Last week, the Husband and I made a concerted effort to find an English Language and Phonics Enrichment class for Little Edison. We feel that he is still slow in reading, and we need some external help to expedite the process. Otherwise, he will definitely suffer when he goes to P1.
We shortlisted two enrichment classes for him – I Can Read and Jan & Elly. Both centers have a branch near our house. We called up to make an appointment. Firstly, we need to bring him to the centre for assessment to determine his competency in reading and speaking the English Language. From there, the centre will determine the suitable program for him.
I Can Read (Sengkang), 11 Rivervale Crescent, #02-08 Rivervale Mall, Singapore 545082
We went to I Can Read in Rivervale Mall with high expectations after reading the good reviews from parents on KiasuParents website. We were told to reach the center by 9am for the assessment. We arrived 10 mins earlier, but waited for half an hour before the teacher is available to conduct the assessment for Little Edison.
The assessment took about five minutes. Little Edison has a good letter foundation, but he is still unable to distinguish letter sounds of the alphabets. So, the teacher recommended him to join the I Can Read Preliminary class to further establish his phonological abilities and letter formation.
The teacher spent the next five minutes explaining to us the importance of phonics to improve a child’s ability to read and write, as well as an overview and effectiveness of their program. Then, he rushed off for his class at 9:30am.
Each lesson takes 1.5 hours, and there is a guaranteed 11 lessons per term. The course fee is $530.72 per term for weekend classes. We wanted to enquire further about the program, for instance, how the student is evaluated and promoted to the next level, what we can expect from each term or level and most importantly, what our son can achieved if he continues with this program until the end of his K2.
However, the center manager seemed to be very busy with her administrative work. She gave us a short reply for every question that we posed to her. At the end, V wasn’t satisfied and we didn’t enroll him. Personally, I find that the program is good. My only concern is the lack of toilet in the center. The children have to walk out to the nearest toilet in the shopping mall – which I feel that it’s unsafe.
Jan & Elly (Seletar Hills), 1 Seletar Rd, #02-10 Greenwich V, Singapore 807011. .
We had our lunch before we drove to Jan & Elly at the new Greenwich V shopping mall at Seletar Hills. The center is very new – it was opened early this year (their 3rd branch). The environment is cosy and comfortable. The center manager (a very nice lady) gave us an overview of their program. Then, she conducted the assessment on Little Edison.
By the age of 5, Little Edison should be joining the Phonics Intermediate class. However, he has not mastered all the letter sounds. So, she has two proposals for us. First, we can enroll him in the Intermediate class and add a few bridging lessons for him to revise on all the letter sounds.
Bridging is the one-to-one customized lesson to accelerate his learning by completing more than one lesson per week.
The second option is to enroll him in Phonics Readiness class for one term with a few bridging lessons to cover all the letter sounds. By the end of the term, he should have a good working knowledge of each letter sound and he’ll be promoted to the Intermediate class mid this year.
She suggested the latter option, so that it will not be too stressful for Little Edison. For the subsequent terms in July and Oct, he will join the Intermediate class to learn about the basic blending skills, word recognition and reading. By the time he goes to K2, he will be in the Phonics Advanced class.
Assessment will be conducted by the teacher after every 3 lessons. What I like most is the bridging 1-to-1 lesson – although it is quite expensive. It focuses on areas that need improvement so that the children can progress through the program smoothly.
Secondly, the center has its own toilet. So, I don’t have to worry about safety. The duration of each lesson is 1 hour. The course fee is $300 per term (10 lessons) and bridging 1-to-1 is charged at $80 for 40 mins.
Both of us like Jan & Elly, the same goes to Little Edison. So, we enrolled him straightaway. After the registration and payments, we returned home happily. Hopefully, this program will work for Little Edison and most importantly, he will enjoy his lessons and reading.
Looking forward to his first Phonics class this weekend!