Author Archives: Kidz Central Station

About Kidz Central Station

Founded by a NYC mom of two young children, Kidz Central Station uses technology to solve the problem so many busy parents face—how to find, book, and manage their children's classes, camps, local family events, and birthday parties. Kidz Central Station offers more than 20,000 classes, camps, and birthday party options representing hundreds of NYC's top activity providers. With a sophisticated search engine and class reviews, it is easy for parents to find the best classes for their children, sign up for a trial class, and directly enroll.

Top Mommy & Me Classes

Mommy & Me classes in NYC

It’s Back-to-School season and we don’t want to forget about our littlest ones.  Get them started on their Fall schedules with these great Daddy or Mommy & Me classes in New York City.  Find classes in Music, Sports, Fitness for Moms, Language, Yoga, Dance and more!

Mommy & Me Music

Tunez for Totz is a music baby development class for ages 16 months – 3 years.  Enjoy Sing-Along with Lala, Rhythm Development Games, Dancing & Introduction to Instruments. At New York Stage of Mind.

Mommy & Me Sports

Multi-Sport Mommy & Me is a 45 minute buddy (guardian) participation class for ages 12-24 mos. Children learn important gross-motor movements through games and play in the comfort of their buddy’s hands. At FunFit Kids.

Adult and Me Gymnastics for ages 12 months to 3 years is a Mom/Dad and Me program designed for parents and their toddlers to learn fundamental gymnastics skills in a fun, safe, and interactive environment. At Aviator Sports and Events Center.

Fitness for Moms

New Baby, New Body, A New Mom’s Fitness Class allows you to reconnect with your body, while building community with other moms and allowing your baby to interact with other babies. Mommy & Me Barre Workout blends ballet technique, Pilates and yoga specifically for postnatal moms.  Mommy & Me Postpartum Pilates for ages 6 weeks to pre-crawling focuses on rediscovering waistlines and restoring posture while getting your energy and strength freely flowing. At 14th Street Y.

Mommy & Me Yoga

Mommy & Me Yoga for Starting Seeds 12 – 24 months or Sporting Sprouts 24-36 months are 45 minutes classes with buddy (guardian) participation. Children explore playful yoga exercises and experience how their breath and body move together in a fun-filled way. At FunFit Kids.

Yoga For Mommy & Baby ages 1-9 months allows Mommy and baby to connect while performing gentle yoga postures in a nurturing environment. Mothers who are at least six weeks postpartum benefit from core muscle stretching and strengthening exercises. At 92nd Street Y.

Mom & Baby Yoga or Mom & Baby Pilates help Mom get back in shape while strengthening the bond with Baby. Help baby strengthen growing muscles, aid in digestion, and promote better sleeping patterns. Dad & Baby Yoga Date: October 21, 2018. Strengthen the bond between Daddy and baby and get a great workout.  Ages 6 weeks through new walkers.  At Karma Kids Yoga.

Mommy & Me Yoga. This post-natal class combines movements, postures and breath to stretch, strengthen, release tension and bring awareness to key areas of the body that are affected from having a new baby. Guide your baby through gentle postures designed to enhance infant development. At 14th Street Y.

Mommy & Me Dance

Dance Classes for 2 1/2 year olds is a 30-minute pre-dance class that teaches the basic, beginner steps of dance.  Often Mommy or Daddy come into class for the first lessons. At The DanceSource.

My First Ballet Class/Grown-up and Me for ages 18 months to 3 years offers flexibility and exposure to Ballet, Hip Hop and Creative Movement.  Adult participation is required during the 45 minute lesson. At Midtown Movement and Dance Company.

Dance With Me is designed for 2 year olds who are not yet comfortable being in a class alone.  Each child is joined in the class by a parent or caregiver who will be the child’s “dancing partner.”  At Joffrey Ballet School.

Spanish Language

¡HOLA! Baby Program for 6-11 months introduces the Spanish language and sounds by using music, touch, movement and sensory stimuli before your baby reaches toddlerhood. At ¡HOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish.

