Top enrichment classes in Singapore that are totally worth it!
Are you sending your children for enrichment classes only because everyone else is doing so, or to get them out of your hair? Read on to find out useful information about how to ensure enrichment classes are worth your time and money!
We all know that enrichment classes in Singapore are highly sought after! Many Singaporean parents spend the most part of their weekend rushing their kids from one enrichment class to another.
But just why do parents invest this much of time, money and energy for enrichment classes in Singapore?
For some parents, it is about holistic brain development and for others it’s about motor skills development. There are also parents who want to start training their child’s IQ from as young as 6 months (yes there are classes for such things, believe it or not!)
Then there are parents who opt for enrichment classes in Singapore mostly for their children to have the opportunity to socialise and just have fun with other children.
Most us are well aware of the myriad of benefits that come with sending children for enrichment lessons. But as always, there are two sides to the coin and some people believe that parents who send their children for too many enrichment classes are stressing them out and not allowing them to enjoy their childhood.
Well, the pros and cons are no secret really, and the purpose of this article is not to give you the science behind why enrichment lessons are good or bad for your children.
Instead, the purpose of this article is to set you thinking a little harder before signing your child up for enrichment classes in Singapore and to ensure that there is purpose and meaning in what you do.
To get things started, here’s a quick story to share.
My fellow kiasu parents and I were having an animated conversation about signing our children up for one of the most sought after academic enrichment centers. Why? Simply because our kids had requested it. Then, a friend of ours, Nick, who teaches Geography in a local secondary school, had this conversation with us:
Nick: Your kids aren’t even in primary school. Don’t you think that they should be enjoying their childhood and scraping their knees in the playground as opposed to attending structured lessons?
Us: Well they do get to play but enrichment has so many benefits and you know…
Nick: Ok, so all you parents send your kids for enrichment classes in Singapore. Have we produced one noble peace prize winner? Have we produced a single CEO of a Multi National Company?
Us: Well there are many factors to that.
Nick: I’m sure, but my point is, some other kid in another part of the world, who is rolling in the mud and swinging around a playground, is having a childhood and learning invaluable lessons. One day, he’s going to achieve great things and employ your kids.
Us: There’s a grain of truth in what you say, and we do wish we could simply allow our kids to play and enjoy themselves to the fullest. But the society here is such. It’s so competitive that if we don’t give them a headstart, they will end up losing out to their peers who already have so many talents engineered in them even before they start primary school.
Nick: So are you saying that enrichment classes in Singapore are a product of a herd mentality?
Us: Yes and no… (you see where this is going already)
Nick: Unless you tell me that your child is actually happy and looking forward to these classes, I won’t buy it. And these classes should actually build skills and ignite their senses in a way that it creates a love for learning.
This is an age-old debate and there is no right answer. However, there are some salient points that I took away from that conversation.
1. Say no to herd mentality
Enrichment classes in Singapore seem to be a product of the herd mentality that many of us here are guilty of subscribing to. This should never be the reason that we send our children for classes.
Unless our children actually benefit from enrichment classes, and look forward to attending their lessons, we should never enrol them for classes on the basis that all their friends are attending these classes.
2. Ignite the senses
If the enrichment class becomes a replica of what is being taught in the classroom, then there is hardly any enrichment taking place there.
Singaporean parents often use the terms tuition and enrichment interchangeably. They are absolutely not the same thing and preschool children certainly do not need tution!
3. Enrichment classes shouldn’t become babysitters
Another reason that Singaporean parents commonly cite is that they need something to occupy their kids with otherwise they get bored.
I don’t know what to do with them over the weekend and there’s this art class that’s conveniently located next to my favourite café. So they learn something and I get my me time, you know…
Yes, you need your me time. Likewise, your children need their play time. Don’t sign them up for something they have no interest in just to get them out of your hair. That’s meaningless and could have detrimental effects if the child loathes the lesson!
Having said all of this, we have put together the some of the best enrichment classes in Singapore that parents swear by. These are certainly not the kind of lessons that children attend perfunctorily. They have expressed interest and enthusiasm and we have seen the benefits.
1. Speech & Drama
Speech and drama classes are an excellent choice! If your child is reserved, or is the only child and has trouble socialising, this will fix your problem. Children love the fun and animated lessons and it helps them to build their self-confidence.
It also develops a love for arts and literature from a very young age. Do I even need to mention how much it helps in building language and communication skills? And Singaporean parents, we all know how kiasu you are, so these skills are necessary for English examinations!
Top Picks – Julia Gabriel Centre & Act 3 International
Julia Gabriel even has bilingual speech and drama lessons as an added bonus!
2. The Learning Lab
Mums, I’m pretty sure you would have heard of this one. And please, don’t confuse it with a tuition centre, for it is not one. Learning Lab has a proven track record of helping students to attain extremely high PSLE T-scores.
But more importantly, The Learning Lab conducts its lessons in such a fun and enriching manner that it truly instills in children a love for learning.
Even preschoolers love their lessons!
3. Sports, sports and more sports!
One cannot deny the benefits by signing your children up for sports classes. There are so many sports to choose from and you can make an informed decision by finding one that suits your child’s personality and fitness.
Some children are good at more individual sports such as tennis or swimming while others thrive in group sports. It also helps to build their character and teaches them important values.
If you want to groom your child for Direct School Admission (DSA), then of course sports would be a good place to start.
Whatever sport you’re looking for, a good place to go to would be Turf City for almost everything is housed there.
Marsden Swim School, Aqua Ducks, Tanglin Academy (Tennis), Real Madrid Football Academy (and many other football classes) are just a few of the many available options.
If you are on a tight budget, fret not. Community Centres (CCs) and stadiums located in the various neighbourhoods have many programmes that are extremely affordable. Look out for Active SG!
Apart from the cognitive benefits of learning music, music is also calming and peaceful. It can be an avenue that helps your child to escape the insanity of everything else that is happening around them.
Music also gives them the ability to perform. Family gatherings will never be the same with your little musician in the house.
Again, if you’re considering DSA, music is an option to explore.
Mac’s Music School, Aureus Academy, Mandeville Conservatory of Muisc, Belcanto Violins, Cristofori, Kindermusic and Wolfgang Violin Studio are popular choices cited by Singaporean parents.
Just like sports, if budget is a problem for you, there are cheaper alternatives in CCs.
There you go mums, all you need to know about how to make your money’s worth when choosing enrichment classes. Do remember to think wisely and carefully, and to have a proper discussion with your child about his interests before signing up.
Trial classes are always an option so do your research and take your time to get the right fit. Don’t only go by recommendations for the style and environment that works for one child, or even the vast majority for that matter, might not necessarily be the best for your child.