Monday, 9 May 2016

9th Avenue School in BGC

I've seen 9th Avenue School whenever I went to Urban Ashram Manila for my Fertility Yoga every weekend when we were trying to conceive. I was intrigued with the happy faces of the little ones who rode the elevator with me, so I made sure I was gonna check 9th Avenue School when the time is right.
Learning ABC's is fun with this creative wall display 
Now, that our family is scouting for a playschool for Baby Charley (she's 16 months now), 9th Avenue School is at the top of our list of schools to visit. 

9th Avenue School uses play and sound child development principles and practices.
The hallway 
Its holistic curriculum is highly individualised and child-centred where children socialise, learn, and discover a lot of things without feeling pressured.

Socialising with classmates

Children are grouped together according to their age, and the activities and materials given to them are developmentally appropriate. There are Block and Half (18 - 23 months; yaya or at least 1 parent required to be in class), Avenue 2's, Avenue 3's, Avenue 4's, Avenue 5's (kindergarten), and Mid Avenue (2 - 4 years old).

One of the centres in the classroom
Founders of 9th Avenue School are very active in the campus. Also, they pioneered the practice of developmentally appropriate education in the Philippines. All of them are educators themselves who trained and taught here and abroad.

What We Love About 9th Avenue School 
* Spacious for kids to run around 
The whole campus of 9th Avenue is spacious, and each class, Block & a Half, 2's, and 3's have their own classrooms. 
The classroom for the bigger ones are large enough for them to move around 

Play Area

Washrooms made just for the little ones

Since Block & a Half classes include toddlers and their guardians, the room could be a little congested. Thankfully, 9th Avenue limits the number of students per class.

Charley's classroom 

* Close Parent-School Relationship 
9th Avenue is proud of its tight and healthy relationship with its parents. At least one parent, or a yaya, is requested to attend Block & a Half classes with the toddler. Yayas are taught of proper child care and reinforcement activities they could do with their toddlers at home.

Toddlers and their parents enjoy roasting some marshmallows
Some parents are also requested to lead activities or give a talk in school. 

When a student is not fetched right away, communication is sent to the parents. Kids often do not mind being fetched late since they will not get bored waiting while they are at the spacious play area.

The spacious Play Area gives an opportunity for kids from all classes to bond and play together 
* Thematic Activities
Besides being play-based, we also love that the babies in Block and a Half enjoy daily activities based on the day's set theme.

One of the decorations in the classroom 
For example, since it was Camping Day, the songs, art, and other activities about the great outdoors were prepared by the teacher for the tots to enjoy.
Real logs to set the mood for Camping Day 
The teacher showed digital pictures of what camping is like. 

Art time was also about camping.

Camping will not be complete without a lighting a campfire and roasting some mallows.

Singing our camping song
There was even a tent waiting for the tots when they went to the Play Area for their active play!

Fees & Schedule 
Tuition fees are based on your child's class and chosen schedule. This already includes the materials that your little ones will use (and eat just like the mallows today!) during their stay.

There are Morning and Afternoon schedules you and your little ones can choose from.

Location & Contacts 
M/F Active Fun Bldg., 9th AVe cor 28th Street
Bonficaio Global City, Taguig
(02) 856.1478

Baby Charley enjoyed her day at the 9th Avenue School. She specifically liked feeding Pascal the turtle, which is a literal class pet of Block & a Half kids. I think having him around gives the tots, as young as they are, a sense of responsibility as they take turns feeding him.

Feeding Pascal the Turtle 

It's also very convenient that 9th Avenue School is very accessible to both private and public transpo - BGC bus passes through the 28th Street. It's also near the park, Fully Booked, and restos in BGC.

My Little OC - Baby Charley fixed the chairs without being told 
Finally, as a parent, I truly appreciate the regular evaluation and assessment of my child and the school's honest and objective recommendation of what big school is appropriate for her. 

I think 9th Avenue School is a good choice for playschool for our little ones before they enter our chosen big school. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Colors and Shapes Learning Center

Colors and Shapes is a playschool and a daycare that has much to offer to families with toddlers and with both spouses working. I believe many working Mommies and Daddies would actually love the services offered here.

Gentle reminders of how one should behave in class 
Colors and Shapes uses play, art, music, movement, and practical skills to teach the alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes. Students are provided with several opportunities and thematic activities that encourage them to use their own creativity.

An activity board in the classroom that encourages self-expression 

Colors and Shapes is also a daycare and a learning center that offers three purposeful programs for babies and toddlers: Program 1 (Camp Baby and Jr. Toddler), Program 2 (Tutorial, Summer Camps, and Early Intervention), and Program 3 (Playhouse/Daycare).

 Campy Baby (18-24 months) and Jr. Toddler (24 months and above) are year-long programs that follow a June-March school year. Playhouse, on the other hand, offers daily or regular daycare services.

When classes are over, the students will then be allowed to go to the Play Area where lots of toys await them. 

What We Love About Colors and Shapes
* Low student:teacher ratio 
Colors and Shapes values the learning experiences of each child. This is why they maintain a very low student:teacher ratio. Each class has two (2) teachers and one (1) teacher-aide, so Mommies are confident to leave their babies at Colors and Shapes especially those who are availing of the daycare service.

Dance Time with two of her classmates

* Celebrates each Student's Success 
Colors and Shapes takes pride in celebrating the accomplishments of each student - be it an artwork done or simply being present in class. I love it how the whole class sings for everyone present in the class that day. Such a simple gesture makes the child loved and accepted. 

