Kate’s final ‘childhood’ year

When I started working longer hours, I moved Kate to a full-day childcare for peace of mind and flexibility to pick her up late. It was a tough decision as we were happy with her (then) current preschool.

We checked out several childcare centres and initially, my priority was to put her in a reputable school to get her ready academically for primary 1 as the K2 was a crucial year.

However, the more we looked around, the more I felt sad seeing little kids sitting at desks doing lots of worksheets.

Witnessing my 5 older kids stuck in this system where they have to keep running and have no way to get off the ‘hamster wheel’, it dawned on me that the K2 year was the last window of opportunity for her to play, explore and have a happy childhood with her friends in a safe environment.

I finally chose an international preschool where the emphasis was on learning through play.

My sis-in-law with a child the same age as Kate started worrying for her. “More play? What’s going to happen to her when she enters P1?”

It was a difficult decision to make as I watched mums around me sign their kids up for more and more enrichment classes to prepare them for P1. But when I saw how happy Kate was, interacting with friends of different ages and diverse nationalities, I know this will give her a good lens to view the world.

The children spend a lot of time outdoors, having water play, sand play, free play and games in the garden. They bake bread for tea and grow their own vegetables for lunch. The older kids who have dropped their naps are given the responsibility of patting the toddlers to sleep. Such smart teachers haha. Kate came home and was proud to share that the little girl under her charge slept very fast! I do love the chill ‘kampung’ vibe of the school and how they are taught to respect one another.

I almost regretted my decision of putting her through another transition in her last year of kindergarten as she sobbed so pitifully every morning for almost 2 months. Thank goodness she has settled in well and strides confidently into school now, eager to see her friends.

At pick up time

Next year, she will have to wake up at 5.30am, carry an oversized schoolbag, sit behind a big desk and get into the routine of homework and tests.

No more luxury of waking up naturally at 7am, taking a quick ride to the market with daddy and coming back to watch him cook a simple breakfast for us before heading off to school.

It’s happening all too fast! Soon it will be time to register her for P1 and the baby of our family will enter formal schooling like the rest of her siblings.

For now, I’m going to let her enjoy every last bit of her carefree childhood.

~ www.mumyweeblog.com – A blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~



Centre Stage School of the Arts – A Review by Mum of 6

I used to send my 5 older kids to drama classes and like any typical parent, the highlight was watching my little tikes perform on stage. However, they did not seem to be progressing much from one performance to the next. Having evolved into an educator myself, I realised that it was superficial to focus on simply memorising the script and adding in suitable expressions and actions. Thus for Kate, I was searching for something more.

When I chanced upon Centre Stage School of the Arts from an enrichment app colloquially named Today Got Class, what caught my attention was the calibre of the teachers.

“The strength of the school is in its staff. All of the full-time teachers trained primarily as performers and completed courses in UK or Australian drama schools and universities, many have worked and continue to work in the theatre and on television.”

Interest piqued, I checked out their website and was surprised that they have been around since 1999. They have developed into a full creative and performing arts centre offering regular drama, musical theatre, performance acting and dance (ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary) programmes for children – from toddlers to teenagers and even adults. As well as early years play programmes parents can attend along with their tots.

“Creative Drama is the heart and soul of the Centre Stage ethos. It is process driven, rather than performance based drama – the emphasis and the value is in the journey rather than the outcome.”

I was sold. This is the same philosophy we uphold at my enrichment centre, with the focus being the process rather than the product. Skills become internalised and benefits, far-reaching. I could tell that Kate would be in good hands and given a solid foundation in the dramatic arts.

I had a chance to sit in on a session for the purpose of this review and boy, was I impressed. I don’t know how Ms Sophie does this day in day out, but her energy was infectious. I felt like jumping in and being part of the fun! The kids were engaged from the get go, and in that hour, not once did she miss a beat as she moved through the different activities seamlessly. She was firm and had full control of her class, managing to corral even the distracted ones, all while keeping it exciting.

