Lele started attending playgroup this Monday and today marks the successful completion of 1 week of classes without me: ) Unlike the conventional idea of playgroup, this is conducted wholly in mandarin for the entire 1 1/2hour session.
Many months ago, Lele and I dropped by the school just for a look. I wasn't looking for a playgroup then, but thought a mandarin would provide a good environment for Lele, who loves mandarin but had limited vocab because of lack of exposure. Happened to pass by so went in to inquire about their Mandarin playgroup out of curiosity. Lele loved the school and me too, for its bright and spacious environment with colourful hand-made wall decos. Classes have not started yet as it was a new programme, but I left my contact number in case enough students sign up.
Somewhere along the line, Daniel and I decided to...
1)Let Lele attend childcare from next year
2)Stop GUG after this term
In the time gap between end of GUG and start of childcare, we thought a playgroup would be good. We looked for a nearby playgroup but found alot of hidden costs in addition to school fees, such as uniform, school bag, material fees, high registration fees, insurance fees etc. Assuming Lele only attending playgroup till end of these year, all the extra money we fork out will not be worth it. Last week the Mandarin playgroup people called us and asked us to confirm our interest. With only $10 reg fees+school fees and no extra costs, I decided to give in a try.
So far, I can see a few positive results of this playgroup.
1) Lele has become a much more fluent and confident mandarin speaker. Whereas previously Lele mostly names things in mandarin, now he tries to form him own sentences of more than 8 words, all in mandarin without mix with English words. I can tell that after each session, Lele has more confidence in using mandarin. He will converse with me in mandarin on his own accord for a good 10 mins.
2)Lele's attention has also become better. This is very evident in GUG class. His ability to sit has become stronger. He will wait and listen much more than before. In the playgroup, the teacher empasise on training children's ability to focus by sitting still while teacher is explaining. Because of the small class size (3), she could reallie spend individual effort on each child to help them develop goood attention span. I think this has helped him in becoming more focused.
3)Because of some writing practice in class, Lele has also developed keen interest in writing. He now likes to pretend he is writing numbers with a marker, or request for me to hold his hand and write.
Teacher's comment about him so far:
1) Loves to speak out and repeat after the teacher.
3)Needs to develop good attention span but showed alot of improvement in this respect.