Class Descriptions

Highly Interactive Class Format

Our small group classes are fun, nurturing and highly interactive. We know kids are energetic and social creatures and our curriculum is designed in such a way that children never feel pressured, but rather empowered. Kids often continue growing with the same cohort and form lasting friendships!

Classes generally meet once week for 50 minutes. And since kids need repetition to retain new skills, we provide practice plenty of carefully customized materials for your child to use at home. We meet with you after every session to share the exact techniques and terminology we used during the session. This allows us to effectively work together as a team to support your child throughout the week.

Your child has so much potential!  We will provide them with the perfect environment in which to explore that potential.

Reading

Reading is empowering! Very few things can open up a child’s world like the ability to read. Books become stories instead of a collection of pictures. The STOP sign takes on new meaning…

However, English is quite complex. Take for example: do and go … spelled the same, sound different… my and happy… y has two different sounds… the silent ‘e’ at the end of a word… the countless pairs such as ow, ay, ar, ea, ck, wh… Learning to read is a very involved process and it can easily overwhelm both the reader and the one teaching.

We have thoughtfully divided the steps to reading into achievable goals that quickly build a child’s competency and their confidence. Our approach is systematic and powerful because it is customized and our methods/materials are highly interactive and entertaining – engaging your child at their level.

In Step 2, we integrate reading and phonics from the very beginning. Children feel a sense of pride and excitement when they take home little books from our lending library to share with their family. We discuss each story as we read it and the children look forward to seeing their “friends” in subsequent books.

We use arts/crafts as well as games involving fine and large motor skills to keep the kids actively involved and interested. The entire class and all the games are structured to build confidence. During game time, it is always the instructor vs. the kids and the instructor somehow always loses?!

Read what our parents are saying!

Steps to Reading

A strong grasp of basic phonics is the foundation for reading.

Step 1 Reading

We will begin with basic letter recognition of all 52 letters (26 upper and 26 lower case) in conjunction with an introduction to phonics.   Words mostly consist of lower case letters, but each sentence begins with a capital letter.

Handwriting- for those students who are ready, we use creative tips/tricks as we introduce the correct formation for writing their letters.

Step 2 Reading

We will begin with phonics in conjunction with reading CVC words and some beginning sight words. We will also work on reading comprehension. We will learn about punctuation (. ? !) and about plurals. We will learn to fluently read countless three-letter and many four-letter words employing the five short vowel sounds – a, e, i, o, u.

Your child will bring home a book every week to share their new skills with you.   They will read you a bedtime story!

Parents must ensure that their child already recognize the 26 upper and 26 lower case letters and is fairly familiar with basic phonics before enrolling their little one in this class.

Step 3 Reading

Continue to practice our CVC words.  But we will also learn many other sounds (ow, aw, or, ou,  etc), enabling us to read longer words (round, shark, and happy). We will learn beginning blends (fr, pl,…), the different sounds of “th” and the different sounds “y” makes at the end of a word…  Too vs to, off vs of, the plural “s” vs the possessive (‘s), double consonants (ll, pp, ck…).  Reading comprehension.  We will continue to build our repertoire of sight words.

We will continue lending from our library!

Subject to instructor approval.

Step 4 Reading

We will continue working on beginning blends and also learn ending blends (tch, le, ng etc), we will learn more digraphs, we will be introduced to vowel teams (oo, ee, ay,  ) and we will decode words with  the magic “e”  (-ake, -ike, -ose, …).  We will read who, what when, where and why. We will read words ending in -ed , -ly, old, ost, oll… and beginning with qu, wh, kn, etc. We will learn kindergarten and first grade level sight words. Even more emphasis on reading comprehension.

We will continue lending from our library!

Subject to instructor approval.

Step 5 Reading

We will continue practicing all that we worked on in Step 4 but will add the soft c and soft g words (princess, cage etc.). We will read compound words and long vowel sounds (vowel teams- oa, ou, ai etc.).  We will learn the different sounds of ea and ow.  We will read igh and eigh words.  We will read words beginning with qu, wh, kn, etc.  We will learn more sight words.  We will understand various contractions and much more! Work on reading comprehension. 

We will continue lending from our library and start reading from a much broader selection of books at increasingly higher levels.

Subject to instructor approval.

Advanced Readers with Spelling

Continued work on Step 5 skills. Kids will feel empowered to pick up a variety of different books and we will practice reading to build fluency. Even more reading comprehension!