Kate is in Creative Drama Stage 1, and the session opened with the segment News. Ms Sophie asked one by one in a sing-song voice, “Do you have any news for me today?” It sure sounded very grown up. Each of them had something to share, and some brought along an item to show. They waited patiently for their turn, respecting others while they were speaking.

This was quickly followed by Warm up, where they ran through a series of exercises warming up different parts of their bodies.

They launched into an Action song with lots of movement. Clapping of hands, jumping, turning around and Stop! In super speed, no less. This kept the kids on their toes, attentive and listening carefully to the changing instructions.

Next up was the classic childhood game What’s the time Mr Wolf. Ms Sophie reminded the kids to make a scary wolf face and they took turns being the Wolf.

In the Magic segment, the kids used their imagination to act out different scenarios as Ms Sophie magically turned them into various animals. They were pigs rolling around in the mud, cows heading to the water trough, birds flying around and jumping off branches. And BINK! Just as quickly, they were turned back into children in the blink of an eye.

After all that movement, the kids settled down for Story time. Today’s book was Spot goes to the farm. Ms Sophie elaborated on the storyline and asked them open-ended questions such as “What do you think he found?”


She dimmed the lights and they had to imagine what it was like being in a farm. The lesson culminated in Creative Drama, where they acted out what they had read. 

The children learn through improvised drama, music, mime and movement drawn from favourite books, poems and stories. They start within the safety net of the group and as self-confidence develops, begin to take on individual roles. The students start to acquire the basic skills of drama, the need for clear speech and an expressive voice and body.”

It was a whirlwind of movements as Ms Sophie talked them through their farm adventure. From getting dressed and hopping into the car to finally reaching the farm.

The kids had a chance to meet Farmer Sophie (aka Ms Sophie) and busied themselves with chores around the farm. Collecting eggs from the hen house, cleaning the smelly pigsty, feeding the horses and stroking baby chicks.

Before I knew it, the helpful farm hands were back home, changed into their PJs  and nicely tucked in bed. Phew. I was exhausted just moving around taking pictures of the action.

I can see why Kate loves Ms Sophie’s lessons and look forward to them every week. She has been attending this class since the beginning of the year and feedback from Ms Sophie is that Kate is very participative and contributes good ideas to the group. She is expressive and creative and notices the finer details. For example, when they pretend to get into a car, the rest might just go “zoom zoom!” but she will turn on the engine and put on the seat belt before moving off. Great to hear that she is meticulous in that way.

Indeed, Centre Stage is a top-notch performing arts centre delivering quality programmes for babies right through to adults. Here’s how you can join in the fun!

Today Got Class Exclusive Deals
A package of 5 trial classes from $210 onwards (for new students) – only available when you book with TGC! Classes cover Drama, Dance, Singing and Play groups.

I had a go at using the app to book Kate’s Creative Drama class and it was a breeze. Best of all, you can access it anytime, anywhere.

Centre Stage Portsdown Road: 5 trial classes
Centre Stage marine Parade: 5 trial classes

Out of the Box
If you have a 2 or 3 year old toddler, why not check out Out of the Box, a 90-minute drop-off play based learning environment that aims to bridge the gap between home and full-time school. Sessions include Drama, Dance and Music. Contact them directly for a trial class.

OOTB @ Portsdown: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 9am-12pm
OOTB @ Marine Parade: Tuesdays & Thursdays 9am-12pm

Trial Classes
There are still 2 slots left in Kate’s Wednesday Creative Drama class, do contact them at 67327211 or drop Renee an email: info@centre-stage.com. Other Creative Drama classes will be open for trials in June.

Centre Stage School of the Arts – Portsdown Road
Block 15 Woking Road
Singapore 138694
Tel: 67327211
Email: info@centre-stage.com

Centre Stage School of the Arts – East

5000G Marine Parade Road
#01-32 Laguna Park
Singapore 449290
Tel: 64496211
Email: east@centre-stage.com

Disclaimer: We were sponsored Kate’s drama lessons. All opinions are my own.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

How I am preparing Kate to do school

Right from my eldest child, I’ve always believed in real learning, not just drilling them with content or making them good test-takers. I’ve come a long way in envisioning something beyond what our schools can offer and am now able to give kids that headstart at my enrichment centre.

