Thursday, December 1, 2016

Latest Testimonials from Parents and Students

Alice, mum of Faith and David.

Faith is a Primary 2 student who attended our 3-days Creative Thinkers Workshop in November 2016 and is now enrolled in our Term 1/2017 Bright World Thinkers programme.

David is a current student of our Bright Minds Lapbookers weekly programme and will be continuing in Term 1/2017.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fostering a Culture of Inquisitiveness

We have been told on a daily basis that the world which our children grow up in will be drastically different from our times. 

But has our style of parenting changed as well? Are we progressive enough in the way we coach and parent our children?

With the Internet revolution, information on just about anything is accessible at a click. Not only is it not possible for one person to remember massive amount of information at his fingertips, the competitive advantage is also no longer on one's ability to collect and remember tons of facts.

The premium now, is on critical analysis, i.e. knowing what questions to ask, what information you need and where to look for such information. 

What is also very important is to have the courage and self-confidence to challenge the information given, to question its validity and make our own judgments. 

If a child can think creatively to derive at out-of-the-box solutions when presented with a problem that he has never seen or experienced before, he has a competitive edge. 

The same goes for a child who is able to form his own opinions on an issue and has the language ability to express his views and hold his side of the argument when facing critics. 

The child also gains the upper hand when he learns to live with ambiguities and is flexible in his approach to resolve problems he encounters. It is only when he has learnt to accept the fact that in many cases, there is more than one way to skin a cat, will he truly be able to think creatively, question the norm and seek out the alternative solutions. 

Unlike the genetic traits in our kids, which we may not have much control over, the higher-order thinking skills such as critical thinking and creative thinking skills can be taught and honed. 

While the child's temperament may play a part, the biggest determinants are still the availability of learning opportunities to train and equip the child in his acquisition of such skills and the way the child is coached in his learning environment. 

I've met numerous bright 5 and 6 years old in my lapbooking classes. While most may be brilliant at answering questions and are able to read independently, it doesn't take long for one to figure out that these kids are very used to being taught and spoon-fed with information by teachers/parents. 

Many are interested in seeking the correct answer instead of being comfortable with situations which could have multiple possibilities. 

A lot of pre-schoolers (and I bet the situation is the same in lower primary level) have been so conditioned to being taught by school and enrichment teachers and/or parents, that they just wait to be taught, instead of seeking out opportunities to learn. 

It is always interesting (to me) to observe how most kids will draw a blank when presented with the specially designed scenarios in class which challenged their abilities to think independently and problem-solve, especially when they first joined the Bright Minds Lapbookers programme.

Over the weeks and months, when they have acquired more experience and exposure to such situations that take them out of their comfort zones, most kids will begin to put what they have learnt into use.

The brain is a pattern seeker. If a child is exposed to creative thinking at an early age and the brain is taught the creative thinker's mindset, the child will be able to continue with this pattern of thinking with great ease, as if it is his second nature. 

Such is the kind of life skills we should be investing time and effort in. Of course, the process of fostering a culture of inquisitiveness takes time to reap rewards, but it is surely possible.

Shirley Tan
Founder, From Tiny Acorns

Originally appeared in Our World. My World in Nov 2010.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Coaching Bright Minds Workshop (for parents)

Have you always wanted to coach your 2 to 7 years old children at home but are not sure of the effective approach to take?

Do you face challenges in motivating your children to learn and achieve in school and wish you know how to motivate them?

Come and join us in our 7th Coaching Bright Minds workshop for parents! 

Pick up valuable tips and skills from Shirley Tan, founder of From Tiny Acorns, who has personally conducted thousands of classes to children ages 2 to 8 using our highly effective and unique interdisciplinary thematic approach coupled with lapbooking.

In this workshop, you will learn how to
- effectively coach your children at home to help them achieve their full potential

- motivate and empower toddlers and preschoolers to become eager and independent learners

- help your children build a strong foundation in English, Math and Science

- teach your preschooler to read without him/her attending literacy and reading classes

- raise your early readers' comprehension skills and creative writing abilities

- nurture a growth mindset in your children 

- raise inquisitive thinkers with strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills and much more!

This workshop is delivered in a personal parent-to-parent style with plenty of sharing of real-life experiences that you can relate to. Through the workshop, you will appreciate the benefits of our interdisciplinary thematic approach and how to implement it effectively at home. 

