When I received an invitation from Eye Level to learn more about their programmes, I almost wrote back to say that my children did not have myopia (thank God!) and wouldn’t be needing programmes to help them improve their eyesight.
I mean, a place called Eye Level must have something to do with helping children tackle their vision woes, no?
Clearly, I was mistaken. And boy was I glad not to let my assumptions get the better of me.
Prior to their international rebranding last year, Eye Level Learning Center was widely known as E-nopi. Eye Level is a leading enrichment education provider that has its origins from South Korea and operates in 15 different countries with over 2.5 million students. It has established a significant presence here in Singapore since 2011 with 9 centres around the island and an enrolment of over 900 students providing enrichment in the areas of Mathematics and English for children between the ages of 4 and 14.
Eye Level holds steadfast to the educational principle of seeing things from a student’s perspective – hence, eye level. The name is inspired by a story about a teacher who was found kneeling down to look up at every painting he saw at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. His reason for appreciating art on his knees? He was an elementary school teacher and would be bringing his students to the museum the next day, so he wanted to know how they would enjoy every painting from where they stood.
At Eye Level, students learn at their own pace and are taught the invaluable skill of self-directed learning. Programmes are systematic and individualised to cater to each child’s learning needs and abilities, and customised using their unique methods of teaching and learning.
I was really curious how this would all translate into actual mastery of skills and concepts for my preschoolers, and since I almost never say no to outsourcing (a tired home-teaching mom also needs a break, yes?), the Kao kids (Ben and Becks) and I accepted their invitation to find out more about what this enrichment centre has to offer. The teacher in me also badly needed to know how it’s possible to get my three- and four-year-old to do self-directed learning.
We visited the Eye Level Learning Center at City Square Mall which I have walked past several times thinking it was an optometry shop with a designated play area for kids (yea, I thought that was really cool). What I immediately liked about the place: the environment was bright and cheery, and space appeared to be well maximised. I liked the bright colours, the fact that it wasn’t claustrophobia-inducing like some learning centres I see in some malls, and the cosy play area outside the centre with math games and English books that were within reach. The classrooms were spacious and the environment looked inviting enough for a child to sit down to learn.
I learned also that there’s a lot of flexibility and individualised learning taking place in each classroom. At Eye Level, there is no structured lesson where the teacher conducts teacher-talk. The uniqueness in their programme lies in the quality of their materials and the fact that each student’s learning is customised for them by the levels determined by these materials (more on that in another post). The student turns up for the time slot he or she has chosen every week (or twice a week) to complete the assigned work with a certified instructor who would then guide and provide feedback. This means that a range of students of different ages can be in the same classroom but the students are all doing different assignments acquiring different skills and concepts. There would be no more than 8 students for the older age group in a class at one time but students as young as Becks (3 years old) would usually get one-to-one attention.
What is also interesting is that there is also no fixed duration for each lesson. Every week, work is assigned (with a skill / concept to master) and the child will be trained to do self-directed learning (with guidance from the instructor available) according to his or her own pace. The activities in the materials are designed to be completed in an hour, but there is no rule that says the student has to leave after one hour or stay till the hour is up. Each lesson is flexible in that it follows the child’s pace, and keeps the big picture in mind: that the student has a concept / skill to learn and that the objective of the lesson is that the student learns it well no matter how long it takes.
Ben and Becks enrolled in Eye Level’s Math Programme and Play Math Progamme respectively early this December after taking their diagnostic tests (that is why you are seeing pictures of them in the classrooms!), and I am pleased to be taking on ambassadorship for Eye Level and to be sharing with you more about Eye Level, come next year. I will also be writing updates on the Kao kids’ progress, as well as show you a glimpse of some of Eye Level’s very excellently designed learning materials.
The kids have gone for two lessons now, and so far, it’s been something they look forward to this holidays. They are, surprisingly, getting very proactive in their learning, which I’m glad for, and picking up some mathematical concepts which is otherwise quite difficult to learn from their math-dumb mom (another post, another time about my inability to handle numbers). We’re all looking forward to more meaningful learning next year, so do watch this space!
For more on Eye Level’s Math and English Programmes, visit their website or connect with them on their Facebook page. To find an Eye Level Learning Center near you, check out the locations of their centres here.
AND JUST FOR MOTHERKAO READERS:
Eye Level is extending a promotional offer to all Motherkao readers! For $10 (usual price $60), your child can take the diagnostic test, attend a trial lesson (30-45 min) and get a complimentary study skill analysis.
Simply quote [Motherkao] to enjoy this offer via walk-in to any of the Eye Level Learning Centers island-wide. You can also leave a Facebook message on Eye Level’s Facebook Page or make a telephone enquiry to any of the Eye Level centres.
Disclosure: Ben and Becks have been invited to attend Eye Level’s Math and PlayMath for a term of three months. Motherkao has accepted sponsorship for her reviews of their programmes and endorsement of the centre. All opinions here are Motherkao’s own (with input from the two Kao kids).