Having Kate go through our programme, my insight into kids and learning has risen a notch! It is amazing how every child has different strengths and giftedness yet even the bright ones have their own unique learning issues.

In Janaury, Kate had The Executive Assessment (TEA) done and I expected her to score well as she speaks fluently and seems smart enough. However, I was surprised that her TEA score was 10 out of 21, and it was an eye-opener to discover her weak areas.

The Executive Assessment

I have sat through countless parent-teacher meetings with my 5 older kids but have never received a holistic assessment of their learning. In pre-school, feedback was usually about whether they were well-behaved (my 4 girls) or mischevious but creative (my son), and I would be updated about their reading and writing progress. In primary school, the focus would shift to their grades, on matters such as if homework was handed in on time and about their general behaviour.

On several occassions, teachers tell me, “Your child is smart, but if he can focus better/be more motivated, he will be able to reach his potential.”

But nobody tells us exactly how to do that!

With her assessment done, Teacher Jim was able to zoom in on her gaps and guide Kate to bridge them so that she can get the most out of whatever she is learning, both in school and in her other enrichment classes.

I found out that despite her chattiness and street smarts, she is not a strong learner and these are the foundational skills she needs to develop to prepare her well to cope with the demanding curriculum in primary school.

Increase her attention span: The most basic requirement to learn well is to have a good attention span to stay on task. She did not manage to complete some of the activities as she gets easily distracted by others or her mind will wander. The demands of K1 is increasing and she needs to concentrate well to absorb what is being taught in class. By disguising our activities as play, Kate happily undertakes them and manages to stay focused longer each time.

Train up her cognitive processes: In the animal stroop activity, they were instructed to say the colour of the animals in time to the metronome beat, but halfway through, she drifted from colour to name. With weekly practice, her processing speed and mental stamina will be enhanced and she can take on higher levels of difficulty.

Improve her working memory: Kate has no problems with her memory and can remember places we’ve been to and recall incidences, but I’ve never tested her working memory. Now that I’m aware it is weak, we need to tackle this if not in primary school, by the time she finishes reading the math problem sums, she would have forgotten what the question was asking for.

Develop her ability to self-monitor: After each activity, they are asked to reflect on how they had done and ways they can improve. Kate would gayly declare that she did fine even if she had gotten most of it wrong. I do love her positive and happy attitude though! Hopefully she will inculcate good habits of being able to check her own work and spot mistakes so that she does not need to constantly rely on her teachers (or me).

Growth mindset?
Develop a Growth Mindset: Sad to say, Kate has a fixed mindset and gives up easily. I assumed that since I have more of a growth mindset, so will my kids! Faced with a difficult activity, she simply said, “I don’t know. I don’t want to do it anymore” and refused to try. When Teacher Jim asked the kids, “Who is ready for a challenging round? Thumbs up if you are!” The other kids enthusiastically raised their hands, except for Kate. Finally she managed a half-hearted thumbs up, seeming to say fine, I will give it a go. Still, baby steps!

Term 1 has just ended and we’re heartened to see good progress in most areas. What’s more interesting is that Teacher Jim has unearthed some of Kate’s deep-seated habits and attitudes and is working on guiding her to un-do them.

She doubts her own ability and often cannot resist giving herself an advantage by peeking at others instead of thinking and being confident of her own answers. So much so that she has honed the skill of being able to copy discreetly. At 4?? Gasp. (And yes, I managed to catch a shot of her in action. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes.)

He also noticed that whenever a question is asked, Kate waits for others to answer and immediately follows and shouts out the answer as her own. No wonder we always thought of her as a smart child! Aware of this, he encourages Kate to think carefully and come up with an answer, to build up her confidence in her own ability.