Joffrey Ballet Goes Back-to-School

Joffrey Ballet Dance Classes for Kids

Joffrey Ballet School makes dance fun!  Their custom curriculum encourages age appropriate learning and teaches classical ballet, as well as, contemporary ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern dance.

Here are excellent options for After-School or Weekend classes this Fall/Winter 2018 season at Joffrey Ballet.

Dance With Me

Age: 2+.  Wed or Sat.  Specially designed for 2 year olds who are not yet comfortable being in a class alone. Each child is joined in class by a parent or caregiver who will be the “dancing partner.”

Baby Ballerinas

Age: 3+. Mo, Tu, Wed, Th or Sat. Children learn the elements of creative movement and ballet and skills such as turn-taking and following instructions are emphasized. Dancers explore movement qualities, musicality, and motor coordination.

Demi Soloists

Age: 4+.  Mo, Tu, Wed, Th or Sat. Dancers will learn through creative movement and basic ballet. Dancers are encouraged to expand their movement vocabulary through games and creative exploration of dance movements.

Pre-Ballet 

Age: 5+. Tu, Wed, Th or Sat. The elements of creative movement will be augmented with an emphasis on coordination. Basic ballet concepts will be introduced.

Pre-Ballet 2

Age: 6+.  Tu, Th or Sat. Dancers are introduced to a class format that prepares them for a “real” ballet class via exercises emphasizeing straight legs and pointed feet, posture, placement, stretches, etc.

Foundations of Ballet

Age: 7+. Mo, Wed, or Sat. Students learn dance exercises consisting of barre and centre work with focuses on posture, placement and comportment of classical ballet. This training develops a strong foundation for Classical Ballet.

 

Foreign Language Classes for Young Kids

Foreign Language Classes in NYC for KidsThere are several motivations – academic, cultural, personal – for our children to learn a foreign language.  The most important is that it is fun.  It’s fun to discover new words, it’s fun to learn about culture, it’s fun to speak to people in a “different” way, it’s fun to accomplish something new. And our young children are primed to learn.  Try one of these great language classes for kids in Manhattan.

¡HOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish (Flatiron).  Boost emerging Spanish language skills. Classes are taught through the use of music, games, props, art, movement, unstructured play and literacy. Artistic expression and socialization are emphasized.  Find your class:  Babies 6-11mos, Toddler (12-23mos), 18mos-3s and Two-Four.

Language Workshop for Children (UES). Original music, vocabulary-building songs, language immersion, festive visual aids, action games and native-fluent language teachers are the cornerstones of this program.  Multiple language classes are available, including the popular Two Terrific in Spanish, Chinese, Italian, or French.  Classes range from Ages 6mos to 5 yrs.

FunFit Kids (UWS).  Children will learn letters, common words, plurals, basic language rules and phrases.  Instead of writing a letter, they will run to it or instead of drawing a line to that letter in a book, they will throw a ball at it. Hebrew is offered at this time.  2Lingo Multi-Sport Hebrew. Ages 3-5.

92nd Street Y (UES). An educator-led playgroup with Hebrew immersion. Each Parkbench begins with lively playtime, followed by snacks and age-appropriate activities, art, music and circle time. All levels welcome! Hebrew Parkbench/15-24 Mos.

Top Rated Piano Lessons for Kids

Piano Lessons for Kids in NYCThere are many reasons for our kids learn to play piano aside from it being a pretty impressive party skill.  Piano lessons help with concentration, discipline, listening, reading, and creativity.  Playing piano helps develop emotions and build confidence.  Your kids can start as early as 4 or 5 but any age is the time to begin a lifelong love of music.  Below are the best classes and teachers in the NYC area.

High Note NYC Piano and Vocal Instruction (E27th)

Discounted 5-lesson pack and trial class available.  One-on-one weekly sessions  incorporate theory and ear training with piano playing while following method books and appropriate supplemental materials. Ages 3+.

