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Boredom Busters: Interesting New Classes To Try Next Week

Extra curricular activities open kids’ minds to new interests. They help build skills outside of the classroom. They provide a productive break from study. And they open new social opportunities to grow a community. Here are editor’s picks for interesting new classes to try:

Foreign Language

The many cognitive benefits of learning languages are undeniable. People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills.*

Theater Games in Spanish – Beginners

by Rogue Artists Ensemble

Learn Spanish through theatre games and music! We naturally learn language through trial and error and through play. In Theatre Games in Spanish, students learn to communicate in Spanish by playing games and having fun. We strive to joyfully instill a love of language through embodied learning and play.

Grades K – 5

$17/day starting Feb 22

German for Beginners: Singing & Speaking

by Musical Learning

In this fun and musical class, learners explore German greetings, keywords, introduction vocabulary and pronunciation – through music! Learning a language is fun and easy with Ms. Kelsey – let’s sing, dance and color! 

Ms. Kelsey is a professional opera singer and language teacher, and she started Musical Learning in 2016. She has taught German, French, English and ‘Musical Science’ for the past 10 years both online and in person. 

Ages 3 – 7

$100/ 8 session series that meets twice a week starting Feb 22


STEM

Skills attained through STEM education include problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, acceptance of failure and more.*

Explorations in Quantum Physics

by Electivity Kids

In the first 4 weeks of the session, students learn about the electromagnetic nature of matter and energy, including: Magnetism, Magnetic Induction Electricity, Photons, Solar Energy. In the second half of the session, students are introduced to atoms, subatomic particles and the Periodic Table of Elements (Hydrogen to Xenon). They learn how atoms form molecules, and also learn about the structure of the Periodic Table.  Class content is taught through engaging visual aids, physical demonstrations and thought-provoking discussion.

Grades 5 – 12

$230/ full series, ongoing until March 22

Python Programming 1: Live Online Class

by Kodeclik Online Academy

Python is one of the most feature-packed coding languages ever and today underlies the foundation of many websites, applications, and games.

This fast moving course assumes no prior experience with Python programming but rapidly takes you to high levels of functionality illustrating how you can write your own programs in Python!

Ages 11 – 18

$399 / 16-session series beginning Feb 19

Ancient Greece to Quantum Realms

by Digivations Institute

With An Emphasis on the Homeric epics of The Iliad and the Odyssey, the Milesian School of Thought yielding Thales, Pre-Socratics highlighting Democritus and the Socratic Period illustrative of Socrates Philosophy in the Context of Innovation Ranging from The Theory of Everything to Einstein’s Unified Theory and Quantum Realms.

Digivations Institute has NASA award-winning curriculum and is an ActivityHero Best of 2020.

ages 12 & up

$49/day ongoing until May 25

Curiosity Club S.T.E.A.M. Lab – science & art fun

by Active Art & Science

Join us online for S.T.E.A.M powered fun where you will explore the curious worlds of science, technology, engineering, art and math. Conduct experiments, create art, build, take things apart and enjoy learning how art, science, engineering and technology are connected.

Ages 5 – 10

$96/ 6-session series beginning Feb 22


Homeschooling

Homeschool offers academic flexibility. During these ever-changing COVID times, many families have turned to this option. Try these classes for academic homeschooling and enrichment education!

Martial Arts & Life Lessons

by Family Karate

Family Karate provides fun, fitness, karate, and life skills.  Now your child can enjoy our unique blend of martial arts and character building in our live online classes with a Master Instructor.

In each class we’ll ask you to set a self leadership goal for your children, and in the next class we’ll follow up progress on those goals.

Ages 5 – 11 but fun for the whole family! Try it as a stress reliever!

$10/day trial classes or $20/day regular price ongoing throughout spring

First Grade Curriculum! Homeschooling 101!

by Homeschool Academy

This is a great introductory trial for parents thinking about homeschooling their kids.

In this curriculum which follows the Common Core State Standards, we dive into EVERYTHING your child should learn in First Grade WOW! See below for a snapshot of some of the covered content. In previous classes on different platforms– parents would RAVE how their child would not be able to read at all prior to Mrs. Hendricks Academy and by the end of the curriculum- they were reading whole sentences, creative writing on their own and excelling. 

Ages 4 – 8

$7/class. Special discount available $145/month

Princess Story Time Ballet Dance Camp

by Lovely Leaps

Each week we will have a different princess joining the class. After the princess arrives the children will perform their dance while the princess sings, Then they will sit with their favorite toy while the princess reads a fun book! After story time the children will have a chance to each personally interact with the princess! It’s not everyday your child will get to have a virtual Disneyland experience! 

Ages 3 – 6

$17/day starting March 4


Tired of online classes? Try a fun Lego® course:
Amusement Park LEGO® Engineering

by SNAPOLOGY OF LOS GATOS

We bet your child loves going to amusement parks to experience the variety of fast, dropping, and spinning rides, but have they ever thought about the science that goes into building those rides and the people who are responsible for designing them? In Snapology’s Amusement Park Engineering class, students will become engineers building their own amusement park rides like roller coasters, Ferris wheel , Bumper Car and other awesome rides!! 

Snapology of Los Gatos serves Almaden, Camden, Los Gatos, Saratoga and Cupertino.

