What My Child Learns From His KidStartNow Classes

Today marks the 10th lessons that Kyle is attending the Kindergarten 1 Chinese Enrichment classes at KidStartNow

Click to read my review of this enrichment class

Before,  I had thought that language enrichment centres are very academic focus and concentrate mainly on building reading and writing skills. Thus i have never explored any, simply due to the fact that i would love my son to enjoy his childhood and not get into the stressful studies rat race too soon. In late November last year, he was invited to attend KidStartNow's Chinese Holiday Camp and became so interested in Chinese all of a sudden. Upon Kyle's own requests, we signed him up for KidStartNow's enrichment classes! I must admit, KidStartNow did what i couldn't achieve myself, that is to make learning Chinese so fun and interactive that helped my child develop the love of this language.

Throughout this 10 weeks, I had watched the class happening from the TV at the waiting area, connected to the classroom via Skype. I have made the below observations of what the KidStartNow curriculum actually covers, which I think is actually more comprehensive than what they listed on their own program brochure! ;D

So, i would like to share with you what my child learn in his classes:

printscreen of KidStartNow ebook 

1) Mandarin Conversation Skills

The ebooks used in the class contains many conversational scenarios. From there, I saw that the teacher created a lot of conversational practises for each and every student during the class. Even a simple greeting of "xx, 你好!" and "再见! xx " is deliberately repeated to every student for every lessons, till I see each and every children starts saying it on their own now. The children will say bye bye to each other in Mandarin! I like that conversations were encouraged not just between teachers and students but the teacher will patiently encourage each student to converse with each other in Mandarin. My boy is definitely more confident in speaking in Mandarin now. His vocabulary in Chinese has expanded too. 

2) Story Telling

My boy seldom tells me of what happened daily in his school or what he had learnt. But each week after the KidStartNow class, he will rambled on and on to me about the story that was told in class, in english mixed with some mandarin. He will also questioned me if i know what had happened to 杰杰 the boy in the story or what he saw. :) I can tell that Kyle is really interested and I am really very happy that he can actually story tell to me the story he learnt in class on his own initiative. 

3) Words Recognition and Reading

KidStartNow uses fun class activities to teach word recognition in fun and stress-free settings. That they really won me hands down. I tried teaching my boy Chinese before and the session always ended with me wanting to vomit blood. I believe that as the lessons go, in time my boy will be able to read Chinese well. :) 

4) Introduction to Writing

For first half year of Kindergarten 1 classes, KidStartNow focus more on introducing new words and words recognition. Having said that, sometimes I see the teacher point out to the students simple strokes and sequence of simple Chinese characters with the children. I feel it's a right pace, not going into writing too soon as writing Chinese Characters can be quite daunting. I would want him to love this language first before mastering it. That's why i have not started teaching him to write his name in Chinese too. His Chinese name has complicated characters. The last thing i want is to turn him off. 

5) Speech & Drama and Imagination

KidStartNow created the ebooks they used during the classes. The ebooks unfold a fantasy story of a boy named 杰杰 who knows magic and the adventure he had with his magical friends. I can see the children's amazed look as they watched the story each week. I must say, the story created by KidStartNow is very good to encourage imagination and creativity. The teacher also asks the children to enact the story every week in a lively manner. Through role playing, I can see Kyle becoming more and more confident and proficient in speaking Mandarin.  

6) Moral Values and Life Lessons

Through the story in the ebooks, one important value impacted is "If you can't do something, don't give up, keep trying!" I like the way how KidStartNow spin their story so animatedly around some important life values. This is not all, during the class, or even in between breaks, I love the way the Teacher teaches her students about courtesy, respect, patience and etc. It could have stop there but this Teacher brings it upon herself, to remind her students about theses important values. I would like to say Thank You to Teacher Hong Mei. 

If you are keen to know more about KidStartNow, you can actually visit them at the upcoming Smart Kids Asia Fair!

Dates: 21 to 23 Mar 2014 (Friday to Sunday)
Time: 11am to 9pm daily
Venue: Expo Hall 5, Booth F13

Admission is free!

KidStartNow will be featuring three exciting exhibits during the fair:

a) Lucky Draw

To qualify for the draw, parents simply just need to go to KidStartNow's booth and fill up the lucky draw form. If you have liked their Facebook Page, you stand a higher chance to win one of the following:
  • 1x pair of USS tickets (worth $150 each)
  • 1x free term at KidStartNow (worth $390-420 each)
  • 5x Starbucks vouchers (worth $20 each)
  • 20x discount vouchers (20%) off KidStartNow terms (worth $78-84 each)

b) Fun activities (storybooks and motion detection game)

During the fair, KidStartNow will be showcasing their animated storybooks and also a fun motion detection game to teach Chinese - your kids can dress up as a young magician, use a magic wand to choose and change the appearance of their rabbit on the screen!

c) Free gifts

Besides the lucky draw, KidStartNow will also be giving away attractive gifts and freebies. Your family and children can look forward to some fun filled day at the fair and remember to head to KidStartNow booth to see and learn more about how their Chinese Enrichment program is different from others.

Also, if you are keen to sign up, you will be glad to know that KidStartNow has a Referral Discount Scheme* in place! All you need to do is to indicate the referrer's name in the registration form and both you and the referrer will receive a once-off $100 discount voucher that entitles them to $100 off any of their purchases at KidStartNow. 

For the scheme to apply, you will need to 
a) go for a trial class, 
b) sign up for an enrichment term at KidStartNow (min of $200), and 
c) write the referrer’s name in the terms and conditions document! 

If you are keen to enjoy the $100 discount, please do remember to sign up and indicate referrer as Ting, mother of Kyle! The fees for KidStartNow enrichment program is currently as followed:

Nursery (N2) $390 for 12 weeks
Kindergarten (K1 & K2)  $420 for 12 weeks. 

*Terms and Conditions applies. Please contact KidStartNow to find out more. 

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