Natalia Huang Piano Studio (E40th)

One on one private piano lessons each week focusing on playing the piano, technique, ear-training, sight-reading, and music appreciation. Weekly lessons of 30, 45 or 60 minutes.  Two or three workshop performances each year and annual recital in June. Ages 5+.

New York Stage of Mind (LIC)

Trial class available. Piano Lessons are offered in a weekly one-on-one format on baby grand piano. Lessons are offered in 3 formats: 30 minutes, 45 or 60 minutes. Schedule is flexible. Ages 3+.

Willan Academy of Music (8th Ave or in-home in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens)

No obligation 30 minute trial piano lessons are available. Piano lessons provide students individual instruction in a comfortable setting. For children ages 4+ and adults. Choose from 30, 45 or 60 minutes.

92nd Street Y (UES)

Group Piano 5-7 Years (Beginner) introduces your children to the fundamentals of music in a fun group environment.  The class is for Ages 5-7 and runs 45 minutes.

Sports & Gym Birthday Parties for NYC Kids

Sports birthday party NYC

Sports and Gymnasium parties are the most popular parties for a lot of kids and parents with good reason. Our kids are kept active and engaged and hopefully worn out enough to fall asleep early that night.  Win-Win!

Upper West Side

FunFit Kids:  Ages 11 and under. 90 minutes of fun at their location on the UWS, or at a location of your choice.  Sports include soccer, basketball, baseball, football, volleyball, hockey, tennis, golf and lacrosse.  FunFit bag of goodies for the birthday star.

Upper East Side

 

92nd Street Y: Ages 2+. Party Types include Basketball, Gymnastics, Multi-Sports, Soccer, Swimming, Dance, and Open Playtime.  Parties include a designated party room, complimentary party favor for each child guest, and gifts for the birthday child and host parents.

Gymtime: Ages 1+.  90 minutes of gymnastics, sports, or tae kwon do. **Alcoholic Beverages permitted. Many available themes, including Favorite Superheroes,
Sports, Favorite cartoon characters, Disney movie characters, Sesame Street, etc.

Flatiron/Chelsea

Karma Kids Yoga All ages are covered across the multiple themed parties available.  Party Types include Downward Doll Yoga, Yoga Sleep Under, Yoga Sleep Over, Gloga Yoga, Butterfly Yoga, Yoga Mat Painting, Yoga Spa, Yoga Art, My First Birthday, Circus Yoga.

Multiple Locations

Bee In Motion Birthday Parties:  Ages 4+. Schedule at the UES, UWS or at a local park in your neighborhood.  Games include a variety of tag, capture the flag/football, dodgeball, kickball, gaga ball, running bases, ultimate goal ball, soccer and flag football for older kids. Versions of football, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, baseball and swimming (if you have a pool).  **Alcoholic Beverages permitted.

New York Kids ClubAges 1-12. UWS, UES, Flatiron/Gramercy, Tribeca, FiDi, and Brooklyn and LIC.  90 minutes of jumping, laughing, and celebrating in the gym and refreshments/cake in party room. Specialty themes are available.  **Beer/wine permitted.

Karma Kids Yoga provides yoga mats, props, and music at a Yoga Party at Your Space.

FunFit Kids will travel to a location of your choice.

Sports birthday party nycBrooklyn

Aviator Sports and Events CenterAges 1+. Any amount of guests.  Sports parties are the specialty – Gymnastics, Ninja Warrior, Ice Skating, Ultimate Birthday Party Challenge, Bubble Soccer, Game Truck, Tiny Tykes, Rock Climbing, Pool Party.   **Alcoholic Beverages permitted.

New York Fencing Academy: Ages 5+.  60 minutes of group Fencing instruction and Fencing play in this state-of-the-art gym and 60 minutes for your party celebration in the lounge area.  **Alcoholic Beverages permitted.

Queens

OKABALOO FunArtFaktory – Arts & Fun CenterAll ages.  2.5 hours exclusive use of space. Sporty packages include Yoga, Fitness, Dance, Martial Arts, etc.  **Alcoholic Beverages permitted.