Ages 5 – 12

$150/ 4-session series starting Feb 24

Categories
Language

5 Ways to Help Kids Learn a Language






The benefits of knowing a second language are multi-fold. It can increase your children’s future job opportunities, enrich travel experiences and stimulate their minds in new and exciting ways. If you’re not bilingual yourself (or all you have is a couple of years of high school Spanish), you may think you’re not equipped to help kids learn a foreign language. In fact, exposing your child (and you) to a new language need not be complex or costly.

Here are five ways to help your child develop bilingual skills that fit any budget or learning style:

Language Apps For Kids

Apps are the best thing ever. These days, there seems to be a low-cost app that can teach you anything. You can buy Rosetta Stone software for $100-$250, but why not try a free (or nearly free) app for your kids’ iPhone, iPad or tablet instead? Since kids love their devices, this seems like the natural conduit to drop some language skills on them lennossa. Here are a few apps to consider:

  • Gus on the Go – Better for younger kids, an animated traveling owl teaches fun and easy foreign language vocabulary lessons. With more than 25 languages to choose from at a price tag of less than $4, this one is muy bueno.
  • Little Pim – For elementary school kids, the Panda hero of this series of iTunes videos and apps teaches kids language in a fun way. Videos run $20 and are themed (like food, home, numbers, feelings, etc.). This series is sehr gut.
  • Mindsnacks – This totally free app was rated “one of the best educational apps of the year” and is recommended for grade five through adult. It’s game based, so you play along to level up while you learn. The low cost and high ratings make this one perfetto.

Language programs

As mentioned above, Rosetta Stone can cost a fortune, but you can get costly audio, video, software and book language programs for zero cost from your local library. Browse the non-fiction stacks of your local library (or your child’s school library) in the 430 through 490 sections for shelves of free resources. Your library may also offer e-resources you can access through your digital device. Check OverDrive.com, 3M Cloud Library or ask at the checkout desk to see if your library participates in an online resource program so you can download language books for your kids free and instantly. That’s a magkaunawaan.

Total immersion

language-immersion

It’s accepted wisdom that immersion is the preferable way to fast track lifelong foreign language skills, but if you don’t speak a foreign language yourself, what can you do? Here are some tips to try to help your child jump into the djúpt enda.

  • Look for a family friend or relative with second language skills and arrange for your child to spend time with them but ask them to only speak their native (or learned) language when they interact with your child.
  • Consider an immersion summer camp to fast-track language skills. Universe of Colors offers day camps, and Concordia Language Villages offer cool sleep away camp programs to make it easy for your child to learn new skills in no time.
  • Check local colleges for foreign students that may be willing to come to your house and hang out and share their native language skills in exchange for a bit of cash, a home cooked meal, and some family time if they’re lonely.
  • Contact your local senior center to find out if they have any retirees with multi-lingual skills who might enjoy a visit from your student. This is a win-win. The senior gets face time with a visitor, and your kid gets language help.

Community programs

Parks and recreation based programs are cheaper than language schools or day camps. You can score a language program for as little as $5 a class through your rec department. The downside to a community program is that it’s a group setting and will move only as fast as the slowest participant. The upsides are that it’s local to you, very affordable and can allow your child to sample different language programs on the cheap to see which one they prefer. From there, you can invest in language learning for the tongue that most appeals to them. That’s koopje!

Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube

language-learning-online

Take advantage of free and subscription video accounts to find language lessons. Today’s children are very comfortable with video lessons – many use YouTube to learn the tricks of all their favorite video games or to master their latest math lesson. Why not put their love of video to practical language use? It can be synarpastikós for you and your kids.

  • YouTube.com offers a wide array of free language lessons. Some offer a short session then send you to a website for priced versions while some channels are dedicated to a specific language and offer a free YouTube-based program to teach your young one language skills.
  • There are two ways to use Netflix.com for bilingual instruction. First, Have your kids watch their fave films dubbed into another language. Click here to see how to utilize alternate audio settings. Second, use Netflix DVD mailer options to rent instructional language DVDs. Log into your account and browse the Special Interest category to find foreign language lesson DVDs.
  • With Amazon.com, an annual Prime account gets you access to a load of free materials including gratis Kindle language books. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for your iPhone or another device. Prime Music offers subliminal language lessons, and the Kindle Owners Lending Library has a number of foreign language books you can check out for free. As with Netflix, you can set streaming videos to alternate dubbed languages or foreign subtitles. And if you have a $9.99 monthly Kindle Unlimited subscription, there are more than 7,300 titles in this category to help your child learn a foreign language. And if your child doesn’t have a Kindle, you can get an HD Fire Kindle for as low as $99 so they can access these lessons without the cost of an iPad.

Learning a second (or third or fourth) language can broaden your child’s horizons for the rest of his/her lives. If they want to try a foreign exchange program as a teen, they’ll be well equipped. It can make them feel more at ease when you travel internationally and, studies show, taking on a second language enhances your child’s cognitive development. Plus, once they’re grown, having another language in their skill set can enhance your kid’s job opportunities and earnings potential which is fantastisk.

Article phrase guide:

  • lennossa – Finnish for “on the fly”
  • muy bueno – Spanish for “very good”
  • sehr gut – German for “very good”
  • perfetto – Italian for “perfect”
  • magkaunawaan – Filipino for “bargain”
  • djúpt enda – Icelandic for “deep end”
  • koopje – Dutch for “bargain”
  • synarpastikós – Greek for “exciting”

If you want to help your child learn a foreign language this summer, and you live in the Bay Area, check out EFBA French Immersion Summer Camps in Mountain View, CA. Or you can click here to discover language learning classes in your area!