Bala Vihar FAQ

Hari Om and Salutations to the Chinmaya Family!

Welcome to the 2023-2024 Chinmaya Bala Vihar/Yuva Kendra school year.

Registration closed for the year 2023-2024

 

What should I know before I register my child(ren) for 2023-24 ?

  1. All classes are in-person. Classroom information will be available at Bala Vihar Transaction Summary after Labor Day weekend for those that have completed the registration process.
  2. Details on fees:
    1. The annual family membership fee ($300) is unchanged from last year.
    2. The annual fee per class is $150 or $75 depending on the class duration – self-service change class is available for classes with the same cost.
    3. Please reach out privately to the Bala Vihar coordinator of the location closest to you if you have circumstances that need financial accommodation.
  3. Bala Vihar classes are being offered in Mountain House. Classes will be held Friday from 6:30 to 7:30pm – the exact location is being determined. The annual fee for these classes is $50.
  4. All Sunday San Jose classes will be conducted at Abraham Lincoln High School, 555 Dana Ave, San Jose. All Saturday San Jose classes will continue at Chinmaya Sandeepany Ashram, 10160 Clayton Rd, San Jose.
  5. Please check the class schedule by clicking on the links below:

    Locations

    Day / Location San Jose Fremont San Ramon San Mateo Berkeley Mountain House
    Friday N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A JEI Learning Center
    Saturday CMSJ Ashram Washington High School California High School N/A Berkeley Adult School N/A
    Sunday Lincon High School N/A N/A Aragon High School N/A N/A
  6. It is possible to take a Bala Vihar class offered from one location-schedule along with optional classes from other schedules.
    • Once you have determined the schedule of the classes, please proceed to the registration process
  7. Bala Vihar textbooks can be ordered online at https://bookstore.cmsj.org/collections/bala-vihar-textbooks.
  8. Only parents or legal guardians can register a child e.g. you cannot register your niece or nephew or a family friend. You may be asked to provide documentation in case there are questions about registration. Refer to Chinmaya Mission San Jose Bala Vihar Terms and Conditions for more details.
  9. Please note that Chinmaya Bala Vihar (or Shishu Vihar for children who are not in Kindergarten) is a required prerequisite for all classes, including languages and Swaranjali, Geeta Chanting , Yoga etc.
  10. The change fee of $35 per change is waived till Oct 31st, 2023.
  11. Changes to class offerings in 2023-24:

      • New: Shishu Vihar Level 1 class in San Ramon for children ranging from newborns to  under 3 years of age. Please ensure that the grade for the child is set to Pre-KG (under 3y) when adding the child.
      • New: Indian Folk Dance class in Berkeley

What classes are offered ?

Ensure that your child is enrolled in the right grade level – matching school grade.

  1. Shishu Vihar Level 1 ( Bala Vihar for Infants and toddlers): a parent-and-toddler style class for ages infants to 3 year olds. A parent MUST attend with their child. Children attend with their parents and get familiar with basic concepts in Hinduism (gods and their characteristics, names of holidays) in a fun and engaging way through songs, motor skills based on yoga, stories, arts and crafts appropriate to their age and development. Swamini Supriyananda (a child psychologist before she turned to the Vedantic path) conceptualized Shishu Vihar and first implemented it in Hong Kong years ago. She has trained all of CMSJ’s Shishu Vihar teachers in the style and reviewed preparatory materials for this class. If you have any further questions, please reach out to the Bala Vihar/Shishu Vihar co-ordinator for your location.
  2. Shishu Vihar Level 2  ( Bala Vihar for PreKG): a parent-and-child style class for 3 and 4 year olds. A parent MUST attend with their child. Children attend with their parents and get familiar with basic concepts in Hinduism (gods and their characteristics, names of holidays) in a fun and engaging way through songs, stories, arts and crafts appropriate to their age and development. Swamini Supriyananda (a child psychologist before she turned to the Vedantic path) conceptualized Shishu Vihar and first implemented it in Hong Kong years ago. She has trained all of CMSJ’s Shishu Vihar teachers in the style and reviewed preparatory materials for this class. If you have any further questions, please reach out to the Bala Vihar/Shishu Vihar co-ordinator for your location.
  3. Bala Vihar (Grades KG-12): follows the student’s grade level in school. The Chinmaya Bala Vihar curriculum can be found here: Chinmaya Bala Vihar Curriculum
  4. Geeta Chanting: classes have these levels:
    • L1 – (Grades KG-3) Learning to read and less than 2 years learning chanting
    • L2 – (All Grades/Adults) – Able to read transliteration and less than 3 years of learning chanting
    • L3 – (All Grades/Adults) – Able to read transliteration or Devanagari and 3-5 years of learning chanting
    • L4 – (All Grades/Adults) – More than 5 years of learning chanting
  5. Swaranjali: This is our bhajan group – classes are offered only once a week per schedule.
  6. Cognitive Math (formerly known as Vedic Math) is offered in six levels: Level 1 thru 6
    • Level 1 thru 5 is for students in the corresponding grade in school only
    • Level 6 is for students in Grade 6 thru 8
    • There are no Cognitive Math classes for KG students or students in Grade 9 and above.
  1. Yoga Beginner in San Jose: This is available only for 5th grade and above
  2. Hindi: Please follow this guide while selecting the level for your child(ren): Hindi Curriculum

What’s the process for Bala Vihar Registration?

