Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: Neuro Star Academy trial class

These two weeks, we've been attending trials at Neuro Star Academy at Parkway Parade. This is an enrichment centre based on what they call right brain development, where they talk about enhancing a child's memory skills, speed reading skills and so on. Hubby felt that this is worth checking out.

The first trial lesson that we attended, in fact, the moment I stepped into the lesson room, I was totally appalled by it. Basically, Neuro Star is a spin off of the hugely successful Shichida method, where kids sit in a classroom setting, with the teacher in front, kids sitting behind a row of tables. For baby and toddler classes, one parent sits behind the child. This wasn't what I was looking for for EV. I prefer a more relaxed environment where EV can learn through play. She's after all just turning 1, and I didn't want to put her in a classroom setting at all. I preferred to let her have more free play.

I was equally appalled by the speed at which the flashcards were flashed. It's absolutely stressful and tiring. I was totally against it. I told Hubby that this was not what I wanted EV to be subjected to. We decided that he would attend the next trial (there were two trials to attend as classes are conducted in English for one week, and Chinese the next) to see how he felt about it, and then decide from there.

After the next trial, Hubby's conclusion was that, the class was ok. His view was that, since we've identified her huge sense of curiosity, we need to harness on that. Also, as EV is such an active child, he felt that it is important to develop her sense of concentration from a young age, so that she can settle down for a certain period of time and focus. He felt that Neuro Star's method would be able to help in that area. He also brought up one important point - EV was reacting negatively during the two trials. In fact, she seemed contented to be in the class. So perhaps she was enjoying it?

I still stand by the play group method but we reached a consensus. We would enrol EV at Neuro Star for one term, and see how she reacts. After all, while we want the best for our children as parents, sometimes it is still best to leave the decision to them.

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