19 August 2011

Kinderland


It's been 2 years since we began our new life here in Ipoh.

When we first arrived in Ipoh, my daughter was only 4, not yet attending kindergarten. So along with all the other settling in issues, I did the rounds to find a suitable kindy for her.

These days parents agonise over which kindergarten, which primary school, which secondary school. Back when I was a child, the search for the suitable school was not such an intense, research-based and discussed topic! Sure, my parents sent my brother and me to the reputable schools of the day, but as for kindergarten, the one closest to home was the priority.

I finally decided on Kinderland behind Heritage Hotel for my daughter, not too far from home. And some good feedback I obtained from a past student's mother. Of course, I did get a very negative feedback from someone else too. There is always the dark side to the "force"!

My review of Kinderland?

Now in her second year in Kinderland, my daughter is happy there. She did not have an easy settling-in time. Many children begin their kindy years from the age of 4 or younger. My girl joined when she was 5, so she was the new kid on the block. You remember how hard it is to break into established social circles, don't you?

Kinderland runs 2 streams - English (for those going to Kebangsaan or private schools with no Mandarin component) and Chinese (gearing for the Chinese medium schools). I enrolled her into the Chinese stream, and she did not speak Mandarin when she started. So it was a double whammy for her. She cried for 3 months! And I had to be there. I almost broke and considered changing her kindergarten. But there is no guarantee she would be happier some place else. So I hung on.

Today, my girl converses easily in Mandarin, English and a smattering of Bahasa Malaysia. She has built her social confidence and her own circle of friends. Some of the children who did not accept her into their circle at first, still do not do so today, but she doesn't mind as she has other friends. And I tell my daughter that you can't be friends with everyone, and indeed, some people are not worth the effort. I noticed that my girl is rather popular with the boys, and it is cute to see the boys bringing her shoes and water tumbler to her at dismissal time!

Kinderland gives the children homework everyday, with spelling tests of 5 words and one sentence for each of the 3 languages weekly. And of course, the term assessments. Academically, I hear that Kinderland is not as tough as, say, Mariaville off Jalan Tambun or "Wai Lei" near Jalan Yang Kalsom in town. Apparently those 2 kindies give tons of homework, and teach Standard 1 material, with 20 words for spelling each time! 20 words? Phew!

If you are the sort of parent who wants your child to super excel academically and shine in Standard 1, you might want to go for Mariaville or "Wai Lei". You will find Kinderland too laid back, as Kinderland strives to provide a balanced and rounded education experience. Kinderland arranges excursions each term to, for example, the pet shop, stud farm, parks and the state library. There is also plenty of arts and crafts. And their annual concert is a really big deal. The principal and teachers put in a tremendous amount of effort into the concert, and the kids get to sing, dance, deliver speeches, play instruments. Quite good fun, as is their annual sports day.

My daughter is not overly burdened with homework until she detests doing it, and she is happy to practise for her spelling tests. I find the teachers at Kinderland caring, contrary to the negative remark I heard early on. If your child is absent for more than 2 days, Kinderland will give you a call to find out if everything is ok.

I believe Kinderland receives more children under its daycare wing rather than its kindergarten arm. The sleeping facility in Kinderland is excellent, with each child provided with his/ her own sleeping cot in a large dorm-like room (not sleeping on the floor like some kindies or daycare I have seen). Kinderland provides breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack for those under daycare. Their young charges range in age from infants to primary school children.

Overall, I am quite happy with Kinderland.

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience with Kinderland. I am also looking for a nursery day care for my son of 3 years old. We would not stress on academic excellence so much since he is so young. Most important for us is that our child is taken care of with love, patience and gentleness (and with firm affirmation when the times need it).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Ethel, you are welcome! But please bear in mind that some of the teachers and staff at Kinderland may have changed over the last year or so. You should go check it out and see how you and your son "feel" about the place.