Her strengths and weaknesses are clearer to me now and with awareness, I can work hand in hand with her teachers to guide her to reach her learning potential.

At times, I will hear her spontaneously chirp, “Don’t give up! Keep trying!” while sticking with a task and I can see the growth mindset slowly being internalised.

It will take time, but I’m glad she’s only 4 and already on the path of closing her learning gaps one by one and building a strong foundation of positive learning habits to excel in school.

Trial classes at The Little Executive are conducted every Saturday which includes The Executive Assessment.

Trials at $48
Suitable for N2-P2
1.5 hour session
Trial classes are parent-accompanied.

The Little Executive
144 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 229844
(between Newton circus and KK Hospital)
www.thelittlexecutive.asia
Tel: 6908 1889
Email: knockknock@thelittleexecutive.asia

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Dino Discovery Camp @ The Little Executive

It has been a busy, busy week at my centre with our holiday camps in full swing. Our mini palaeontologists had so much fun learning about dinosaurs while working alongside their new teammates.

We use themes which interest kids to teach a wide range of skills necessary for school such as cognitive flexibility, creating reasonable hypothesis, conditional reasoning, as well as life skills such as problem-solving, being a team player, and having the ability to communicate their ideas well.
Enthusiastic paleontologists

Several kids who enjoyed our previous Astronaut Training Camp joined us again and were delighted to see their ex-camp mates.

The happiest little kid was Kate, who could jump into the car with me in the mornings instead of hearing me say, “Bye, mummy has to go to work now.”

Delighted to be in mummy’s school

A wide range of sensory activities are carried out in our camps as these naturally encourage children to explore scientific processes, such as making predictions and observations and developing analytical skills. A further benefit is that children retain the most information when they engage their senses in experiential learning.

Squishy squashy mud

In our Dino grid game, the kids were split into 2 teams, and the carnivores had to catch the herbivores. Similar to a chess game, they have to think ahead and strategize so as not to be ‘eaten’. They make decisions as a team, directing their player on the grid. We had several frightened little herbivores, afraid to be ‘eaten’ by the carnivorous dinos!

Strategy game
We go to great lengths to make learning come alive and everything we do in the classroom has a real world example. For example, by examining the size and shape of the footprints, the children were able to deduce which dinosaur it came from.
Field notes
Our mini palaeontologists learned how fossils were formed over millions of years and had a chance to make fossil imprints in ‘mud’. This enabled them to understand how real life paaleontologists deduce information based on incomplete evidence.
Fossil imprints

There were lots of hands-on activities to keep them engaged and it was lovely to see some of the kids move from being fearful of getting their hands dirty with sensory work to enjoying the experience with their friends. Kate does plenty of baking at home with me and she gleefully dugged in with both hands to shape her dino eggs.

Hiding dinos in their eggs

And… viola! Some tails were peeking out!

DIY dino eggs
In our speculation exercise “If I lived with the Dinosaurs…” they were guided on deductive reasoning and encouraged to use their imagination. This is a fun way for a child’s executive functioning skills to be challenged (critical thinking, flexibility, planning) because they need to figure out their priorities to survive. 

Scenarios were discussed, and they were prompted to think further – “how would you catch your fish?” or “how would you find food if you are not going to come out of your cave at all?” I loved reading the different answers! Simply adorable, what these kids come up with.
Creative writing

The older kids worked together to consolidate the various activities they have been doing by creating a pre-historic scene. Judging by the laughter coming from the rooms, they seemed to be having a great time with their new friends.

Our P1s

Our N2s created their own dinosaur world which they were all so proud of. Kate was the last to finish her work as she was so meticulous. Look at her serious face.

Their pre-historic world

They were taught the grid system, which is a typical way a fossil grid site is organized. This enables palaeontologists to record the horizontal and vertical positions of the excavated fossils and artifacts.

For children, grid work is important in developing their visual tracking skills, spatial orientation and perspective taking, all of which are important for the classroom and beyond. Most of all, they get all excited when they manage to dig up a bone!

