Fostering the love of learning. Supplemental education programs on the Seacoast.
My son is really good at math. Like, really good. At six years old, he was adding up the double digit numbers on the back of take-out fortune cookies. In his head. And he was right every single time.
So, naturally I jumped right on that bandwagon and taught him to count cards in Vegas. Ok, no I didn’t. (Yet. But soon.) I did, however, want to encourage his passion and enjoyment of mathematics by keeping his mind challenged so I started looking around for programs to supplement his school year education. Right now he looooves math and I want to keep that going as long as I can.
Interested in doubling down on your child’s education?
The Kumon Math and Reading Center in Portsmouth provides students K-12 with extra support or advanced enrichment in math and/or reading with self-guided study programs personalized to the student’s ability and goals. Other similar centers in the area include Sylvan Learning Center in Portsmouth, Rochester and Hampton that provides homework assistance, math/reading/writing tutoring, robotics and coding camps and advanced math programs. BEAM Fitness & Tutoring in Stratham offers a M-F homework club along with enrichment programs for STEM, music, creative arts and more.
School-Sponsored Academic Clubs
Most elementary schools (and beyond) offer extracurricular academic “clubs” available during school or after-school hours. My son takes part in a Math Challenge group that meets several times a week and works on advanced mathematical problems and strategies to keep him engaged and sharp. For those who excel in reading, there are book clubs that offer incentives to “Read 100 Books” during the school year. If your child needs a little extra help in a particular subject, inquire with the school’s guidance counselor who can assist with coordinating special tutoring sessions during school hours.
Local Educational Programs
For other free educational programs, be sure to check out your local library. I’ve heard about a great “Read to Dogs” program for kids who are not yet comfortable reading in front of their peers and are allowed to practice with patience only a pup can offer. Many libraries also have Book Clubs, Homework Clubs and other peer-related group sessions. If your child enjoys more hands-on learning activities, look around for a Maker club that utilizes both engineering and creativity to build fun projects (they also have weekly STEAM activities at the Children’s Museum of NH).
Even though my kids are 9 and 10 years old, they still need to be occupied in both cars and restaurants. In order to stave off more screen time, I go to the Dollar Stores and buy those reading/math skills books to keep in back pocket of the car seat. Sometimes I’ll buy the booklets that are a grade-level down because they’re easier—this way they can reinforce their proficiency of the basics while pumping in a healthy dose of confidence.
The internet, of course, has an unlimited number of websites geared towards supplemental learning. Some are fee-based with a more structured curriculum; others are free and more game-like. LearningGamesForKids.com has a ton of varied subject games for kids K-5 including social studies, geography, science and spelling. Softschool.com offers games and lessons from pre-school age through high school along with free, printable worksheets.
As a parent, I want to do everything I can to develop my children’s enthusiasm for learning while bolstering their strengths and confidence around education. #HelloHarvard!