I’ve been very busy last week. This explains why Project 365 has taken a back seat; hopefully I can get back on track soon.
Well, the good news is – TWO issues that have been bugging me for the past few weeks have been resolved now. Yay! First, it’s about finding a Chinese Enrichment class for Little Edison, which I’ll be sharing in this post. Second, it’s about the search for our part-time helper. I’ll blog about it when I have time.
I read a lot of reviews on the various Chinese Enrichment schools in Singapore, and I’ve also gathered some feedbacks from my friends. After some discussions with V, we narrowed our options down to THREE. These are the 3 schools that we’ve shortlisted:
Hua Language Centre (at Greenwich)
Course fees per term: $380, Material fees per term: $20
Duration: 2 hours per session, 10 sessions per term
This is the most expensive school among the three. Hua Language Centre has recently opened a new branch in Greenwich V. At this point, I don’t see a lot of students yet. In general, the school is highly- recognized as an effective Chinese Language enrichment program with good track record in PSLE Chinese results for the past 15 years. I have no doubt in their teaching method.
We wanted a Sunday morning class, and fortunately, there are still vacancies available. The language is taught through a special reading program, games, sing-along, story-telling and oral activities. He will be trained to recognize Chinese strokes, their variations and the order in which they are written.
We paid $38 for a trial class. After the two-hour lesson (which I think is quite long), our boy walked out of the classroom in a daze. Maybe he was confused or over-loaded with too many Chinese words. I spoke to the teacher and she commented that our boy didn’t pay much attention in the class and his proficiency in Chinese Language is still very limited.
When she found out that we never speak Chinese at home, she began to understand his lack of interest in the language. Nonetheless, it’s still not too late to enroll him and she believes that he’ll be able to catch up after a few lessons.
Berries (at Hougang Central)
Course fees per term: $385.20, Material fees per term: $5.85
Duration: 1hr 45 mins per session, 12 sessions per term
Berries is indeed the most popular Chinese Enrichment school in Singapore. The weekend classes are all fully-booked. The only available timing is weekday 5:00pm, which is not favorable for us. Our boy usually naps at 4:30pm and I can imagine his grumpy face when he has to wake up at 4:45pm to go to school.
Furthermore, I don’t wish to add additional responsibility to my parents-in-law to fetch him to and from enrichment class on weekday. We were placed on their waiting list for Sunday class, but I don’t expect to get any miracle call from them.
Tien Hsia (at Kovan Heartland Mall)
Course fees per term: $290, Material fees per term: $0
Duration: 1.5 hours per session, 10 sessions per term
This is another highly-rated Chinese Enrichment school. They have very limited vacancies for weekend classes now, and we were offered a Sunday afternoon slot as well as a free trial class. The duration of each session is 1.5 hours, which I think is most ideal.
After the trial class, I spoke to the teacher. This time, I was not surprised when she told me that our boy was not paying attention in the class and his complete lack of interest in the language. What really puzzles me is that our boy refused to attend the class anymore.
Personally, I dislike the environment in this branch. The lift leading up to the school stinks because of the durian stalls in the street level. The corridor and waiting area outside the school are crowded and chaotic when the classes dismiss, and the toilets are dirty.
The pro of this school, however, is that it doesn’t require any deposit, registration or material fee. It’s the cheapest among the three, and their trial class is free too!
Our aim is to provide Little Edison with more exposure to Chinese Language so that he will cultivate interest in it. We enrolled him at Hua Language Centre. If any case, if we’re so lucky to get a miracle call from Berries, we will still be able to switch from Hua to Berries (if we want to).
Now, we have English Phonics class on Saturday and Chinese Enrichment class on Sunday. It’s going to be FUN! What’s next?!