Friday, May 12, 2017

Overview of Heguru @ Sembawang

Following up from my post about Returning to Heguru! It's been a term since we embarked our journey with Heguru Sembawang, and I am glad to say that we have been settling well in our weekly classes and the kids have more or less been able to recognize that this is part of our Saturday routine now!

Having attended Heguru previously, I know that "patience is the key". as we would not be seeing significant results till much much later. Hence I will leave the details of the class activities and the review of the classes to another few months' time. Meanwhile, in this post, I will be sharing an overview of the center that the kids are attending!

When we were looking to enroll the kids back to Heguru, the number one criteria for us is the distance. We do not want to spend over an hour or so traveling for a class, wasting the precious weekend away. Hence, this leads us to Heguru Sembawang, located inside Sembawang Shopping Centre. It works really well for us as the journey there takes about 20 minutes, and both the kids' classes are right after another in the late morning, and by the time they are done it's time for lunch, which by the way, opposite the mall is where you can find the famous "Bai Mee Fen". There's also a Giant supermarket at the basement where we also pick up our weekly groceries at! Extremely convenient for us to get everything done! And once the kids are home, its also just about time for their afternoon nap!

When we first stepped into the center, what appealed the most to the kids was this relatively huge space that they could sit down to play or read! There are toys, books, puzzles placed neatly in boxes and stacked on the shelves. I personally thought that it is such a good idea to get the kids to warm up before classes! Especially more so for Coen, who takes a much longer time to be familiar with the teachers and the surroundings, this has helped him to adjust better rather than going straight into his class emotionally/ mentally unprepared.

As for Zoe, she loves this area as well! Her class starts 45 minutes later after Coen's, and hence she has to wait every single week. I was initially worried that the waiting would tire her out, but I was wrong. There's so much entertainment for her! There's a huge playground and water park just outside the center, and an arcade in the mall which recently is also her new favorite place. But despite all of these, this one here would mostly spend all her time at this play area playing! Definitely not bored at all every week.

Besides a huge reception, play area and seating space for parent, there are also 4 classrooms and 1 of it which can be merged into a bigger room with the other. There is also a corridor that the kids would come out for their physical activity comprising of hopping, jumping etc. Below, I share some features of why I thought this center gives a really cozy feeling.

There are photos of the students pasted around, and this reminds me somehow of my primary/ secondary school days where we were tasked to decorate our classroom notice board. It gives such a warmth feeling to see the kids happy faces on the wall! And not to mention the time taken to print and cut these photos!

Handwritten testimonials. It's encouraging to read about how the to read about the different students that had benefited from the program and how their parents have seen a significant change in their children.

One of the most impressive factor of Heguru has got to be the teachers! If you have seen a clip of my instastory of the teacher doing the flash card activity, you will probably be bewildered like me when I first saw it the first time 2 years back! The first thought that came to my mind was "how many hours did they have to practice?!" I honestly tried doing it at home and I can't even make it to the second card without the entire stack falling off hahaha. All the Heguru teachers are certified to teach, and they travel to Japan periodically for their training!

They even have a birthday notification corner! But what made it even sweeter was this! Scroll down!

Coen's teacher - teacher Jamie on her own initiative actually hand painted this birthday card for Coen! She drew everything from scratch and painted it so beautifully! I was so touched and found it incredibly sweet!

Coen's personality is slightly different from his sister, he needs a long time to get warm up to, and does not do so well in an unfamiliar environment. So you can imagine the first 1 month or even 2 months, he was clinging on to me in class and often in tears. But, both the teachers were really encouraging and understanding, and made me us feel assured that we weren't exactly very disruptive at all to the class, and even noted on his small improvements week by week in his handbook. The progress might be slower than the rest, but I have been seeing a lot lesser tears and more smiles from him in class. And that to me is the first step for him, to get him to open up to people, and be immersed into the fun that these classes provide!

And here's Zoe with her teachers! Teacher Jess is always smiling whenever I see her, her patience is also why I personally love Zoe being in her class! Knowing my daughter, she can be really headstrong in doing things her way, it's hard to change her mind, and she's not the kind that do well if I pressure her into something she is not keen on. There were a couple of times she did not want to participate in a certain activity, for example, other students are on page 1 of the worksheet, and my daughter would be on page 3 coloring away. Very common for her!

I was trying to get her to follow, but teacher Jess would come along really chilled about it, letting her continue coloring, and even genuinely commenting that her coloring skills are really good! Hence, there is no pressure from the teachers and likewise from us as well. This is probably also the reason why Zoe finds it so much fun in attending Heguru, and exactly what we want the kids to achieve out of their time here, learning through fun!

I will be sharing more about each kid's classes and progression in another 3 months' time, but meanwhile if you would like to find out more you can give the center a call to find out the next Parents Information Session, or drop me an email! Till then, have a good weekend!

Disclaimer: We are sponsored by Heguru @ Sembawang for Zoe and Coen's lessons, and receive no other monetary compensation. All opinions are 100% mine.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jayme, I followed your blog about the Heguru classes. The activities sound encouraging. I have drop you an email for more enquiries. Kindly check.