Empower U™ – The Programme that will Change Your Child’s Mindset!

A component of the Professor Snyder’s Thinking Cap Learning System (Secondary to Tertiary level programme), the 2½ day Empower U™ is acclaimed as the best programme of its kind in Australia and Asia. It provides an exciting mix of visuals, physical activities and cutting-edge information which has touched thousands of young lives, helping them to achieve phenomenal results. Education experts hail it as ‘the must-experience training for all future champions’.

Let’s take a peek into the Empower U™ programme held at MindChamps HQ earlier this month.

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Empower U – The programme that changes lives
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What are the participants throwing?
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What do they do with these?
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Time for a dance…
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And more dance…
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And more dance…
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Indeed…
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“Hey, I am camera-ready!”
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“Me too! :p”
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Mission accomplished – lives empowered!

 

Click here to find out how your teenager can benefit from the Professor Synder’s Thinking Cap Learning System programme.

MindChamps PreSchool @ City Square Mall

Located in City Square Mall, MindChamps PreSchool @ City Square Mall is conveniently located at Level 7 with a huge outdoor playground – bikes, scooters, water play troughs, sandpits, ‘percussion pots & pans’ and a mini garden too.

MindChamps PreSchool City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road, #07-01/05, Singapore 208539

Besides the clean, spacious and safe environment, our team of teachers is also passionate and dedicated in creating enriching experiences for children under their care – turning mistakes into teachable moments; understanding what it means by 100% Respect and Zero Fear; receiving Feedback as a seed for Growth.

Excursion at Civil Defence Heritage Gallery
Excursion at Singapore Repertory Theatre

Carefully designed curriculum based on internationally validated research and non-didactic instructional methods are also put in place by our teachers to empower our children in both creativity and structured thinking. MindChamps PreSchool @ City Square Mall offers every child the opportunity to become young champions!

Gardening Time
Lesson in progress

To see more photos, please click HERE

How Memory Really Works and Ways to Improve It

Techniques for improving memory

The human brain stores what it understands. This means that in order to remember something, we must first ‘make sense’ of it. This is why ‘rote learning’ doesn’t work long-term – and why random numbers are the most difficult information to store and recall, because they have no meaning. We can train ourselves to improve our recall, by learning to focus on the meaning of whatever it is we need to remember, and by tying that understanding to something familiar and easy to recall. This is how most mnemonic techniques work. Effective techniques for controlling and recalling numbers involve connecting individual numbers permanently to key concepts which can be understood and recalled, so that recalling the familiar objects brings back the number along with it. There is no shortcut to learning this method – it takes about a day to learn, then hours of practice to refine.

Learning how to learn
We have both short-term (working) memory and long-term memory. Short-term memory is what we can hold in our consciousness at any given time and work with – what you might call the brain’s RAM, and it is easily overloaded. Human beings can only hold between 5 and 9 pieces of information in their working memory at any given time. Add even one more item, and something will ‘drop off’. Long-term memory is like the brain’s hard-drive and is virtually unlimited – if we learn to store information effectively.

We overcome the limitation of our ‘RAM’ by connecting ideas together – by forming concepts and understandings, so that one element in the working memory links to an almost infinite number of concepts stored in the long-term memory. This is why the only way to improve your memory long-term is to forget about short-cuts and ‘memory techniques’ and concentrate on learning how to learn effectively – to store information effectively in the long-term memory, so that it is easily recalled, associated and used.

Active Storage and Active Recall
As Active Recall is part of an overall learning process, at MindChamps, we don’t run ‘Active Recall courses’ on their own. Our students are successful – for life – because they learn to control, own and use information effectively under any circumstances. Because we would rather train the brain to work how it was designed to work, we build Active Storage and Active Recall strategies into all our programmes. We leave ‘stand-alone’ ‘memory techniques’ to those who do not understand how memory operates, and so still think that there is a ‘quick fix’. For those who master the art of learning how to learn, Active Recall is a natural part of the process of controlling information and converting it into life-long knowledge, because what we know – what we truly understand – we never forget.

Food for thought – brain-friendly diet
Good memory is just a part of healthy brain function, and a healthy brain begins with a healthy body. A balanced diet incorporating the right combination of the basic food groups is a great start. However, research indicates that brain (and memory) function is improved with the inclusion of LCPs (Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids) better known as Omega 3, 6 & 9. These can be acquired by eating ample servings of fish, or they can be taken as a supplement in capsule form. LCPs have also been shown to help many children with symptoms of ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia, as well as helping in the development of better eyesight – especially in younger children. Nuts (especially walnuts) are another dietary ‘must’ when it comes to brain function and memory.