    There is also one called MBSB, which has several branches all over Ipoh. The one nearest to me that I know of is on Tiger Lane just diagonally opposite the Royal Perak Golf Club. You can't miss it from the road as it is big and green with a large front yard and kids' play equipment. Let me know which you decided on! Good luck...

    ReplyDelete
  3. do you have any review on Temby Int'l school?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Huba-Huba

    I haven't yet done a review on Tenby International School, but that's a good idea!

    Actually I need to do the school rounds this year as my boy is completing his primary education and we will have to decide where he does his secondary schooling.

    All I know about Tenby at the moment is from hear-say, not personal experience. A friend had her son in Tenby but took him out as she was not happy with the level of discipline there (meaning too little discipline!)She put then put her son into one of the private Chinese schools in Ipoh (there are several, like Poi Lam Private, Shen Jai, Yuk Choy Private), and as far as I know, both she and her son are happy with it. Another parent I spoke with said that there is a high turnover of teachers in Tenby, which affects the teaching and students.

    It's a difficult choice as there are many factors to consider - the quality of teaching for the price that you will be paying, the environment of the school, the values and discipline that will be imparted to the children. Being a private school, where parents pay handsomely, some private schools may be reluctant to punish or discipline their students for fear that the paying parents will be unhappy and complain. But that leads to very poor discipline, spoiled and rude children who think that money can buy everything and solve all problems. In short, the "spoilt rich kid". That is one serious concern I have and I do not want my children to be exposed to children with such thinking and attitudes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I went to normal school. I turned out OK. yaa, I had my share of public canning, but I'm ok.

    I'm more interested in the Tenby KBSR syllabus. How is the passing rates for UPSR, PMR, etc..

    Mmm.. so many things to consider..

    Those "private Chinese schools in Ipoh" -
    Would be be difficult for muslim's to join in.. in terms oh, culture, language, etc..

    ReplyDelete
  6. How old is your child Huba Huba? The KBSR syllabus is being phased out and replaced with the new KSSR.

    ReplyDelete
  7. my kid is 4+ small girl. We are the new age parents just balik from overseas! Hahaha..

    Hish! i'm still under KBSR.. KSSR..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi my girl is 7 this year and studying at Year 2 in Tenby Ipoh.We r trying to look for a mandarin teacher preferably a retired teacher to start her up on mandarin class as a 2nd language.Do you know anyone to recommend or can help us on this.I have also just shifted to Ipoh a few months back so do not know how to approach this situation.
    Thanks in advance.
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  9. Hi M&m! Welcome to Ipoh. Are you new or is this your hometown? Which ever one, I hope you will settle quickly and happily into your new home.

    About mandarin teacher.. I understand that there is an optional Chinese subject ofered by Tenby yes? Is your girl taking this? You may ask the teachers teaching Chinese in Tenby if they also offer private tuition - that would be your first port of call.

    Other than that, there are various tuition centres in Ipoh such as PPTG in Ipoh Garden East (near Tesco and 1919 restaurant) and Pusat Tuisehn Goh in Ipoh Garden (row of shops near Wooley and further down from Wagner Piano).

    Hope my blog will help you with some basic knowledge about Ipoh, if you are an out of towner. Best of luck. Do feel free to ask if you need other tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya. I am new to ipoh too!.
      May I know do you do review for other kindergarten besides kinder land?

      Delete
  10. Hi, may I know besides kinder land & Tenby, any good review for other kindergarten as my sons is 2yo & 4 yo which I planned send both of them to playgroup & kindergarten.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi, may I know besides kinder land & Tenby, any good review for other kindergarten as my sons is 2yo & 4 yo which I planned send both of them to playgroup & kindergarten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yan Ting.. apologies for my late reply. Things have been hectic.

      Well/ I really only scouted out Kinderland, Tenby, Mariaville and Kinderjoy for my own kids when they were toddlers. All of them are old and well established kindergartens.

      Delete