Grid work

Parents were invited for the last 30 minutes on the last day to see what the kids had been up to, and it was a first for many parents to watch their kids do a show-and-tell. We had a lot of shy kids this round, and it was wonderful to see them have the courage to stand up there in front of so many parents, even though some of the N2s could only manage a whisper. Great effort, kids!


It was extremely heartening to see many dads come in during their lunch hour to be involved in their children’s lives. The mums relegated the job of cracking the hardened eggs to the dads and you could see the glee on the kids’ faces when the eggs finally broke!

Daddies in the house

We had such a great time with these little darlings and everyone was sad that the camp has come to an end.

Our graduating Palaeontologists

It has been an amazing few weeks working alongside my team of passionate teachers, with the common goal of making the camp enjoyable and meaningful for the kids. As exhausting as it was, seeing the kids have fun, open up, and learn so well over the 4 days is the reward in itself. Probably something only educators can relate to!

TLE team

1 camp down, 2 more to go. Our P1 Prep camp starts tomorrow and I’m certain the kids will have a swell time running their mini ‘tuck shop’ and learning strategies to get them ready for the big transition.

Our last camp for the year will be the Astronaut Training Camp and there are a few remaining slots so let your little ones join us for a unique space mission they will not forget!



The Little Executive
144 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 229844
Tel: 69081889
Email: knockknock@thelittleexecutive.asia

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~


Exciting Holiday Camps

School’s out and things are heating up around here! Our team at The Little Executive is going full steam ahead to prepare for 3 weeks of holiday camps.

Join us for an exciting Dino Discovery Camp, where our mini paleontologists will have lots of hands-on opportunities to make their own fossils, do a Dino-dig, crack IQ codes, work together as a team to reconstruct a dinosaur skeleton and create a Dino cave! How cool is that?

Dino Discovery Camp – 4 days
Date: 29 November – 2 December 2016
Time: 9am – 12pm (N2, K1, K2)
2pm – 5pm (K1 – P2)
Fee: $400 per child

Holiday Camp

Our fun and interactive P1 Prep Camp will get your K2 child ready for a big new school! Entering Primary 1 is a very different experience from our time. The demands are much greater and kids today are less classroom ready.

Over the 4 days, we aim to equip them with our 5-Step Learning cycle to excel academically, a Growth Mindset to be unafraid of failure and become resilient students and Executive Functioning Skills which form the foundations of independent learning.

The kids will have fun running a mini ‘tuck shop’ and take turns buying and selling snack items while learning to handle money. They will also have ample opportunities to practice speaking up and communicating their needs.

More details of P1 Prep curriculum.

P1 Preparatory Camp
Date: 6-9 December 2016
Age: K2 only
Time: 2-5pm
Fee: $400 per child

P1 Prep Camp

Our popular Astronaut Training Camp is back this December holidays! Let us take your child on a unique mission to Outer Space where they will hone their problem-solving skills to complete Space Missions and enhance their teamwork and communication skills as they work together as a crew to build the ultimate space shuttle!

Many of our Astro cadets said it was the best holiday camp they have ever attended!

Astronaut Training Camp
Date: 13 – 16 December 2016
Age: K1 – P2
Time: 9am-12pm or 2-5pm
Fee: $400 per child

The Little Executive

  • 10% off camp fees with 2 or more sign ups
  • Parents are invited for the last 30 minutes on Friday for a presentation by our campers
  • Location: 144 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 229844 (5 min walk from KK Hospital)
  • Email: knockknock@thelittleexecutive.asia to register
  • Tel: 6908 1889
  • Website: www.thelittleexecutive.asia

www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore 

Kate’s been having a rough time

For the past 2 weeks, Kate has been crying every morning when I drop her off at school.

It started because of a change of routine, as some days I could not pick her up after school when I was still at work.

It did not help that the first time the hubs had to pick her, he completely forgot about it! By the time he reached her school, he was half an hour late.

