LH Spotlight: A Grade Ahead


This post is sponsored by A Grade Ahead. All opinions are our own.

A Grade Ahead (formerly Math Wizard) has a new owner and a whole new look. A place where your child loves to learn, A Grade Ahead helps children to become confident learners who excel academically.

Meghna Deva, the new owner and mom of two, realizes that not all children love the same things. Some love sports, some love video games, and some love math. She wants to be a place where kids can practice and seek guidance in academics, and feel the same passion and support as those who join a team or play a sport.

The unique part about A Grade Ahead is that its not a just some extra help. It is an approach. One with a team of teachers, a weekly session, and a top-notch curriculum designed to teach your child to think on their toes and succeed academically.

As always, LH wants you to hear it from a local mama. So, we sent Nathalie Vargo, mom of two boys, to A Grade Ahead to try it out with her son and report back with the scoop.

Like most parents we try and strike a balance with our young children. The experts suggesting your kids should only have 15 minutes of iPad time a day have obviously never been through a Hoboken winter. On the other hand, it seems obvious that kids staring at a screen from dawn till dusk isn't healthy. We address a variety of issues in the same context, discipline (I'm not above giving my child a Tony Soprano-esque tongue lashing if they run into the street, at the same time the consequences for failure to clean up their room is going to be far less severe), diet (not stressing vegetables at every meal, but we're not having chicken nuggets and mac and cheese three times a day) sports (we practice throwing the ball or shooting some hoops at Church Square Park, but we're not driving to Baltimore just so our three year old can play in a soccer tournament), etc. When it comes to education, it gets tricky. We want the best for our children, but don't want to lose sight of the fact they are indeed children. As parents ourselves, we understand better the adage of our parents' three mile uphill, in the snow walk to school. The only sure thing is that things and times will inevitably change and we have no choice other than to adapt. While we implement day-to-day fundamentals like reading kid-friendly books, fun art projects, and math games, we don't want to over-stress and turn our child off to the process. So with the backstory we wanted to find a way to strengthen our six year old’s skills without sending him running for the hills (which as a kindergartner in Catholic school with a nun wielding a paddle I knew all too well ). We found that A Grade Ahead struck the balance we were looking for. Ms. Nicole greeted our six year old warmly so Dominic felt more like he was on a play date than at school the second we arrived. We sat through part of the 45 minute Math & English evaluation. Ms. Nicole was very patient and energetic. This made the process easier for our reluctant son. After the evaluation Dominic started his one hour class with Ms. Nicole and three other children. Upon our return, he was extremely excited and most importantly happy. Inquiring how the class went Dominic advised he had a great time and was even able to play a game of Candy Land at the end. We received paper recapping the activities he had partook in during the class, some homework, and also an evaluation of how he performed during the class. On the drive home Dominic said he wanted to return another time. This was a shock as our six year old has only been interested in anything sports related. He told us the classes were different then his normal classes at school and that the change of pace helped to keep him engaged.

A Grade Ahead is something we’re definitely going to proceed with. Especially in the summer to help counterbalance Summer learning loss. Classes are small around 3-5 kids, and the cost is reasonable. They offer summer camp programs, along with their normal class schedule. Our overall experience was terrific, but most importantly our son Dominic enjoyed it. Ms. Nicole was wonderful to our son and the owner Ms. Meghna was amazing to us parents. If your child is falling behind in school or if you want to keep the learning process to continue during those summer months, we highly recommend A Grade Ahead.

Nathalie and Jim have lived together in Hoboken for nearly 11 years. Jim is Jersey through and through growing up in Marlboro in Monmouth County (for the record that’s Central Jersey, not South Jersey). Nathalie moved to Brooklyn from Northern Virginia 13 years ago to pursue a career in the fashion industry, she then got stuck in the Hoboken web and was unable to escape. Dominic (6) is in Kindergarten at Elysian charter school, he loves sports and takes full advantage of the town's rec baseball and soccer leagues. Julian (3) is at World of Wonder on Harrison Street and is looking forward to joining the Hoboken school system next year in pre-k 3.

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HEADER PHOTO CREDIT: Danielle Guenther Photography

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