The classroom is decorated with the student's projects and paintings which are little trophies of the student's success. 

* Practical programs especially for working parents 
Colors and Shapes offers Playhouse, a safe and convenient daycare program where you can drop-off your baby who can explore, socialize, and learn through interactive and fun-play.

This would be convenient if both mommies and daddies have the same work schedules, and they don't have a yaya at home.

         Art time using paints and rollers

Each class has lots of singing, dancing, and art as the students learn their ABC's, colors, and numbers. 

Of course, Charley's favorite which is Art Time and getting messy, is also part of the daily activities. 

What we love more about Colors and Shapes is that it's just across Greenbelt 5 so it's perfect for Mommies working in Makati! 

Fees & Schedule 
The school year for Camp Baby and Jr Toddler starts in June and ends in March. Playhouse is availble all through out the year. 

Summer Camp Batch 1 starts early April while Batch 2 starts late April until May.

You may call, text, or email Teacher Ena for more details regarding the exact details on the tuition fees.

Location & Contacts 
Ground Flr. Unit G8
Prince Plaza Condominium
106 Legazpi St., Makati City

It's right across Greenbelt 5!

Charley had fun at Colors and Shapes because there are lots of singing and dancing and art time many babies her age will surely enjoy. 

Also, the place is very convenient and accessible since it's just in the heart of Makati. Playhouse will be helpful for those families without a Yaya. 

In my opinion, Mommies might consider Colors and Shapes for their babies.

Colors and Shapes accepts students as early as 18 months old. 

MindChamps International PreSchool

Our family has first heard of MindChamps Preschool in Singapore as it is one of the most sought-after preschool. Strategically lcoated in prominent shopping malls, business parks, and on landed properties, some of its branches like those in Tampines and CBP (Changi Business Park), Toa Payoh are almost always fully-booked. That is why we were over the moon when we learnt that MindChamps is already here in the Philippines - Taguig City!

MindChamps uses a "crafted play" approach that carefully and purposely integrated learning through play; hence, making the child not only good at learning, but passionate about learning as well. Its unique and advanced curriculum is developed by world-class professionals with extensive experience in Education, Child Psychology, Neurosciences, and Theatre.
The Wishing Tree by the Front Desk 
Despite being a Singapore School, MndChamps also cater to Non-Chinese students.

What We Love About MindChamps
* Preparation for the Big School 
MindChamps curriculum, although play-based, assures Mommies and Daddies that their little ones will be prepared and equipped to enter big schools like Assumption (Teacher Anna was an Asusmptionista, herself!), Poveda, ICA, Xavier, Ateneo, Lasalle, and other international schools.

Bulletin boards are beautifully decorated to display students' works 
MindChamps also nurtures all aspects of the child through their different types of programs and enrichment activities like Language Made fun, The Love for the Chinese Language, Inquiry Moments, Numeracy Strategies, Music for the Mind, NeuroMooves, Gourmet Moments, and Creativity and Theatrical Strategies. 

Some of the many fun-filled activities the "Champs" got to enjoy and experience in and out of school
* Low Student: Teacher Ratio
Like many playschools we have visited, MindChamps has very low teacher:student ratio. There is also a teacher aide present in the classroom.

Healthy hygiene habits are more fun to learn in a place where everything is child-friendly 
Also, there is an assigned teacher who prepares the snacks in the pantry. Yes, Mommies, snacks are already included in the tuition fee, so you can be confident that your babies are served with a variety of healthy delicious snacks everyday. If your baby has an allergy to a certain food, kindly remind MindChamps upon enrolment.

Today, it's waffles prepared by the other class! 
Moreover, teachers undergo 200++ hours of compulsory training and accreditation in Singapore and annual training in St. Luke's Global City for first aid. Concern for the health is also very evident in MindChamps. Teachers check the students' temperature and look for other symptoms of fever, foot-and-mouth disease, and others.

* Huge Space tailored fit for the Little Champs 
MindChamps' Flagship Campus in Taguig is HUGE and gives the "school-homey" feel.  The hallway is decorated with brain-based decorations that make students feel comfortable and safe.

The hallway towards the classrooms 
Each room is spacious with furniture made-just-right for the little ones.

Gourmet Room where students make their own snacks
Besides the classrooms, there are also separate rooms for other activities like the Gourmet Room and the Gym.

The Gym with the most excellent view for our little pre-schoolers 
Even the washrooms are designed for the little ones! Toilet bowls, doors, faucets, and sinks are just the perfect size for toddlers.

Fees & Schedule 
For more information about the exact tuition fees, please feel free to contact MindChamps through the numbers listed below. Payments are on a per month basis. Materials and snacks, yes snacks!, are included in the tuition fee already. I'm not sure if field trip and other extra curricular activities are also included in the tuition fee.

Regarding the schedule, there are morning and afternoon classes. Teachers, upon assessment, may recommend the best schedule for your baby.

Location & Contacts 
Penthouse Level, Jecoprime Building
20th Drive, McKinley Business Park
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
02.488.9003/ 0906.233.3698

It's on the 20th floor of JecoPrime Bldg (Green Building), near the Manila-American Cemetery and behind the Singapore Embassy 

My roommate (my husband, btw) and I are truly impressed with MindChamps. We love the teacher, the curriculum, the school, and the view at the Penthouse.

We also love that it's a structured play and children follow a schedule of different activities everyday. This way, they already have a feel of how big school is like without the pressure of the academic requirements of course.

I can say MindChamps International Preschool is an excellent choice for a playschool before our tots enter big school.