To a little child, 30 minutes feels like an eternity.

She later told me that she was afraid daddy had forgotten about her and left her in school. Besides, she was very, very hungry.

From that day on, she kept saying she didn’t want to go to school anymore and would cry upon arriving at school.

We kept trying to talk her out of her fears and reason with her, to no avail.

After trying to problem solve for 2 weeks, I found out that she has 2 trigger points.

Poor lil Kate

The first is that she does not take to change well.

Her teachers explained that in children around 3 years of age, their sense of order is quite strong. More so in some children, and less in others. For Kate, she has a very strong need for order and her teachers mentioned how on Fridays, she gets out of sorts because they have music and outdoor play, which throws her out of whack.

Her teacher managed to solve this problem by giving her ample time for transition and to pre-empt her before a change in activity.

Thus the fact that it was a different person picking her up everyday, either myself, the hubs, or one of my sisters-in-law, made her anxious.

Her teacher said that like clockwork, at the start of their dismissal routine, she would suddenly burst into tears.

I solved the problem by letting her know the night before who was going to pick her up the next day. Initially, when she asked me in the morning, “Mummy, are you going to pick me later?” I would say yes, or I’ll try. I didn’t know what was behind that question, and that a vague answer made her more anxious.

I also asked whoever was picking her to be there 10 minutes early, so that once she started craning her neck to see if someone was going to be at the school gate, she would spot one of us before the fear seized her.

We did this for a week to reassure her and this stemmed her dismissal meltdown.

Secondly, I discovered that she is very sensitive to tone of voice.

Every time she cried, her teachers would try to gently talk her out of it. When that did not work, they must have talked to her in a firmer tone, and sometimes they got her to sit in the thinking chair in a corner so that she did not disturb the other children while she cooled down.

I’m quite certain that none of her teachers have really scolded her, but to her, even a raised tone is considered to be a “scolding”.

It reached a point where I was asking her to do something and she replied, “Ok, I will do it, but can you ask Ms C not to scold me anymore?” When she responded that way the whole weekend, I knew something was wrong.

She was so fearful of her teacher!

After many, many little talks, she mentioned that she likes one of the new teachers, a soft-spoken, gentle lady.

I spoke to her teachers and they were very understanding, and stopped putting her on the thinking chair.

Whenever she started crying, the new teacher would sit with her and speak to her quietly.

Thankfully, that 2-week crying episode is over.

Even after 6 kids, I am learning something new every time.

I’m just glad I managed to resolve her worries and learnt more about her in the process.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~






School stories #18: Get into the PSLE fray? Not me.

There has been a flood of reactions, opinions and questions from parents since MOE released their new grading system last Wednesday.

Many acknowledge that doing away with the fine differentiation is a step in the right direction but wonder if it will help to reduce stress levels in our children.

Some feel it might get more stressful.

One thing is for sure.

There is no perfect system and it is hard to please every parent.

As for me, I will do no different with Kate than I have done with my 5 other kids.

In fact, it is good news for us because now the choice of school has more weightage than before. It will be taken into consideration not just once, but twice, in the event of a tie.

If Kate so happens to be tied with a few other students fighting for the last place in a particular school, they will look at choice order before putting them in the ballot box.

Although I doubt she will be in that situation because for her first choice, I will likely select a school with an entry point which she can comfortably get into.

I have learnt to look further as there is the issue of streaming at the end of secondary 2.

I made that mistake with #1, where she scrapped in to the school of her choice.

During streaming, she was near the bottom of her cohort and did not manage to choose the subjects she was strong in, which affected her O level grades.

I am waiting for MOE to roll out more information over the next few years to illustrate every single school’s specialised programme and shortlist those within close proximity of our house.

With more details, we parents can make an informed decision to match the interest and learning needs of our children to the distinctive programmes the schools are offering.

Where’s your ladder leading to?

MOE can come up with new grading systems and new criteria, but if mindsets do not change, nothing much will change, and our education system will be as stressful as ever.


