For the past couple of months, I have been wondering if I am depriving Kpo Kia from developing her full potential as I can observe that she is always eager to learn. Recently I started to look around for some enrichment courses appropriate for her age group and was adviced that most enrichment courses are targeted for older kids. Hence, I decided to defer my plan till she had reached the suitable age group.
I was very glad when I was invited to the exclusive blogger Open House event held by My Little Genius, as this is a chance for me to learn more about the enrichment programmes out there available for young toddlers like Kpo Kia!
What most attracted me is their programme that are conducted in dual language – Kpo Kia was previously under my in-law’s care. Unfortunately they do not speak Chinese at all therefore Kpo Kia is unable to response to our Chinese conversation 90% of the time. With the understanding that children acquire language easiest through interactions and activities , I am very inclined to send her to the enrichment programmes that could help her improve her Chinese language.
So on this Mother’s Day, we attended the open house at My Little Genius’s Open House at Jurong East. We are a bit late as Kpo Kia had a long nap prior to the event, and we later faced some difficulty finding the venue in the building. Hence not much photos were taken. (Side track: I am glad that after Kpo Kia’s routine is finally settled down since she started childcare early May, and she will take her afternoon nap between 12-2pm diligently. Previously her nap time is unpredictable). Temperature is required to be taken for all kids upon entry and Kpo Kia hates to have her temperature taken which the staff managed to succeed.
|In the open area there is a board with photos of all their students. So cute!|
|The other parent bloggers and their children are busy exploring the place|
|The play corner which keep most of the kids well entertained. Blocks are well-known to improve cognitive skill of children as it helps children to be creative and improve their motor skills.|
Initially we were informed that the parents blogger had to attend a short presentation of the programme while their kids will be entertained by a Balloon Sculpting Workshop in a separate classroom. However seeing that most of the kids are young and intimidated of the unfamiliar environment and faces, the organizers allowed the parents blogger to join their kid to make them feel comfortable. I felt glad as this small gesture showed that in children comes first and the school is flexible in their arrangement.
Balloon Sculpting workshop
Children are brought into one of the classroom to participate in a Balloon Sculpting workshop. In a usual classroom setup, each class will have 1 teacher and 6 children accompanied with one of their parents – thus the seating arrangement of a table – chair – chair (parents is supposed to seat behind their child so they only facilitate when they need “support”). But today, there are around 9 children and their caregivers, so the room looks a bit “cosy”.
|Kpo Kia: What should I do with this balloon?|
|Assistance is here!|
|The older kids who understand teacher Priscilla is having a lot more fun and responding to her prompt to imagine what they can make out of the balloons – some suggest the balloons can be rabbit ears~|
The workshop is to teach the children on sculpting a balloon flower and conducted by Teacher Priscilla, a cheerful teacher whom can easily cheer you up with her smile. Kpo Kia is playing with the balloons happily but is clueless on what the teacher is saying. Most of the work is actually done by Kpo Kia’s papa with the assistance from the other teachers around. Despite Kpo Kia being clueless, the teachers constantly attempt to get Kpo Kia involved by allowing her to attempt first before holding her hands to guide her or get Kpo Kia papa’s assistance.
|Good job! Kpo Kia and Kpo Kia papa managed to complete the assignment, and make a flower out of the balloons!|
My Little Genius Programme
After the balloon sculpting workshop, teacher Gene presented on “My Little Genius” Programme to all the parents bloggers. She shared that their multi-dimensional and thematic-based programme is conducted using dual language – alternating English and Chinese every other week. It is designed to enable children to enhance their language stimulation of various sensory system of the brain, in order to achieve “whole-brain development”.
Interesting fact learn in the presentation
Various stage of brain development:
- human are usually right-brain dominant when they are 0 to 3 years old (right-brain dominant people usually are more creative and love freedom, no wonder Kpo Kia can always ‘think out of the box’ to free herself when we try to ‘prison’ her in the playyard when we are busy);
- when children are 3 to 6 years old, they begin to transit from right to left-brain dominant, and
- by 6 years old, most of us will ended up more left-brain dominant.
