Kumon and homeschooling in Chennai

#1 Mar 1st, 2008, 13:13
Join Date:
Mar 2008
Location:
SF Bay Area, USA
Posts:
2
  • kraakrs is offline
#1
Hi there! My husband may be offered a position in Chennai and although I've visited India a few times during my childhood (we are Malaysians of Indian origin), I am lost as to what to expect now (20+ years later).

I have a few questions and would be truly grateful to hear from you:
I am currently homeschooling my son here in the Bay Area. He is 6 and also attends the Kumon Math program, piano and martial arts (kungfu) classes. It would be wonderful if we could continue doing all this if we move to Chennai though I do understand it will take us some time to settle in before we can find what we like.
1. Does anyone know of any good martial arts providers near central Chennai? Perhaps close to OMR or ECR?
2. Is there a Kumon center in Chennai?
3. I think someone asked about western classical piano teachers. I am not particular about it being western classical though because my son loves Indian music too. Any good teachers to recommend?
4. Do any expats homeschool in Chennai?
I guess Indian education being as good as it is, perhaps no one homeschools?

I must add that reading all the posts in this section of your site has already helped me gather a good amount of info on Chennai. Thank you so much for reading this!
#2 Mar 3rd, 2008, 17:51
Join Date:
Feb 2007
Location:
USA
Posts:
97
  • SAHM is offline
#2
Hmmmm.....

I don't know about Kumon. I also do not know any expatriates homeschooling, but I am sure there are some out there. Most expatriates I know send their children to The American International School, Billabong (Australian), or Gateways. I am sure there are many other good schools out there, especially in the Indian curriculum side of things.

Kungfu...I see posters stuck up all around town but haven't tried the classes myself. I have a friend who does Tae Kwon Do and she is happy with her classes. I have done Tai Chi and loved it; thought the instructor was great. So I would say that you have a fair chance of finding a martial arts studio that fits your son's interest.

There is a lady named Gwen Simmons who teaches piano but she is on maternity leave right now. I would contact The American School and the Overseas Women's Club to find other teachers.

BTW, my son is also 6.

Good luck,

SAHM
#3 Mar 3rd, 2008, 20:03
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
you essay
Posts:
2,682
  • ananda2193 is offline
#3
There does'nt seem to be any Kumon centers in India.
#4 Mar 5th, 2008, 16:18
Join Date:
Feb 2008
Location:
Chennai-until June
Posts:
9
  • Fusiggy is offline
#4
My kids attend the Billabong school and they teach martial arts (Karate) there as an extra activity (included in fee) weekly and no doubt you should be able to find independent centres around town. As for homeschooling, I wasn't sure if my kids would get into school here for just a short while (we're here for 6 months) so I organised distance education from Australia and they mail out material to us, my kids do the work, with me supervising, and we mail it back. Apart from being far too busy (as they also attend school for half a day) it works well. There are really good bookshops here (which also stock good selection of stationary) but I haven't had to purchase academic books for the kids so I can't comment on those.
#5 Mar 6th, 2008, 08:47
Join Date:
Mar 2008
Location:
SF Bay Area, USA
Posts:
2
  • kraakrs is offline
#5

more schooling in chennai Qs

Thank you SAHM, ananda2193 and Fusiggy. Sincerely appreciate the replies.

Any good schools to recommend? I am a little confused how the ages and grades are matched. For instance, in the US, my son is a kindergartner officially although thanks to homeschooling, he is slightly advanced and is tackling late 1st/early 2nd grade work. In Malaysia/ Singapore where we come from, a child enters grade 1 at age 7. How is it in India?

I believe kids there are generally quite advanced for their age? I am very eager to continue homeschooling but if materials are a problem, I would love to have your thoughts on good schools in the Kilpauk/ Adyar/ Besant Nagar/ OMR and other neighbouring areas.

I also have another anxiety. All of my past trips to India have left me very very wary of traffic and the way people drive. But like I said, I haven't been to Chennai for 20+ years. My last trip to Bangalore in 2001 showed me how much worse people drive there than ever before. How do expats survive on the roads? How do you even go about getting a driving license? Or are you forced to use local drivers?
#6 Mar 8th, 2008, 23:22
Join Date:
Feb 2007
Location:
USA
Posts:
97
  • SAHM is offline
#6
OK, someone correct me if I am wrong, but here is what I understand:

Indian schools start US kindergarten curriculum at age 4. It is called lower kindergarten (LKG)
Age 5 is upper kindergarten (UKG)
Age 6 is 1st standard - but is actually a 2nd-grade US curriculum
and so forth.