Indoor Extreme Sports – Choose from Paintball, Black Ops Lasertag, Arena Lasertag, Archery Tag, Virtual Reality, and more. This is one of the best extreme sports & experiences out there for ages 7+.

13 Unique Kids’ Birthday Party Venues in NYC

Unique birthday party venues in NYCParents in NYC are always looking for new and different birthday party venues where we have not already attended a kid’s party.  Kidz Central Station continues its Birthday Party Series with a look at unique and cool birthday party spaces in NYC that are not the usual gyms and athletic centers.  Also, consider hiring a musical performer to entertain the group.

Restaurants

Shake Shack UWS hosts your friends in the private Rec Room and treats them to all of the classics:  Shack burgers, flat-top dogs, crinkle fries, frozen custard shakes and concretes, Shack-made lemonade, fresh brewed iced tea, and fountain sodas.  Your friends will love it.

16 Handles has birthday party locations on UWS and UES. Rent out the entire store before it opens or choose a period during regular business hours. Recommended entertainment options include a gaming station with party host, face painting/tattoo artist, balloon artist, mad scientist, Rockin’ With Andy, magicians, and clowns.

Action Burger is a science fiction/comic book/video game themed restaurant in Williamsburg.  Entertainment includes classic arcade games (Street fighter anniversary & Mortal Kombat 2), as well as, modern games (Just Dance, Guitar Hero, Halo, Call of Duty, Halo, Mindcraft, Karaoke, and more).  Fun for kids and the parents!

The East Wing is the private party room at UES bar The Stumble Inn. It features a “kid friendly” menu with breaded chicken tenders, mini hamburgers, mac n’ cheese, tater tots and quesadillas. They offer a fully stocked bar for the adults and a soda and juice bar for the little ones.

Please read about our visit to one of our Kips Bay/Murray Hill favorites, The Shake and Burger Bar.

Museum

New York City Fire Museum.  Do your kids want to grow up to be firefighters?  This is their dream party.  The museum has collections of fire related art, artifacts, gear, and apparatus from the late 18th century to the present and showcases the evolution of firefighting.  The Junior Firefighter Birthday Party package lasts for two hours and is designed for children ages 3-6.

bdayparty

Arcades (VR, Pinball, Interactive)

Please read about our super-fun 4D immersive visit to NFL Experience Times Square.

YokeyPokey Virtual Reality Club – Brooklyn.  Race cars, shoot down space aliens, play minecraft, create and destroy cities, paint in an immersive painting and much more in a virtual reality gaming and 360 degree immersive experience.  Your kids and guests won’t stop talking about it.

Indoor Extreme Sports – LIC and Staten Island. Choose from Paintball, Black Ops Lasertag, Arena Lasertag, Archery Tag, Virtual Reality, and more. This is one of the best extreme sports & experiences out there for ages 7+.

Modern Pinball NYC Party Place & ArcadeYou and your guests will have a BLAST playing Unlimited Games with all arcade machines on FREE PLAY and enjoy the comfort and privacy of the separate Party Room.  Ranked #1 at Yelp! for ‘Best Birthday Party Venue’ in New York City!

Fashion & Tea Parties

The Fashion ClassThe birthday girl or boy can choose to sew real, wearable clothing, design a fashion project or even hold a professional runway show!  The party takes place in the bright and airy 2500 sq ft Midtown studio with separate food, activity and parent hang-out areas.

Tiarah Events – Queens.  Tiarah’s Royal Tea Parties are a fun way for little guests to get pampered and have fun! Our Royal Tea Party starts with mani/pedi, dress up, and then once we’re all glamoured up we’ll sit and have a cup of tea, sandwiches, and sweets and scones.

Hello Princess NYC – Morris Park. Two hours of Princess or pop star themed and tea parties for the birthday girl. Manicures, makeup and tiaras for all.  Ages 3-10.

