Lifestyle Preschool Review School

Eye Level (Enopi) Vs. Kumon — And Our Unique Preschool Setup

Eye Level vs Kumon

Today marks our third week of going to Eye Level, formerly Enopi.

I know it’s still May and not yet officially school season, but we already started our “schooling” because we’re not depending on the school year anyway. If you’re interested, here’s our current schooling setup.

We were set on enrolling Yuri, who turned 4 a couple of months ago, in a “formal” school this school year. However, when I weighed the options, I was convinced it wasn’t our best option now. Before I tell you why, here were my requirements.

Anatomy of a Good Preschool (for me)

  1. All of us are working. While I am working from home, my job entails following regular office hours. Because of the nature of my job, we need to find a school that is just within our area.
  2. Location has to be good. It shouldn’t face the highway directly, and strangers shouldn’t be able to access the kids.
  3. Given that I would need to work while waiting for Yuri, there needs to be a good waiting area conducive for work AKA quiet and comfortable.

We tried to go on a school-hunting but none of the schools within our area fit our standards. Better schools are farther away, and I am not willing to commute that far every single work day. I also can’t afford to be unavailable for a couple of hours each day to my team members.

Nuh uh. *shakes head vigorously*

So here was my new plan:

  1. Homeschool (we haven’t officially begun as we are still in transition period — I don’t want to overwhelm the boy)
  2. Enrol him in an enrichment school (choices were Kumon and Eye Level)

Let’s not talk about homeschooling today lol. Honestly? I haven’t laid out a concrete plan yet! So let’s just talk about the enrichment school part of the plan.

Why enrichment school? It’s not as demanding (time-wise) as regular school, but, based on my experience, is effective in driving important concepts to a child. Also, learning is personalised and according to each child’s pace — no one is pressured to keep up with the pace of the others. Finally, I want another person of authority teaching Yuri.

Both Kumon and Eye Level offer English and Math classes. Math sounds really interesting, but we are prioritising English first because Yuri doesn’t know how to write and read yet. There are also some abstract concepts (read: positions) that he can’t grasp yet. And it’s overwhelming to enrol him in two subjects. Math can come later.

Now, why did we ultimately go for Eye Level over Kumon?

Eye Level vs. Kumon

Background

Kumon comes from Japan. Kumon was originally my first and only option because, when I was a sophomore-junior in college, I used to be an assistant teacher in a Kumon centre near UP (Mindanao). I worked there for a year (or was it more?), and I know the system inside-out. I know how it works and I know how students progress from one level to the next.

On the other hand, Eye Level traces its origins to Korea. I’ve never tried Eye Level before nor have I ever taught in a centre, so I just relied on reviews online. According to many reviews, Eye Level uses the same concept as Kumon (as in, worksheets + repetition = mastery).

Teaching-Student System

Knowing how Kumon works is also precisely the reason why I decided not to enrol in Kumon. I don’t know if this is the same in all centres, but discussing with a child why his answer is correct is not encouraged. The student is supposed to find out on his own. I recall students getting frustrated because of this rigid system.

On the other hand, in Eye Level, there is more interaction between the teacher and the student in Eye Level. Based on my observations these past three weeks (and what I overheard — sometimes Yuri’s voice can be loud lol), the kids are freer to talk to teacher.

Eye Level vs Kumon

Front desk at the waiting area (The glass door in your left leads to the classroom)

Also, I don’t know if this is the same with all Eye Level centres, but kids can interact with each other. Yuri himself has already made a lot of friends. In contrast, my Kumon students (apart from the boys) almost never talked to each other. I doubt they even knew their co-students.

Classroom

In our Kumon centre back then, we teachers are seated at one side of the room and the students occupy individual desks on the other side. It is a lot similar to regular classroom setup.

In Eye Level, the teacher is, well, basically eye-level with the kids. The teacher and the students share a desk and the students are able to approach her a lot more freely. Here’s how their setup looks like:

Eye Level vs Kumon

The green chair is reserved for teacher; the students sit around her.

Eye Level vs Kumon

Also, the ambience is a lot more friendlier than Kumon’s. Kumon blue-and-white colour scheme just looks sterile compared to Eye Level’s colourful classroom.

Worksheets and Homework

Even for the younger levels, the worksheets can be too demanding. Also, they are quite boring. No colours, nothing to attract my visual learner 🙁

And the amount of homework (at least, the way I recall it), is too much in my opinion. I hope my memory serves me right, but I remember giving three actual booklets of worksheets for students’ homework? Don’t take my word for it though as I am not 100% sure.

Eye Level vs Kumon

On the contrary, Yuri’s worksheets from Eye Level are a lot more attractive because they are colourful. They are also larger (Kumon’s worksheets, unless they are different now, are half the size of Eye Level’s), giving my boy more room to practice his strokes.

Homework, as of now, is minimal. I am actually amazed that Yuri can do six pages of homework in one sitting (before he started Eye Level, he can barely finish one).

IMG_3143

Before Eye Level, Yuri used to refuse to hold his pencil correctly.