Before we pour all our resources in the race to the top, have we thought long and hard about whether this is the best ladder to climb?

The worst thing is to reach the top only to wonder if it has been the right ladder all along.

How I have managed to remain calm and not get sucked into the academic frenzy these past 12 years is to look at things from a broader perspective.

Yes, the PSLE is a big exam.

A bigger question I constantly ask myself is, do I need to look past the PSLE?

What are we preparing our kids for?

I don’t know about you, but I am preparing my kids for a future which I cannot foresee.

Hence, I am trying to guide them to be adaptable and unafraid to face challenges.

To be able to think and communicate their ideas.

To see mistakes as learning opportunities and be able to pick themselves up when they fail.

To ensure that they are future-ready, they need to be good problem-solvers, analytical thinkers, with strong interpersonal skills.

I have been trying to build these skills and traits in them from the time they were young through the way I parent and the opportunities I find along the way. However, I have not been able to find a systematic way to do it.

When I met this speech pathologist and discovered how her team of education specialist has been working with children quietly but doggedly over the past decade, I knew that this was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Since I haven’t been able to find a solution to address this need, the next best thing was to come up with a solution!

We have spent the past year working on this new initiative to ensure that the successes she has seen with individual children can be replicated in a group enrichment setting.

It was really interesting how during one of our training sessions, my ex-MOE teacher was sharing that when she spoke to her group of teacher friends about our curriculum, the secondary school teachers assumed that the primary school teachers were teaching such skills while the primary school teachers felt that they already had too much content to teach, and expected (or hoped) that most of their students came with such skills intact.

Therein lies a huge gap we have unearthed.

There is a whole set of skills which are expected of children in a classroom setting, such as being able to pay attention and focus, listening to instructions, planning, prioritising and initiating tasks, displaying impulse control, besides having higher order thinking skills such as visualisation, sequential organization, inference and deduction, perception and memory recall. And the list goes on. 

However, these cognitive skills are not explicitly developed in children and parents only start to see the problems when they enter formal education.

I believe that by giving Kate a solid foundation in acquiring these fundamental executive functioning skills, and equipping her with the right mindset and learning habits, it will set her up for successes in future, whichever path she might choose to pursue.

I am really excited to observe for myself the impact of this programme on Kate and how it might shape her learning in a positive way.
A happy learning environment

Kids these days are shunted from school to tuition and learning has lost its meaning.

Children should never lose their love of learning and we make an effort to design our classes to be fun because kids learn best through play, and there is always laughter to be heard around here.

It will be a long yet enriching journey ahead as we guide parents towards this very new concept. In some children, the change may be quite apparent but in others, nothing may seem to be surfacing even though a lot of learning is taking place.

Every child we see transformed, even in small ways, gives us great joy and satisfaction.

As a team, this is what continues to inspire and motivate us in this journey of impacting the next generation of children.

School Stories:

#1 – When your son gets into fights in school
#2 – My son the loan shark
#3 – So kids can’t play once they start school?

#11 – How #2 topped her level in English
#12 – DSA. Yet another initiative parents have warped
#13 – Tuition – First line of attack?
#14 – Why do exams have to be so stressful?
#15 – First day mix up!
#16 – The day I forgot to pick my son from school
#17 – No more T-score. Now what?

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

A new phase of my life

As I perch on the cusp of a new chapter of my life, I stop to pause, reflect and give thanks.

It feels surreal.

Something that has been brewing for so long has finally come to fruition.

It has been more than a year since I had my first discussion with a speech pathologist about this new initiative, and our enrichment centre is opening it’s doors tomorrow!

Not only do we share the same name, we share the same vision and can almost read each other’s minds from the first meeting we had. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to start a venture with.

I have been running at breakneck speed the past few weeks.

Starting the day at 7am, dropping Kate off at school and going in to work with my team for half the day, picking the kids up after supplementary classes and dealing with their issues, sitting down together for dinner at 6.30pm and getting them ready for bed at 8pm. After that it’s back to the computer until around 2am when my brain stops functioning effectively.