There are basically two types of Indian schools: government (public) and private. You choose, or pay for, instruction in the Tamil medium or English medium. And, at some level (sorry I get a little foggy here), you have to choose whether or not your child is going to go to an international university or Indian university, and the academics are matched to that choice.

That sums up my weak understanding of the Indian educational system. Yes, their children are advanced academically when compared to US children, but the argument against that is that much of it is rote learning (memorization).

The American International School in Velacherry is a good school, but does not follow the Indian system. The curriculum and school year are set up to American standards - ie, kindergarten starts at age 5. That being said, the student body is over 60% Asian, and therefore the classes are advanced as compared to a standard, public American school. (This is from personal experience and chatting with many American mums.)

Billabong follows an Australian system, which I am not familiar with; and I am also not familiar with the curriculum at Gateways, although I know many expatriate children go to Gateways. Gateways is quite far south on OMR. Billabong is in Neelankarai, I believe.

I have toured all three schools and would send my kids to any of them. AISC just fit our family the best, primarily because we visit the US to see family during June and July. (Gateways follows the Indian school calendar - they have April and May as holidays; and I don't remember about Billabong.)

There are a couple of families I know at AISC that are from Singapore; you might call the school and ask for their contact information, to see how the curriculum fits in with your home country's system.

There is currently a wait list at AISC so if you are serious about getting your son in, you should inquire immediately. However, next year they are supposed to double the school's capacity, so I expect by August the wait list will be gone.

I did notice that there is an Okinawan-based karate class advertised at AISC, so someone in town teaches karate to kids.

Good luck in your decision,

SAHM
#7 Mar 8th, 2008, 23:29
Join Date:
Feb 2007
Location:
USA
Posts:
97
  • SAHM is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraakrs View Post I also have another anxiety. All of my past trips to India have left me very very wary of traffic and the way people drive. But like I said, I haven't been to Chennai for 20+ years. My last trip to Bangalore in 2001 showed me how much worse people drive there than ever before. How do expats survive on the roads? How do you even go about getting a driving license? Or are you forced to use local drivers?
After 6 fender-benders in 5 weeks, I share your anxiety. And no, it wasn't all with the same driver, or I would have solved the problem by now!

All the expats I know have a driver. The traffic is crazy. I have no idea how you get a local driver's license, although I do know one family that drives once a week, on Sundays, when their driver is off. I imagine getting a license involves bribery.

Dh rides a motorcycle without a license - OK he is licensed to ride one in the US, I think his logic is that should be good enough for here too - he is just aching to get pulled over and pay the fine. He actually did get pulled over once - and when my ds pulled off his helmet and smiled his cute little smile at the police officer, they let him off - yes, SAME ds who got to sit on the airport security officer's lap and watch the luggage go through the scanner.....

I'm sorry. I have no comforting answer for this one. It just sucks. At least no one has been hurt yet....just lots of dings.
#8 Mar 9th, 2008, 01:27
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
59,689
  • Nick-H is offline
#8
If I were coming here on an ex-pat employment package, I would ask for a car and driver to be included. It is a very small addition to what you are going to be costing them anyway.

I'd also ask for that car and driver to be made available to my wife and family when not ferrying me. If logistics make that impossible, I'd ask for a second car and driver, especially if home was far away from the city, and/or kids need to be taken to school.

...Well, you can always ask!

Other than that, first, come with an International Driving Permit from your home country. That gets you on the road legal for the first year.

Of course it is also a matter of choice, and, even if I had a driver, I would still want the personal freedom to drive.

Frankly, although it took me a year to pluck up the courage, driving here is not as bad as it looks. One of the things that makes it look bad are "professional" drivers. They are often the worst and most aggressive on the roads. You do not have to drive like that!

Once you are resident here (employment visa, resident's permit) car ownership and licence is possible. Going through a driving school makes the test pretty-much a rubber-stamp job --- as you can tell from the quality of the driving!