Spelling!

Handwriting –  correct letter formation may be emphasized

Subject to instructor approval.

Math

Words are letters arranged in a pattern.  Math is numbers dictated by patterns.  Here is an interesting article from the Seattle Times: It’s just math: Preschoolers can do more than we might think.

Math builds on itself every year. We make sure that children truly stand on a firm foundation in math from the beginning so that they never have to lose confidence in math nor struggle to fill in the gaps at a later date…

We help them to understand that “math is not magic” but that it makes sense- there is a reason behind everything. We take the time to tackle common stumbling blocks and present concepts in a visual/tactile manner. We encourage the children to delve deeper so that they come out stronger!

We want all our “kids with an edge” to always enjoy math! It is logical, it is useful and 2+2 is always 4 no matter who is teaching …

Unfortunately, our girls are subject to the stereotypes surrounding math from a very young age.   I was so surprised when a little Kindergarten girl stated that boys are better at math than girls.  When I asked why she thought this, she said she had read it in a book!  Needless to say, her mom is now looking to eliminate that author from her daughter’s repertoire.

But many boys can also develop an “I am just not good at math, outlook and that is just not fair to them.  Time and again, it is because their foundation each year has gotten weaker due to gaps in understanding carrying over from the previous years and eventually, they just feel  lost in math class – going through the motions to barely get by.

A strong math foundation that grows year after a year is a truly priceless gift to our children.

Intro to Math – Preschool/Kindergarten Math

We use a lot of visual/tactile techniques so children really understand the concepts behind what they are learning. And the curriculum is very methodically presented so that children feel confident every step of the way!

  • Numbers and Place Value
  • Counting
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Time
  • Fractions
  • Shapes
  • Patterns 
  • And More!

The exact material covered in each class may vary based on students’ readiness.

First Grade Math

We adhere to the common core standards for first grade math used by the Seattle public schools. This class is a perfect complement to school and provides excellent support for the school curriculum. In school, a teacher can have thirty students and may not find the time to address or even to recognize each child’s individual needs/stumbling blocks.

Math builds on itself every year, so a strong foundation is one of the most valuable things we can ever gift to our children.

We concentrate on building numeracy.  We teach children strong techniques to build speed and accuracy with basic addition and subtraction.  We do not use our fingers, but learn to do 6+8 or 12-4 mentally.  This foundation will be priceless moving forward!

We learn to tell time to the minute and work on many other skills…  Our classes are customized based on students’ needs and goals.

In our small group environment our goal is to build your child’s competency and confidence.

A Strong Foundation Today… A Limitless Tomorrow

A strong foundation enables a child to tackle problems well beyond their years.  Watch below as a Kindergartener applies her knowledge of the number line to solve integer math!

Multiplication is just adding.  And it can be so much fun!  Kindergartener multiplies by adding.

These math videos are not meant to be reflective of what we will be studying in our Intro to Math class,  but just a demonstration of what we have seen kids can accomplish with a strong foundation.

Please note that each child progresses at their own unique pace and in their own special way.  The important thing is to provide them with the tools they need to build a strong foundation and to give them the confidence they need to explore whatever it is their heart desires!

Anu is an amazing teacher and she has the magic touch with kids. We have been working with Anu since just a couple of months before Covid struck. I can’t praise her enough for successfully transitioning the class over to the online format. It’s a relief to know that Anu has her bases covered and there will not be undue disruptions to my child’s education.

My 4 yr old is always happy and excited to be in his weekly class with Anu and his classmates. In just a few months, my son has finished the entire kindergarten curriculum for reading and math. This speaks to the effectiveness of Anu’s methods and also the importance of keep children mentally engaged when schools and many extracurricular programs are canceled.

Anu has so much patience and you can tell that she genuinely cares about her students. Part of what makes Anu effective is her ability to engage with children. She is always positive and breaks up lessons with educational “games” that not only test their skills but also build their enthusiasm and confidence. She is great about touching base with parents and receptive to our questions and feedback. While Anu teaches her own curriculum, she makes sure that all the kids are meeting the SPS and common core standards.

In these unprecedented times of confusion and disruptions due to covid, I am absolutely confident putting my son’s education in Anu’s hands…

—Google Review: Jie Lei, Attorney

Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand. Step back and I will act.

—Old Chinese Proverb