Lien Feng, Liam, first year student from Xinhua Academy of Hefei Primary School. Liam is six years old and comes from Hefei, but his dad is from America. He likes dancing, swimming, playing baseball, and playing with his toys. He likes baseball because his Dad and his grandfathers were all baseball fans and they all like the Boston Red Sox. Liam can also speak the Hefei dialect. He wishes to have a great time during his primary school life in Xinhua. When he grows up, he wants to be a fireman because he wants to be strong, brave, and be able to help people who needed.
Liam and Dad
I found that Liam became more accustomed to a school routine after attending the Summer Camp. As the last few weeks of his summer vacation were self admittedly quite lazy, getting up early, getting on the school bus, being in a school setting all day, and then getting to bed early was challenging at first, he quickly grew accustomed to the new routine and started to realize that his quickly approaching life as a primary school student was not only achievable, but fun.
He said he was going to try to make one new friend every day and reported his relative successes and failures in meeting this target to me daily. I am happy to say he met his target more than not. Most importantly, I feel the summer camp was a great way to transition from the relaxed nature of summer vacation into the start of the school year. While it was partially academic, it had just enough play time to help Liam transition into a grade one student.
To be honest, I haven't had much direct contact with the teachers yet myself and can only speak to Liam's perception of them. He has told us that his teachers are friendly and he feels that they care about him as an individual. He is especially fond of his Physical Education teacher. I have quite a few personal acquaintances who are international teachers at Xinhua and know for a fact that they are qualified, dedicated, and professional.
We decided on Xinhua because we wanted Liam to be exposed to both the history, language, and culture of Chinese education in conjunction with Western languages and academic practice. As Liam is half Chinese and Half American, we wanted to find an educational option that would be both congruent to his identity and understanding of him being different. We felt Xinhua Academy was the best option for achieving this blend of East and West.
In addition, Xinhua had an excellent selection of extracurricular options. While we previously spent a lot of our time bouncing from training school to training school for art, boxing, swimming, etc., Xinhua academy gave us the opportunity to get all of these extra lessons in one place without making our family schedule overwhelming. While having hobbies and extracurricular activities is important in developing Liam into a well-rounded young man, traveling to multiple locations weekly to do so led to a lack of family time. With these options all being offered at Xinhua, home time can be home time.
Lastly, and most importantly, the smaller class size at Xinhua allows Liam's teachers to know and understand him as an individual student. This added personalization in the teacher/student relationship will allow the teachers to give him more individual attention and help him to not only grasp knowledge, but also develop into the best young learner he can possibly be.
Liam watched the baseball game with his father and grandfather