Instagram Strategies: How I Gained 5k Followers

It was March of 2011 when I first downloaded Instagram App in my iPhone. I was totally unaware about the app beforehand. All thanks to THE Celebrity Lifestyle Blogger I have always look up to none other than Daphne Osena Paez (whom I had the privilege to interview here at Sweet Memoirs). I follow her blog religiously and read a post where she mentioned about the awesome app she has grown to love: Instagram no less!

I was pregnant with G at that time, hence if you dig all the way down my Instagram feed, you'll see lots of preggy and subsequently, baby photos.


  • On the left was me, very preggy and wearing a maxi dress whilst shooting with my other baby, my Canon EOS550D at Changi Beach Park.
  • On the right were K and G "talking" to each other at bedtime.


  • Our precious (then) newborn baby G, the gracious gift of God to our blissfully chaotic slash perfectly imperfect family.


  • On the left was K reading bedtime nursery rhymes and fairy tales to her baby brother.
  • On the right was G on his baby walker.

I was overcome with nostalgia for my newbie Instagram days when I only have 10 (or maybe even less) followers and zero to 1 like per post. Take a second look again at the photos above and tell me you'd go all mushy and automatically turn into a senti-mode too if you were in my shoes. Instagram just took me down the memory lane when the kids are still so little. Sigh!

Before I digress far, far away from my topic, let's talk about how I eventually turned my Instagram into a "serious business". My pathetic 0-1 like per post grew to an average of 5-10 likes from 2011 to 2012. All my followers are either family or friends.

The quality of the photos I posted during those two years were all mediocre. My photos started to look just a little more decent in 2013 when I started having followers outside my family/friends circle. Those were the days when I started joining food tasting sessions and other events hosted by Open Rice SG and OMYSG.



From 2011 to 2014, I played on different Instagram filters hence my feed is in a total mess all those years. It was only in 2015 when I decided to take the Instagram game seriously and came up with the idea of posting in 3s so that my feed will look neater.


On the very same year, I also started to create food and product flatlays to prettify my feed. On the days that I am not lazy, I use my trusty DLSR to shoot but most of the time, I use my ever-reliable iPhone camera and just play with Instagram photo editor to make the photos look nicer.


December last year (2016), I had an Instagram audit done by a professional marketing strategist for free (she ran 12-days of Christmas giveaway and I participated). She concluded that my Instagram feed looked too cluttered and busy and suggested that I balance my feed with occasional black and white scripts or photos with more white spaces. I took the suggestion seriously and even did themed best nine posts.

Here are some of my favourites:









Ultimately, I have come at peace with the way my feed looks in general. It was when I realized I have an OCD, Instagram OCD to be precise. Lol. Kidding aside, do know that I am not the only one doing this. There are far more pretty Instagram accounts out there that I utterly envy admire. There are times when I am not pleased with the photos I posted and end up deleting it. Some I regretted, some I breath a sigh of relief.

Tidying my feed has gained me more followers and eventually, fantastic collaborations with brands I have never dreamed of working with in my entire blogging career. I am convinced, Instagram is the new blog although I am not going to give up blogging for Instagram. At least not yet. I did have thoughts of retiring early but I think I am going to miss writing blah-berring about my thoughts here. Sorry, you have no choice but to stick with me! Haha!

Before I get carried away, let's proceed with the other Instagram strategies I applied to grow my following, apart from taking an effort to create better content. Here are my top 5:

  • Be active - I try to post regularly but my growth was considered very slow because when I feel overwhelmed with the noise of the digital world, I try to stay away from social media and take a break as and when I wanted to.
  • Be responsive - I try to respond to comments albeit pretty slow too because let's face it, I am a full time working mom and I only have at most 2 hours a day to spend on Instagram (that's during my train rides to and fro my workplace).
  • Be real - all thanks to Instagram stories and the new multiple photo in one post Instagram feature, I still get to post unedited, non-prettified photos/videos that might not look so great and end up messing in my feed. Tip: Use your IG stories/multiple photo feature to post your not so Instagram-worthy behind-the-scenes. It sort of balances your curated feed, if you have one like I do.
  • Be generous - try your best to return likes and comments in appreciation of your followers spending time to like and comment on your photos. Apart from reciprocating, be generous with your likes and comments without expecting anything in return. 
  • Be likeable - and find a tribe that you feel most comfortable with. They will likely support most, if not all the photos you post.

