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A Day at Sparkanauts

Monday, 15 June 2015

It has been about 2 months since Small J started his class at Sparkanauts. I have to say we both really enjoy going there. Small J has improved so much from his first lesson. The teachers are always commenting that he is doing great after each lesson. I am so glad that he is no longer the little koala bear that he was during his first trial there. 

Although each lesson lasts only an hour, it is jam-packed with lots of activities to keep the little one's body and brain moving. Here's what goes on during a typical day at Sparkanauts.

Remember I mentioned that he clung onto me and cried during our first lesson? After 3 lessons, he is able to walk to his classroom by himself. The friendly teachers are always there to say a big hello to him. He knows he has to take off his shoes and sanitise his hands.

Walking with confidence to his classroom

Do you want to sanitise your hands? YES!

I love the bright colours and the cute pictures on the wall. Explore. Dream. Discover. That's what every child needs to do.


If we reach there earlier, there will be free play to warm up the kids before the lesson starts.

Building a house using Magna-tiles

The class starts and everyone sings the welcome song and say their greetings.


The first part of the class is to recap what they have learnt the previous week. They will match they word cards to the picture card. I am pretty amaze that some of the kids in the class really know how to match them correctly, despite some of words being quite difficult. 


Then it is music time! The kids are invited to pick out an instrument and Small J's favourite is the drum. He will be happily beating away on the drum as we sing the song. Each time when we finish the song, he knows he needs to return the instrument to the box.


Words for the week. Sparkanauts adopts a thematic approach for learning. Each month, there is a particular theme and for each week, the children will learn words that are related to the theme. Word cards are flashed and followed by the picture cards. This allows the child to associate the word to the picture. Mind you, I don't even know some of these words. So I am learning together with Small J. I can now use more vocabularies instead of the generic ones, eg duck weeds, lily pad instead of just leaves.


More music and movement time. The kids will dance and move along to the lyrics of the music. I love how they incorporate music into learning. It makes learning more fun and almost all children love music! For example, we learnt how to slither like a snake and snap like an alligator.  


Next is Small J's favourite part of the lesson, the circuit course! This is the unique part of Sparkanauts. While many enrichment centres focus on either intellectual learning or physical movement, Sparkanauts has a combination of both!  Having a strong and well-balanced body is a critical part of physical development and supports the brain to work better when it comes to intellectual learning. 


After the exciting circuit course, it is time to settle down to gain some encyclopaedic knowledge. In this example, we learnt about different kinds of butterflies. In particular, we learnt how to differentiate a Viceroy butterfly from a Monarch butterfly.


This is another favourite of Small J, the flying trapeze! I still remember when we first came, he hated the trapeze. He was crying when I tried to let him try. Although I told the teachers that it is alright for him to miss it, they didn't give up. Instead they will ask him to Hi-5 to the trapeze or at least to touch it. Fast forward two lessons, he is delighted to swing on the trapeze and totally love it. Now, he is the first one to run to the trapeze for his turn and returning for more!


For gymnastics, we learnt how to do a hand stand, forward roll and now we are learning to do a flip on the bar. Of course, they won't expect your child to learn the whole stunt during one lesson. The stunt is broken down into smaller actions and each week the kids will do a small part. At the end of about 4 weeks, they will learn how to do the flip. This really builds up the confidence level of the children and is good training for gross and fine motor skills.


Next, it is another Small J's favourite, the fruit relay, where the child runs up and down the room to transfer fruits from one basket to another. When the music stops, he will count the number of fruits he got.


After all the strenuous exercise, it is water parade time. By this time, I am also very tired from all the activities back-to-back. I need a water break too! It is so cute to see the little ones sitting together and drinking their water. Cheers and Hi-5s are exchanged and this is part of the social development of the kids.


Thereafter, it is story time. The story is related to the theme and is related to the words we learnt earlier in the flashcard segment.


It is time to bring out the Mystery Box. All the children quickly gather around the box and hit on it to the mystery box tune. As you can see from the box, the box has undergone quite a far bit of hitting from the children.


The box opens up to a craft or an activity that is centred around the theme. This time, we are making a Cattail.


Next is learning about maths. From dots, to additions, subtractions, double additions.


Of course, not forgetting music time. The child will learn the notes of a simple song and play part of the song on the chime-bar.


To end the class, it is time to sing the goodbye song. The class always ends with Hi-5s and big hugs for the teachers.

Phew... I have finally finish sharing with you what goes on during a typical lesson. I don't even realise there are so much to do in the class until I sat down and write this post. Every minute, the child is engaged and actively learning. It is definitely an hour well-spent.

You might think that's all for the lesson. You are wrong! Sparkanauts believes that parents play an important part in the child's learning journey. After the class, they will email us a parent-child bonding package. These are the flash cards, the song cards, maths cards, etc, used during the class for us to practice at home with the child.

Extracts from Parent-Child Bonding Package by Sparkanauts

Apart from the curriculum, other aspects that I love about Sparkanauts are the very friendly and helpful teachers and the low teacher-student ratio. From my experience, there are 2 teachers to at most 5 students. This ensures that each individual children will get the needed attention and no child is left behind. As always, at the end of each class, the teachers would be more than happy to share comments and tips. The teachers are very observant and can see which area Small J needs to improve on. Thumbs up for them!

That's how a typical day at Sparkanuats looks like. Fun. Engaging. Discovery.

If you are interested to know more, you can contact Sparkanauts at 6259 0307 or email them at info@sparkanauts.com. You can also read my first post about Sparkanauts.

Sparkanauts
Address: 293 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, SAFRA Toa Payoh, #02-01, Singapore 319387
Contact: 6259 0307
Email: info@sparkanauts.com
Website: www.sparkanauts.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sparkanauts
Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 9am to 5pm

Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the classes at Sparkanauts for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was involved. All opinions, texts and photos are mine.

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