Toddler Classes at Gymnademics

Bun has started Pre-Fellow classes at Gymnademics!

I wrote about Gymnademics here and here. Since those earlier posts and the Gymnademics' website include good descriptions about the school's philosophy, approach and curriculum, this write-up will be about what goes on in a class.

The questions I have been asked revealed to me that many people think Gymnademics is primarily a gym class. I myself had this misconception when I first knew about this school.

Here are a few things that stood out for me after attending two sessions:
  • There is a good mix of physical activities and quiet sit-down ones (including intellectual work).
  • Activities are kept short and the transitions quick.
  • Music is used effectively during each activity, and to signal change.
  • Good guidance and tips are shared with parents/guardians during the classes.
  • Emails are sent after each session with information about complementary exercises parents can do with their children.

The photos above show a mix of physical movements that a child goes through during a class. These are interspaced with intellectual, often sit-down activities that you see in the photos below.

At the start of a class, a 'circuit' is set-up to allow children to engage in physical movements such as climbing, balancing, crawling and sliding. From the teachers, I learned how best to support Bun during this time by holding her the correct way and at the right angle. During each class, children will also get a opportunities to swing on a trapeze bar, and do shuttle runs by transporting toys from one container to another.

So what were the 'intellectual'/sit-down activities included in a class?

These, I must say, surprised me quite a bit. I have heard about Glenn Doman and flashcards but I have not seen actual flashcards being used following his philosophy. I imagined Bun to be disinterested and to run off, but surprisingly she sat through the thematic flashcard sessions. I really liked how the flashing of cards is followed by a segment where the children are asked to to match the word cards with the picture cards. Bun was rather enthusiastic about this, and because the pictures were of familiar household objects, she was able to do this fairly well.

Sit-down sessions also include rhythm and music, introduction to specific objects, and performing of certain actions along with music. Children are taught to keep the objects used after each session. There is also a water break during each class, where children get some quiet time to sit and drink from their water bottles. 15 minutes before and after classes, there are quiet free play sessions for children to explore and to do their own thing. So far, Bun has been drawn to a mini piano, and remembered to asked for it during her second class!

Bun now asks to go to "Gymmma-da-meeks" whenever she is reminded of it, with attests to her enjoyment of the classes! She particularly enjoys the music and has told me so on several occasions. Honestly, if she was not as enthusiastic, I will think twice about continuing a classes at her age. As a mother, I'm quite happy that she seems to respond well to the sessions, is exposed to some formal teaching, and is learning to follow instructions, without running away like she used to do at another school. I think the good mix of short activities help tremendously in keeping her interested, and the physical activities are perfect for an energizer bunny like she is.

I will be writing again about her experiences and progress in a couple of weeks, just to give everyone an idea about what you can expect when choosing Gymnademics for your child. I hope you will find these posts useful.

*Bun has been offered a term of Gymnademics classes for the purpose of writing about them on this blog. All views expressed are my own and the posts are published without external editing.


Ai Sakura said...

very informative post Corsage! Based on their name, I thought they were mainly gym classes too haha. Nice to know they mix it up with kind of learning activities.

Ai @ Sakura Haruka

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Ai Sakura:
Thank you! Yes, I too initially thought that it was primarily a gym class. I'm happy with the good mix and Bun loves the classes so far!

Anonymous said...

Hi, came across this review and it's very helpful. I requested for a trial class and I misunderstood it to be a gym class.

the additional activities I was expecting seems good though, so I'll look forward to a good time there. :)