There are still so much you can do to grow your Instagram but I have to admit I just don't have all the time in the world to follow all. Here're more tips from other IGers which I haven't got time to incorporate in my current strategies yet:

  • Post during peak hours - when most of your followers are awake and likely browsing Instagram. As of this writing, I still post randomly, as and when I have the luxury to do so.
  • Plan and schedule your post ahead of time and use an app to see how your upcoming posts look like. I do plan ahead of time but I haven't ventured into using both preview and scheduling app yet. I also "preview" my feed with my photographic memory. 
  • Engage with people in your niche. Oh well, like I said earlier, I don't have all the time to spend on Instagram. Although I occasionally spam IGers in my niche, I get easily tired and just give up at times. 
I hope you learned a thing or two in my journey to 5k. Here's wishing you all the best in your Instagram quest and join me in my journey to 10k club! Do follow us @sweetmemoirs, okay? TIA!


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The Essentials You Need for Traveling with a Baby


Having a baby doesn’t mean you can’t travel. While you may opt for shorter breaks or stick closer to home there is nothing to stop you taking your baby with you on holidays and adventures. Taking a break occasionally is a great way to rest and recharge your batteries. Seeing new sights will also help your baby’s development. The idea of a holiday with a baby or toddler might seem scary, but these essentials will help to make it as easy and stress-free as possible.

Lightweight Pushchair
Lightweight pushchairs such as these from Icklebubba are a brilliant option when it comes to travelling with children. They are convenient when it comes to both travelling and storing in a hotel. Most airlines will let you keep a lightweight pushchair with you right up until you board the plane, so it also makes the airport much less stressful.

Sunscreen
While you will be able to buy sunscreen at your destination, it may not adhere to our standards or be a high SPF and it will be much more expensive than at home. For babies and toddlers, you’ll need factor-50.

Hats
Babies aren’t very good with hats. They try to take them off and they get lost. So, pack a few. Make sure they have a brim and a neck cover. Pack one in your hand luggage so it’s easy to assess as soon as you get off the plane.

Food and Drinks
Snacks and drinks are a great way to keep older children occupied during the journey. Check current airline guidance before you travel to check any restrictions on what you can take with you.

Entertainment
Young babies will with any luck sleep for most of the journey, but it’s still a good idea to take some of their favourite toys and games to help them feel secure while you are away. If you’ve got toddlers and older children you might want to take a tablet or games console to keep them busy.

Sunshades
If you plan to drive while you are away you will need protective shades for the car windows, as direct sunlight through a window can damage a baby’s skin. You’ll also need a parasol or shade on the pushchair.

Medication and Toiletries
It’s a good idea to pack nappies, wipes, and some child-safe paracetamol. While many of these will be available at your destination, babies have sensitive skin so it’s best to stick to what you know.

Portable Highchair
Portable fabric highchairs are ideal for use when travelling. While some restaurants will have their own, taking one with you means you don’t have to worry. They fit on to a regular chair so don’t’ take up extra space and can be folded into your bag when you are done.

Remember that unless you are going somewhere exceptionally remote, most of these things will be available at your destination so don’t panic if you have forgotten anything. Enjoy your holiday, have fun with your baby, watching them explore new tastes, textures, and feelings, and get as much rest as you can.
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Make Yourself An Indoor Getaway With A Loft Conversion





No matter where you live in the world, the price of every square foot in a home is becoming harder to get at a reasonable price. Which makes it surprising that so many homeowners don’t do more to maximize the space they already have.

For example, making better use of your vertical space can turn a home that feels cramped into one that feels rich and spacious.One of the most effective ways to increase both the value and available space of your home is a loft conversion. If you didn’t know, this refers to converting the space between the ceiling and roof into a liveable area.

It may sound daunting, but it’s far more affordable and easy than expanding the walls of your home.

Nuts and Bolts
Before we look at ideas for what you could do with your existing loft, it’s very important that you have a good idea of what will be involved in the process. Whether you do the conversion yourself or have a professional tackle it, I recommend that you read a thorough and detailed conversion guide to help you understand all the factors.