NOTE: if you want to use a Donor-Advised Fund or matching donations from your employer, please follow these detailed instructions: Paying Membership fees from a 3rd party

    1. Chinmaya Bala Vihar registration is only available online at https://www.cmsj.org/cmsj-event-registration/?eventID=1023.
    2. Details about the schedule and the Bala Vihar calendar for all locations are available online. Use the links below to determine the class schedule for your child(ren):

      Locations

      Day / Location San Jose Fremont San Ramon San Mateo Berkeley Mountain House
      Friday N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A JEI Learning Center
      Saturday CMSJ Ashram Washington High School California High School N/A Berkeley Adult School N/A
      Sunday Lincon High School N/A N/A Aragon High School N/A N/A
  1. Fee structure: There is a $300 annual family membership (from September thru August). The membership is tax-deductible as allowed by law. In addition, there is an annual fee per class per child which is not tax deductible. Please consult your tax adviser for any tax implications.
  2. Please note that Chinmaya Bala Vihar is a required prerequisite for all classes, including languages and any other classes.
  3. Only parents or legal guardians can register a child e.g. you cannot register your niece or nephew or a family friend.
  4. If you are a returning parent and had registered last year:
    • Familiarize yourself with the schedule of available classes (see step 2 above)
    • Login at Your Profile using the login id you had created last year
    • If you are having trouble logging in, refer to this document for help: Trouble Logging In ?
    • After a few minutes, you will receive an email confirmation and you can also check the registration summary at Transaction Summary
  5. If you are a new parent registering for the first time,
    • Familiarize yourself with the schedule of available classes (see step 2 above)
    • Create a new account at Your Profile and click on “Create Profile”.
    • You will then get an email to validate your email address. The email will be from “reg@cmsj.org” and have the subject “Verify Your Email”. Please click on the link in that email to activate your account.
    • Once your account has been activated (and email address verified) you will be able to login at https://www.cmsj.org/profile/
    • Within a few minutes, you will receive an email confirmation and you can also check the registration summary at Transaction Summary. All online class links are included in the email confirmation.
    • For Bala Vihar trial classes please contact the location coordinator to make arrangements.
  1. Payment: We only accept online payment methods (credit card or PayPal). PayPal is our credit card processor and has been so since 2014; even if you want to use a credit card, it will be processed via PayPal. If you are having trouble with PayPal payments, send email to reg@cmsj.org.

How do I make changes to an existing Bala Vihar Registration?

  1. Parents can perform the following changes themselves:
    • Add Class(es) to existing registration. NOTE: You will need to pay the appropriate additional fees ($150 annual fee per class per child for most classes, $75 for 30-minute classes).
    • Change Class for an existing registration. You can change the class either to a different day/time or to another class. You can only change one class at a time and only to another class with the same fee e.g. you can change from a 30-minute chanting class only to another 30-minute class. NOTE: There is a $35 change fee. The change fee is waived till Oct 31st.
    • Add Child(ren) to existing registration. This functionality can be accessed from the Chinmaya Bala Vihar registration summary at Transaction Summary after completing the initial registration.
  2. To modify an existing registration

    • Login at Your Profile using the login id
    • Go to registration summary at Transaction Summary
    • On this page you can add another child from your immediate family to the registration, register for another class or change an existing class (as shown in the picture below)

How do I pay Membership Fees from a 3rd party (Donor-Advised Fund or Employer Donation Match e.g. Benevity) ?

  1. Note that only the membership fees can be paid through this mechanism, and not the per-class fees.
  2. Click here: CMSJ Membership 2023-24
  3. Check the box below and click the ‘Review Summary’ button
  4. On the confirmation page, Click on Pay Online.

    You will be taken to a PayPal payment page. Please DO NOT make any payment – just go to that page. Send email to reg@cmsj.org and treasurer@cmsj.org indicating that you have done this (from the email that has a profile at cmsj.org).

  1. You will be provided with instructions on how to make the payment in your system.
  2. When we receive the payment, we shall mark your membership as having been paid in full.
  3. You can then proceed to Bala Vihar registration as usual using the same profile used for the membership fee. You will be charged only the class fees. These fees need to be paid online and are not tax-deductible

In HIS Service,
Chinmaya Mission San Jose

 

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