5 Music Performers for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Musical Performers Birthday PartyWe know that the yearly birthday party search is not the most enjoyable task for our parents. Costs,  Themes, Venues, Locations, Alcohol allowed?  So many things to figure out,  So, we at Kidz Central Station are hoping to streamline this process by doing a lot of the heavy lifting for our parents.

This week, we’ve found the best music performers in NYC who can travel to your party to entertain the kiddos.

Andy and Suzanna Kids Music:  Andy and/or Suzanna provide 35-45 minutes of singing and dancing with bubbles, shakers, bells, movement activities, and hands-on guitar time! They mix original music with kids standards and family friendly pop singalongs and take any song requests.

Kids at Work Musicians: Musicians create authentic musical experiences for young children via storysongs, contrasting activities, instruments, and movement. They can play and sing almost anything!  Enjoy $10 off discount for Kidz Central Station parents.

Music with Breezy:  Breezy Sharp is a Music For Aardvarks teacher and professional touring musician/singer. She brings rhythm sticks and egg shakers for the kids, as well as her guitar for 30 minutes of sing along fun.  She sings both Aardvarks favorites, such as “Taxi,” as well as, popular songs “Wheels on the Bus” and a rock-n-roll version of “ABC”

Ms. Janis Music: Ms. Janis Music performers are professional singers and guitar players that  are hand picked and trained by Ms. Janis.  All packages (30, 45 or 60 minutes) include music, singing, dancing, parachute play, scarf play and use of other engaging props.

Sing & Celebrate:  Early childhood music teacher Laca Tines runs this program.   Each party program runs 45 minutes and specific activities are hand-picked to best suit your party. The program is packed with guitar sing-along, lap bounces, circle dances, and loads of instruments – shakers, bells/tambourines, rhythm sticks, and DRUMS!

Family Fun and Birthdays at NFL Experience Times Square

rogerKidz Central Station just had a ridiculous fun time at NFL Experience Times Square (NFLX) and we want to spread the word.  This is a live action experience that involves athletic skills games (e.g., vertical leap, quarterback challenge, blocking dummy, etc) and a wholly immersive 4D surround sound movie theater to bring us the feel of being “in the game.” This is awesome if you are a football fan, but  we learned that you do not need to be a fan or even know much about the game to enjoy the journey.NFL Experience Times Square

On a hot and muggy day, NFLX was the perfect place to get our kids out of the house and out of the sun to release their energy.  When we first arrived, we visited the second floor gift shop and cafe area where Good Morning Football is filmed.  The kids got to sit at the desk and pretend they were tv hosts.

Next, we entered the exhibit, which begins on the fourth floor with a walk down a hallway that introduces the 32 football teams and showcases jerseys and helmets and displays for each NFL conference.  Learn football history here, especially with  an interactive map where we could learn about any team we chose.  This is an example of when you do not need to be a fan.  Kids love pushing buttons and being the one in control of the adventure.NFL Experience Times Square

After taking some fun photographs in front of a green screen, we entered the theater, aka The Stadium, for a short 13 minutemovie.  This was the favorite attraction for both the kids and adults.  During this interactive film, the audience gets to feel like they’re in the game.  There are screens on both sides of you, on the ceiling, and in front of you with speaker systems all around.  The seats move with what’s happening in the film.  If there’s a tackle, you feel it.  When we were watching games take place in snow, it began “snowing” in the the theater and I swear, it felt like snow.NFL Experience Times Square

After exiting the movie onto the third floor, you and the kids can take part in all the skills games.  The kids rushed forward to the tackling dummies and tried with all their might to try to move them.  They tried their hands at the quarterback throwing contest and the vertical jump challenge.  These were the 2nd and 3rd favorites for the kids as their competitive sides were now in full force as they ran around to all the games.  NFL Experience Times SquareThey created or suited up their own football player on screen and then had that player mimic their movements.  They weighed themselves together to compare to offensive linemen.  They stood next to a height chart to see if they could reach Julian Edelman.  Note, short is still tall in sports.NFL Experience Times Square

A Jon Gruden video taught us one of his actual game plays, which he drew up on a visit here.  We walked through the victory tunnel and celebrated our Super Bowl win.  There was another photo op in front of a green screen in which a bucket of Gatorade is spilling you.  The kids loved it!  It was very cool was seeing all of the Super Bowl rings and the Lombardi Trophy in person.  Also, Good Morning Football ends filming at 10AM and players have been known to hang around.  We didn’t see any NFL players during our visit but Sterling Shepard stopped by the day after and posed with lucky fans.  Next time!