With that done, let’s look at the cool ideas that may become a reality in your own loft.

A Thoughtful Retreat
If you share your home with a family or any other regular tenants it may be hard sometimes to find a personal space where you can be productive or just spend some time with your own thoughts.

Turning your loft into a dedicated study or just a small reading room can create just such a space for you. If you are smart with the placement of windows you can even ensure a view that will increase the illusion of space and solitude.

Massage Away Your Stress
Since loft conversions add rooms that are basically luxuries, you can afford to do something decadent. So why not create a space for pampering? Adding a massage table and a large hot bath can create a place where you can physically recover from life’s stresses.

Where you find someone to give you the massage is your business.

The Ultimate Man Cave or Lady Loft
Everyone is a little geeky about something. Often we don’t want to intrude on the main home or shared living space with posters, figures or other signs of our personal obsessions. That’s where the idea of the “man cave” or lately “lady loft” came about.

It’s a room used to contain our more playful personality aspects. A loft is the perfect place to turn into your most psychologically comfortable place. Filled with your own guilty pleasures. Be they video games or vintage vinyl rock music.

A Vlogger's Dream
Thanks to YouTube everyone wants to be a star these days and vlogging is still a popular genre of YouTube video. If you want your videos to look good you need a space with the right lighting and layout, but most people wouldn’t want a small studio in the middle of their home.

Loft are perfect for permanent studio spaces, making it easy to produce great videos and giving you access to gorgeous natural light with the right window choices.

Lofty Ambitions
The loft is such an overlooked choice when it comes to making a home into something really special, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Be sure to check out our article on how you can also do some amazing things with that other neglected space: the garage.


*IMAGE CREDIT
Holland and Green Architectural Design via Flickr (CC BY)

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Starter Home to Forever Home: Can You Make It Work?


When you first get onto the property ladder, you usually buy a "starter home". You're not looking for your dream property right away, and you probably intend to move home at least once if not twice more in your adult life. But what happens if, after living in your first home for a while, you don't want to move? Even though you need more space, perhaps for a growing family, you've fallen in love with your first home, and you want to stay put. Well, one option is to renovate and add on to your home so that it can grow along with your needs. You have lots of ways you can make it work.

Buy a Bigger Home

If you already own your starter home, it's a bit too late for this one. But if you're in the process of looking for your first home, it's important to consider the size. Of course, it's sensible to only buy a property that provides the space you need. It will keep your costs down, from your mortgage payments to your energy bills. But it could mean that you need to move in a couple of years just to get the space you need. If you already have plans to start a family, buying a larger home could be a better idea. It will help you avoid the hassle and expense of moving later. But if you don't know what your future looks like just yet, sticking to a smaller home could be best.


Buy Property or Land Around Your Home

One interesting option is to see if you can buy any of the property or land on either side of your home, or perhaps even in front of or behind it. You might already have paid off your starter home, or maybe you're in a position to take out a second mortgage. If you're lucky, one of your neighbors might already be selling up, and you could see if you'll be able to get a great deal. But what if no one is moving? Well, it's a risk, but you could always bring up the possibility yourself. Mention to your neighbors that you would like to expand and ask if they've considered selling their property or even just some of their land. You won't necessarily get anywhere, but it could work if you're able to make an interesting offer.

Add to Your Property

If you want your home to grow with your needs, space is the one thing you're going to need more of. Adding onto your home doesn't necessarily require you to buy up any of the land around your property. Plenty of people carry out home additions with only the space they already have. You can add to the back or side of your home, or possibly the front, or you can build up. Maybe you want to extend a particular room or to add on new rooms. If your family is growing, you might need an extra bedroom or bathroom to accommodate everyone.


Gut the Insides

Sometimes you don't need more space, you just need to make better use of the space you already have. You love the location of your home and the main structure of it, but you're not necessarily in love with the layout of the inside. If you're willing to rethink it, you could gut the insides and change everything around. You might make some spaces open-plan or turn larger rooms into multiple smaller ones. Of course, this is likely to be a big project. It could be expensive and take a long time. You might need to take out personal loans to pay for it, and it might make living in your home awkward for a while. Plus, you'll need to make sure you have clear plans of the house to avoid taking out load-bearing walls or smashing through anything you shouldn't. It might mean having contractors in your home for a while. However, it could be worth it to reinvent the space and end up with something you love.

