Friday, December 20, 2013

{Review} Chinese Holiday Camp by KidStartNow

It's been almost one month since Kyle attended the Chinese Holiday Camp by KidStartNow.

Till today, Kyle will still tell me:

杰杰和小机灵很痛!他们被鲨鱼咬!

鱼儿水中游,鲨鱼在后面追!

鲨鱼说:别跑!别跑!

海底世界真美丽!鱼有七彩颜色很漂亮!

And he actually requested a few times already, asking me to bring him to KidStartNow again!

Kyle has low attention span and is hyperactive!  This was his first holiday camp and I was initially worried whether he can cope (i mean sit still and not be thrown out of class, haha) for the 4 days camp. Also, he had always shown stubborn preference to speak in English and i seldom hear him speak in Mandarin at all. 

But the Chinese holiday camp changed him. I am impressed.  I will be sharing what i observed from the 4 days camp and also Kyle's reactions till now: 

1.  The Teacher

I understand that Teacher Hong Mei is a MOE Accredited Native Mandarin Speaker. She is a very patient teacher, even towards the hyperactive and easily distracted Kyle. She spent time on every individual student to encourage them to reply her questions in mandarin as well as repeat after her for some new Chinese wordings. She does not hasten to skip any children but instead will patiently keep encourage each and every child to attempt. Throughout the camp, never had i seen her display a single bit of impatience towards the children (though LOL, when I still sat in with Kyle on the beginning of the 2nd day, I could sense she don't quite like the presence of parents in the class. And i can understand why. Parents tend to over protect and spoon feed their children, I usually can't resist and will help Kyle answer the questions, which is actually not encouraging him to think on his own). Also, I can feel her passion in teaching young children Chinese. 

2. The Environment

The school is actually quite conveniently located at Kallang, which is only one bus stop away from the Lavendar MRT or minutes walk from there. I drove there using KPE (No ERP!) and parking fee is reasonable. 

The theme of the holiday camp is Underwater World Adventure and where our eyes can see, the whole reception, waiting area, walkway and classroom are very thoughtfully decorated to reflect the theme! The team there really thought over it and used many materials to decorate the areas! The decorations were bright and colourful! They even built a giant sea clam in the corner of the classroom! There are also many props used, such as sea animals hat, pirate hat, dolphin soft toys etc!

The TV in the waiting area is also connected to the classroom via Skype!  Parents can sit there to watch live what's going on during class. We are also able to hear them which i thought is very good! I was able to ask Kyle what he learnt earlier during class and knew what keywords I heard during class to help him recall and revise. 

3. The Method

The 4 days camp involved the children to repeat, say and sing in mandarin. It also included teamwork, hands-on activities, art & craft, movements and dance. Based on my own education experience, Chinese had been very boring and dry (Ehem, i studied higher chinese for 6 years okay! Even I failed to teach my boy Chinese!) But KidStartNow succeeded in making the learning of Chinese very fun and engaging! Technology and equipments are use and applied in the class.  Inhouse created eBooks are used during intervals throughout the 4 days to unwrap a interesting story, many different characters and new chinese vocabulary! The students practise speaking mandarin by interacting with the onscreen characters!  KidStartNow also applied gamification into the class - the students are rewarded "coins" for trying and practicing, which they will use the "coins" they earned to redeem stickers at the end of each day. Kyle whom saw the other students getting more "coins" was motivated to earn "coins" too and he followed the bigger boys to learn how he could earn more "coins"! :D

4. The Result

I am really surprised that Kyle went through the 4 days camp without a single complain! In fact, I thought it was Kyle has become more independant but the following week I had brought him to an English Speech and Drama holiday camp, but he was crying every day! I had to exercise my dragging power and sneak & run! So I am even more convinced that Kyle enjoyed the Chinese holiday camp tremendously! He was able to attend the class himself without my company so I actually went pop-up stores shopping! 

Kyle is now speaking SENTENCES in Mandarin which he couldn't before. He is not afraid to speak Mandarin now and will even attempt to reply us in Mandarin when we speak to him now. There were a few times he initiate a conversation with me in Mandarin (though broken)! 

After the camp, I was able to get a reply from the Teacher Hong Mei, about her observation and recommendations for Kyle: 

"Kyle is very clever, and has a really good memory, and could understand our stories and remember words quickly. We were quite shocked that he could quickly identify the Leap Motion as a "motion gesture" device (the only child so far actually). 

His current oral and listening skills in Chinese do need some improvement, and as long as he is exposed to more Chinese at home, he should be able to improve quickly. 

Kyle does tend to get distracted easily in class, although he was quite willing to sit and listen to our stories. If you have time, it would be good to do regular attention/focus-related practices with Kyle, which will be helpful when he goes to Primary School."

This is so spot on and so positive! Which also made me realised his preschool only keep telling me about Kyle's issues and recommended me to bring him for check up. His own preschool has never shared with me how i can help Kyle!

Now, KidStartNow makes me believe even more firmly in my belief that building confidence in our children is very important to help them glow!



Some photos I had taken during the camp:


The bright centre of KidStartNow

even the waiting area is decorated to the theme of the Holiday Camp

The display board outside the classroom decorated to the Underwater World Theme as well 

The classroom is meticulously decorated to reflect an underwater world theme

how will a child not be interested and stimulated?

Teacher Hong Mei introducing the characters and animals to the children

Every child will put on an underwater animal headwear and swim into the class with the teacher

they incorporate the use of technology and multimedia into the teaching

Taking attendance of the children electronically

the children's' names will appear here and they will be earning gold coins during the class

they use the points to buy stickers at the end of each day!

look at kyle's horrible seating!

There is a TV outside connected to the classroom via Skype where parents waiting outside can see and hear what's going on in class

the camp is not boring at all!

there is also hands on art activities to reinforce the learning

the children choosing and buying stickers

happy learning = happy children! 


GOOD NEWS!

Though the holiday camps are now over, but KidStartNow is offering a 50% group discount off Chinese Enrichment classes (N2, K1 and K2)! Free trial available, so sign up now risk-free! Limited to the first 5 groups (min 3 kids per group).

How it works:
1) Sign up for a free trial together with other parents (can be for different classes and timings) before 1st Jan 2014
2) Attend the free trial in Jan 2014 and see if you like our classes
3) If parents sign up 3 or more kids, each kid enjoys a 50% discount off our first term

Terms:
1) Group discount is valid if parents sign up for a free trial before 1st Jan 2014 and after attending our free trial in Jan, parents sign up 3 or more kids for our enrichment classes
2) Group discount cannot be applied with other discounts (sibling discount, early-bird discount, etc)
3) Group discount is once-off and only applies for our first term

Contact them now!
Email: enquiry@kidstartnow.com
Phone: 6444-8280






Disclaimer: Kyle is invited to attend the Holiday Camp, no other forms of compensation are involved. All thoughts and opinions are my own, unless stated. 





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