NFL Experience Times Square

And we will visit again because the cafe broadcasts games during the season, as well as, other sporting events such as March Madness during the rest of the year,  The location is fantastic on Times Square and the 2nd floor had a perfect view of all the action.  And they serve a full menu (and bar) along with lots of kid friendly options.  My son was also interested in the idea of a birthday party here.  See below for details.

NFL Experience Times Square

Kidz Tips:

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Birthdays at NFL Experience Times Square

ALL PRO – $800

  • Admission for 21 (kids and adults)
  • Kids Lunch Package Options
  • A Birthday Cake! Choice of chocolate, vanilla or Fruity Pebble Marshmallow
  • Paper Goods (plates, cups, utensils)
  • Commemorative photo for all children
  • Dedicated Tour Guide
  • Bounceback return visit admission to NFLX for all children!

Birthday MVP Child will also receive:

  • One NFL Team Mini Helmet (Team of Choice)
  • One NFLX Credential & Lanyard

MVP – $1100

  • Full ALL PRO Package benefits PLUS:
  • Birthday Child’s Name Listed on Select Screens
  • NFLX Goody Bags

HALL OF FAME – $1400

  • Full MVP Package benefits PLUS:
  • Birthday Child’s Name Listed on Select Screens
  • Upgrade to Premium NFLX Goody Bags (includes Junior Leather NFL Team Logo Football
  • One Adult Menu Food Platter (feeds five)
  • Open Bar for One Hour

NFL Experience Times SquareTo reserve your party, please request info here.

Kips Bay/Murray Hill Kids’ Birthday Party Venue

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

The Shake and Burger Bar is a newly opened family fun restaurant and unique kids birthday party venue right here in Kips Bay/Murray Hill.  Located on 3rd avenue between 25th and 26th streets, this is a great place for a family meal in a comfy setting with goodies for both kids (milkshakes) and parents (alcohol infused milkshakes!).

Our Visit

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday PartyKidz Central Station recently visited with our kids to check out the masssive over 3000 sq ft space and  try out the giant artistic masterpiece milkshakes.  When we arrived at 6:30PM on a Thursday, the restaurant was packed with both an after-work crowd and parents with young kids. We had a short wait for a table and the servers could not have been nicer or more accomodating.  Everyone here is extremely friendly and service was fast once we were seated. With music blasting and energetic chatter, it is a festive experience.

The Shake and Burger Bar is a great addition to this area of 3rd Avenue, which is becoming more and more family friendly with a NY Kids Club opening across the street, Modern Pinball, a 16 Handles location, and NYPL Kips Bay.  If you’re looking for a unique birthday party, you can’t go wrong with milkshakes, chicken tenders and Disney movies for the kids and happy hour sangrias and Stellas for the parents. With numerous big screen TVs scattered throughout playing sports or kid-centric movies, there is something for all ages.  We sat towards the back of the restaurant in a slightly elevated separated area that could easily host 15-20 kids while the parents could sit off in their own space with their nachos and drinks.  And our three kids really tested the limits of running around and playing tag in a crowded restaurant. And l should add that they also spilled a milkshake all over our table and the floor.  The super nice staff cleaned it up quickly and without complaint or shaming looks. Thank you!

