MindChamps PreSchool wins Asia’s Top Brand

Influential Brand_MindChamps_2015Thank you for making MindChamps PreSchool Asia’s Top Influential Brand (Pre-school Education Category) in Singapore!

MindChamps PreSchool is a winner of the 2015 Asia’s Top Influential Brands under the pre-school education category. It is the first time that MindChamps PreSchool has been recognised as a Top Asian Influential Brand in Singapore and the second consecutive year it has been accorded the Influential Brands Top Brand award under the pre-school education category. Brand Alliance, a multi-disciplinary brand consultancy, had determined us as the winner based on their combined research gained from field consumer insights since 2013, analysis of branding qualities, social listening and impact of our brand on consumers through face-to-face and online surveys with more than 4,000 consumers to assess brand favourability and top-of-name recall.

Read about how Cheryl became a MindChamps PreSchool Teacher for a day HERE

 

Ways to Expand Your Child’s Oral Language Skills

How do you give your child the right head start to literacy?

Well meaning parents sometimes try to give their pre-school child a head start in their literacy education with regular home-teachings where their child is required to memorise the letters of the alphabet and lists of words. While it might reassure a parent to see their child remembering lots of letters and words, research has overwhelmingly proven that this type of “Skill and Drill” learning has little impact on whether a child will be a good reader and writer in the future.

Oral Language skills are the best indicator of how well they will develop literacy skills

 

A child’s Oral Language skills are the best indicator of how well they will develop literacy skills in the future. Oral Language is the foundation for all literacy. Before your child learns to read and write they must have first developed strong Oral Language skills.

There are two types of Oral Language Skills your pre-school child needs to develop;

1. Receptive Listening – paying attention to, understanding and remembering what others says to them, as well as stories and songs.

2. Expressive Speaking – developing confidence in talking to others, both one-on-one and in a group.

World Leading Literacy Expert Marie Clay (2000) considered that a child’s literacy education began with listening and speaking, then moved on to reading and writing. This means that children develop good reading and writing skills through people talking to them, and having lots of opportunities to talk themselves. In general, talkative children who know lots of words (or have a wide vocabulary) become successful readers and writers.

How do you create opportunities for your child to talk?
Children need opportunities to interact with other children and adults in a wide variety of settings such as home, preschool, gym class, social and family gatherings. They also need opportunities to talk about a wide variety of topics such as themselves, their friends, their families, their pets, their hobbies and their holidays.


Here are 6 more ways to expand your child’s oral language skills;

  • Add information and adjectives to your child’s comments, for example “Look at that car”, “Yes, that’s a shiny red car with big tyres”.
  • Play word games such as I Spy or make up spontaneous oral stories.
  • Play board and computer games involving age appropriate word play.
  • Talk about feelings and introduce ‘feeling language’ during conversation and when reading stories to your child, for example “How do you think Little Red Riding Hood felt when she saw the wolf in Grandma’s bed?”
  • Model questions that promote thinking, for example “What if Little Red Riding Hood didn’t go to Grandma’s cottage” or “I wonder why…?”
  • Give your child time and space with you that has no agenda or ‘learning outcome’, other than to enjoy each other’s company and talk about whatever comes up, such as when you are playing or walking together, watching a movie or reading together.


How do you know if your child’s Oral Language skills are developing at the appropriate rate?

Many parents wonder if their child is developing appropriately when compared to other children. According to research you can be confident that your child is developing their literacy skills at the expected rate if, by the time your child is 5 years of age, they have the following Oral Language skills;

  1. Can express themselves well with a vocabulary of thousands of words
  2. Recounts a story accurately with details and in the correct sequence
  3. Starts to make predictions about what will happen next in a story book or TV program
  4. Can explain what words mean and what things are used for
  5. Can answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions
  6. Starts to ask ‘when’ questions
  7. Can answer hypothetical questions like ‘What would you do if?’ and give a reason for the answer
  8. Can have a conversation with a variety of people about a range of topics
  9. Cooperates with peers in activities and play
  10. Uses imagination and make-believe to act out and role play
  11. Speech is generally clear
  12. Continues to speak with a few grammatical errors eg, ‘drinked’.

If your child is demonstrating all the above oral language skills by the time they are 5, you can feel confident that they are developing normally. In addition, if you are having conversations with your child, and reading to them every day you can feel reassured that you are setting the right foundation for your child to develop strong reading and writing skills in the future.

 

 

Suggested reading: Is it important to start writing at an early age?

Curb use of IT devices by the young

Source: The Straits Times, Pearl Lee

Mrs Carmee Lim, mentor principal of MindChamps Holdings, showing participants the importance of music, movement and dance in early childhood development at The Straits Times Education Forum. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Experts at ST Education Forum say parent-child interaction crucial during early childhood development.

Young children wielding smartphones and tablet computers may be a familiar sight in Singapore, but early childhood experts yesterday cautioned parents to go slow on letting them use such devices.

Read more…

 

MindChamps Reading Workshop

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To ensure your young champ is able to cope with academic rigours of primary school, it is essential that he/she develops the love for reading. This parent-and-child workshop will give you insights on  how your child could develop effective reading skills through crafted activities and guided play.

Your child would be introduced to

  • Integrated Phonics Approach through songs, rhymes and poems
  • Listening and Reading Comprehension through Immersive Reading Strategies
  • Crafted activities that he/she learns best

Date: 26 July 2015 (Sun)
Time: 10am – 11.30am or 2pm – 3.30pm
Venue: Toa Payoh HDB Hub East Wing, Level 17, 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh
Registration Fee: $18

Join now

 

Primary school places allocated by priority

Source: Straits Times

Places in a primary school are allocated by priority, through seven phases of the Primary 1 registration exercise. From Phase 2A(1), when the number of applications exceeds the vacancies available in a specific phase, balloting will be held.