Here’s the system as I understood it. The student is given one booklet per week — the first part of the booklet is answered during the first session of the week, another part answered during the second session, and the remaining unanswered pages are given as homework to be answered over the weekend.

Rates

Rates are similar, with Eye Level’s being just a tad higher. Kumon’s rate is P1,800 per subject per month, while Eye Level’s rate is P1,980 per subject per month.

Location

(Okay, unless you also live in Davao, this may probably not apply to you. Sorry.)

While Kumon is nearer to our house (10 minute ride), the branch in Buhangin was just in front of a busy highway. I cannot compromise when it comes to highways (I have a strange fear of crossing highways, thanks to less-than-responsible drivers.) The building it is located in also looks cramped…

Eye Level Davao

In contrast, location is the main reason why we pursued Eye Level. It is located right inside the compound of Robinsons Cybergate, which is really really convenient because I can do a bit of grocery-shopping while waiting. There’s also a mini-canteen and several food stalls inside the grocery.

Yuri’s grandma can also take him to school some days because just on the floor above Eye Level is Robinsons Home, which she visits regularly (we are licensed real estate ladies). And there’s a bank a few steps away, too. Mercury Drug is also just next door. Ah, convenience, convenience, convenience, my old friend.

And when I visited the centre for the first time, I found the waiting area to be conducive for work. Quiet, clean, spacious, with comfortable seats, and air-conditioned! I enjoy getting some work done while waiting for the little boy.

There are also security guards everywhere and a big parking space. My only wish? I wish a gym opens there, too. That would be perfect!

Overall

Overall, these are just my personal preferences. So far, there is nothing I don’t like with Eye Level. Yuri looks forward to his “class” every time and he’s always excited to go inside the classroom. His teacher is a very nice young lady whom all of the children just adore.

For what it’s worth? Kumon is also a good enrichment school that you must consider. I saw a lot of students progressing quite nicely. While some students didn’t do well under pressure, some thrived.

IMG_2782

In the end, we might have different preferences and “requirements.” So you should follow what suits your lifestyle. As for us, Eye Level works!

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24 Comments

  • Reply Meikah Y Delid May 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    This is an interesting concept! For children who are a bit shy, they can interact easily with the teacher.
    Meikah Y Delid recently posted…Teach Me the Art of Small StepsMy Profile

    • Reply Maan May 30, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      Yeah, good point! I remember some students in Kumon who barely go near our table because that entails walking across the room.

  • Reply Neri Ann May 27, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Very detailed on how you specifically choose the right learning center for your kid. And for us working moms, convenience is really a must. Glad that you finally found the one that will suit you and your child.

  • Reply Juvy Ann May 28, 2016 at 12:24 am

    I think you made a good choice for Yuri. Your choice is perfect for your requirements.
    Juvy Ann recently posted…Babies Fashion First at SM MallMy Profile

  • Reply Berlin May 28, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I would have wanted my boys to try Kumon before but because we do not have car before and the places arent convenient, i dropped the idea. Now that we have our youngest, I would want him to enroll when the time comes, not in Kumon na but something similar like the Eye Level. Its good to read reviews coming from moms din.

  • Reply Jerzee Benavente; Coffee and Beyond May 28, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    I’m glad that you are happy with your choice. Your experience in Kumon did you well since you already know how the system will affect your child.😊

  • Reply Tetcha Figuerres May 29, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    What a hectic schedule you have, but I’m glad that you found an enrichment school for Yuri that suits your requirements for the time being. And he seems to be enjoying it!
    Tetcha Figuerres recently posted…Summer Outing at Edsa Shangri-La ManilaMy Profile

  • Reply Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen May 30, 2016 at 7:33 am

    It’s so nice that Yuri is starting his Eye Level Enopi. I’m sure he would have fun and make new friends along with his new learning eaxperience.
    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen recently posted…Earn ₱1000 Gift certificates with Wingstop Flavor InvasionMy Profile

  • Reply Ghel May 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    seems like Eye Level is a better option according to your comparision, mommy. i never enrolled my kids at Kumon as well, but instead i downloaded a couple of worksheets and followed some syllabus online for preschoolers 🙂

  • Reply Mommy Levy May 30, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t like Kumon way of teaching, we tried it for 2 weeks (for free) and I feel that it doesn’t match with my son’s way of learning. I will check Eye Level nga. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy May 31, 2016 at 1:05 am

    This is so helpful. My husband keeps reminding me about enrolling the kids in kumon but I haven’t had the chance to look into it. Good thing I read this as I’ll look into eye level too. 🙂

  • Reply Mhaan A June 1, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Haven’t seen Eye Level here in Manila, or di ko lang napapansin. Puro Kumon lang ang nakikita ko. Great comparison review!
    Mhaan A recently posted…Baskin-Robbins’ Reveals the Scoop of the Month + newest delighted treats for everyone!My Profile

  • Reply Mommy Pehpot June 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    That’s a solid choice, specially considering the location. Pwedeng pede mag multi task si mommy 🙂