Build Separate Spaces

If you have a bit of land around your home, even if it's just a backyard, another option to expand the space you have is to build space away from the main house. Instead of expanding the existing building, you can have a separate space that's useful for anything you want. For example, perhaps you can put a small cabin, hut or shed at the end of your backyard. You could use it for anything, from a laundry room to a hobby room or kids' playroom. It's an interesting way to expand the space you have without having to add an extension that matches the existing property.


Find Smart Solutions for Your Home

If you don't want to expand your property, gutting the inside isn't the only way to make smarter use of the space. You can often feel like you need more space, especially as you begin to collect more stuff. But, much of the time, you just need the right solutions to help you make the most of your home. One of the biggest problems for growing families, or even just individuals and couples on their own, is finding enough storage space. Having the right storage solutions can help to save this problem. You can consider what you need to store and what smart methods and storage systems make the most sense. Of course, cutting back on how much stuff you have is also a good idea. You should also think about other solutions that work best for you and help you to save space. They might include using a washer-dryer or not having a microwave so you can save space.


Use Your Whole Home

The US has some of the biggest homes when compared to other countries. Compare them to some of the typical property sizes throughout Europe, and even many starter homes in the US have a lot more space. You might be surprised by how common it is for people not to use all the space they have available. Perhaps you think you need to move to a bigger home, but you're not even using all the space you have in your current one. Before you think about expansion or anything else, make sure every corner of your home is put to good use. Use all of the rooms, closets and other spaces for your needs. Use your porch and your outdoor space too.

Focus on the Most Important Rooms

It can sometimes be the communal rooms in your home that become a sticking point as you begin to yearn for more space. You have enough bedrooms, and you have all the necessary rooms, like a living room, kitchen and bathrooms. But perhaps some of them don't feel suitable for your family anymore. There's no need to rework your entire home if only one or two of the rooms are a problem. Maybe it's time to put in a new kitchen so that you can use the space better. You have different priorities for your kitchen and dining spaces once you have kids to think about. Or maybe it's time for a new bathroom so you can make sure it's a family space that works for both adults and children. Redecoration can be just as good as any more in-depth renovations. Perhaps even just a lick of paint or a new sofa can make a big difference.

There's a lot to be said for staying put in your starter home, instead of striving for more space. If you love your first home, you can find ways to make it work.

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I Had a Korean Short Hair Makeover at Kenjo Salon

I have never been so adventurous when it comes to my hairstyle. For the longest time, I was wearing my crowning glory either as a long, rebonded hair...


or long permed hair.


I know my hair stories are pretty boring but I like how "safe" long hair looks on me. In case you are wondering, one of the main reasons why I seldom cut my hair short is because "long lustrous female hair is generally rated attractive by both men and women across cultures". Yes, I am a little old-fashioned like that.

What made me cut my hair short then?


This exact photo taken recently during a workshop I attended with my family. As if my dry, fizzy hair locks are screaming for my attention because it badly needs some extra tender loving care already. Initially, I only thought of having it trimmed to get rid of my split ends but a hair stylist from a salon chain I went to convinced me to cut it short for a change.

I agreed but ended unhappy with the result. I also found out  at the end of my supposedly stress-free pampering hair visit how the salon staff are very persuasive in letting costumers sign up for a package. I knew right there and then I wouldn't go back to that salon anymore. How would I recommend them to my readers if I am not satisfied with their service?

Thank goodness, Kenjo Salon came to my rescue. The frugal mama in me always have second thoughts of going to a posh salon but during my consultation, Joseph Foo, the Founder and Director of the Korean-inspired hair salon assured me that at Kenjo Salon, I am in for a quality treatment I wouldn't regret.

Photo credit: Kenjo Salon's Facebook Page
Kenjo Salon boasts a sleek and modern ambiance with a dedicated and professional team which is a combination of both local and Korean stylists. The salon's goal is to provide the highest level of professionalism to each and every client and ultimately build a long and lasting relationship purely based on trust and commitment. Now, that sounds like what exactly what I am looking for.


