“Why Seashore Academy? There are many reasons why we sent our daughter there: small class size, she’s learning Chinese and a bit of Spanish, the school fosters learning a variety of subjects, independence is encouraged in the classroom…. I could go on and on! After a free trial class offered by Marlene, our daughter asked if she could go back again. My wife and I were open to the idea of making a change, but we wanted to make sure our daughter understood the circumstances. This meant leaving her friends and a school she was extremely happy in, to a school where new relationships and procedures will need to be formed. Our daughter had no problem with it, which led us to believe there must be something about Seashore. So we made the leap and enrolled her mid school year…and our daughter is excited for school every day!!! Ultimately, that’s what most important to us.” -Jeff, parent.
My daughter went to public schools when we first came to the United States. As a mom, I was very worried to see her not making any progress. So, my friend introduced me to Seashore Academy. Within a year, I was amazed to see my daughter making learning progress and becoming more comfortable with sharing her ideas. Thanks to the small class size, my daughter gets more attention from teachers, and teachers are better able to understand her needs. She loves going to school here because she’s able to connect more closely with her peers- all of her classmates are her best friends! –Shiyan, parent.
My husband and I are both trilingual. I was born in Italy and speak both Italian and Spanish fluently. My husband is a Harvard trained pediatrician and hospital specialist. He grew up speaking Mandarin Chinese, but also speaks Spanish to his patients. We searched all over Orange County for the best education for our twins and found it at Seashore Academy. Here, our children are surrounded by highly qualified and loving teachers who tailor their instruction to each child’s individual needs. Our children are mastering difficult subjects quickly. What’s more important is their love for school. We look forward to our children excelling in this rich environment.
–Lina, parent (from Yelp)
Seashore has been an amazing experience for our family. Our kids (twins) are learning and growing at a pace I didn’t know was possible. Last week my 6 year old was talking in her sleep in Chinese! If you are looking for language immersion and individual attention for your child in a small classroom setting, Seashore is the only school in Orange County.
–Gunner, parent (from Yelp)
I’m a big fan of Seashore Academy because my daughter simply LOVES coming to school every day. She used to hate her old school and resisted going every day, so we transferred her mid-Spring semester and have never looked back. Best decision ever.
1. Low student-teacher ratio. Because there are 2 teachers covering a maximum of 14 students at any one time (yes, you read that correctly), my daughter gets plenty of one-on-one instruction and support from her teachers. At her old private Mandarin immersion preschool, they charged a lot more for tuition and had a much higher student-teacher ratio (26 students to 1 head teacher and 2 floating assistants who babysat more than taught). This crowded situation resulted in my kid disengaging in school. At Seashore, she is so engaged because her teachers know her well and can personalize her lessons according to her skill level, needs and learning style. This is so important for kids because they all learn so differently and at different rates.
2. Personalized learning. Again, because Seashore doesn’t teach to a test or need to approach education from a top down mass production perspective like most public schools, they are able to individualize lessons according to each child’s abilities. So it’s not uncommon for students to learn 2 grades ahead. But note: This is just a cherry on top! Seashore by no means pushes kids to learn beyond their abilities at an accelerated pace either (unlike other comparable schools we toured that embraced a more competitive culture that pushed kids to learn at a very high “Tiger Mom” velocity). Instead of striving for flashy test scores (to brag and advertise about), Seashore instead values nurturing kids to do their best and to learn at their own pace. With a secret sauce of high student-teacher engagement and personalized learning, students end up excelling anyway!
3. No homework!! I’m serious so thankful this is a value that Seashore holds dear. There seems to be an epidemic of massive homework starting in elementary school these days. It is not uncommon for young kids to come home with 3-4 hours of homework nowadays because 1) they don’t get enough learning time in a classroom with a high student-teacher ratio and 2) there’s just more to cram into children’s little heads these days in order for them to test well. I LOVE the fact that at Seashore, students do all of their academic work during school hours so that they are free to enjoy the rest of their day playing and exploring other activities or hobbies they love! Yes, they get to enjoy being KIDS and have the advantage of enjoying time to discover and pursue their passions outside of academics.
4. Classroom culture is warm, inclusive and supportive. Because Seashore maintains a mixed age classroom environment, my 5 year old is learning how to socialize well with older kids. While the kids are segmented during some class time by age/skill level, they all mingle together during other parts of their day. And the teachers are very nurturing and friendly. My kid enjoys working with all of them, especially Tina, she’s my daughter’s fave!
5. Solid curriculum – Seashore is a trilingual program: 70% Mandarin, 20% English and 10% Spanish. I love this aspect of my child’s education. However, it should be noted that while my child’s Chinese development has grown tremendously, I think her English progression (esp. phonics / reading) is relatively slower than we’d like. This is understandable given that Seashore is primarily a Mandarin Chinese program! We just compensate by doing more phonics activities at home and reading more books together at home to keep her engaged in learning to read. They teach Singapore math, which has helped advance my daughter’s math skills due to its more visual and concrete representation of math concepts. I believe Seashore also rotates through Science and Art lessons on different days of the week.
6. Leadership that values personal growth in students. Marlene Dandler, the founder and leader of Seashore, strives to give students the most opportunity to excel academically as well as to develop personal interests outside of school. She is also very thoughtful in terms of 1) setting up the school so that parents can easily take advantage of charter school funding and support and 2) providing next step options when students graduate from Seashore but would like to continue Mandarin immersion and personalized learning throughout middle and high school. Creating this school from ground up was not easy, but she’s built a good foundation for the school to grow on.
All in all, we are very happy at this school. Thank you Seashore for putting a spring back into my baby’s steps when she goes to school each day. I look forward to seeing what she learns and how she grows in her upcoming Kindergarten school year.
–Yvette, parent (from Yelp)