    Good luck on Yuri’s enrichment schools 🙂

  • Reply Janice June 1, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for blogging about the comparison. I was starting to research for enrichment schools too although we start homeschooling our son more formally this year with a provider. Last year, when he was 4, we opted to only enroll him in enrichment classes during the summer as we felt that he didn’t really need to do it regularly because I was homeschooling him anyway. This year, we’ll see though. I’ll be giving birth and so a little help may be useful.
    Janice recently posted…Maternity & Nursing Wear at Great Kids PHMy Profile

  • Reply Louisa June 7, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    We waited till Jael was ready for Kinder 2 before getting him into school. Did the same with my teens and I feel that worked for us. I tried a free summer workshop from Kumon but wasn’t impressed the service so I decided to forgo that. Now my little one will be starting school and my heart aches. I also work from home but am on a full time sched like you. 🙂
    Louisa recently posted…Cebuana Lhuillier to Provide Free Microinsurance to One Million FilipinosMy Profile

  • Reply Jaizhi Amoguis June 14, 2016 at 4:32 am

    My son is with Eye Level Capitol Hills branch in Albergus. I love that the teachers are very accommodating and that they tailor teaching based on student’s learning style. We are lucky cause the branch we’ve been going to also provides academic tutorial, they are my son’s homeschool tutors now. 🙂

    • Reply Maan June 14, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Oooh nice! I haven’t thought of that! I’m going to ask for Yuri’s teacher’s number in that case haha. I love our local Eye Level’s teachers too!

  • Reply A Joyful Mess - Homeschool Preschool, Here We Come! - A Joyful Mess June 17, 2016 at 6:00 am

    […] We initially planned to enrol Yuri in a “real school” this year. However, because of reasons I detailed in this post last month, the real-preschool-plan was promptly scrapped. We were suddenly back to our original […]

  • Reply A Joyful Mess - Messy Haul: Frugal Finds from Etude House and National Bookstore - A Joyful Mess July 6, 2016 at 6:02 am

    […] a previous post, I wrote about just how much we’re loving Eye Level Learning Center. Well, another thing I love about it is being able to choose our own schedule. We’re there […]

  • Reply Jerry Abarquez September 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    How about the program of each subject (eg. Math)? have you consider as well for your kids growth? Or you only consider the approach of teaching?

  • Reply ELEANOR GOMBA October 25, 2016 at 10:26 am

    hi, am a grandma of my recently enrolled granddaughter Xamantha at Eyelevel Bajadad. I know the pictures appearing in this post is that of Eyelevel Bajada. Imagine, we live in Samal Island and still go to and fro Davao City just for Xamantha’ Eyelevel enrichment activities only in Math. I could not afford 2 subjects a time because being a pensioner it has limits.

    We are supposed to have our first day of class at Kumon Bajada and because we’re early we opted to buy some snacks infront (Robinson’s). On our way, we saw EYELevel. Just being curious, we went inside and ask how to enroll but I was too honest to tell them we are just minutes from now to start at Kumon. The head said it’s alright but might as well if we wanted too an Assessment for Xamantha? Ok lang, ala namang mawawala. So after a few minutes, she was evaluated.

    But, this is the hitch: IT IS XAMANTHA who will be taking the enrichment, not me so I asked her: “now you have two choices, KUMON or EYELEVEL where you were assessed. WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER? Xamantha didn’t falter to answer: EYELEVEL, IT IS? why, I asked her? She said at Kumon testing (assessment) it was too different from Eyelevel? I asked where is the difference? In the manual…in the colourful pages, in the ambiance of the center, and of course she said the tutor who is very approachable. Meaning, I do not have to ask what she saw and felt in Kumon, right?

    Xamantha is 7 yrs. old grade 2 and she excels in her math subject…rightly because of Eyelevel? YOU BE THE JUDGE! Take it from me, a grandma who have catered 11 grandkids and the eldest is now a licensed Pharmacist being a scholar of Mercury Drugstore.

    • Reply Maan October 31, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      I heard exactly the same sentiment from a fellow guardian (a lola also!). But it’s her apo’s classmates naman as both of her apos have never tried Kumon. Her apo’s classmates made their yayas do their Kumon worksheets daw because they were already burnt out. To be fair, I cannot say it’s 100% the other enrichment centre’s fault (sometimes kids are just too lazy and guardians too lenient). However, in my opinion, there needs to be a certain level of fun for learning to take effect. And it’s really important that the kids have a good, open relationship with the teachers.

      By the way, we go to Eye Level on Tuesday mornings and Saturday mornings. Maybe we can bump into each other someday!

  • Reply Celerhina Aubrey June 24, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Hey, Maan. I came across your blog while checking out enrichment programs for skye. I talked to Kumon and Eye Level and we’re going with Eye Level as well. How’s Yuri’s development with eye level?

    • Reply Maan June 24, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Reigne, I super duper recommend Eye Level. I had to pull him out nung summer because we’re still in the adjustment period (first time nya kasi magsu-school), but I can really say that he’s learned A LOT in his stint in Eye Level. Will return for Math kung kaya na ng schedule and everything 😀

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