Local authorities and private schools in the United States provide the widest possible choice of classes in sections and circles, developing in children a love of sports, hard work, endurance, and the ability to behave in society and achieve results. Various activities allow you to raise a child with a versatile, intellectually savvy, and physically strong personality.
Every year, training programs are updated both in public and private institutions. But despite this, it is impossible to cover many areas that a child needs and parents at every stage of growing up are wondering where to take him after school or what activity to add to his everyday schedule.
In this article, we will describe in more detail what out-of-school education looks like in the USA. What are the effective and interesting activities for children from 6 to 18 years old in the country? We will show how to look for them in America, using the example of Chicago, and we will answer why additional online education in the USA is becoming increasingly popular among schoolchildren.
What are the after-school activities for children in the United States?
Parents who want their children to make good use of their free time have three options for extracurricular learning. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Additional classes are offered in schools. Starting from middle school (from the sixth grade), children have compulsory classes in some sports, which they can choose on their own. Most often, it is hockey, tennis, swimming, and football. Also, in schools, there is a drama club where children are taught acting, drawing, singing, etc.
Personal schools for all grade 4 and special (group) schools from grade 6.
- Personal – $80-100 per month.
- Group – $25-40 per month.
Sign up for a class at the state city school of arts. You can find information about available training courses on the official website of your city or village.
For example, in Chicago, children are offered swimming, football/basketball games, chess sessions, and free college English lessons.
💡 Life hack
Making a class in your city will be cheaper than doing it in another. For example, I enrolled a child in my village of Willowbrook, where I am a resident, for gymnastics and piano lessons. They cost me $50 a month. By comparison, it costs $100 at nearby Bolingbrook.
Both children and adults.
- In the resident’s city, $50-60; in another, it is $100 or more.
Subscribe to a private school or contact a tutor. The most popular and effective method. Why? You can supervise time and choose the right lesson and teacher. A specialized specialist, in a short time (individually), will be able to give the child knowledge in a modern and interesting form for him. Private tutors and schools in the USA care about reputation and offer the best conditions for clients.
It could be:
- tennis club,
- karate, dance schools, swimming, gymnastics,
- programming courses,
- training children in the USA to be DJs
- learning English / another language, etc.
Children from 3 years old and schoolchildren.
- The monthly price can range from $150 to $1,000, depending on the subject (costs for additional training need to be included).
Resources for finding suitable institutions for additional education of a child in your city
After you have chosen a specific method for learning, you should figure out how to enroll a child in a section and avoid making a mistake in choosing a teacher. For convenience, I will divide the description into two steps:
- First: it will look at how to find additional courses depending on the teaching method (school, class from the city, or private lessons).
- Second: how to choose a good teacher and what to do if the first choice is unsuccessful?
⭆ Additional circles and sections for children at school
You should contact the head teacher or go to the school website and find out what additional classes are offered for children. It can be both group and personal according to your desire.
📌 From a personal example:
At Saint Isaac Jogues Catholic School, where the children I teach ballet study, membership is offered in sports leagues: athletes, volleyball players, and basketball players. But, to participate in these sports sections, students of grades 5-8 must have an average score of at least C.
In addition, at each level of points (A, B, C), it is determined how many times a quarter a student must play in matches for the national team. At level B, you need to play at least one game in each sport in a team competition per semester; with an A score, there is no time limit, and students with an average grade of C must play four games in a school semester. The school also provides participation in cheerleading, cross country (running through the woods and in open spaces), and American football.
⭆Municipal classes and circles for children
By choosing this method, you have to look for information on the official website of your city/village or navigation maps.
📌 From a personal example:
Unfortunately, my Willowbrook village website has a limited selection. Therefore, I looked for schools for my children using Google maps. When searching for a gymnastics school and specialized piano/piano courses, I used the convenient options from Google “sort by distance” and “read reviews.” The first one helped me find schools within a 5-minute drive from my house. The second is to identify effective and interesting learning for children.
⭆ Study at a good private school in the USA or with a tutor
I recommend using the Internet directories of sites for immigrants. Here, you will choose your state and city and find a good online tutor for children in any direction of interest.
