All of the fun without all of the tests is how Debbie Tate describes Memory Makers Child Enrichment Center at 5713 Fifth St.
Tate opened the children’s art studio in 2013 after teaching art for several years in Montessori and therapeutic schools.
“I call [what I do] as being the grandparent of teaching,” she said. “I get to do all the fun without all the paperwork.”
Inside a wood-framed house in downtown Katy, Tate teaches morning preschool art classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and recently began offering a home school drop-off program on Tuesdays. Designed for students 3-8 years old, the program includes art, yoga and cooking classes taught by Tate and two other teachers.
Melissa Gonzalez, a former Katy ISD teacher, enrolled her 4-year-old son in the home school program to prepare him for kindergarten next year.
“[Tate] embodies what a teacher spirit is,” Gonzalez said. “[My son has] learned about coloring in the lines and how to socialize and be around other children.”
Home school yoga classes are taught by Mary Evelyn Thwaites, who also teaches adult yoga classes at The Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch at 22807 Westheimer Parkway and at Yoga West at 25757 Westheimer Parkway, Ste. 200.
Thwaites said yoga has benefits for children as well as adults.
“I think it’s important that we give kids sets of skills that will help them their entire life,” she said.
Thwaites, a mother of two young children, discovered Memory Makers when she visited an art class with her children. When Tate learned of Thwaites’s yoga background, she asked her to teach a children’s class.
She said she always is open to new ideas from moms on how they might want to use the space. This spring, the center will launch a girls empowerment group—aimed at girls 6-12 years old—with guest presentations on topics like sewing, T-shirt design, business and cooking.
Memory Makers also hosts regular family events as well as drop-off date nights.
“My goal with the enrichment center is to help moms to keep doing what they love and still be a mom, without having to have a lease,” Tate said.