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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

UPDATED: Which Preschool To Choose From?

If you guys still remember my loooooooong way back post about preschool for my eldest son, here's the update! *Disclaimer - my eldest is 8yo and in standard 2 this year now and yes! Should I update after a few years? haha

If you can't remember or this is your first time stumbling into my blog, you can always click on the following link to my previous post CLICK HERE

Last time I was comparing between a Genius Aulad/ Smart Reader Kids/ CEC right? Happened to be after considering a lot of factors like:-

1) School location
2) Transportation availability and cost
3) Modules
4) School cleanliness (important - please don't take it lightly)
 5) No. of students per class
6) School fee

I enrolled him (It was in November 2011 when he was 4yo) at Smart Reader Kids just near my parent's house so that any of my family members can fetched him after school. I purposely enrolled him at the end of his 4yo age as I don't want to pressure a small kid with study! and I wanted to see if he can handle himself at that age.

The registration fee was around RM1500 at that time (a one time payment) and the monthly fee is RM270 (inclusive a tea break) I think it was a right choice at that time as the teachers are friendly, dedicated in a sense that they will do a one to one session with kid, the classroom has a small no. of students make it easier to concentrate in class. My eldest started to read when he was 5yo! See? Not bad at all right?

So, when his brother was 4yo, I started to search a preschool for him! Maybe you were wondering WHY I didn't send him to the same Smart Reader Kids like his brother? Well, I love to try something different so instead of sending him to the same school, I try to find another preschool so that I would know the different in their methods & teachings.

After searching and googling, I finally decided to send him to the IIUM Montessori at Taman Melati (by far, the nearest to my parent's house). First thing that attract my attention was the 2 storey bungalow lot with a playground at the frontyard! I was thinking, it would be more comfortable than his brother as most of preschools in Malaysia is either rented a 1st floor shoplot or a terrace house. 

After meeting with the teacher and surroundings, I enrolled him there in January 2014 when he was 4yo. The registration fee was among the expensive one as I paid RM2200 for Q1. We have to pay around RM1500 - RM1700 every quarterly. The monthly fee was around RM300 (if I remember correctly).

Sadly, after one year, there was no progress at all as he can't even recognize A from B or C! Worst, he didn't want to go to school..I have to force him to wake up every morning. The school hour is from 8.00am - 2.30pm but after 12pm, there was no activities for the kids except sleeping until we came to fetch them later. The teachers were definitely not friendly and shows no passion for the students..

So, for this year when he turn 5yo, I tried to find another school for him. I was considering between Little Caliph, Smart Reader Kids and CIC. I went to Little Caliph and urggghhh (just forget it!) The place & the teaching areas is seriously not suitable for kids!

Later, I went to CIC near my parent's house and opposite his eldest brother's school. My first impression:

1) Clean and organized (the school has divided the floor into multiple rooms for students with age differences and teachers room)
2) Assembly area for students
3) A well organised pantry and clean toilet
4) A friendly teacher

CIC has 3 types of class based on the finished time either 12.30pm, 2.30pm or 5.30pm. For Syafi, I choose the 2.30pm as they have a Amali Solat & Iqra` session after school hour. They provide breaksfast & luch for students.

The registration fee is around RM1200 only which is reasonable price for me. The monthly fee is RM340 (???) (maybe) I can't remember as I paid in advance for 12 months. The best part is, Syafi can already recognized ABC and Alif Ba Ta in April! He knows Doa, solat, solat reciting, and so much more nursery songs!

He LOVE going to school! YEAY! His teacher even mentioned that he always eager to start a class even before class started. What I can see, all teachers are friendly and treat their students well.

ALL in ALL, I have few conclusions which I always advice to any of my friends who trying to find the best preschool for their kid:

1) Firstly, don't bother to check their modules, for me the modules more or less are the same! What make it different is how the teachers teach in class!
2) Please do a site visit before deciding to enroll your kid. Looks for the school cleanliness, pantry, sleeping area, toilet. Ensure everything is in order as this is where your kid will spend half or their day.
 3) The MOST IMPORTANT thing to check - Look for the teachers, all of them! Do they show any compassion towards the kids? Do they seems passionate to teach small kids? I always find a motherly affectionate teacher are the BEST! The know how to treat small kids to like them. Don't act like a TEACHER-STUDENT as small kids can't accept it. That's what make them HATE to go to school in the first place!