Of course – as with everything else – the key is balance and moderation. Too much of a good thing is rarely beneficial.

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Mr Brian Caswell
MindChamps Dean of Research and Programme Development

Click here to register for a Complimentary Workshop to find out more about how our trainers impart Active Storage and Active Recall strategies to our champs.


Read also: 12 Super Brain Foods for Kids

10 Ways Parenting Has Changed over the Years

Have you ever wondered how different our lives are today, compared to when we were growing up as kids?

While we have many things to be thankful for in the world we live in today – modern homes to live in and educational games that help kids learn better, among others – sometimes, it may not be such a bad idea to take a break from the buzz and complexities to enjoy the simple pleasures of the good old days.

With that in mind, we’ve made a list of how different things used to be now and back when our parents were in charge:

1. The Home We Live In
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Some of us grew up living in kampong homes with the most basic amenities while the rest of us were among the first ones to enjoy living in HDB flats when it was first launched to provide better homes for Singaporeans. Today, our children have the privilege to come home to the comforts modern living – be it in a HDB flat, condominium or a landed home.

2. Games Children Play
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Growing up as a child, most of us remember spending our free time playing outdoors with our neighbours. Games such as Five Stones, Marbles and Chapteh were our all-time favourites, and we’d make up our own games along the way. These days, our children grow up with a slew of educational games and apps right from the moment they learn to sit up. It might be a good idea to introduce some of these “old school” games to put a fresh spin to play time.

3. Playgrounds with a Difference
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As playing outdoors was a way of life for kids of our time, sandbox playgrounds were built at various neighbourhoods in Singapore. Although some of these “old-school” playgrounds still exist at quiet corners of old estates, there are now plastic playgrounds with rubber mats at all housing estates which are deemed to be safer for kids to play in.

Parents also have the choice to take their kids to indoor playgrounds which are located in the comforts of air-conditioned malls. This option is hugely popular with those who are not too keen on outdoor play due to health and hygiene reasons.

4. The Phones We Use
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Back then, most of us communicated and keep in touch with family and friends via home phones powered by the Singapore Telephone Board, although most conversations were typically done face-to-face. It was only much later in the 90s that mobile phones came into the picture, and even then, these were much simpler than the array of smartphones that we have today. As a result, relationships and the bonds we form were a lot stronger, especially among parents and their kids as there were no text messages or email distractions when the kids were at home.

5. The Joys of Cartoons
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Cartoons either came in black-and-white versions or simple animated illustrations in full colour. As kids growing up, we look forward to watching cartoons on TV every weekend. These days, the cartoons our kids watch come in 3D, high definition and bursting with bright colours – there are also dedicated channels that air these cartoons all-day long. On top of all that, we also enjoy the convenience of recording our kids’ favourite shows for them to watch later on.

 

From discipline methods to channels for parenting advice, find out how these aspects of parenting has changed over the years on the next page.

MindChamps PreSchool @ JTC Summit

MindChamps PreSchool JTC
8 Jurong Town Hall Road, The JTC Summit, #05-01, Singapore 609434

An award-winning centre comprising a team of highly dedicated Directors, Principal and Teachers, MindChamps PreSchool @ JTC Summit was conferred the Top Performing Centre Award and the Certificate of Excellence to Directors in Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to the Franchise Business – The only centre to be accorded two distinguished awards in the same year.


As a matured centre moving into the 5th year of operation, JTC nestled in the heart of Jurong East is a 2-minute walk from the Jurong East MRT station. Our highly passionate and committed teachers work towards the philosophy of nurturing each child into a ‘Champion of the Future’. Safety and trust are of utmost priority as we believe learning can only take place when safety of the champs is upheld and trust between centre and parents is established. Housed in a secured building with 24-hour surveillance and security officers, our preschool environment offers parents peace of mind, knowing that their children are safe, happy and most importantly, enjoying themselves in school.

We are committed to provide a safe and happy environment for active learning and playing.

Champs in action!

At JTC, we not only impart knowledge but also cultivate values, good habits and compassion in our young Champs, through various activities such as our annual fundraising event where champs create handicrafts and art pieces to raise funds for selected beneficiaries. At JTC, you can expect a strong school-home partnership that will optimise the learning journey of your child’s preschool years.

