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Explain HK Kindergarten to Me

  1. #9
    MLBW Guest
    Dimsum Mom--Thanks. I'm a bit familiar with Small World Kindergarten as it is associated with a group I used to be a part of. However, it is on Hong Kong Island--which is much too far for me to travel with my little boy--that is more than 1-hour each way for us to get there.

    Rani--Thanks for the info. I still think that 3 1/2 is way to early when children here start at the earliest 5-years-old. I don't think my son would have much trouble adjusting--at least on a social level--even at his young age he gets along so awesome with other little kids--and people in general and is good-natured and clever. What is ESF?

  2. #10
    mushi's Avatar
    mushi is offline Registered User
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    woodlands has no homework...maybe some reading library books after the kid is 4.5 yrs....it is a half-day school - 3 hrs unless u want to opt for full day

  3. #11
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    ESF is English Schools Foundation. If you're going to be in HK to primary level at the least, you prob. need to consider what you will be able to afford. E.g. the big international schools are out for us cost wise, but local isn't an option as my husband and I don't speak Cantonese. ESF is our best option (slightly cheaper monthly fees, no debenture, British curriculum). There are ESF kindys, or you can go to one of the other private english speaking organisations. You'll find there are those that are more focused around 'creative play', those that are more slanted toward formal eductional and some in between. Transport is a criteria for us too, I don't want my bub commuting for any length of time or travelling on a 'school bus' alone. With some kindy's you can do 'pre-kindy' classes that you attend with your child, or do just a few half days a week.

  4. #12
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    Nashua852 is offline Registered User
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    MLBW, The closest ESF Kindy to us is Tsing Yi -- there's a lot of competition for it.

    A friend and I have been looking out for some good one's in and around Yuen Long. Use Geobaby to read up on Jing Jing in Tuen Mun. We're considering St. Lorraines in Yuen Long for our son -- we went by and they were welcoming enough to have a sit down with us despite us just passing through. The principal, class teacher and school admin were all there to chat with us from my husband being a Kindie teacher himself in Kam Tin I know this is certainly not protocol.

    In the meantime we adore going to Baby Buddies playgroup in Tuen Mun; it's terrrific. Kian gets interaction with lots of tots, arts and crafts time, songs, texture play, storytime, LOTS of free play (which is how its meant to be) snacktime etc with mummy along too :) we both end up having a lot of fun -- there's also bilingual kids corner in YL for when the bab's are older if you're looking into playgroups.
    Proud Mama to Kian Danyaal 08.12.2007 & Adara Michelle 10.10.2009

  5. #13
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
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    My daughter (just turned 4) goes to ESF kindergarten. They run 1/2 day classes (around 3 hours). There is no homework, but the kids bring home a library book once a week you are encouraged to read with your child. The learning they do is mostly through play, and there isn't any pressure put on our daughter. She loves going, has lots of friends, and her teacher has 2 teachers aides, so the kids get lots of attention. My daughter loves her teachers... always comes home and raves about them.
    They have a variety of activities, and lots of craft time, often related to various events taking place (such as Dawali, Halloween, etc).
    My daughter rides the school bus every day. I was apprehensive at first, but the school bus is excellent. The bus driver is generally the same one every day (who always waves and says 'hi' to us). There is a full time bus mother on the bus who makes sure the children are buckled in and safe. She travels with them to and from school (escorting them from inside the school onto the bus for the trip home). The kids have to wear a seatbelt harness while on the bus. The bus mother will not release the child to anyone unless they have got authority... they won't even open the bus door to a potential stranger. That is my experience anyway. And my daughter absolutely loves the ride on the bus to and from school and gets very excited when it arrives. She has friends who ride the bus with her, so she is very comfortable with the idea.

    From talking to other mum's there are a lot of good choices out there for Kindergartens so you should be able to find something you are happy with.

    Good luck!

  6. #14
    MLBW Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Nashua852 View Post
    MLBW, The closest ESF Kindy to us is Tsing Yi -- there's a lot of competition for it.

    A friend and I have been looking out for some good one's in and around Yuen Long. Use Geobaby to read up on Jing Jing in Tuen Mun. We're considering St. Lorraines in Yuen Long for our son -- we went by and they were welcoming enough to have a sit down with us despite us just passing through. The principal, class teacher and school admin were all there to chat with us from my husband being a Kindie teacher himself in Kam Tin I know this is certainly not protocol.

    In the meantime we adore going to Baby Buddies playgroup in Tuen Mun; it's terrrific. Kian gets interaction with lots of tots, arts and crafts time, songs, texture play, storytime, LOTS of free play (which is how its meant to be) snacktime etc with mummy along too :) we both end up having a lot of fun -- there's also bilingual kids corner in YL for when the bab's are older if you're looking into playgroups.
    Thanks Nashua. Does your husband teach at the Salvation Army Kindergarten in Kam Tin? There is also the Mung Yung school and the other one (not sure what it's called) as well as I think one or two more kindergartens. I am thinking that if we do any sort of "official" schooling with him of putting him in the Salvation Army kindergarten. The people and teachers there are friendly, the price isn't as high and I've been there quite a few times with one of the local mom's to pick her son up from class. It is also a "nursery school" I think. We did pick up an application which we haven't handed in yet.

    I am almost certain it is a Cantonese-speaking kindergarten but that they do have some English classes (ESL classes in nature, I think). I don't think that will be a big problem for my son as he will speak English at home and I could do extra English activities with him
    Last edited by MLBW; 11-03-2008 at 12:11 PM.

  7. #15
    ctrbabe1 is offline Registered User
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    My daughter is attending a local kindergarten. It's half day (3 hours), and a snack is included. They have music time, play time, story time, and have English lessons as well. My dd does have homework. In K1, it was one worksheet MWF, in K2, it was one worksheet every day, plus a couple on the weekend. So far in K3, she has a couple worksheets every day. In K1, the worksheets were more about learning how to draw straight lines and curved lines etc in preparation for learning how to write. In K2, they began learning all the letters and numbers and simple words (characters, too). In K3 they are writing sentences, in English and in characters.

    When we first put her in, we were also daunted by it all, but our daughter was soooo ready for it. She was too bored at home and really needed the interaction and learning. She has been doing great.
    All the best,
    Katie

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