Hanwen School

Berkeley
Operated By: 
Hanwen School
Ages: 
Toddlers, Preschoolers, Kinder, School-Aged, Preteens, Teens
Capacity: 
30 participants
Email: 
info [at] hanwenschool.org
Phone: 
510-545-2126

Hanwen School offers Mandarin Chinese after-school classes & tutoringweekend workshops, and summer camps for elementary, middle, and high school children in the Berkeley, Albany, and surrounding areas. Children learn Mandarin Chinese and develop an awareness of Chinese culture. Games and activities provide constant opportunities for children to practice their language abilities. Some of our enrichment activities include arts & crafts, yoga, and kung fu. 

We offer small group or one-on-one Chinese tutoring.

Onsite piano and violin music lessons make it a convenient option for busy families.

We are located near University Ave and Sacramento St, near North Berkeley BART.

Parent Q&A

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  • After-school program at Hanwen

    (4 replies)

    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!

    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! 

    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.

    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.

    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. 

Parent Reviews

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RE: Abacus Classes near El Cerrito ()

Several friends have done Abacus through Hanwan School in Berkeley and recommend it

http://hanwenschool.org/

Look into HanWen, in Berkeley. Right now, they have classes during the week - their next session begins next week, on Aug 24; they may have classes on weekends. Mostly remote.

Our daughter attended their aftercare program through her Kindergarten year, into the pandemic, and continued Zhuyin classes though Summer. We got into a Mandarin Immersion school this year and have a different schedule so we aren't continuing, but we've had a wonderful experience with the school and I would wholly recommend their program.

Our daughter (2nd grade) has attended both the summer camp programs and the after-school programs at Hanwen.  I am impressed with both programs. 

The summer camp offered an engaging program and interesting projects (she took woodworking) with the added benefit of learning some useful new Mandarin words.

The after school program is well organized, and incorporates a lot of fun and cultural activities including a Kung Fu class.  My daughter is learning a lot and also really enjoys her time there.  

They have set up a library of books from which students can borrow for extra reading practice.

Additionally, you can sign up for music lessons on site (our daughter does piano but I think violin is also available), which saves us a trip to bring her to music lessons since she is there during the week anyway.

Ron, the founder, is really committed to setting up a great environment for the kids to learn to read, write, and speak Mandarin.  It's a new school, and he is always asking for feedback and looking for ways to improve the school, which is awesome.  I would recommend Hanwen to anyone who wants their child to learn Mandarin.

Hanwen is a fantastic afterschool program. Our son, now 7, started attending Hanwen last year while in Kindergarten, and attends five days a week. The director, staff, teachers, and other students create a welcoming and fun community that nurtures creativity and respect. My son is enjoying the challenge of learning Mandarin. The art, yoga, and Kung Fu classes are also high quality, and provide great balance to the language studies and a chance for kids to play and have fun. And the community is welcoming and kind, even to a family like ours who doesn't have much prior exposure to Chinese culture or language.

I highly recommend Hanwen for anyone looking for a nurturing, educational, playful and well-organized after school experience.

My 5-year old son LOVES Hanwen.

He joined Henwen after school program at the beginning of his kindergarten year. After 3 months, he has learned the whole set of Bo Po Mo Fo (注音表) and dozens of Chinese characters. He learned songs, made a lot of art projects. Once a week, he puts on his cool Kongfu uniform to have Kongfu class. There is also Yoga for kids class weekly. But what he enjoys the most is the spacious indoor space which allows him running around safely and playing ball games with teachers and other kids.

As a parent who is from Mainland China, I have known many kids and adults who spoke Chinese with their parents when they were small, but gradually lost it after they attended school. That' s not what I expect to happen to my son. I kept speaking Chinese to my son exclusively after he was born. So I feel so lucky to find Hanwen right after the kindergarten began. I think Chinese immersion after school program at Hanwen is a good solution to keep kids learning Chinese. It offers not only the Chinese classes but also the whole environment of Chinese, books, games, movies, the teacher' s chat, etc, all in Chinese. Now my son splits his school day time evenly in English (5 hours) and in Chinese (4 hours). I am happy to see he enjoys Hanwen, feels belonging to it. I am also glad that Berkeley school bus takes him to Hanwen every school day that I even don' t need to give him the ride.