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Happy Hour and Menu

Important into for our parents:  Happy Hour is Every Day 4pm-8pm.  This includes $4 Pint & $14 Pitchers of Stella, $4 Mixed Drinks, 1/2 Price Wings (one per customer), and all day $4 shots of Absolute Lime.  The menu is standard fare of wings, sliders, nachos, several types of burgers, and sandwiches. Everything we ate was delicious! The adults tried the veggie and salmon burgers and the kids ordered from the $7.50 Kids Menu (either 2 chicken tenders w fries or 2 cheeseburger sliders w fries).  

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

And, of course, the standouts are the magnificent milkshakes.  We’ll let the photos do the talking. 

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Shake and Burger Bar Birthday Party

Kid friendly, awesome service, delicious food, and insane milkshakes! We’ll be back for Trivia Night on Tuesdays at 7:30PM.

A Parent’s Review of Eye Level Learning Center

School is out and it is time for kids to have fun!  And Kidz Central Station recommends summer classes and camps to keep our kids engaged and recharged.   On many parents’ minds is how to keep “summer slide” at bay.  With our parents’ concerns in mind, we visited Eye Level Learning Center’s location in the East Village.

Eye Level review at Kidz Central Station

What is Eye Level?

Eye Level Learning Centers offer after-school and summer tutoring.  Eye Level follows state standards and provides Math and English instruction to supplement and enhance what our kids learn at school.  Specifically, Basic math covers Numbers, Arithmetic, Measurement, and Equations. Critical math includes Patterns and Relationships, Geometry, Measurement, Problem Solving, and Reasoning.  English focus areas include phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. Learn more at their national website.

One Parent’s Review

Both of my sons attend the Eye Level Learning Center in the East Village. They started in April/May 2018 and have continued this summer after taking June off.  My older son (3rd grader) is competitive and excels at academics and is a bit lazy.  My younger son (1st grader) has a learning delay and ADHD and is an extremely hard worker.  Both enjoy completing tasks and being rewarded for their accomplishments.  Eye Level has been wonderful for both of them!

Assessment

In our first appointment, the kids were given an assessment of both subject areas by the director of this center, Ryan Drucker.  This is a free assessment whether you continue with their services or not. Since I don’t always know what’s happening during the school day, I was happy to gain an understanding of where each one stood in comparison to their grade level and their overall strengths and weaknesses.  

Weekly Classes

We signed on for 6 months (4 tutor hours/month and ~$56/hour).  We attend weekly on Saturday morning so the boys can go together, which is a motivating factor for both of them.  My older son has an hour of English because he placed over a grade level ahead in Math.  The younger one has ½ hour of English and ½ hour of math. The older one sits with an instructor and 1 or 2 other students as the instructor rotates working individually with each student.  Due to his attention difficulty, the younger one has one-on-one instruction throughout the hour.  I has raised my concerns with Ryan and was very happy about the specialized attention.

What I really like is that each lesson is contained in a short booklet that is easily completed during the hour.  Then, homework is a booklet that follows this week’s lessons and is easily completed during the week. The younger son goes through a booklet per subject and then completes two booklets for homework.  The kids feel a real sense of accomplishment from finishing entire booklets.  You see the progress being made.

The space is small but packed with education materials and books and games.  The tutor hours are booked appropriately and we haven’t seen more than 5 kids including my two during our lessons.  Our teachers are very gentle and nice but do expect the kids to listen and work hard. The boys have worked well with them.  They give instructive feedback  at the end of every lesson.  

Most important for the kids, they are rewarded with star cards after each lesson that they can save to earn prizes or cash out immediately for small prizes.  It is amazing how cheap candies and toys can be such a motivation for kids. My boys love their star cards and “shopping” for prizes.

Results

Both of my sons have greatly benefited from Eye Level.  The older one needed the structure and feedback to stay focused.  He has worked on Reading Comprehension, Verbs (action, helping, linking, future tense, irregular) and compound sentences.  He is digging deeper into topics that are glanced over and in some cases not even broached in school. The younger one has developed his reading comprehension skills and grammar, as well as, learning to sit still for an hour. Examples of his lessons include repeating patterns and subtraction drills for Math.  Short vowels, sight words, and story elements for English. We are absolutely pleased with Eye Level!