Date: Nov 24, 2013
This week, I have a chance to be interviewed by Ms. Regina from Mediacorp’s Capital FM 95.8. We have a good chat for around 20 minutes, and they have selected a few and air it on FM95.8 on Nov 22, 7:50am.
The main topics of the Interview are
1. How does the school holiday enrichment class such as Wonderworks’ Space Inventions and Robotics class help in developing a child?
2. Does the programme help in the overall child’s holistic educations?
3. Do you find such courses are too expensive for the kid to attend?
Here are some of the recorded interview...
And here is what I feel.
- Every parents has a choice to sent or not to sent their child to any enrichment class.
- If you read the book by Malcolm Gladwell, “Outliers - The Story of Success”, you will understand why certain parents wanted to sent their kids to enrichment classes. In summary... It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. The earlier you expose your kid to opportunity the better. Opportunity does not happened just like that, opportunity has to be created. My Jay is born on October, he is 10 months behind students who is born on January for the same grade (P1). Parents need to recognised that there is a certain advantages for the kids to have 10 months gap difference in their age.
- Jay really learned quite a fair bit of knowledge from his Robotics class. He learned how to program a lego Mindstorms program to make his robot moves. But if you look closer, you know that he has learned how to do basic computer operations on Windows. I do not have Windows at home. I am using MacOS across my home. So, it will be good for him to learn that there are other operating systems other than Apple MacOS. He learned how to cut and paste. That is something that they have not learned from P1 classes at school. He learned about Angles. What does a 180 degrees mean to him?
- Mommy going away to US for a business trip. We showed him the Earth. Where we are (Singapore), and where mommy is (USA). Then, he suddenly said “Hey, mommy is at 180 degrees location”. We were like shocked as we know he definitely did not learn Algebra from P1 classes yet. So, he said, he learned it from the Robotics class. 90 degree to make a left or right turn, 180 degree to make a U-turn. So, these are valuable knowledge about applications that the kid will imprint it into their brain forever.
- Jay also learned other things such as Newton law of force. Who is Isaac Newton? Why it is important in the robotics programming? Well, in order to make a 3-legged robot spider to move, you need to learn how and why a robot will fall if the force are not apply appropriately. These are the things that Robotics teachers are teaching the kids. Regardless of they are P1 or P2 or even P6.
- Jay also learned from people from different grades. This is an opportunity for the kid to mix around with older kids. When you have that you also wants to become like them.
- Just like the Golf & Adventure Camp that Jay has just completed. There is not a class that is specially for P1 kids. It is a camp that is designed for different aged kids from P1 to P6. Older kids do other stuffs, but younger kids get to see and learn what is coming for them in a couple of years. So, these are the valuable knowledge where you can never teach a kid.
- But one of the most important thing is as a parent, you try not force the kids to go to these enrichment class. Your job is the same as a marketing executive trying to sell these courses to the kid. Young kids even at K1 or K2 already have their own mind. You simply have to let them make the decision. Yes, all the Golf, Badminton, Tennis, Taekwondo, Swimming, Art Boot Camp, BrainFit, CMA (Abacus), Piano, Violin are selected by Jay. The only course that I “force” him to take is his Chinese Tuition. He hated the Berries as it does not help him much in improving his Chinese, but I feel as a Chinese, he got to master a bit of the mother tongue.
- You got to have an agreement with your kid. You do not allow them to simply any how drop a course that chosen by them. Do not make that as a habit. Jay only quit his Violin last month after learning for 2 years. He talked to us and express that he wanted to learn more on Piano instead of violin and the way how his fat body handling the violin may not suit him after all. And we granted his wishes. And now because we expose him to music, he likes Piano and Ukulele. He can do whistling too.
- Do I think all these course are expensive? YES. I do think it is expensive. But here is the relief. Jay went to Lorna Whiston full day pre-school class. And his school fees back then was a bit lesser than 2K. So, when he went into P1, the school fees is about 2 digit number. So, the money we suppose to spent on him, is simply re-channeled into these enrichment classes. He did a lot of sport and art related classes, and thru out the year, I have seen how my boy has grown up become to. He is mature, his social skills is superb. Although his academic result may not be tip top, but I am very sure that he is a strong contender in becoming a bright kid in coming years. I have no regrets in spending those money. And I have seen how he has obtains lots of knowledge that the school does not teach him.
- So, my comment to the DJ @ FM95.8 is, if as a parent, if you can afford it, you should expose your kids to different kinds of activities. There is no need to follow exactly the MOE curriculum or spent more time on academic. The other soft skills, such as communications with other kids of diff age group, diff schools are equally important. Those the skills that kids do not learn from school. So, expose them to activities that is non-academic related.
- I also thinking of sending Jay to Cooking Class/Camp. Or learning how to create E-Book. There is also a course teaching young kids how to program BASIC. Wow. Bill Gates invented BASIC. At very young age.
So, the interview went well, and I got air 2 times in the interview. I did not know I sound like this on Radio. Wahahahahaha