Children who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents (PRs) are eligible to register for admission under the first six phases – Phase 1, 2A(1), 2A(2), 2B, 2C and 2C Supplementary. Children who are neither citizens nor PRs can register only under Phase 3.

Read more…
Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/primary-school-places-allocated-by-priority

A simple infographics on allocation of vacancies with no balloting.

Enrichment versus Tuition

Does tuition help or hinder?
Survey has shown that only one third of parents said tuition helped to pull up their children’s grades. Then there are the opportunity costs. Tuition time can be better spent on sports and other activities that build skills such as leadership and teamwork, which may be more crucial for long-term success.

To read more…
Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/does-tuition-help-or-hinder

If you wish to find out programs on building your child’s mindset or leadership. Click HERE

 

Is it important to start writing at an early age?

This is an important question, but often it is asked for all the wrong reasons – and with a misguided notion of the true nature of writing.

Is my child getting the edge he needs?

Many parents, realising the demands that will be placed on their children in the ridiculously competitive educational environment we have created for them, ask the question as a way of creating ‘the Edge’. If I can teach my child to write before his/her peers he/she will have an advantage.

There is no doubt that a child who can read and write early has a life-long advantage over others of the same age. Research shows that children entering Primary 1 or its equivalent with superior language skills tend to remain ‘ahead of the curve’ throughout their educational careers – and beyond. No surprise there.

When preparing our children for life-long success, however, a more important first question is: ‘What, exactly, is writing?’ Writing is far more than ‘penmanship’; it is far more than being able to translate sounds to text – it is the ability to communicate the ideas and images inside my head to people I may never meet.

Book Signing with Mr Brian Caswell
Mr Brian Caswell at his book launch

I have written almost 300 books, but I never get bored with the act of writing, because, from Day One, I learned how much fun it was to have ideas and share them with others – first verbally, then in writing.

The mechanics of writing – the tools for turning sound into symbol – were a small and relatively simple part of the process, and the fact that I needed to master them in order to share what was inside my head gave me all the incentive I required.

This is the feeling – the drive – that I have always tried to instil in the children I have taught to write over the past 40 years, and when I was asked to work with the MindChamps team to develop the ‘MindChamps Writing program, it was the basis of the approach we developed.

Unless we understand what it is we are expecting of our children – unless we understand what is involved in creating a life-long, enthusiastic writer – ‘hot-housing’ them in ‘writing’ can do more harm than good. As far as small children are concerned, the mystery and magic; the excitement and pleasure they should be feeling as they learn to master the written word can easily be destroyed, if we make learning to write a demanding, confusing and frustrating ordeal. Unfortunately, for many children, this is exactly what it becomes.

After twelve years of schooling and, often, even a tertiary education, many people still struggle to write effective, grammatically correct English. To most adults, the idea of writing, although they have done it throughout their lives at school, is still a foreign concept. There is a ‘disconnect’ between them and the act of writing. To many, writing is a chore only attempted when there is no avoiding it.

Many people (including adults) still fear to write

Research shows that even the thought of writing creates anxiety, and that some people will even avoid applying for a job if it involves writing.

Anything as complex and varied as language is learned most effectively through guided experience and positive modelling. There are too many elements for us to effectively ‘memorise’ them, unless we immerse ourselves in the language as a whole, so a drill approach to grammar and writing is doomed to failure for the vast majority of children.

The answer, therefore, is to design a program that focusses on the key tools of language and writing in context, so that it becomes the model which the child absorbs – not through drill, but through the ‘hands-on’ use of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the language. This requires an intimate understanding both of the act of writing and the art of teaching.

In designing the ‘English Writing’ program we designed a toolbox of 21 ‘tools’ for writing, divided into 6 ‘compartments’:

  1. Syntax Construction Tools
  2. Language Enhancement Tools
  3. Planning and Structuring Tools
  4. Story-Building Tools
  5. Polishing Tools
  6. Higher-Order Thinking / Socialising Tools

Just as learning to read is so much more than mastering ‘phonics’, so learning to write is – or should be – an adventure in playing with language; in experimenting with and experiencing how the words on the page represent ideas and stories, characters and emotions. To create enthusiastic users of language, we must make reading and writing more fun than anything else in their lives!

 

Article by Mr Brian Caswell, MindChamps‘ Dean of Research & Program Development

 

Singapore Armed Forces Exclusive!

SAF50

To show our gratitude, MindChamps is now offering all SAF Regulars, Nsmen and NSFs a FREE 1 day Champion Mindset Coaching (Module 1) program worth more than $400. The program focus on the fundamentals of grooming a Champion Mindset in an individual, how you can get in tune with the children’s world and effectively communicate with them as a parent-coach.

Workshop Information
Date: 13 Sep 2015 (Sun)
Time: 9am – 6pm
Venue: Level 17, Toa Payoh HDB Hub, East Wing, Singapore 31048
Registration: www.mindchamps.org/saf50

Other offers available:
$50 for 5 sessions of 60-mins Child-Minding Service for 2-7 yrs old (U.P. $90). BUY HERE
Complimentary $80 Reading Assessment
Complimentary $80 Writing Assessment
Complimentary $98 Learning Strengths and Champion Potential Evaluation