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Big Learning, Inc. develops and offers four types of programs:
  • After-school classes for children in grades 2 through 4
  • Group & family workshops for families with children ages 5-12
  • Parent workshops
  • Presentations for PTAs and civic groups

  • After-school classes
  • Group & Family workshops
  • Parent workshops
  • Presentations
Big Learning KID is learning without limits.

Big Learning KID (Knowledge-Infused Design) is Big Learning's after-school curriculum designed for children in grades 2 through 4. It devotes equal attention to supporting academic success, encouraging creative expression, and building confidence and self esteem. There are two eight-session series: Toymaking, and Building Big & Small. In Toymaking, students use principles of mechanical engineering to design and build artistic and whimsical toys. In Building Big and Small, students use structural engineering principles to design and build large and small structures that are colorful, creative, and useful. Both classes are supported by extensive teacher materials and training.

Big Learning KID is offered as a complete product, including teacher materials, project materials, and teacher training. Big Learning also runs Big Learning KID after-school classes itself in various schools in the Washington, DC area. Please contact us if you're interested in having Big Learning classes at your school.

Our group & family workshops help you get started learning with your kids in a special way - by doing fun things you care about together. It's a way of learning that fits families like a glove: parents and kids together, sharing an activity that is interesting at many levels and leaves parents and kids alike with energized minds and spirits.

Big Learning Workshops engage families with learning in the real world. In the garden or the garage, at the monster truck rally or the county fair, academic subjects like science and math are wrapped in an enticing package that kids can't resist exploring. Because kids care about the activity, they are willing to tackle hard problems, and even learn to use powerful vocabulary and mathematics. That helps them in school and in life.

Big Learning Workshops hook your kids on learning while teaching parents how to lead their children higher levels of skill and knowledge. We design the workshops so that when you leave, your kids are ready to keep learning, and you are ready to guide them.

Birdfeeder & Beyond is a do-it-yourself workshop kit. Our group and family workshops are led by Big Learning staff members, and are offered in the Washington, DC area.

Birdfeeder & Beyond - Do It Yourself! Available for purchase now
More than peanut butter in a pinecone! In this workshop, kids design and build a bird feeder, learn to recognize local species, and learn lots of measurement, geometry, engineering, art, and science while they're at it. Parents learn about important science concepts they can help their kids develop through this fun hobby.

Host a Workshop!
When you bring together three or more families, we'll teach the workshop at your place. Fees are the same as our scheduled workshops for any location in the DC Metro area, (a travel fee may apply). Call for more information (301)560-1633 or e-mail workshops@biglearning.org.

Making Toys
Here's real woodworking that kids can do safely. In this workshop, kids design and build their own wooden toys with moving parts, and learn lots of measurement, geometry, engineering, art, and science while they're at it.

Making Kites
Spend a fun-filled morning or afternoon making your own kites, and learn about the culture, history, vocabulary, engineering, and geometry of kite making. Come home with two ready-to-fly kites and instructions for launching. Practice measuring, pattern-making, and other useful skills. Plenty of time for creativity too.

Build a Birdhouse
No woodworking required! Participants build a sturdy little birdhouse from start to finish. Each part of the birdhouse teaches something about the shelter needs of cavity-nesting birds. You'll chose a local bird species and custom-build the birdhouse to suit. Along the way, we'll encounter important measurement and geometry mathematics that kids are likely to see again at school. Parents will learn how to build on the math and science ideas this workshop explores.

Build a Castle
Kids learn about different types of castles from history, and create their own castles with authentic architectural features. Parents learn how to use history projects to develop literacy and thinking skills.

Gardening Together
Grow your child's math, science, and literacy skills along with the carrots. You and your kids will get your hands dirty while learning about seeds, soil, and even bugs. Fun-filled activity stations will lead you and your child through a complete introduction to gardening. You'll plant seeds, build soil, design a garden plot, and make a set of tools to help you create and keep track of your garden. As you do the activities, you'll encounter math and science naturally and stoke your child's curiosity and engagement - identifying bugs, learning about pH as it applies to soil, measuring seed depth, and using scale drawings to plan a garden. This is an afternoon of Big Learning fun for parents and kids 5-12, plus a summer's worth of garden learning to take home.

Kids and parents build a wooden model sailboat with working parts. You and your kids will learn sailing science and vocabulary, plus math, woodworking, and craft skills in this fun-filled two-hour workshop.

Our parent workshops are led by Big Learning staff members, and are offered in the Washington, DC area.

Raising Great Learners
The joy of watching your child learn - it doesn't have to end after preschool. This workshop shows you how to help your child do better in school, sustain your child's curiosity and love of learning, and do it all without the stress and expense of an overscheduled childhood. Hands-on activities will help you understand more about how your child learns and organize your home for learning through creative play and family fun.

Just-in-Time Science
"Mommy, why can airplanes fly?" Trying to answer a child's science question can lead an adult quickly into deep science. In this hands-on workshop, you'll test-drive some great resources for beefing up your own science knowledge just in time to help your kids.

The Math-Friendly Household
Math smarts, home-grown. Learn to recognize everyday experiences that build children's math skills. Understand how kids learn math. Organize your home so kids can't help but encounter math-building experiences at every turn. Support your kids mathematical development, whether you loved or hated math yourself.

Big Learning's Executive Director, Dr. Karen Cole, is available to give presentations and speeches to PTAs, and civic and community groups. Presentations can be tailored to fit a group's particular interests.

Joyful Learners
Joyful Learners is a presentation for parents, and has been very well-received by area PTAs.

When children start elementary school, we parents may feel unsure about how best to support their love of learning and their success in school and life. Surely we can do more than help with homework, but what? Recent research provides surprising answers. We now understand much more about what it takes to nurture a successful and joyful learner. We'll discuss some intriguing findings, offer practical ways parents can put these findings to work right away, and talk about some of the work our nonprofit, Big Learning, is doing to help schools and parents work together to support a great childhood for our kids.

"Dr. Cole's presentation was a fresh take on the home-school connection. It was thoughtful, engaging, and full of practical advice we can use to help our kids retain their curiosity and excitement about learning." Alison Weitzman, President, Bells Mill PTA, 2010-2011.