ABCs of brain development:
- Affective (Emotional Development) – which involve confidence, self-esteem and self-motivation
- Behavioural (Physically & Social Development) – which involve fine-motor skills and social skills like cooperative, sharing which are important in teamwork
- Cognitive (Left & Right brain development) – which involve problem-solving skills and creativity
It is a known fact that between birth and 5 years old, 90 percent of a child’s brain development can occurs at a lightning-fast pace. During this stage, repetition can help to strengthen a synapse connection and rarely used synapse may be pruned away. Thus it is important to laid their foundation during this stage for life of learning.
Teacher Gene also shared with us some common (undesirable) behaviours and how parents can help to overcome them. (Going off-track; while most of the children and parents are at the Balloon Sculpture workshop, one of the parent blogger’s kid got bored and accidentally knocked some books off the table when leaving the room. Seeing the daddy try to put the books back, Teacher Gene encouraged the little girl to put the books back herself, When the little girl faced difficulty, Teacher Gene guided her patiently. I am glad to observe she practice what she preach!)
|After sharing of the programme, there is a short introduction of the Theo10 skincare products.
According to the feedback of a mummy support group friends, their products are really effective and gentle for babies and toddler!
My Little Genius Trial Class
There are numerous activities within the single trial class, including greeting songs, flash cards, eye training, photographic memories, Finger play/Flash Card Song/Brain Gym, Mazes and Science experiments.
As this is an open house, there are more children than a usual class – the children are segmented into groups of 3, each group were guided by a teacher. The teachers are engaging all the children in each activity making the class lively.
|Kpo Kia does not really understand Chinese but Teacher Priscilla managed to capture her attention afterall.|
Unfortunately, Kpo Kia does not really understand Chinese and she has been giving a ‘blank’ look most of the time at the start of the class. However, she was quick to warmed up – thanks to the interactive activities. The age gap between the children in her group varied by a fair bit (13months, 19 months and around 4 years old if I am not wrong), so most of the time the eldest kid in the group led the activities as she was able to better understand the instruction. Thanks to the attentive teacher, she had ensured that the other 2 younger kids will “get their hands dirty” in most of the activities.
|The teacher in charge of our group is attentive to all the kids and ensure that all kids take turns to do an activity and none are left out,|
|Kpo Kia does not really understand what the teacher is guiding them to do (matching the blocks to form the image on the paper), she is more interested in taking out all the blocks and play with them.|
Kpo Kia’s papa and I were super amazed during the flash card flashing – teacher Priscilla is able to concurrently flash the card of pictures rapidly and verbalise the words to describe the picture – which is supposed to help in the right brain activation and encourage maximising the utilization of a child’s photographic memory. (After the session we tried reading out some of the items rapidly on our way in the car but failed terribly).
|The science experiment is really simple and almost all kids are able to do it by themselves. However, seems like only the older kids are able to appreciate the reaction of how detergent can “push” the pepper on water to the side of the container.|
I didn’t really take note of the programme outline so I wasn’t aware that there is an award presentation, haha!
When it is time for Kpo Kia to receive her “award” from Teacher Gene, she conveniently sat on her legs, and we all have a good laugh. Since she started her childcare, she is more wary of strangers and will take her a while to get comfortable with one – so it’s quite a joy to see her getting comfortable with Teacher Gene.
Although I joked with Kpo Kia’s papa that the certificate of achievement should also be awarded to the teachers and parents, I am still glad that her little involvement earned her the first certification of achievement in her life – no achievement is too little to be recognised as long as the child tried. 🙂
My Little Genius have 2 branches in Singapore, you can contact them to find out more about the enrichment programmes~
My Little Genius @ Jurong East
135 Jurong Gateway Road,
#04-355 Singapore 600135
(above NTUC Fairprice opposite Jurong East MRT station)
Tel: +65 650 7050
Email : [email protected]
My Little Genius @ Hougang
1024 Upper Serangoon Road,
(5 mins walk from Kovan MRT station)
Tel: +6287 7637
Email : [email protected]
Opening hours: 9:30am – 6:30pm (Wed – Sun)