After a brief haitus at the end of last year, Scout continued with her Gymnademics classes early this year, and they have now rebranded themselves as Sparkanauts. She is now in the Pilot class, and we have been attending classes with this wonderful centre for coming to 1.5 years! How time flies. You might also like to read my previous post on Sparkanauts here.
Although she is still sticky to me during the class and sometimes refuses to participate in certain activities like the trapeze swing, she enjoys the classes and looks forward to it every week. She will even ask to go for the class, and act like she is so poor thing because it’s not time to go for class yet.
There are actually 16 segments in each Pilot class, and here is a glimpse at what some of the segments are:
1. Welcome Song
2. Review of previous weeks class
6. Mobility Circuit
16. Musical Math
As mentioned in my previous post, after each class you get emailed a “Bonding Package”. I love these documents because you can print out what you want, or just refer to what has been taught before.
As a brief part of the lessons in the previous month, one of the topics was shapes, and the children were introduced to rhombus, trapezoid, octagon etc. The Bonding Package also included one sheet each on the shapes, which I printed out and briefly gave it to Scout to do as she pleased, so I didn’t sit down with her to do the coloring, although I did repeat the key words a few times. A few days later, she was just randomly was cutting some paper and she made a “ap-oid”. I was shocked because it really looked like a trapezoid! It just proves that kids are sponges.
I also happened to be going through the Bonding Packages from previous years and I had absolutely NO recollection of the key words learnt at all, so I think the package is a real value add to the classes. So far, both boys have joined us in the class for a short period of time each, and they enjoyed participating and helping their little sister in the class. And after each Sparkanauts session, they are genuinely interested to know what we learnt today, and all three will gather around the iPad while I go through the Bonding Package. In fact this week, after I mentioned we learnt about orcas, blue whales, dolphins and porpoises, Mittens went looking for one of his Geronimo Stilton books which also touched on the topic, to read up more on it. I wish we could have a mixed age class for all the kids together, but no matter, they still benefit since I share the materials with them!
You now also have the option of purchasing some of the flash cards from Sparkanauts, and Scout loved “playing” with them. She wanted to go through them as if she was the teacher, then she instructed me to stand up and start singing the closing song that is sung at the end of each lesson. Then we had to sit down, and do flash cards, and stand up sing closing song. Repeat! It was hilarious. Mittens also likes playing with the flash cards, getting them organized in numerical order, learning how to shuffle them, and then “teaching” Scout the key words. The boys are of course also learning lots of new vocabulary. Even I am! Don’t laugh, I’m sure not everyone knows what a cetacean and sirenian is!
As you might know, Sparkanauts is located at SAFRA Toa Payoh. Outside of the Sparkanauts classrooms there are books and a decent size waiting area, so on occasion when the boys need to wait for Scout’s class to be finished, they can occupy themselves in the waiting area. Outside of the centre there is also plenty of space to run around, and quite often some of the space is also occupied by a book and learning resource company. If not, there is a swimming pool, plenty of seats near a huge screen TV, and a McD’s as a last resort.
The weekend classes can get a little crowded, especially since the children are usually accompanied by BOTH mummies and daddies, which makes it even more of a squeeze, so if you can, attend a weekday class. Even the car park can get a little crazy, but they do have a valet which is worth not having to wait 2 hours for a parking lot. As there are a few other enrichment centres at SAFRA Toa Payoh, it can also get crowded during certain times on weekdays, although nothing like the weekends.
I’ve always maintained that if there is one class you would like to put your child in, you should definitely consider Sparkanauts. But if you do go for a trial class at Sparkanauts and feel overwhelmed, don’t worry, it’s natural. After all, there are 16 segments in each class! I have to admit that I was exhausted after the first 3-4 lessons! I still find myself getting a bit of a workout from all the activity during the class.
Also, if you like holiday programmes like I do (sometimes it’s such a hassle going for weekly classes, especially when you have a few kids!), Sparkanauts will be oragnising two different holiday camps that will have plenty of the physical activity that they are so well known for, as well as reading, writing, mathematics, science, and hands on activities in the gym space, AND a field trip! The child will also get a booklet with all the wonderful details that they have learnt, with the learning objectives and activities from the week, as well as bonding activities, and if it is anything like what they have for their regular classes, it’s going to be a very useful and informative pack! Find out more information here.
AND, if you are interested to sign up, quote “MummyEd blog” for a 10% discount!