Review + Giveaway!–My Gym @ Buona Vista

And we concluded our term of 10 weeks lessons at My Gym @ Buona Vista. Read about our first review here.

Eizac was super thrilled to receive his Certificate of Excellence! He witnessed a few kids receiving it before and it’s finally his turn. Smile

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We had such a good time every week at My Gym (Buona Vista) that he was still asking for more lessons after it ended. In all honesty, if we are not staying further away, I would have signed up another term for him. Here’s sharing some of the activities that left a deeper impression on him/me:

1) Objects Learning

Being given an object and allowed to fiddle, throw and even smash it (at times); all these piqued his curiosity and allowed room for creativity.

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Object learning: Ring
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Object Learning: Rubbery ball

2) Gymnastics moves

This is more of my favourite than Eizac’s. He is a little apprehensive of the various gymnastic moves and exercises introduced. But he gamely became a volunteer when called upon by the teachers. The various exercises such as forward roll, balancing beam, backward flip on a bar and etc; these help to strengthen core muscles. The teachers will normally highlight which muscles are being worked on and what parents can try with their children back home.

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3) The thrill rides!

There are always some surprises every week! It is never boring at My Gym. Eizac looked forward to the different set ups of the gym every week and sometimes they have thrill rides for the kids!

One week, we had a ‘superman dive’ into a ball pool and another week he had a spin ride on a swing. And the last week, all the kids went on a choo choo train! The hardworking teachers did their very best to give a fun experience to all the children. From my experience, the teachers in an enrichment class or a childcare centre/kindy can make or break the learning experiences for the young ones. I am grateful to the committed and chirpy teachers at My Gym (Buona Vista) for making it an enriching and enjoyable session every week. You need loads of energy for that!

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During our term, I had the privilege to have a chat with the lady in charge of My Gym Bouna Vista – Janice. I learnt a touching story on why she decided to set up My Gym Buona Vista. Here is a short email interview of her sharing:

Q: Why did you decide to set up My Gym Buona Vista?

A: My 6 year old son has joined My Gym since he was 2 years old. He has delayed developmental issues and was frequently teased by his peers. He was even rejected by teachers in main stream schools. I’ve seen how My Gym program has helped him developed physically, cognitively and emotionally. My heart goes out to help children with difficulties. Henceforth, my husband and I decided to take up My Gym franchise. Besides working with well-functioned children, we accept special needs children, giving them an opportunity to socialize in a group setting as well as providing early intervention for them and working on their self-confidence.

Q: What are the unique points about My Gym Buona Vista that differentiate it from other providers?

A: Besides our award-winning program, we are very particular about the quality of our teachers. They are well-trained, passionate and patient with children. We emphasize on small student-to-teacher ratio to provide individual attention and positive reinforcement. We teach our children on accepting everyone’s differences and encouraging one another using kind words. Most importantly, we accept children with special needs. Parents are often very appreciative of us giving their children a chance. Our teachers are trained in special needs and early childhood.

I am really impressed with the quality of teachers at My Gym Buona Vista. The passion, love, energy and commitment is admirable. It is a well known fact that it is not easy to hire good early childhood teachers these days. If you are looking for a wholesome and energetic program for your child, I do recommend My Gym @ Buona Vista.

If you are looking for June/Summer holiday programs, do give them a call at 6684 9220 for more details. My Gym @ Buona Vista is located at 35 Rochester Drive, #03-24/25/26 Rochester Mall.

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With some of the friendly teachers at the last day of our lesson. Eizac drew them a thank you card! Smile

And here is a chance to win a 1 month program with My Gym @ Buona Vista!

Just complete all of the following 3 steps to get a chance to win a 1 month program for your child at My Gym @ Buona Vista

1) Like and share this post on Facebook. It has to be a public post and please tag me @Evespiration. You can use the “Share this on Facebook icon” below or repost from Evespiration Facebook page.

2) Like Evespiration Facebook page if you haven’t already done so. Thank you!

3) Like My Gym Buona Vista Facebook.

Bonus entry:

4) Follow Evespiration on Instagram

Please note terms of giveaway:

This giveaway will end on 20th June 2359hours. It is open to the parents with children from age 4 months to 13 years old. Lessons will be held at My Gym @ Buona Vista only.