Joseph introduced me to Shasha, Kenjo Salon's Director Stylist who is obviously a Korean. Shasha is not very fluent in English but she can communicate with the language well enough for her to express what she wants to say. I like how straight-forward she actually is. She assessed my hair and said, "It looks too flat, I am going to give it some volume."


So I left my hair in the care of an expert, no less. Shasha trimmed my hair a little more. Her plan was to give me a Korean hair makeover. Who else knows Korean style best but the Koreans themselves, right?


To be honest, I am actually a little nervous with the drastic change that's gonna happen in all of my hair stories. What if it doesn't suit me? Well, you have to stick with me until the end of this post to know the answer. I've got some discount code to share too so please read on!


To protect my hair from the harsh effect of the perming solution, Shasha gave my hair their signature Mucota treatment. The treatment will also protect my hair from damage brought by the heat of a dryer or UV rays.


Shasha also suggested that I should try changing my parting line and so I did.


Blow drying and styling before the final reveal of my Korean hair makeover. I am so excited and nervous at the same time!


Finally...

Tadaaaaaaa!

I quickly sent this photo via Whatsapp to my best friend to get her feedback because she was actually against my plan of changing into a short hair style.

Guess what she said???!!!

Quoting her Whatsapp reply;

"I love it!!!!!!! You look like a foreigner! (insert heart-eyed emoji here)

Followed by;

"Made you look vibrant and younger by ten years!" 

Oh, well! She's my best friend indeed! Hahaha!

I know best friends can be bias at times so I am going to ask you now, whatcha think of my makeover?


Yay or Nay?


I was initially worried how to maintain my new look but before my treatment ended, Joseph came to personally hand me these awesome Davines' shampoo and conditioner which is specially curated for my Love Curls.


These shampoo and conditioner were named LOVE for no reason. I love its smell and I love how it retains my curls nicely. I also particularly love how eco-friendly these products are. The packaging wasn't fancy at all yet it looks very dainty with its black and white sticker label pasted on a recyclable bottle and recyclable container respectively. What's there not to love?

Thank you, Kenjo Salon! I was really impressed by the professionalism and great service of your staff. During my treatment, I can spy Joseph from the corner of my eyes constantly checking and making sure that all costumers are being well attended to by his team. Also, I have never been to any other salon that offers a wide array of drinks to choose from including coffee and soy milk. Hats off for going beyond the extra mile to pamper your costumers.

Based on my pleasant experience, I highly recommend Kenjo Salon! The salon depicts luxury and class yet affordable and their prime location and excellent service are hard to beat. You may look for my stylist, Shasha or Joseph when you visit and don't forget to quote my name "CHERRY" to get 15% off your first haircut or treatment.

For constant updates, like Kenjo Salon on Facebook and follow @kenjosalon on Instagram.
KENJO SALON
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura (New Wing)
#04-72
Singapore 238839
Tel no.: 6238 8083
*This post is brought to you by Sweet Memoirs and Kenjo Salon collaboration.

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How to Transform and Upgrade Your Garage Space


If you’ve been viewing your garage as nothing more than a storage space, it’s time to start looking at it in a whole other light. With just a bit of work, you can totally transform and upgrade your garage into something stylish, organized, comfortable, and functional. Get ready to start looking at your garage with fresh eyes.
source

Clean Out the Garage

In order to get a sense of your garages’ true and full potential, it's important to start by cleaning it out completely. You need to be aware of the space you're working with, and its condition. After you remove everything from the garage, the next step is to give it a good clean. If you’ve got a concrete/cement floor like most garages have, you can sweep out all the large debris and dirt, and then hose it down with water. Allow it to dry completely before you do anything else to it.

Consider Insulating and Finishing the Walls
Most garages have unfinished walls, which is fine if you plan on using it for storage and parking your car. If you want to go all out and transform it into a living space, then you’ll want to insulate and then finish the walls. This means dry walling and then painting the garage.

Give the Floors a New Look
Rather than sticking with the typical cement flooring in the garage, you could look at upgrading to a granite garage floor. This flooring option makes cleaning easy, it’s incredibly durable, and it gives the garage a much more finished look.