Remember that you are responsible for the child’s physical, mental, creative, and social development. If you are focused on the result of classes, you need to talk with him and find out about his desires. You need to be prepared so that dissatisfaction may arise. It is possible to conduct a career guidance test online, which will help you find the answer to where it is better to enroll your child.
Of course, it is important for every parent that the tutor is highly qualified and helps the child achieve the desired result. You need to know a few points that will help you choose one:
Find reviews on Google for a given school/tutor. So you will ensure that people go to this teacher and he teaches children his subject at the highest level.
Communication on thematic forums and chats with parents. Advantage: you can ask all your questions directly to the student’s relatives if, for example, it is uncomfortable for you to do this directly to the tutor.
Word of mouth radio. This method, from time immemorial, has been working in the best way, helping teachers find clients and vice versa. Hearing advice from friends, relatives, or parents at the school that this or that training is worth the time spent will build confidence and arouse the desire to take your child there without hesitation.
Examples of resources for finding reviews:
Many are shown on Google Maps. You can also ask for advice on social networks and messengers, for example, Bazar Chicago Chat, Facebook Illinois Chicago Moms, or the 7-day US forum.
Note: What to do if the first teacher does not fit the child? You need to find out from the child what exactly you didn’t like about the teacher and, if possible, tell the teacher what to change in the methodology. If this is a personal dislike or the child is afraid of this person, you should change the place of study.
Overview of the most interesting courses and schools for children in America
Below are the best places with highly qualified teachers to teach popular destinations for children outside school. I chose them based on their history, ideology, popularity, and high-impact learning, based on information and feedback from people on Google. The institutions located in Chicago were included in the review on the advice of acquaintances who studied there.
Music education at Merit School of Music
Music education in the 1970s in America was in danger of disappearing from schools, and to avoid this, Alice Pfaelzer and Emma Endres-Kuntz founded the Merit School of Music. Their main goal is to enable talent to develop at a minimal cost. The first program covered 150 students with weekend classes. Alice and Emma have created training based on the free Pfelzer Conservatory. Merit is being introduced into the school curriculum, and has partnered with more than 20 commercial organizations to support the initiative.
- Brass Band – $345/11 months (ages 9-13)
- Guitar – $345/11 months (8-11 years).
- Piano – $345 / 4.5.6 months, depending on age (6-11 years).
- String orchestra – $345/9 months (6-9 years).
- Solo and choral singing – $ 190 / 9 months (7-11 years).
Personal lessons for everyone from 5 to 55 years old are offered under the conditions:
- 30 min – $45;
- 45 min – $64;
- 60 min – $82;
- 90 min – $122.
Also, the school offers a free conservatory for classes on Saturdays for those who have owned the instrument for at least three years.
Drawing courses for children at Ella’s Art Studio
Ella’s Art Studio – offers painting and drawing lessons for children from 10 years old and teenagers. Mostly acrylic paints are used.
The classes’ purpose is to develop intellectual potential, imagination, and taste.
Students are trained at the school to professionally draw still lifes, landscapes, and portraits and create compositions. In addition to studying traditional fine art, students are introduced to the creation of works of art in styles: abstraction, cubism, and pop art.
DJ courses for children at Poin Blank Music School
📍 Los Angeles
Created by professionals, the first Point Blank Music DJ school in Los Angeles has grown and has branches in London, Ibiza, Mumbai, and China. Teachers recorded tracks for famous artists like Rihanna, Becky G, Gwen Stefani, Sinead Harnett, and Stevie Wonder.
Point Blank Music School offers an alternative for residents of Los Angeles to study in person, and for those who live in other states and cities, you can study online. In addition to DJing, music production, singing, and audio engineering are available.
- Music production – $5,495 / 18 months with a diploma (6-18 years).
- Electronic Music Mastery – $1,445/6 months (9+ years).
- Track mixing – $1,445/6 months (6-18 years old)
- Musical composition in depth – $1,445/6 months (6-18 years).
