Over the June holidays, #4 was invited to attend The Giving Treehouse’s holiday program, where parents send their kids from 9am to 5pm while they are busy at work. Initially I was going to turn down the generous offer from this student care centre located at Marine Parade due to the distance, but after looking at the activities lined up, #4 was so excited that I agreed to let her go. In fact, the older kids also wanted in!
|Rock-climbing at Yishun Safra
She loves outdoor activities so the rock-climbing and archery outings immediately caught her attention. Other interesting things included deciphering morse code while learning about different forms of communication tools, making their own camera obscura with recycled material while learning about the history of photography, learning basics of first-aid like the Heimlich manoeuvre for choking, having a 3-course meal to pick up dining etiquette, and even grooming sessions, just to name a few.
This student care centre really makes the effort to engage and immerse the kids. After a session on learning about nutrition and the different food groups, they went out to the nearby mini-mart and each child was given $10 to buy their own ingredients to make up a healthy meal. To instil the value of giving and of serving the wider community, the kids were taken to Pasir Ris MRT station and sold flags to raise funds for Boys Town. Two thumbs up!
|Deciphering morse code
The Giving Treehouse stems (excuse the pun) from the story of one of my favourite children’s book ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein, which places great emphasis on the value of giving, nurturing and love. Essentially, this is what sets this student care centre apart from the rest.
|Made their own camera obscura
Set up by 3 working mums, The Giving Treehouse aims to provide a home away from home, thus placing an importance on the holistic development of the children who are placed under their care, in a vibrant yet homely atmosphere.
|Multi-touch interactive table at IDA
The founders have also included the component of leadership which acknowledges and appreciates that each child is unique with his or her own gifts and talents. With the foundation of their programmes being the 7 Habits of Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, the student care centre has further included enrichment sessions parked under an artful and unconventional name – Journey to the Centre of the Earth. This boasts a myriad of activities encompassing music, art, writing and oratorical skills. Each student is believed to already be a leader in his or her own right and has a leader portfolio created for him where an individual personality profile is included, apart from his or her goals and achievements which are charted.
|Archery – a first for many
Besides the truckload of fun the kids have during the school holidays, they are well taken care of and occupied during the school term. All students will have an individualised study plan to allow the coaches to partner the students, parents and teachers more effectively when it comes to areas that need more attention. During the crucial P6 year, small group learning support will be provided for the PSLE exam preparations.
|Yoga – relax and destress!
Sane tip: Even though I’m not a full time working mum, I did put #4 at a student care centre as I felt it was a good idea to let her finish up all her homework with some supervision (as I am not familiar with the syllabus) so that when she got home, we could spend all our time playing and relaxing together. However, I withdrew her as I couldn’t find any good quality student care centre in our vicinity. If The Giving Treehouse was in my neck of the woods, I’d definitely put my kids there. And for the busy working parent, their leader portfolio can be a very useful point of reference to figure out your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Save tip: Not only do they focus on academic excellence, but they also strive for a holistic education with includes values development and sports and team-building while exposing the children to a wide array of enrichment activities. Their centre is cosily furnished with a reading corner, music corner, games corner and even a research corner.
Disclaimer: We were sponsored their holiday program. All opinions are my own.