Connected Learning Review | Where Tuition and Technology Meet

In early March, we were invited to try out Connected Learning’s online Chinese tuition. What’s that, you say? Well, Connected Learning basically provides the convenience of home tuition via an online platform.

What this means is that your child can get help in Chinese without stepping out of the house.

In the comfort of home!

Connected Learning Review

First lesson where 夏老师 introduced herself to my girl

Now that the kids are older and time has become extra precious because of school demands, I don’t exactly like to take on extra enrichment classes for the kids, especially when the venue of the tuition centre is really out of my way.

Connected Learning’s arrangement of e-tuition was a good fit for our family’s schedule so we went ahead with a month-long trial. 

 

Connected Learning Classes

Connected Learning offers both Chinese and Higher Chinese lessons and their lessons are crafted by their team of experienced teachers, in accordance with the Singapore MOE syllabus.

The classes are live, online classes conducted from Monday to Saturday using the OmniJoin Meeting app. Basically just logon when it’s almost time for lesson and wait for the teacher to start the lesson. Class size is kept small, capped at four students per lesson.

Classes are short and frequent (three 1-hour sessions for lower primary children each week) so that they get enough exposure, which is even more crucial if they don’t speak Chinese on a regular basis. There are many slots to choose from for different levels and you can always contact Connected Learning by email [support@connectedlearning.sg], telephone [8725 7379] or SMS [8725 7379] for updated availability.

Connected Learning offers tuition from Primary One through Secondary Four. They are currently exploring the option to provide help at the Preschool level.

 

The teachers

 Connected Learning teachers are from China, and all hold Diplomas / Degrees in Chinese Language or related fields. The management teachers have 10-15 years experience in teaching, and even their most junior teachers have a minimum of two years experience. More importantly, they are well-trained and experienced in online teaching, which requires them to be able to read the child’s cues and body language from a remote location.

 

What goes on during lessons

Throughout the lessons, the teacher will converse with the student(s), do some exercises such as listening comprehension questions, and also play short clips to reinforce the lessons.

Connected Learning Review

The teacher normally starts with recap and tingxie (听写) before proceeding with the rest of the lesson. The teacher will explain and go through vocabulary and the students will take down notes for revision.

Connected Learning Review

Sample of what my girl took down during a lesson

Frequent usage of the vocabulary and sentences helps the student(s) retain it better in long term memory and it will become part of his / her “natural” vocabulary, thus increasing his / her confidence in the language.

All components are covered in the online classes – from oral to composition, comprehension, listening comprehension, vocabulary, sentence construction and tenses.

For Oral and Listening Comprehension, students will take turns to answer the questions. The tutor will comment on both the good points and areas of improvement.

For Composition, it is normally completed during the lesson itself. The tutor will show some examples of how to write and elaborate further based on the materials shown. In the event that the student cannot finish the composition, it will completed as homework.

Our Thoughts

What I like most about Connected Learning is the fact that we can have the tuition in the comfort of home. There is no hassle of rushing out of the house, dragging a little one in tow and waiting around for tuition to end. Time is definitely put to better use.

Connected Learning Review

Surrounded by the comfort of her soft toys during lesson

Also, if you are working, you can still arrange for your child to have the lesson online, as long as your child or his guardian knows how to set up the system when lesson is about to begin. That possibly means more family time together over the weekends as well.

The teacher was also constantly engaged and maintained enthusiasm throughout the class. She encouraged the students to take turns to answer questions, read passages, and she interjected lessons with simple quizzes in order to keep the class fun.

Although ours is technically a month-long trial, it spanned across March and April and I didn’t expect the teacher to write two separate progress reports for us. A pleasant surprise indeed! Just to give you a sample of how the progress report looks like, I have included screenshots of some parts of one of the reports and have removed my daughter’s name for our privacy.

Connected Learning Review

Connected Learning Review

As you can see from the screenshots, included in the report are details of each lesson – what was covered, and how was the child’s performance – and also an overall summary at the end.

Although the lessons were enjoyable, I feel that thrice a week was a bit too much for us to handle in our schedules. I understand the rationale of having more lessons of shorter duration but I felt that we ended up kinda stretching ourselves trying to fit the three sessions into our weekly schedule. But that’s our personal preference and three sessions might work beautifully for you.

Overall, I think this option is a good alternative to the traditional brick and mortar tuition centres, especially if you’re not keen to travel for tuition. If we haven’t already committed to an enrichment centre, we would continue with Connected Learning for the convenience and expertise.

If you’re not sure if you or your child would like this mode of tuition, you can always register for a FREE TRIAL CLASS.

Fees and frequency are as indicated:

Connected Learning Review

You can check out Connected Learning’s website for more info or their Facebook page which they update with tips for learning Chinese.

 

 

Disclosure: We were invited to try out a month of lessons by Connected Learning. No monetary compensation was provided. All opinions are ours.

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Masons Home Decor | Our first DIY Terrarium

Mid-year exams are finally over! I’m sure we all did a collective sigh of relief!

Now if you’re looking for some interesting home diy activities to do with kids post-exams or during the school holidays, here’s something that might be just your cup of tea.

We got this diy terrarium set from Masons Home Decor some time back:

Masons Home Decor

Masons Home Decor

I mean obviously we didn’t wait till now to do it. Who could possibly wait that long? Or at all for that matter?

Little one started on his terrarium first as my girl was out with her dad.

Masons Decoration Singapore

To be honest, we have no experience with terrariums at all. We have absolutely no idea how to go about doing it. And when we received the set, the link on Masons Home Decor wasn’t up yet so I just let him wing it, and hope for the best. For the plants.

Needless to say, my girl started on her terrarium the moment she got home.

Masons Decoration Singapore

She had loads of fun with the roots of the plants as you can see from the photos.

Masons Decoration Singapore

I think transplanting the plants was a challenge for us. We weren’t sure how much soil was needed to cover the roots to stabilise the plants but we did what we always do – our best.

Masons Decoration Singapore

It doesn’t have to be a very messy affair because we did the messy transference of the plants in the box that it came in. So all the loose soil that fell out was contained in the box. Just a note in case you’re too worried about the mess. To be extra sure that there was minimal mess, I also laid out newspapers on the table they were working at.

Masons Decoration Singapore

Masons Decoration Singapore

The kids had placed the bag of small colourful pebbles underneath the soil because we thought it might show up as a nice layer below (kinda like a sand art bottle) but it didn’t turn out as we expected because I think we’d have needed more to create that effect. We were left with some grey pebbles so I dug out some of our old colourful pebbles to brighten up our terrariums.

Not too shabby in the end, huh?

Masons Decoration Singapore

I think we did a decent job of it in the end, considering that it was our first try without detailed instructions. 😀

These are plants that the kids can easily maintain and the terrariums definitely add to the home decor, so everyone’s happy!

If you’re interested in the types of terrariums available, you can check out Masons Decoration’s DIY terrarium kits. If you prefer unique planters to terrariums, you can check this collection out instead.

Here’s a discount code you can use if you’re making a purchase at Masons Home Decor: simplymommieXMD15

It entitles you to 15% off ALL items at Masons!

Have fun decorating your home with the kids!

 

Disclosure: We were provided with a DIY terrarium kit. No monetary compensation was provided. All opinions are ours.

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