Excursion to Butterfly Park
Excursion to the nursery

At JTC, our team will work closely with you to ensure your child can become better than what they can be; with a Champion Mindset, benefiting not only your child but also yourself, as a parent. At JTC, we welcome feedback and suggestions as we believe “feedback is the seed of growth”.

To see more photos, please click HERE

MindChamps PreSchool @ Bukit Timah is now having a Welcome Day, click HERE to make a

Benefits of Getting Kids to Help Out with House Chores

age appropriate chores for kids

If you find yourself feeling over-exhausted at the end of the night after racing to complete the day’s chores at home, it may be time to get help from your kids!

Apart from easing your load, there are many benefits of getting kids to help in house chores from as early as possible, such as:

  • It helps them understand the value of teamwork
  • It instils discipline in them when they make an effort to complete their daily assigned chores
  • It gives them confidence in their own abilities and teaches them domestic skills they’ll need later on in life
  • It teaches them about responsibility, and how to look after themselves and others
  • It makes them realise that Mum is not there just to pick up and clean up after them. This helps to ease any frustration or negative feelings you may have about being taken for granted.

“Chores are a normal part of everyday life and it is important that children learn to understand this as young as possible,” says Sarah Ockwell-Smith, author of ToddlerCalm, an empowering guide to help parents of toddlers confidently enjoy the first years with their child. “Children need to understand that they are expected to contribute to all parts of family life,” she adds.

Expert Advice on Getting Kids to Help Out with Chores

age appropriate chores for kids

While some kids jump in at the opportunity to help out with house chores, not all will show the same level of enthusiasm.

Sarah emphasises that when we, as parents, start incorporating age-appropriate chores in our kids’ daily life from toddlerhood, they are more likely to accept them as part of life rather than finding means and ways to escape from doing chores. This, in turn, creates a happier home environment where arguments and resistance towards house chores are kept minimal. “If the child sees their chores as an everyday expectation, you are likely to experience a harmonious household for as long as they live with you,” she adds.

However, experts advise parents to keep the chores assigned to their children age-appropriate to ensure that they are developmentally ready to tackle those tasks.

Need some suggestions for age-appropriate chores for kids? Check out our list on the next page…

MindChamps Holdings buys back its 49% equity from Singapore Medical Group

MindChamps Holdings buys back its 49% equity from Singapore Medical Group and now holds 100% of MindChamps Medical to maintain its founder’s original vision

Singapore, 30 November 2015 – With the completion of the equity buy back from Singapore Medical Group, MindChamps will now focus on establishing its presence in the healthcare sector on its own by setting up child-friendly and family oriented private general practitioner clinics that will be operated and franchised under the MindChamps Medical Clinic brand name. The first MindChamps Medical Clinic has opened in OneKM Mall since October 2015.

In partnership with Samsung, MindChamps will make available its proprietary eLearning Books which are uploaded onto Samsung Tab S units. These units will be placed at a dedicated kids’ interactive area located within all MindChamps Medical Clinics. Parents and their children could view the eLearning Books, which contains engaging stories, songs and phonics activities that would allow them to engage in learning in a fun and interactive way, especially whilst they await to see the doctor.

MindChamps founder, Group CEO and Chairman, Mr David Chiem, said: “The opening of our first MindChamps Medical Clinic in OneKM Mall marks an important milestone for us in realising our vision to help families achieve medical wellness through education. We will be opening our next clinic in Tiong Bahru Plaza in the first quarter of 2016 and more clinics later in the year.”

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MindChamps Medical Clinic located at OneKM Mall

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Kids’ interactive area in MindChamps Medical Clinic located at OneKM Mall

Media Contact:
Mr. Alwyn Chia
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
MindChamps Holdings Private Limited
DID: 6828 2675
Handphone: 9727 5665
Email: alwynchia@mindchamps.org

 

About MindChamps Holdings Pte Limited

MindChamps is an award-winning education institute dedicated to developing the learning capacity of all young people – from pre-school to tertiary level. Students are trained in the Art of Learning How To Learn and the development of their Champion Mindset. Launched as a research centre in Australia in 1998, MindChamps established its world head institute in Singapore in 2002, and has become a leading player in the Singapore education market in the years following. The key divisions of MindChamps are:

MindChamps Specialist: Learning how-to-learn/Champion Mindset and PSLE Success enrichment programmes for children in Primary 1 to tertiary level (3 centres).