Winner will be randomly picked and decision is final. Winner’s details will be passed to My Gym @ Buona Vista for liaison purposes.

Updated on 23rd June 2016: Winner of this giveaway is ….. Kristie Wong! 🙂 You will be contacted by My Gym @ Buona Vista for more details! Congratulations! 

N.B: This review is written as part of an experience of lessons at My Gym Buona Vista. No further compensation had been received.

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Celebrate Christmas with SpongeBob SquarePants at City Square Mall

Media Invite

Are your kids a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants?

I happened to have a fan at home. Xi En enjoyed the jokes from the cartoon (though, honestly I am not a huge fan)>:P. Well, at least he has his Daddy for company.

We went down for the all-new live show at City Square Mall which features SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick Star preparing to celebrate the Krabby Patty burger. Everyone is invited to the party!

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My favorite character has to be Patrick. He is just too cute with his starry shape. 😀

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Look out too, for grouchy Plankton who stuck around trying to steal the secret recipe for Krabby Patty.

Xi En enjoyed the live show and couldn’t wait to take a photo with some of his favourite cartoon characters. He was too shy to hug SpongeBob though. 😛

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This year, City Square Mall also set up an outdoor SpongeBob Playland at the City Green gate. With a minimum spend of $30, shoppers get to redeem a SpongeBob Playland activity pass at Level 2 Customer Service Counter. There are various activities which are suitable for age 3 and above. We only managed to try 2 of the activities as there was a heavy downpour in the afternoon. So, do check out the weather forecast to plan your activities.

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If you plan to catch SpongeBob SquarePants Krabby Patty Celebration “Live” on Stage, it’s ending soon on 20th December 2015 (Sun)!

There are shows everyday except Monday. 2pm & 7pm (Tues – Fri); 1pm, 4pm & 7pm (Sat & Sun). The outdoor PlayLand ends on 3rd Jan 2016.

Do check out City Square Mall website for more details on other related promotions – https://citysquaremall.com.sg/promotions.php

Well, there is always the wet weather plan even if it is rainy season. We ducked indoors for ZooMoov! The animal rides are great fun for my kids any. time. any. where. 😀

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On a side note, we found a relatively new eatery at Level 2 – Face to Face Noodles (面对面). I ate at their outlet in Johor Bahru many times when I was working in JB. Happy to find it here now. It’s a slightly different concept but the quality is quite similar and their famous Chilli Pan Mee is yummilicous! Here, they provided pre-packed chilli whereas in JB we heaped on the special chilli freely at the table. 😀 Prices are of course more expensive here (about S$8.90 for a bowl of noodles before GST and service charge). Wished I can pay Ringgit but it’s good enough to have them import the noodles and chilli here. 🙂

If you are a chilli fan, enjoy chewy noodles with Hong Kong style char siew, don’t forget to try it out and let me know if you liked it too? 🙂

 Face to Face

KidStartNow Holiday Camp

Whenever the school holiday looms draws nearer, I am always on the look out for places, programmes and activities to occupy the boys – especially Xi En.

Full of energy and no afternoon naps needed, Xi En needs some structured activities to occupy his mind and time. In June this year, I decided to pick 1 holiday camp for him to attend. My criteria is simple:

1) Location is not too far to commute and preferably near public transport

2) At least 4 to 5 days of programme so that he is occupied for almost a week

3) Something educational (physically or mentally)

4) Affordable in price

Since I felt that he is still lacking in his Mandarin language, I decided to scout for a Mandarin-focused holiday camp. In the end, I decided on KidStartNow as it met most of my checklist. Some of my blogger friends have reviewed it positively as well. From their website I learn that KidStartNow uses animated stories as the main medium for engaging children to learn Chinese. Initially I was skeptical if children should be further exposed to animation since my kids are already “over-exposed” to television programs at home!

But as I read through some of the FREE learning resources on KidStartNow website, I realised with the changing of times, digital resources are inevitable and in fact very useful to draw the attention of young children and indirectly create a love for a language they might otherwise dislike.

The June camp turned out very well.

