Review: ExploArt Chinese classes at home in Singapore

What is ExploArt?

Learn. Play. Grow. Exploart is a small Singapore-based business, which provides amazing Chinese-speaking teachers and babysitters for families in Singapore.   Exploart aims to be leading enrichment education, specialising in Mandarin classes for children learning as a second language.  Their driving vision is that every child can unlock their full potential and that every child deserves a champion teacher. This resonates with me: for a child to truly learn, I too believe they need an adult who will never give up on them.

We started using Exploart in 2018, when we were looking for someone to read Chinese story books to our children (this was before we bought our Luka Reading Robot!).  We weren’t looking for anything fancy, just a reliable and jovial Mandarin speaker who could regularly and reliably meet up.  After being let down by various other options, we joined Exploart and they have never disappointed us.    Over the last four years, we’ve had two different laoshis who have both been great, and we’ve recommended them to many others.

Exploart will make the programmes unique to your child. Other than Mandarin learning, there are programs for speech and drama to swimming, all being delivered dynamically onsite at your home, by teachers who are professionals and most importantly, with a heart to connect and inspire.  Classes are offered to children as young as 18 months to 19 years of age.  One thing which has been a tremendous benefit for us is that the teachers are much more than tutors, and very comfortable with engaging bigger groups. In our case, all my three kids all join in the fun, but it would be possible to combine with friends too for a group up to 4 in your own home.

Who runs it?

Exploart is run by Calista Lim (goes by the nickname ‘Kel’). Calista is an Early Childhood Education graduate, with ongoing postgraduate studies in applied psychology (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Neuro-linguistics). After just one conversation with Kel, you’ll realise she’s a wealth of cumulative teaching experience combined with pragmatism and passion.  She is a big believer that students thrive with human connection, and that this connection can drive a student to be empowered and successful in their language learning journey. 

Kel says “I have personally witnessed the power of how a personalised and engaging learning environment with a positive connection between between the learner and myself, has successfully helped my student to meet his potential and speaks the love of learning”.  With this vision of wanting to help more children foster their love of learning, Kel started Exploart (Exploring a child’s full potential through the Art of Play”).

She continues: “Through our growing years, some of us may have been lucky to be impacted by a teacher or an adult.  Who was the teacher that has changed your life?  In Exploart, all our teachers strive to be that one significant person”.

Why do we enjoy Exploart?

  • Passionate:  The thing which first struck me when we first did a trial class with Exploart was how the teacher assigned to us was briefed so well by Kel, and then there was excellent follow-up afterwards. 
  • Bespoke:  The program was tailored specifically for our kids, as are all their programmes which are bespoke to the learner, their level, and their learning style. 
  • Hand-picked teachers:  Exploart isn’t just any tuition agency.   In order to deliver the best learning experience, they only recruit professional teachers who are not only passionate about their subject matter, but also ones who genuinely believe in their philosophy, and will encourage them to be the best they can be.
  • Feedback & Parental involvement:  Exploart value parent’s involvement in their education, and offer an open door approach where parents can discuss any points of interest of concern with them.  For example, we’re able to whatsapp our daughter’s spelling results each week, and the teacher will look at this and try to find an activity for the week which will suit this.  Likewise, when Circuit Breaker hit, I was concerned that doing the classes via screen would be too much screen time and not effective, so Kel worked with her teacher to explore different online class delivery styles, and then modified a slightly shorter length class to enable us to keep learning through the lockdown.  It was very sweet.
  • Values:  No matter which class, they aim to develop the child into a creative thinker, proficient problem solver, passionate speaker and empathetic listener.  Yes, you read that right …… there is not ay aim to make the children A+ students, or get them into an elite school.  That’s exactly my type of place.  A place where the focus is on making a difference to the learner’s life, not their grades.

How to contact ExploArt?

Exploart website is: https://www.exploart.org/

Classes typically cost about S$60 per hour, including all materials (this is really really reasonable compared to other home-based services in Singapore).  For my kids, all three do class together for 1.5 hours, and it’s been wonderful. For anyone looking for a reliable home teacher for Mandarin, I would highly recommend ExploArt (and so would my kids, which is really the key vote).

How else to help children fall in love with Chinese?

I really do think every child is different, and there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution. Which in a way, is why we love Exploart, because it’s bespoke, fun, and casual. My daughters all say that Chinese is their favourite subject, which by no means indicates they’re top students, but they are curious learners and enjoying the journey. For me, this is half the battle won.

We’ve tried some other tools, apps, and online fun classes which also might be worth considering if you want to boost exposure to Mandarin in a fun context. Some earlier posts of interest might be:

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