If you've been to Solaris Dutamas for dinner or groceries shopping, you would have noticed a Montessori sign on the second floor of one of the shop houses at Solaris Dutamas, Mont Kiara called HanaSuria.
Then, if you are like me and tried to find more information about HanaSuria Montessori online, you would have found a road block unless you understand Japanese. The only other way to find out about HanaSuria Montessori is to go there yourself.
That's exactly what we did and we found out that we have to make an appointment first and visiting hours are usually arranged at 4pm. Hmm.. so maybe it's a good thing that they don't want to disrupt the kids education with enquiries that may not result in enrollment?
Regardless of what I mentioned in my other post on Montessori Pre-schools in Mont Kiara, in the end we did go and have a look at HanaSuria Montessori and we quite like the environment. It was neat and cheerful, their Montessori materials are comprehensive (they have what Lil Ones Montessori have), musical instruments, costumes for role play, an area for gymnastics and the arts and crafts are very nicely displayed on the wall. Ms Sharon, the director's wife also showed us some materials that she herself made for the students language curriculum as she has teaching background also. So, convinced that this is the best place that combines Montessori method with "traditional" method, we decided to give their 5 days trial a shot.
The first two days of your son's trial class, they let you stay for a short while then you have to leave so that the kids get used to the place easier in their opinion. My first son love the place at once and was at ease especially with their various Montessori materials while my clingy second son has separation anxiety for 2 days max. We tried the trial class for the full 5 days but by the end of the week, I was exhausted from having to wake up early everyday to fix school lunch for my kids as I'm not really comfortable with the fact that Mr Wong (the director) and Ms Sharon (the wife) prepare the morning snack and lunch at their home even though they assured us that it is prepared from halal ingredients. Plus, the last day my son did not eat the lunch that I prepared for him and I thought : "even if I prepare lunch for him everyday, I can't control which one he chooses to eat in school as I'm not with him." This was my main concern.
My second concern was that throughout the trial class, I only observed Mr Wong being at hand to help maintain order during the session, a young chinese teacher and a young malay assistant teacher handle the kids and another helper is around to manage the clingy kids (usually new ones). I did not see Ms Sharon, whereas the main reason I decided to give HanaSuria Montessori a try is because I believe in Ms Sharon capabilities. When we enquired regarding Ms Sharon's participation in the class, Mr Wong replied that Ms Sharon is more towards curriculum planning. So, maybe I'm not giving the two young teachers a chance, but I'm not very comfortable with the fact that my kids education is in their tender hands.
It is quite unfortunate that in the end we did not enroll our kids in HanaSuria Montessori as Mr Wong and Ms Sharon are a nice couple and very helpful and courteous people. The students at HanaSuria are also cheerful and courteous too. I especially like the fact that during snack time, the elder students will help the younger ones get ready for snack and serve them :) It sure promotes responsibility and a helping and caring attitude in the kids.
If you don't have halal food constraints, then you might want to give them a call and arrange for trial class and see how you like it. Do note that the fees I mentioned in my previous post, may no longer be valid as Mr Wong mentioned that he will be raising fees in April 2012.
HanaSuria Montessori is at Block B, 15-2 &15-3, Jalan Solaris 1, Mont Kiara. You can call them up at 03 62037508 to make an appointment.
Map of HanaSuria Montessori:
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