This June holidays, I had planned a series of activities for the children. The very first one is KidStartNow Show and Tell Camp for my 8yo boy. If you do remember that 2 years ago, he also attended Chinese enrichment holiday classes at the very same centre and the experience was a very enjoyable one. And 2 years later, when he was invited for this 4 day Show and Tell camp, I was a little skeptical about whether he would enjoy as much now that he is older. Nowadays for any media invite, sponsored classes, I would have to ask the kids if they would like to attend. Kids have grown up and they need to have a say in what they are attending right? So when my boy heard that he would be taught by HongMei laoshi again, he was ecstatic and agreed immediately. Wow! I didn’t know a short 4 day camp 2 years back can have such positive impression on this boy.
As before, my boy received an invitation card prior to the day he went for the camp which is always a pleasant surprise. Which kid does not like an invitation mailed to him?
This time the class was held in the newly open branch at Bedok Central. I was impressed by the interior design of the centre which has a Super Hero Panda theme. The panda theme is also the theme for the classes. Yes, the classes have a theme, so, it engages the kids well.
The camp uses the stories about a pair of panda superhero siblings who are constantly fighting, and through their journey to save a baby panda from an evil robot wolf, they will learn the importance of sibling love and cooperation. The stories will be the basis for the show and tell and at the same time, kids will be encouraged to speak out in Chinese using descriptive words taught in the classes.
The main focus of the Show and Tell camp are the following:
- Prepare kids for Show and Tell in Primary School by boosting vocabulary and oral confidence
- Role-playing activities with Show and Tell presentation to the classmates on the last day of the camp
- Develop interest in reading and learning Chinese through animated storybooks.
My boy came back on the first day and told me excitedly that the class was very fun. He pestered me to log in to the animated storybooks that KidStartNow had written for the kids. At the end of each lesson, KidStartNow will email all parents on instructions to log in for the first time and then the kids are encouraged to watch the interesting animated stories that are related to that day’s teaching. Even my 10 yo girl was hooked on to the stories, which, I find them simple animation with a simple storyline on siblinghood. What is more important is the Chinese subtitles that are shown as the narrator talks. This subtitles are important for word recognition. In fact, this is how my kids learn their Chinese words: by reading subtitles while watching Chinese dramas. You may read here for how my kids learn Chinese in daily life.
Each day, my boy came back telling me that he looked forward to the next day’s class, and at the end of the 4 days camp, he told me that he would love to continue if there are such classes in future. He was full of praises for HongMei laoshi’s patience with the kids and how he liked her very much. He had learnt some new Chinese idioms and vocabulary, and was able to explain to me the meaning of the words. I couldn’t imagine how a Show and Tell camp can have so much fun!
I really have no idea what HongMei laoshi did that engaged the kids so well. She must be a very lovely and patient teacher. I must say I am very impressed at how KidStartNow’s syllabus is so enticing and admired the owner of this centre who totally believes in treasuring good teachers and how good teachers can make a huge difference to teaching the kids well. A brief chat with the owner, Dan, is sufficient to feel his passion for education. In fact, he is honest to decline parents who thought that his centre would help to ace their kids’ already good level of Chinese and politely direct them to more popular classes like Tian Xia. He told me that he started this centre mainly to convert non-Chinese speaking kids to love Chinese.
So, if your child doesn’t speak Chinese well, or has not much exposure to speaking Chinese at home, I would highly recommend KidStartNow to you. For the month of July, they are targeting international school students and kids living in non-Chinese speaking countries who are back on holiday to join their Show and Tell camps. Details as below:
- Jul 7-10 (Tue-Fri, 10-12pm) or Jul 21-24 (10-12pm)
- Targets international school students and kids living in non-Chinese speaking countries that are back on holiday
- Requires basic understanding of Chinese
- Focus on role-playing and oral conversation and not on word recognition
- More fun and less academic vs regular enrichment classes
- Develops interest in reading and learning Chinese through animated storybooks
- Max of 10 students to a class
- $295 per child, or sign up in groups of 2+ to enjoy a discount of $55 per child ($240 vs $295 per child)
If your child is neither an international student nor from foreign non-Chinese speaking countries, you can still enquire on their curriculum and camps. You may refer to the information below:
Phone: (+65) 6481-1932 / 9820-7272
209 New Upper Changi Road, #03-649
Website: click here. They offer trial class too!
If you sign up on their mailing list, they have a free trial of animated books.
Disclaimer: We were sponsored for 4 days of Show and Tell camp. And if an 8 yo boy enjoys himself greatly, I think your kids of similar age or younger will as well!