Now, about 5,000km later, I'd rather drive here than in London!
#9 Jul 25th, 2008, 10:01
Join Date:
Jul 2008
Location:
Los Angeles
Posts:
4
  • yvonnemommy is offline
#9
I知 also homeschooling my daughter now, but I知 not using Kumon. I知 using beestar.org. My daughter does the weekly exercises on it. There are math, English Language Art, science, etc. She loves them very much! Beestar is an online exercise, so you can register it no matter where you are. Hope it helps you.
Lisa
#10 Jul 27th, 2008, 23:48
Join Date:
Jul 2006
Location:
Minnesota, USA
Posts:
747
Send a message via MSN to ISN
  • ISN is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHM View Post There are basically two types of Indian schools: government (public) and private. You choose, or pay for, instruction in the Tamil medium or English medium. And, at some level (sorry I get a little foggy here), you have to choose whether or not your child is going to go to an international university or Indian university, and the academics are matched to that choice.
You can classify the education system in Tamil Nadu based on the syllabus they follow. There are four main syllabus followed in Tamil Nadu

Sate Board http://www.tn.gov.in/schooleducation/default.htm

Offered by most state government school and a few private schools.
Less tough when compared to other systems.
Most of the state government schools follow this syllabus; this syllabus is also taught in Tamil (Local language)

Anglo-Indian Board

Offered by private schools, has less local language exposure (Tamil)

Some Schools offering Anglo-Indian Syllabus in Chennai

St. Kevins Anglo Indian High School Royapuram
Williams Anglo Indian High School Royapettah
St. Dominics Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School St. Thomas Mount
Holy Angels Anglo Indian High School T. Nagar
St. Patrick's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School
St.Bede's Anglo Indian school


Matriculation Board http://dge.tn.gov.in/matricsyllabus/

Offered by most private school.

Little tougher than Anglo-Indian board syllabus

CBSE Syllabus http://www.cbseaff.nic.in/

Offered by private and Central government school.

Kids who go to these schools have to learn Hindi and Tamil

Syllabus is very tough kids have to spend lots of time every day studying to keep up with the system.

After 10th grade all kids studying in all the above system has to choose their field of specialization. (You have to decide if your kid is going to become a doctor, engineer or accountant etc at this stage). 11th and 12th grade subjects depend on the specialization you choose.

There is a common exam conducted at 10th grade and 12th grade in all systems, if your kid fails most of the schools will not admit them, they have to stay home and clear the exam. Very few schools admit them and coach them again to pass the exam. If your kid fails at the 10th and 12th grade it will be difficult to get admission in regular college, you have to educate your kid in a distance education universities or pay huge money to get your kid admitted in private college.
Last edited by ISN; Jul 28th, 2008 at 22:07..
#11 Jul 30th, 2008, 02:34
Join Date:
Jul 2006
Location:
Minnesota, USA
Posts:
747
Send a message via MSN to ISN
  • ISN is offline
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHM View Post All the expats I know have a driver. The traffic is crazy. I have no idea how you get a local driver's license, although I do know one family that drives once a week, on Sundays, when their driver is off. I imagine getting a license involves bribery
Drivers License in Chennai is very easy to get if you have a US driver's license. Take the following documents to the respective RTO office
  1. You need to fill up form 4, http://www.tn.gov.in/sta/forms/form4.pdf
  2. India Address proof
  3. US Drivers License
  4. Medical Certificate (Any doctor will issue this for a small fee)
  5. 4 passport size photos
#12 Oct 6th, 2008, 18:39
Join Date:
Oct 2008
Location:
Boston
Posts:
1
  • megan is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by yvonnemommy View Post I知 also homeschooling my daughter now, but I知 not using Kumon. I知 using beestar.org. My daughter does the weekly exercises on it. There are math, English Language Art, science, etc. She loves them very much! Beestar is an online exercise, so you can register it no matter where you are. Hope it helps you.
Lisa
Hmm, we are also using Beestar. It is really a good website for kids. When we were traveling in Canada, my dd did his exercise on line instead of going to school. Perhaps you can try it when you arrive in chennai.
#13 Oct 6th, 2008, 20:19
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
Land that shakes and bakes.
Posts:
12,534
  • edwardseco is online now
#13
Quote:
I think someone asked about western classical piano teachers. I am not particular about it being western classical though because my son loves Indian music too. Any good teachers to recommend?
I have never known of any Indian piano music.

Homeschooling is so common now you can get curriculum from many vendors. its too easy compared to ten years ago..

Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2014
Page Load Success