MindChamps PreSchool & MindChamps Chinese PreSchool: Full-day early childhood curriculum and care for children aged 18 months to 6 years old. MindChamps PreSchool holds the number one position – in the premium range – of Singapore pre-schools, with 32% of the total market share.

MindChamps Reading & Writing: MindChamps unique approach to literacy development of children from 3 to 9 years old. MindChamps is the only early childhood institute to produce its own Reading and Phonics eBooks for use in both MindChamps Reading & Writing and MindChamps PreSchool.

To bring together the fields of education and medicine as well as synthesise the benefits of education to help families build a healthy lifestyle, MindChamps opened its first MindChamps Medical Clinic in October 2015. It plans to open more of such clinics in the coming years.

5 Ways to Raise a Child with High Emotional Intelligence

raising kids with high emotional intelligence

Apart from being book smart, it is equally important for children to be able to deal with positive and negative emotions in a healthy manner. This, combined with other soft skills such as being understanding and empathetic, are qualities which kids with high emotional intelligence possess.

According to Clinical Psychologist Rachael K. Tan, emotional intelligence refers to the ability to effectively recognise feelings in oneself and others, to appropriately express and regulate these feelings, and to use them effectively to guide one’s thoughts and behaviour in working towards a desired goal.

“Being adept in these areas supports kids (and all of us!) to interact with others more effectively, encourages stronger and healthier social relationships, and helps them to successfully manage emotionally overwhelming situations by thinking and behaving in ways that help decrease stress levels and bolster their own mental health,” Rachael explains.

So what steps can you take to raise kids who are emotionally intelligent? Rachael shares some tips and suggestions with us, as follows:

raising kids with high emotional intelligence

1. Teach Them to Regulate Emotions through Actions

Rachael recommends that parents show kids “why” and “how”, rather than just telling them what to do. This provides them with concrete examples of what it means to regulate their emotions, so they are more likely to be able to apply it in real-life situations.

For example, if you are working on the computer at home, use this as an opportunity to teach them that taking a break helps to overcome frustrations when something isn’t going too well. You could say something like, “I’m getting a bit angry because my brain just isn’t coming up with any good ideas right now. I think I’ll go for a quick walk to calm down, and then I can try again later”.

2. Teach Them to Seek Support from Others

Teach kids that it’s okay to seek support when things are overwhelming. This will also help them become more adept in providing support when those around them need it.

As suggested by Rachael, an example of a concrete comforting strategy is simply requesting for a hug from your child, “I’m feeling a bit down today. Can I have a hug to cheer me up?” You can also offer to give them one when they are upset.

You can teach joint problem-solving (a more abstract cognitive strategy) by saying something like, “I’m feeling really sad now because they ran out of my favourite snack at the store. What do you think I could do to make myself feel better?”

raising kids with high emotional intelligence

3. Teach Them to Identify Subtle Differences and Complex Relationships between Emotions

Instead of only teaching primary emotions such as happy, sad, scared and mad, Rachael advises parents to help their kids understand that emotions vary in intensity, and can also mix to form other emotions (e.g., disappointment, jealousy). This will assist them to better identify these in both themselves and others, and consequently enable them to use more targeted strategies to manage these emotions

4. Teach them about Cause and Effect

Rachael emphasises the importance of teaching children to identify when and where some strategies that may be effective, may not be appropriate at times. For example, going for a walk and not attending a class they don’t particularly like may get them in trouble, but they could plan to do something that will put them in a good mood prior to that time, or to do something enjoyable after they have finished that class to reward themselves.

5. Demonstrate Effective Interpersonal Communication

To navigate the world of friendships, conflicts and relationships successfully, your child needs to be equipped with strong interpersonal communication skills. Most of these skills are learnt through observation, and as parents, you can teach them by setting a good example.

According to Rachael, here are some effective interpersonal skills to teach your child:

  • To use active listening skills in conversations
  • How to put across their point of views assertively
  • How to engage in appropriate conflict resolution strategies to obtain mutually-agreeable outcomes during disagreements

Read also:
6 Positive Ways to Manage Sibling Rivalry
10 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids (and What to Say Instead)

Play IS Enrichment

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We have reached an interesting (and disturbing) tipping-point in our society, when we can even talk in terms of ‘play versus enrichment’. For young children, play is enrichment – play is how a child learns to make sense of the world; to put together the intricate pieces of experience that lay the neural foundations of future creativity and intellectual development.