Install Storage
There is nothing worse than a garage filled with clutter. If it feels like you’re playing a game of Jenga each time you try to take an item out of the garage, then it is definitely time to focus on storage. Popular options include cabinets, shelves, and even hanging shelves from the ceiling if you’ve got a lot of height to work with. You can even dedicate a full wall of the garage to nothing other than storage.

Upgrade the Garage Door
Nowadays, you can find all kinds of fabulous and stylish options when itcomes to garage doors. This one step alone will completely change the look of the garage. For added convenience, be sure to install a garage door opening system that is quiet and smooth.

Make it a Workspace 
If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect workbench for all your tools and equipment, the garage can provide you with the answers you’re after. You can build or install a bench and then surround it with storage options. Having the proper workspace will likely encourage you to tackle more DIY projects.

Look at the Garage as a Blank Slate
Rather than just seeing your garage as a place to park your car and store all kinds of items, why not look at it as a blank slate and think of ways you can use the space to its full potential. 
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Let Your Body Relax with these Simple Stress-Busting Techniques


We have all heard and even experienced some of the effects of excessive stress like headaches, tensing up of muscles and nerves, constant tiredness, low libido, restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, and premature aging. However, how often do we actually take steps to improve the situation? The truth is that most of us don’t go out of our way to counter daily stress other than taking a break every now and then. While taking a break is essential, it is important that you use your time off to do things that will help you relax and recharge. Here is a list of simple stress-busting activities that will do just that.

Controlled Breathing
Controlled breathing will oxygenate your blood better, get your nervous system to work more productively and relax tense muscles. While there are multiple breathing exercises you can learn, the basic idea is to take slow breaths through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

Regular Exercise
Hitting the gym or playing a sport is not only supposed to keep you physically fit, but it’s also extremely effective at busting stress. It has been proven that a workout session, running, or just about any physical activity that can be classified as exercise, can significantly lower depression and mental fatigue. As long as you don’t overwork yourself, exercise can be one of the most beneficial stress busters for just about anybody.

Massage Therapy
My first session with heavenandearthmassage.co.uk opened my eyes to what massage therapy can do for you when it comes to stress busting. A massage from an expert masseur/masseuse is a sure-shot way to relax and recharge the body and the mind, particularly at the beginning or the end a hectic week.

Get in Touch with Nature
This is perhaps one of the most potent ways to lower stress levels. It could be an activity as simple as a stroll across the grassy park outside your office or a full-on camping or hiking trip somewhere remote. The point is to get away from the concrete jungle and get in contact with the healing touch of nature.

Talk to People
You may not even know it, but the people you have around you are some of your biggest stress busters. A simple phone call to a close friend can help you feel better straight away. Plan activities together and go out. Talk to the people with whom you canshare at least a bit of your life. It can have the same effect as going to a therapist, without the hourly charges of course!

Additionally, you should also maintain a healthy diet, concentrate on positive aspects around you, and even meditate for a few minutes if you want your stress level to go down to almost zero. Do remember that you don’t have to do all of it at once. The idea is to unwind and as long as you find an activity that you enjoy, you will be fine.

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G Builds His Maths Foundation with Eye Level Learning Centre


If there is one subject I struggled to ace in primary, secondary and tertiary school, it's Mathematics. I would rather learn and memorize scientific nomenclature and difficult dental and medical terms.
Despite being a hard-working student and having an above average IQ, my learning enthusiasm decreases up to 50% when it comes to numbers. I only remember pushing myself so hard to study Mathematics seriously because I had an average grades/marks of 1.5 (1.0 being the highest) to maintain so I could keep my scholarship in the university. 

My eldest K is now in secondary school and is also struggling with Mathematics. I regretted not investing time and effort to help her build a good learning foundation in the subject. I don't wish to repeat the same mistake with G who is now in K2, so in preparation for his Primary 1 journey next school year, I accepted the invitation of Eye Level Learning Centre to go for Maths enrichment class. 


In fact, the Eye Level management asked me to choose either English or Mathematics but obviously, I chose the latter because G's English (reading/writing/spelling/comprehension) is already considered very good. I am also confident in teaching him English by myself but Mathematics? Nah! I would rather leave it to the husband or in this case, with Eye Level Learning Centre.