Participants will also gain insight into the design process of our literature-based lapbooking activities and learn through hands-on activities and sharing session the strengths and uniqueness of our Bright Minds Lapbookers curriculum. This is especially useful to parents who wish to learn more about our method.

Date: Saturday, 11th March 2017

Time: 3pm - 6.30pm

Fees: $175 per parent or $155 for early bird registration before 15th December 2016
(include workshop notes)

Limited to 14 places only. Priority will be given to parents whose children are enrolled in our Term 1/2017 classes. All others will be on wait list and we will notify you by end February if we have vacancy for you.

Waiver of $40 one-time registration fee if attendees register a child for Term 2/2017 class within 7 days after workshop, subject to availability. Term 2/2017 class schedule will be published in January 2017.

This workshop is for parents only. There is no childcare arrangement at the workshop venue. Thank you for your understanding.
To enquire/register, please contact with your name, mobile number, your child's name and date of birth.

Feedback from previous workshop attendees
I am very impressed with the amount of thought that has been put into developing the lesson plans/lapbooking activities. I tried to make a lapbook with my 2.5 yr old on the same literature before but my attempts are so feeble compared to the scope that you have mapped out! Many thanks! - Ka Yen
I am amazed by the detailed lesson plans, guidance notes and comprehensive coverage of activities of your lapbooks. It is worth every penny! Now I can truly understand and appreciate what my kids have been missing out by not attending your lapbooking classes. - Carol
Thanks for organizing the workshop which was really insightful with plenty of practical sharing! I have benefitted much, especially on the 'discussion' part. I have made a lapbook with my kids ever since and they both love it!  - Alice
I'm so glad I attended the workshop which opened my eyes on the effective approach to take for coaching my boys at home. Thank you for being so generous in sharing! - Joyce
The session was so beneficial for parents like me, who have limited time to coach our kids. Now, I know how I can better utilize my limited time with them to achieve best results. After just two weeks of using your method, I am already seeing some results! Thank you SO MUCH! I'm so excited!  - Ann
Thanks for the workshop! I have learnt a lot from you and it has definitely motivated me in many ways. I hope my kids can attend your classes next year.  - Jayne
Thank you for sharing all the valuable information about coaching at home! I have learnt so much. - Shi Ling
Thank you for all the sharing at the workshop. It is very inspiring and thought provoking! - Meow Huang
I am so grateful for your generous sharing at the workshop. It was eye-opening to learn more of your method and to realise the range of possibilities we could create for our kids through coaching them this way. I only wish I discovered your programme earlier when my older children were small. - Wendy

A well-organized and engaging workshop! Definitely inspiring to my wife and me to reflect on how we have been guiding our sons. We are signing up our kids for your classes for sure. Thank you for the educational afternoon! - Joe & Freya

I highly recommend all parents to attend this informative and enriching workshop! I have learnt more from these few hours than I had in the last 10 parenting workshops I attended. Big thumbs up! - Hui Ing

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Nov/Dec 2016 Holiday Workshops

Don't miss our joy-filled, action-packed 3-days holiday workshops!

Tiny Acorns 
Suitable for 2.5 to 4 years, a parent-accompanied class

Accompany your toddlers as they explore and discover a world filled with colours and textures. Observe how little fingers create their own interpretations of a colourful world through play-based activities that stimulate their senses in a language-rich environment.  Allow us to open their eyes to the wonders of Science through experiments that delight and surprise.

Dates: Sundays 6th, 13th & 20th November
Time: 10.30am - 12pm

Dates: Sundays 4th, 11th & 18th December
Time: 10.30am - 12pm

Curious Explorers
Suitable for 4 to 6 years old          

Do animals play hide-and-seek? As we embark on a journey into the animal kingdom, we invite our curious explorers to discover the secrets of predators and preys in their natural habitats. Through hands-on activities, dramatization and crafts, our explorers will hone their problem solving skills to complete their adventures.

Dates: Saturdays 3rd, 10th and 17th December    
Time: 3.30pm - 5pm

Creative Thinkers        
Suitable for 6 to 8 years old

Through the tale of an endearing spider's life journey, our 6 to 8-year-old participants will be treated to an exciting and experiential three sessions where we introduce current affairs through speech and drama, group discussions and games that stretch their imagination. Participants will put on their thinking caps as a team to solve scenarios that test their ability to think critically and creatively. For some, the writing challenges will be all it takes to ignite the writing spark in them as they discover the power of words.

To register, please click here.   Confirmation of places are on a first-come-first-served basis.