By the end of the 4 days camp, Xi En asked for more lessons! He wanted to watch more “episodes” of the story of on The Panda Superheros. Previously he used English or refused to complete sentences in Mandarin.  But after the camp, he was more enthusiastic in trying to complete a sentence in Mandarin or at least asked for the Mandarin vocabulary if he doesn’t know the words. Although I didn’t sit in the lessons, I could hear the teacher’s lively voice encouraging class participation and the children warming up to each other and the language each day.  It was a fruitful 4 day camp!

We are excited that KidStartNow’s December camp is back and they have kindly invited Xi En to be part of it as well! As we are planning a trip to Taiwan (more Mandarin exposure!) before this, it is timely that we come back to a Mandarin camp.  Certainly hope that he will be inspired and not shun away from learning Mandarin.

Here, Dan Tang, one of the directors at KidStartNow had also answered some of my questions and provided tips which might be useful to many parents. I found his practical tips useful!

Who is the team behind KidStartNow and what is the motivation behind setting up KidStartNow?

“KidStartNow is founded by a team of educators, designers, and engineers that aim to help English-speaking kids love to learn and excel in Chinese. I created KidStartNow because I was raised in an English-speaking family and found learning Chinese a big struggle growing up until I lived and worked in Taiwan. I decided to give up a high-flying finance career in Taiwan to start KidStartNow because I wanted to help the next generation love and excel in Chinese.”

What qualification/experience do the teachers at KidStartNow come with? Do they come up with the programmes?

“We only hire A+ teachers who genuinely care about and love teaching kids and are extremely patient. This is because kids raised in English-speaking families typically find Chinese more foreign and it is easy for them to feel demoralised initially if they fall behind. All our teachers also have teaching diplomas, are native speakers and have several years of teaching experience. Our curriculum is created by our teachers in accordance with the latest MOE syllabus.”

Why do parents need to consider sending their children to a Chinese enrichment class and in particular what does KidStartNow have to offer which makes it a unique choice?

“Many parents lack the confidence or time to teach their kids Chinese, and thus send their kids to enrichment centres to build their kids’ interest in Chinese and prepare them for primary school. Unlike other centres, we are solely focused on English-speaking kids.

KidStartNow is different from other centres in three ways:

  • We hire only A+ teachers that genuinely love teaching kids and are incredibly patient
  • We focus on encouragement and growth mindset – kids are told they are good at Chinese and are rewarded with digital coins and stickers for trying
  • We are the only Chinese centre to create our own animated storybooks, which are incredibly effective at helping kids build interest and vocabulary (www.boshipanda.com)”

What advice do you have to offer to parents regarding encouraging their children to learn and enjoy Mandarin?

  • Be patient as getting comfortable with Chinese takes time. When your child refuses to speak or read Chinese, do not worry or express displeasure and instead praise your child for baby steps and encourage your child to keep on trying.
  • Reading is critical as it helps children develop a love for languages. If your child does not want to read Chinese books or if you are less confident in reading Chinese, consider using either KidStartNow’s animated storybooks or other apps that have audio read-aloud.
  • Start weaving Chinese into daily life – such as a set hour or day where the family communicates only in Chinese. Or when out, consciously point out street names and places of interest, etc in Chinese.

What can we expect from the upcoming school holidays camp program?

Our upcoming holiday camp aims to help kids develop interest in Chinese and build up their oral confidence through storytelling and role-playing (older kids will also have a chance to do a show and tell presentation). The camp will be a modern retelling of the Boy Who Cried Wolf story, except with a cast of superhero pandas, and teach the importance of honesty!

We have helped hundreds of children with our previous camps, many of whom attend multiple times. We are also highly recommended by 17 parent bloggers and have also been featured by Young Parents’ as “Enrichment class that best nurtures your child’s interest in Chinese” (Jan 2014).

Cheers,

Dan

I do find KidStartNow especially useful to those who come from English-speaking family background or non-Chinese ethnic groups and those who dislike or is “scared” of Mandarin. If you might be interested to know more about the Superhero Camp or weekly lessons, do check out their website for more details: http://www.kidstartnow.com/

See you there! 🙂

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Details of KidStartNow

  • Address: 209 New Upper Changi Road, #03-649, S(460209)
  • Phone: (+65) 6481-1932 / 9820-7272
  • Email: enquiry@kidstartnow.com

Credit: All photos and pictures are courtesy of KidStartNow.