Here's a brief introduction about Eye Level:

The Eye Level education originated from Daekyo, one of the world’s leading companies in the educational service market – it started from South Korea, and currently they have 1258 learning centres in over 20 countries. Although the specifics in delivering the instructions may differ by country, every Eye Level Learning Centre aims to meet the same goal of nurturing problem solvers, critical thinkers, and life-long learners.
Eye Level begins teaching every child at the level most appropriate for his or her individual knowledge, ability and learning style – designs and tailors enrichment programmes so children can learn and progress steadily at a comfortable pace.
Eye Level is unique due to its underlying philosophy, which sees learning challenges from the child’s perspective.

My main reason in agreeing to go for Maths enrichment classes is to give G a good head start in building his learning foundation in the subject. At home, my husband has started teaching him addition verbally but did not really go to the extent of giving him activity sheets or assessment tests to see how much he has absorbed from their Maths home-learning sessions. 

It was no surprise that when we went to Eye Level at Tampines West Community Club for G's first trial class, he did not do very well on the Diagnostic Test.

Why is Diagnostic Test (DT) necessary? 

A DT must be conducted with all new students of Eye Level because it helps the teacher understand the child and determine the child's Starting Point.

What is a Starting Point?

Your child's Starting Point is a specific booklet in the programme where he/she can work on the contents of the booklets confidently and comfortably. This means attaining perfect scores through their own efforts.

By boosting their confidence and fostering an interest in the subject, this ensures that your child masters his/her current level, thus ensuring their future success in subsequent levels.


Needless to say G started with Level 4.1 - Basic Thinking. It aims to help him add 1, 2, or 3 to other numbers to add up to 10. Before he was asked to work on the booklet by himself, Teacher Aifaa went through with him with a few examples in the booklet during the coaching sessions to help him understand the concepts introduced for that day and explained to him the concept of adding using the number line.


After the second visit at Eye Level, G was able to use his "brain" (that was his exact term) to solve questions intuitively. He has also gotten faster and faster in answering the work sheets and each visit excites him knowing that he is seeing teacher Aifaa again and he is going to learn something new and fun from her. I have to say he enjoyed more of the critical thinking math problems in the worksheets given by teacher Aifaa every after session. Is that a good sign that he is going to be a good mathematical problem solver? Too early to tell but I am optimistic about it.

As of this writing, G finished his 6-week trial session with Eye Level and was promoted to learn adding bigger numbers up to 100 and above and also learned the concept of subtraction and solving problem that combines addition and subtraction. He also aced his test on his last day, albeit a little slower because the night before when we did some revision at home, I found out he gets confused in doing both addition and subtraction at the same time so I asked him to always double check the sign given whether it is a  + or - sign. I guess he was being too careful hence he finished the test a bit longer than expected. Nevertheless, it was a job well done and he was mighty proud of himself that we was "graded" very good.

In summary, here's what G (as a student) and I (as a parent) liked about Eye Level:

1) Builds Self-Confidence


I have never seen G doing some number problems before ever so confidently and enthusiastically until he started his lessons at Eye Level. Every time we come back from his lessons, he would ask me to set the timer for him while he works on his assignment to be submitted on the next session. "Please turn on the timer for me, mom. See how I can finish it very fast", he'd proudly declare.

2) Concept of Reinforcement

As I look through all the work sheets given to G by Teacher Aifaa, I spotted lots of repetitive number problems. As a parent and considered the first teacher to our children, I strongly believe that practice and reinforcement are important when you wish to build a firm foundation of numeracy skills. As one article at ezine.com put it: "This situation can be compared to physical training. One can understand the benefits of being able to build muscle through exercise, but unless you do this regularly, you will fail when it comes to the application task of weight lifting. Math works the same way. 

3) Encourages Independence

You should have seen the sparkle in G's eyes beaming with pride whenever Teacher Aifaa and I praise him for accomplishing all the task given to him without much supervision. I can tell he is quite pleased with himself for learning to be independent. I also would like to commend Teacher Aifaa who is very sweet, patient and encouraging all the time. I witnessed with my own eyes how she is well-love by all the students. G always looks forward to his lessons with her.


