After-school program at Hanwen

Does anyone have experience with Hanwen Afterschool Chinese Program in Berkeley (heritage program for people who have Chinese-speaking families), and how would you rate it? My kids are coming from a pre-school Chinese immersion program. They would be entering into K level at Hanwen, I think.

Also, how would you compare it to YuYing's Afterschool Chinese program in Alameda?

Thanks!

Parent Replies

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RE: After-school program at Hanwen ()

I can speak to the Hanwen heritage program, it is excellent! We joined in the fall of 2020, my daughter's K year. It has been online the whole year. My daughter looks forward to logging in for the zoom class every day! This is not an exaggeration, she really loves it. The instructor is incredibly good, one of those teachers who gets how kids minds work and keeps it fun. She is so patient and adaptable for every kid's abilities. She pushes them while still being encouraging, and cheerful. We are amazed at our daughter's progress as well. She went to a Mandarin immersion preschool, but we don't speak Mandarin at home so we were worried about how much she would lose. She has lost fluency in her speech, but she has made huge progress in her understanding, reading and pronunciation. 

They teach zhuyin characters which I feel has given my daughter a better grasp of the actual sounds making up the words she learned in preschool. For example, I have a video of her singing a song in preschool, and she learned the same song again recently from Hanwen. Now, I can tell she isn't just slurring sounds together like a 3 year old, but clearly saying and understanding each word.

We have already signed her up for next year which we are excited for because it will be in person! 

RE: After-school program at Hanwen ()

Hanwen has been great for my family. My kids went to GMIS for preschool, and Hanwen has offered a great way to continue Chinese while having fun and participating in some other extracurricular activities (art, yoga, kung fu, etc.). My 3rd grader has been there for 4 years, though the past year has been remote. They did an amazing job transitioning to remote learning, and I have no doubt that they will do a great job transitioning back. I also have a rising Kindergartener, and am excited for her to join in-person in the fall.

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about YuYing in Alameda. 

Good luck, and feel free to contact me with questions.

RE: After-school program at Hanwen ()

My son has been attending Hanwen since kindergarten and I could not be happier with the Mandarin education he is receiving. Mandarin is not what we speak at home but my son has picked it up extremely well which is amazing. The school is very well organized and the teachers are top notch. My son is well rounded, well taught and have excellent and friendly friends in Hanwen. We are particularly impressed by how the school handles online learning during the pandemic. Overall, we are blessed we found this school.

RE: After-school program at Hanwen ()

My son has been with Hanwen for 4 years, from kindergarten to 3rd grade. We witnessed Hanwen's growth in the first three years and the struggle during the pandemic. overall we like it a lot. I don't know Yu Ying, so can't compare the two programs, only some of my own experience with Hanwen. 

Pros:

1, the location is convenient for us. The school bus will bring the kids to Hanwen in Berkeley. For those kids in Albany schools, Hanwen will pick them up. So I only need to pick up my son before 6pm from Hanwen every week day. 

2, the courses it offers are rich and diverse. The teachers my son had were awesome. Chen Laoshi, Peiyi Laoshi, the art teacher Rosa Laoshi, the Kong Fu teacher (what's the young man's name, who has been practiced Shaolin Kong Fu for more than 10 years?) and the story-telling teacher Sheron are all very good. We love them.

3, the school's environment is relaxed and friendly. Tons of toys, books and games. The indoor space for activities is big.

4, during the pandemic, the online courses were surprisingly good organized and went smoothly. Ron, the school's principle really worked hard on it. Very impressed.

Cons:

1, Hanwen is teaching traditional Chinese and bo po mo fo (注音) rather than simplified Chinese and Pinyin (拼音). It's harder and there is no options to choose.

2, The outdoor space is small and concrete paved.