Choosing the right course for your child
Looking for some Guidance? Here are some options for you. Choose the one that works best. Or drop us a line at (860) 272-4000 and we are happy to help talk through them, as well.
1. Go with your Child's interests
First and foremost, if your child is already enthusiastic about a particular topic (ie: Coding, LEGO building. etc.), we highly recommend using that as a jump-off point and registering for a program that supports that enthusiasm! This helps them get comfortable with the environment and Teacher, establishes a fun experience right off the bat, and significantly increases the likelihood your child will stick with it and try their best while doing so. These motivations are of primary importance because they are intrinsic and not something any program can teach them. As your child begins to get comfortable, at some point, consider registering for a program in introductory Robotics per below.register here
2. NextGen SmartyPants Intro Course
If this is your first visit to NextGen SmartyPants and you and your child are not sure of your child's interest in STEM Education at all, consider registering for the NextGen SmartyPants Intro Course. The Intro Course is a short 4-session introduction that is designed to expose them to both Robotics and Coding as a way to inspire interest, understand what STEM education is all about, and gain their commitment to learning and trying their best.intro-course
3. Begin with Robotics
If your child is already interested an excited about STEM education, consider enrolling for a course in Robotics. NextGen SmartyPants' NEXTGEN4 curriculum is based around Robotics because it provides an overview of how Coding, Engineering, Circuits, and LEGO Building work together. This sets context and provides insights into the overall picture of STEM education. Importantly, Robotics does not provide significant experience on any of these technologies; therefore, you will want to follow-up the Robotics course with these technology courses. A link to information about the NEXTGEN4 curriculum and how it works is included below.
4. Going Beyond Robotics
If your child has already taken one or more of NextGen SmartyPants' courses in Robotics and your child is interested to continue learning, now is the time to take a deep-dive into one of the other STEM disciplines. They can start with Coding, Engineering, LEGO Building, or any other program for which they are most excited. Circuits can be more involved, so you'll want to reserve that for later in most cases. Just be sure your child completes the entire rotation of these technologies prior to enrolling into the next higher Experience Level. Click the link on Curriculum for more info about Experience Levels.register here
5. Getting Beyond Beginner
If your child has already completed a rotation of Beginner-Level Robotics, Coding, Engineering, LEGO-Building, and Circuits, Congratulations! They have demonstrated a continued interest in STEM. They are confident and not afraid of math and technology. And they are genuinely excited to learn and see what they can do. As a Parent, this is no small feat and there is not much more we should expect from ourselves in doing our best to support our children! So, sincerely, "congratulations!!!"register here
That said, by now, you have seen that NextGen SmartyPants' Robotics courses are really "Capstone" courses. Meaning, Intermediate Robotics is really about leveraging your child's experiences in the Beginner-Level Coding, Engineering, and Circuits Courses they have already taken. Therefore, this is the next step in their progression. Similarly, looking ahead, Advanced Robotics will be a Capstone course for their Intermediate Coding, Engineering, and Circuits courses.
6. Taking a Break
Sometimes especially with children, it's best to just take break and play with something still fun but less technical. Consider enrolling in programs like LEGO-building, iMovie, Photoshop, Stop-Motion Animation, or many of the other fun options NextGen SmartyPants has available for your child! These will provide them a more holistic experience of how technology continues to enrich our lives everyday. They will be able to see, not only how they can use technology, but how others have used it and spark their ideas in how they may use it in the future. Plus, they are fun, which is what learning should be.register here