4) Time Management

G first learned about time management at a tuition centre we have tried. This time around at Eye Level Learning Centre, his ability to finish the task given at a limited period of time was reinforced. Eye Level have this guide to gauge on how the students are coping in terms of time management and G passed slightly above average. 

Overall, I believe that the Maths trial lessons G had at Eye Level will be of great help as he journeys to Primary 1 next school year. The Eye Level management was very pleased with G's results that they decided to extend his complimentary Maths enrichment class for another six weeks. Also, Sweet Memoirs in collaboration with Eye Level Tampines West Learning Centre will be giving away one month complimentary enrichment lessons (once a week for either English or Math) to 5 lucky winners! Yes, you didn't read it wrongly! Not one but FIVE lucky winners! I will be drawing 2 winners in my Facebook Page and 3 winners on my Instagram.

Here's the giveaway mechanics:
Facebook giveaway participants will need to like and share the Eye Level giveaway post and comment why their child needs Math or English enrichment class.

Instagram giveaway participants will need to like and share the Eye Level giveaway post and comment why their child needs Math or English enrichment class.

Important notes:
  • Giveaway applies for students from 3-14 y/o
  • Giveaway promotion not applicable to existing Eye Level students
  • Subject to learning centre's availability
  • Only applicable to Tampines West Learning Centre
  • T&C applies subject to changes without prior notice
Eye Level also conducts global events such as:
You may call Aifaa, the Centre Manager at +65 6784 0655 for complete information about the above-mentioned events.

For your reference, here's the complete listing of Eye Level Learning Centre locations in Singapore, contact details and pricing:

Programme Pricing
Programme Fees  (Each lesson is 30 to 45 minutes.)
Note: 1 month’s deposit is to be utilise when student decides to quit the programme, and student have to give at least one month notice to the Learning Centre.
Programme
Once a Week Lesson
Twice a Week Lesson
Eye Level Math
$140/month
$180/month
Eye Level English
$140/month
$180/month


Centre
Centre Tel
Address
email
Bedok North
9060 8556
Blk 509 Bedok North Street 3
#01-115 S(460509)
Boon Keng
8828 5235
Blk 34 Whampoa West 
#01-35 S(330034)
Bukit Merah
6377 1655
3501 Jalan Bukit Merah
#01-02, S(159460)
City Square Mall
6509 1317
180 Kitchener Road
#B2-02, S(208539)
Jurong West
6686 2328
Blk 960 Jurong West St 92
#01-182 S(640960)
Kembangan
6748 3090
16 Jalan Masjid, Kembangan Suites
#01-08 S(418941)
Khatib
6610 5809
Nee Soon South CC, 30 Yishun St 81,
#03-06A S(768455)
Kovan
6635 8368
Blk 203 Hougang St 21, 
#02-87 S(530203)
Mountbatten
9776 0102
Mountbatten Community Club,
35 Jalan Satu, #02-04 S(399479)
Novena Goldhill
6258 0658
161B Goldhill Shopping Centre,
Thomson Road, S(307614)
Novena Square 2
6397 2562
10 Sinaran Drive,
#04-52/54 S(307506)
Our Tampines Hub
8389 6488
51 Tampines Ave 4 #02-89, Our Tampines Hub, S(529684)
Pasir Ris
6584 0212
Blk 451 Pasir Ris Drive 6 #B1-186, S(510451)
Parkway
8321 2828
1 Marine Parade Central,
Parkway Centre #02-03. S(449408)
Sembawang
9738 5247
79 Jalan Malu-Malu, 
Kindol Gardens  S(769688)
Tampines West
6784 0655
Tampines West CC,  5 Tampines Ave 3,
#03-07/08, S(529705)
Telok Blangah
6273 1718
Blk 65 Telok Blangah Drive
#01-156 S(100065)
Upper Thomson
6456 1889
244S Upper Thomson Road,
S(574369)
West Coast Plaza
9739 4448
154 West Coast Road #02-52 West Coast Plaza S(127371)

Website for all Eye Level Learning Centres:              www.myeyelevel.com

Disclaimer: My son was provided with 6-weeks complimentary Maths enrichment class at Eye Level Learning Centre for the purpose of this review. As usual, all opinions are mine and this review is based on G's personal learning experience at Eye Level Tampines Learning Centre in the past 6 weeks. 
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