Your Child an Instrument

The holidays are at hand and you want to surprise your musically inclined child with a brand-new instrument. Or maybe your rental is due in a month and you would rather put money into an instrument you own. First, I want to applaud you for making this important investment into your child’s musical education and enrichment. A top-quality instrument can provide enjoyment for many years. But what do I look...

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L.A. Language Schools for Kids

Los Angeles boasts a diverse culture where many languages are spoken, and there are many opportunities for children to add enrichment to their education by picking up a second or even a third language. Studies show that children who speak more than one language can reap benefits such as increased attention and focus, preparation for work in an increasingly global economy and flexible thinking skills. For young children, learning a...

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Messy Enrichment Programs Your Kids Will Love

Once upon a time, children amused themselves with their two hands, making mud pies outdoors, painting pictures inside, exploring, experimenting – and often getting dirty in the process. These days, those little hands are more likely to be occupied with a keyboard or a game controller, but that doesn’t mean children don’t still like to get messy now and again. These fun local enrichment programs encourage kids to use their...

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Three Powerful Ways to Motivate Summertime Music Practice

As a teacher, I am frequently asked how to encourage children to practice during summer break and school holidays. Some experts believe children who do not practice (or rarely practice) during summer will need one additional month of practice to recover their skill at the end of the holiday. So, what can you do? Get involved. Ask your child about the piece he or she is working on. Sit with...

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Five Reasons Your Child Should Learn Chinese

It’s no secret that getting into college is harder than ever. More students are applying, and many are applying to multiple schools to ensure they are accepted to multiple schools and have options. According to The Washington Post, admission rates at top colleges are dropping. Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Stanford only admit 5 to 5.3 percent of candidates. Even state schools are becoming more difficult to get...

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Summer Activities For Tomorrow’s STEM Girls

Startling statistics and personal experience came together and inspired Sandy Marshall, founder of the NASCAR Foundation, to create a program called Project Scientist. Women fill just 25 percent of jobs in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (popularly known as STEM). “I was reading the research on why there were so few women and girls in STEM,” Marshall explains. “I began to reflect on my own history of...

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Enrichment and Beyond

For children interested in any kind of extracurricular activity – from sports to science to the arts – parent involvement and support are vital. While this often doesn’t go much farther than picking up and dropping kids off, signing a few forms and maybe buying snacks for the team, parents face a world of opportunities for bringing their children’s enrichment experiences home as well. Decades of research shows how vital...

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10 Ways To Show (not tell) Your Child Reading Matters to You

You’ve told your child reading is important, but your actions are far louder than words. Set a good parenting example for your child by showing how important reading is to you and your entire family. Here are ten ways to show (not tell!) your child reading is important. Let your child see you reading. Parents frequently read when children are tucked away asleep. Let them see you reading. When they...

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Theater Improv Games are Fun Ideas For Kids

Some kids are naturally gregarious and social, and have no trouble making friends or speaking up in class. Others are shy, struggle to make connections with others, and dread being called on by the teacher – even when they know the answer. Theater improv games can help shy kids and those who need help with social skills, and are fun for all. Parents looking for fun ideas for kids will...

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Finding Great Educational Apps for Your Kids

It’s amazing to see how education and information are changing, and how that rapid change is largely being driven by handheld devices. Children today have access to so many opportunities, largely because of the plethora of mobile apps. But are children spending their screen time learning, or just being entertained? A national survey of parents of kids ages 2 to 10 released early this year by the Joan Ganz Cooney...

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6 Essentials For Kids’ Music Lessons

Why do children lose interest in music lessons within the first six months? After listening to many parents’ stories, I wondered. In my experience teaching and running a music school, I saw only a few dropouts after six months of studying. I asked several students’ parents and found some common factors that kept kids engaged in music: In-person experiences with a music teacher: There are lots of online music lessons...

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How Enrichment Helps Shy Kids Blossom

It’s no surprise that Los Angeles – where adults spend a lot of time seeking balance – is a hotbed of enrichment programs for kids. But for shy or insecure children, jumping into a brand-new activity can be intimidating and overwhelming. And for their parents, it can be downright daunting to push a reserved child out of her or his comfort zone in the name of “personal growth.” It usually...

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Kids Acting Up: Local theater classes offer a world of opportunity for children to take center stage

What do you do when your kids act up? Since the first film studios opened in Hollywood more than a century ago, people have flocked to Los Angeles to become movie stars. So it should be no surprise that Southern California is home to a huge number of acting schools for adults and kids alike. If your child is interested in acting, setting goals will help you sort your options....

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The Value of Pretend Play

By Patti Rommel, Director of Research and Development at Lakeshore Learning Materials Does your child love to dress up as a fearless superhero and conquer menacing villains, or reenact a scene from his or her favorite movie with friends? Maybe your little one can transform a cardboard box into a bottomless treasure chest … with just his or her imagination! If so, your child is engaging in pretend play, an...

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Step Up Summer Learning! Seven Simple Ways to Help Prevent Summer Slide

By Patti Rommel, Director of Research and Development at Lakeshore Learning Materials As the clock slowly ticks down to the final ring of the school bell, kids everywhere dream of those long days of summer filled with endless playtime and carefree fun. However, while this break from the classroom gives kids the chance to relax and revive before the next school year, it can also have another, unintended effect, called...

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Story Time

Bringing Up Bookworms

Build your child’s love of reading with these tips By Christina Elston The Velveteen Rabbit wasn’t Jennifer Graves’ first love. Snow White is the first book she remembers falling for as a child. “I thought it was so scary, but I wanted to read it again and again to get to the end, where everything works out,” she says. She enjoyed lots of other books, too – Frog and Toad,...

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