- Music Design – $1,445/6 months (ages 11-18)
- DJing courses – $875 / 3 months (9-18 years old).
The site also has free video seminars, example lessons, and training courses.
Code Club – programming school for kids
The innovative online programming school Code Club offers classes even for those who know nothing about coding. Studying at school is like a quest; after completing tasks, points are awarded to the participant, and he goes to the next level.
The school makes immersion in the IT field available to beginners from 9 to 13 years old, thanks to free online classes. It is possible to study in the following areas:
- basics of programming;
- Python programming courses for children;
- Unity3D development;
- programming in C#;
- robotics on Arduino.
Since 2019, online courses for children have become the most common in America. The reason for the popularity of online education was Covid.
What to do with the child during the summer holidays?
Holidays are a time of doing nothing and resting around the clock. But parents of children in America do not think so because this time can be spent with benefits and enroll a child in a summer camp: to improve language and mathematics or immerse in a sports environment to overcome the fear of communication and endurance training. In general, American schoolchildren have several vacation periods:
Summer camps are the most popular in the USA. They are satisfied with almost every organization, be it a regular school or a section, a fitness club where potential clients – parents go.
Below we will talk about summer camps, indispensable helpers for parents in the summer, and keeping the child from getting bored.
Varieties of summer camps
In every city, many organizations (schools, private clubs, sections, children’s entertainment clubs, universities, volunteers, art spaces, fitness clubs, beauty studios, etc.) offer summer education in the USA, where the child will be occupied half-day or all day.
Classes in camps are divided into the following areas:
- A camp-based-camp-based institution for extended education of schoolchildren, including sports, cooking, and trips to indoor and outdoor playgrounds. Example: Westmont Yard.
- Girl Scout Camp.
- Sports camp with group games (volleyball, football) or one sport (tennis, golf, gymnastics).
- Music camp (singing, instrument).
- Programming camp.
From a personal example:
I enrolled the kids in classes offered by the Chicago Park District Day Camp last summer. I was attracted by the variety of activities, which, even in paid camps, can only sometimes be found. The children enjoyed rock climbing, art modeling, and cooking activities. What is special about it?
The Chicago Park, District Day Camp, runs six weeks for children ages 6-12. Due to limited space, it is only available to Chicago residents (those living with a county address). Most of the activities are free, but there are also paid ones for adults.
Also, in addition to the day camp for all children from 6 to 18 years old, regardless of the place of residence, are offered:
- Softball League.
- Archery for the blind.
- Olympic swimming.
- Camp for basketball players.
- Seasonal sport.
These and other activities are free of charge to residents and suitable for children over the age of 10.
Prices depend on the camp’s location, activities, and whether there will be costs for materials and food. The cheapest is at state institutions, where for half a day a week, you will have to pay $150. A private camp will cost much more. The cost starts from $500 per week.
This is how paid camps at universities and educational centers in Chicago look like:
How to search in your city?
Finding a camp for a child is easy. I enrolled the kids in a full-day camp at the Life Time Burr Ridge Fitness Club, where I trained myself for a full day. You can do the same. The club offers both summer and spring and winter camps, with very educational activities. The cost is reasonable – $60/day with meals from 7 am to 5 pm. A child can be dropped off and picked up within this hour range.
Otherwise, I recommend that you go to the forum of your city/county and read about it. Also, by choosing the right search query in Google, you will have the opportunity to see nearby camps and find the right one.
Important criteria for choosing additional training
⭆ Physiological and psychological characteristics of the child. Depending on how active he is or vice versa passive, he should choose an occupation.
⭆ Abilities. By considering the predisposition to a certain art, one can develop talent.
⭆ Interest. The child’s visit to the circle must be at his request and by his interests.
⭆ Distance from home.
⭆ Number of children. For those who are shyer, you should first choose classes in small groups.
⭆ Requirements. They should not be too hard and age-appropriate.
The best opportunities for development and learning
In the US, the range of courses, circles, and sections for children is unlimited. The main desire is time and money. My guide will help you decide what is right for you. Follow simple tips, and you can grow a versatile personality.