On top of that, just this past 2 weeks, I had to deal with one sprained ankle, taking one to investigate her allergies, and taking two of them to extract their teeth and fix braces.

My essentials

To allocate more time for work, I had to sacrifice time with the kids. Thankfully the hubs wasn’t away much and he took over the lunch prep and taxi duties.

Kate has been spending more time with her older siblings which was great bonding for them.

On Hari Raya, #3 was going ice-skating with her friend and she offered to take Kate along. She helped her don her skates, take her in and out of the rink when she needed the toilet or wanted a drink of water and even graded her learning from pushing her around on the seal to holding her hands and skating with her without the aid after she gained more confidence.

There were days when I didn’t dare put Kate to bed for fear of falling asleep and not finishing things I needed to get done before going in to work. She has been really accommodating and would go off and find some jie jie to bunk in with.

It was quite amusing to search the rooms on my way up to bed and see her tucked in different beds depending on which sis it was.

One night, I found her sleeping inside a wardrobe! With the sliding doors open.

#3 had padded it nicely and made it into a secret hideout for Kate. We all had a good laugh the next morning when Kate said so matter-of-factly, “Yesterday I slept in the cupboard.” Oh well, these are the things fond memories are made of.

I really salute all the full time mums who have been doing this for years. It is not easy working a full day and coming home having to deal with the kids and running the household.

There were moments when I was working on the computer in the wee hours of the morning and wondering how I got myself into this busy state.

I guess once the cogwheel starts turning, there is no looking back.
Our signage is up!

I had to be really focused. No luxury of having a conducive environment or being in the ‘mood’ to work.

I’ve picked up a handy skill of being able to whip up my trusty notebook and carry on where I’ve left off.

I’ve worked at the BBQ pit of a condo while waiting for a kid to finish surprising her bff, at the car repair shop waiting to get the tyres fixed, I’ve even worked at mall seats while waiting for the girls to pick up their stuff.

It may sound strange but I am enjoying myself. I have been physically and mentally exhausted raising the kids for the past 18 years, dealing with teenagers and toddlers. At the same time.

Now that most of them are occupied with long school days, I can finally take a break from child-rearing and focus my attention on something I find meaningful.

When term 3 started, the kids asked if I could pick them up from school and I told them they had to take the MRT as I needed to work.

They were more amused than disappointed. “Mum! You actually have work?!”

I’m glad they are proud of me.

They have been seeing me as a stay-at-home-mum and never imagined I had the capabilities to go out and work, much less start a business.

#4 recently exclaimed, “Mum, you actually own nice clothes?”

Talk about tactless kids. I’ll console myself that they are just being direct.

My partner and I are taking this slowly and steadily, not over taxing ourselves or neglecting our families.

The hubs and I opened a spa 14 years ago and we failed miserably. Sars hit us in our 3rd month and hardly any customers came in and we did not have the cash flow to ride it out.

I teach my kids that there is a lesson to be learnt in our failures, but for the longest time, I myself couldn’t see the silver lining in our failed business and sorry state.

We went through a rough patch then, having lost a huge sum of money and with 3 young kids in tow. That time has passed, and the lessons learnt are invaluable to me today as I embark on this new endeavour.

No big capital expenses on rental and renovations but starting small, and focusing our energies on a solid curriculum and the children whose learning and lives we will be impacting.

And one of the most important lessons I learnt was to have a product that we believe in one hundred and one percent and finding the right team to journey with.


We have formed an amazing team which we have chosen carefully based on much more than their resumes. We are aligned with a shared sense of purpose which shows in the great camaraderie and respect we have for one another.

Who says hard work can’t be fun

This is the start of a refreshing and beautiful journey, of us discovering our passions, putting our hearts together to touch children and educate them in a meaningful way, which they can take away with them for life.

One thing I do miss is writing in this space. But now I have a new baby to tend to.


Exciting times ahead!

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~