Unfortunately, our society, both within its learning institutions, and outside them, has become dangerously obsessed with forcing children to compete at younger and younger ages. Life for a child in Singapore is becoming more and more demanding. With strict criteria for entry into the ‘best’ kindergartens and Primary schools (and sometimes, even pre-schools), most parents are looking for a way to give their child ‘the competitive edge’. This has led to the explosive growth of an ‘enrichment’ industry – replete with flash-cards, pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo, and children being ferried from one ‘enrichment’ activity to the next with a frequency which would make an adult’s head spin.

But these are not adults – or even ‘young adults’. They are children, and we are in grave danger of damaging their future development as successful human beings, by denying them their right to a childhood. Kiasu parents point proudly to the number of ‘enrichment’ activities to which they subject their children, without ever asking the key questions:

  • ‘Is all this really necessary?’
  • ‘Is it actually benefiting my child?’
  • ‘Is my child even enjoying the experience?’

or

  • ‘What are my real motives for forcing this amount of unnecessary pressure onto my child?’

If my motive is to impress other parents with my dedication to ‘enriching’ my child’s experience, then it is time for a radical rethink. Children are not status symbols. If you want to impress your neighbours, buy a Lexus.

On the other hand, if my motive is to give my child an enjoyable and enriching experience (as opposed to an ‘enrichment experience’), then perhaps the answer lies in learning what we can do – together – to broaden the child’s experience, while building up the all-important parent-child bond. Reading together, playing board-games and puzzles, playing sports, making up stories together, having fun with numbers, words, colours and shapes are all playful activities which enrich a child’s experience of the world and encourage intellectual and emotional maturity in a natural and satisfying way – and they don’t cost anything.

And, above all, it means giving the child time. Time to be a child. Time to explore the world through play.

More formal ‘enrichment’ activities should always grow from the child’s interests and needs. Do they show an interest in music? Art? Are they happiest when they are doing somersaults and cartwheels? Observe your child and you will be guided towards the most appropriate (enjoyable) activities – which are the only ones which will be of any real benefit. Science shows that if a child does not enjoy an activity, then they are likely to get no lasting value from it.

But many parents live impossibly busy lives. For these parents, the right professional assistance is essential. For over a decade I have worked with an organisation which, as well as training parents in how to create a truly enriching environment in the home, has developed a unique pre-school curriculum which nurtures all the key foundations of learning through games, guided imagination, music, movement and social interaction – with no drilling or ‘flash-cards’ in sight. When developing out-of-school programs for young children, we have always focussed on creating the fun, experiential, active and ‘hands-on’ foundation activities that children enjoy – the ‘structured play’ which experts around the world recommend as the only effective path to effective ‘life-long’ learning. That is our definition of ‘enrichment’ and in that, we are not alone.

The Oxford Dictionary defines enrichment as: ‘to make richer in quality, flavour etc.’ It mentions nothing about learning five languages by the age of five or becoming the next baby Mozart. Enriching a child’s life means allowing it to discover how things work, and how to make them work better, and the best way for a child to do that is through play – both structured and unstructured.

 

Join us at our MindChamps PreSchool Curriculum Talk on 19 March (Sat) to find out more about how play is incorporated into our curriculum. Book a seat HERE now.

 

Article contributed by Mr Brian Caswell, MindChamps Dean of Research and Programme Development

MindChamps PreSchool @ Bukit Timah

MindChamps PreSchool @ Bukit Timah
MindChamps PreSchool Bukit Timah
200, Turf Club Road, The Grandstand #05-05 South Grandstand Singapore 287994

Located in the central part of Singapore, MindChamps PreSchool @ Bukit Timah centre offers a wonderful view of the greenery from the classrooms. With a huge area of 10,000 sq ft, Bukit Timah’s centre has its own dining room and an indoor playground where our champs have their meals and play time.

Gourmet Moments
Excursion at Gardens by the Bay
A trip to the Zoo

In addition, the centre offers twice a week of outdoor activities at the green field just opposite our centre. Champs get to enjoy different outdoor activities planned specially by our Teachers.

Outdoor Play

To see more photos, please click HERE

To visit the centre, pleas click HERE to make an appointment.