While we are busy focusing on academics, we must not forget the emotional and character building aspect of our children. Here’s what Charlene, a mum with a P2 boy loved about The Little Executive’s Magical Marvelous Me! Camp.
Like most parents of a firstborn who’s recently entered the formal education system, I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a programme that would foster a positive attitude, an indomitable spirit that would rise to challenges instead of “saying die” and perhaps even some planning and organisational skills. At the same time, I was concerned about burdening my 7-year-old with yet more activities to his already punishing days.
Then I came across The Little Executive’s Magical Marvelous Me! Camp, which was to be held during the March school holidays. This camp is centred around Dr. Seuss’ inspirational book on life “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”.
I was sold – it would be a meaningful holiday activity without burden to his stretched school term schedule. He was thrilled – what a welcoming change to his routine of school!
“Today, you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss
|Let our dreams soar|
A Journey of Self-Discovery
The camp kicked off with a series of physical and team activities that seemingly served as ice-breakers but in reality, offered opportunities for the children to explore their personal qualities.
The games over, the children were led through their personal written reflections on their own strengths and qualities. I was pleasantly surprised to see the self-reflection of my 7-year old in his personalised camp journal.
· Going Places through Goals
The children conducted a goal-setting exercise in their journals, with an added component of thinking and planning through the resources they needed to get there.
This is actually an important life lesson! While people set goals quite readily, even in the workplace, oftentimes they forget to consider the feasibility of these goals by not examining the required resources or what they have already going for them.
Part of goal-setting and the execution includes planning and prioritising which are pre-skills for young kids’ learning and development in other aspects of their lives, resulting in positive behaviours which they also exercise towards their families and other environments.
Taking stock of their resources would probably help the kids set realistic expectations and lessen any potential disappointment. That said, when this still fails and the kids are…
· Losing track of the way
They learned to conduct self-monitoring first of all by examining and thinking through what would happen if they did not succeed.
Tied closely to this, the children learned how to manage their emotions as well should they not succeed. They each made their very own beautiful calming jar. Filled with glitter in a liquid suspension of their favourite colours, the gradual falling patterns in the jar would help the children to calm down whenever they are anxious or upset.
“Kid, you’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss
Moving mountains through teamwork
The children were led in team activities like a treasure hunt and constructing and getting through a maze. These taught them invaluable lessons that many minds and hands are better than one, as success hinged on alternative ways of doing things, and splitting up the workload.
Precision and Accuracy
Craftwork such as building a hot air balloon develops their skills of paying attention to detail, planning and prioritising. They learnt to crack codes which taught them the need for precision and accuracy to get it right.
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed!” – Dr. Seuss
Attending the culminating event for parents in the last hour of the camp – I had 3 indications that the children were taking forward strides to success.
· Confidence, ownership, leadership
In a show and tell format, all the children – even the littlest ones aged 5 – recounted their experiences and shared what they have learned. And they did it with so much pride and gusto that I felt so proud of each and every one of them!
The children also served as guides, leading and cajoling parents around the maze that they built. There was a lot of joy and satisfaction as the children discussed strategies in handling the challenge of the maze.
When it was time to leave, the children were all gathered in the doorway, unwilling to go. They took the time to arrange informal play dates. This is surely a sign of how well they got on with friends they had made over the short few days!
Putting it all into practice
When Term 2 started, I noticed my son applying his 3 P’s:
Persistence – He had a more positive attitude towards schoolwork and exams. Even when faced with a deluge of homework, I saw how he staunchly tackled the pile, to the point of falling asleep on the table twice within a week!
Problem-solving – One day he was all excited with his own creativity, telling me that he had organised some personal items by colour for easy differentiation.
Prioritisation – He started to think through his tasks and homework with new eyes and would share occasionally why he chose to do things in a certain manner. I realised then that he was mentally evaluating the worth of each task and putting them through a hierarchy of priority.
I wouldn’t say that his priorities or solutions necessarily align with mine, or that he is always on track with his focus. But I would like to think that all these skills learned could be refined given time and more practice!
“You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”
“You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”
The next run of Magical Marvelous Me! Camp (for K1-P3 kids) is on 30 May – 1 June 2018, 9am-5.30pm at The Little Executive, 144 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 229844 Tel: 69081889 / 84835354 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thelittleexecutive.asia
~ www.mummyweeblog.com – A blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~