Friday 26 September 2014

A holiday session with groundworks

During the September holidays, Js journeyed on a 4 days "I Keep Trying" program, conducted by groundworks. This program designed for little preschoolers, ages 4 to 6, focused on the values of Perseverance and Diligence based on the moral tale of ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper.’ Learning the importance of working hard and not giving up. Just exactly what my little Js need more insights to, in their every day life. 

Our competitive culture is very much saturated with centres that conduct enrichment courses and recreational programs for kids. It's not common to chance upon centres that set heart in moulding the characters of our younglings. I'm glad we had the opportunity to hop into this preschooler program, facilitated by one the founders, Claire Ong. A very amicable lady with a great heart and passion in developing children and youths of the future.

Groundworks has collaborated with JEMS Learning House from Hong Kong to offer fun experiential lessons for preschool and primary school children in Singapore. The curriculum focuses on building character and values as a foundation for raising leaders, and covers 3 domains: Identity, Relationships and Community. Popular topics include confidence, manners, perseverance, communication and leadership. Very much concentrated on personal effectiveness and character.

Here's a brief on what was covered throughout their 4 days program:
Day1: Introduction of the term "Keep Trying." The story of the Ant and the Grasshopper was told, where the ant exemplified the meaning of 'don't give up' and 'keep going.'

Day 2: The kids learnt how they can keep trying at school. They listed and talked about the subjects they find it challenging to comprehend, revisited the story with questions for the kids.

Day 3: The kids learnt how to keep trying at sports. I witnessed from outside the class how J pair kept trying in the game of soccer. Facilitators and friends would cheer them on, till they scored a goal! Oh yes, David Beckham in the making.

Day 4: The kids learnt how to keep trying in games and puzzles. My easily frustrated Js have since gained more determination in fixing puzzles. I love the way they coordinated teamwork in solving puzzles.

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Puzzle in team
The initial 5 days program had been well spread into 4 days, 2.5 hours session each. A well allocated duration for preschoolers. For myself, it was a bonus to send both kids into the same program, while I enjoyed that me time with my cuppa coffee and some reading. It was a good trade. 

Although this program was designed for the 4 to 6 years old, I sent Jare in on the second day. Claire was really inviting to allow my barely 4 year old to join in. "Perfect!" I thought. Jare had more of the 'giving up' attitude than big sister. Was really appreciative that Jare hopped in too! New environment always pose uneasiness to my both, but games and much interaction warmed them up in no time. After a while. I could tell they were enjoying, very much. 

These days, whenever Js tell me, "I cannot", "I give up" or "Help me," too quickly. I'll calm their frustration and say, "Keep trying" with the act of pulling my fistful hands down, like a 'rooting for you' sign. They would turn shy and smile. Once calmed, they're all ready to try again. I had this little joke with them about calling Ms Claire if they didn't persevere or try hard enough. It's funny how they got reminded this way. Even more interesting on how such learning is effective when outsourced in a group setting, with planned activities. As much as we read about books on characters, nothing beats putting words into actions.

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"Keep Trying!"
It was delightful to watch how Js and the other kids had fun in the sessions. I could hear laughter and screams of excitement from the outside. There was so much joy in their learning. It was also heartening to see passionate people inspiring and building the characters of our developing young ones. Their world of bubble is beyond the academics. What is a universe of knowledge without a good set of personal values?!!!

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And they graduated!
At the end of the final session, Jazz asked for more! I felt her sense of reluctance that the sessions had ended. I knew the takeaways were drilling some major works in their little heart. I hope they will practice what was communicated, and continue to hold on dear to the value of "Keep Trying."

All parents have expectations of our children's character, so do I. It's a gem to see coachers rising to conduct programs targeted at character development, especially in kids and youths. It takes a village to help raise children. Groundworks is running another round of "I Keep Trying!" coming November. If you have older children, you might be keen in their primary or teens program. Do sign up now to enjoy the early bird discount promotion, by 10 October (Friday) 2014.

Program fees and schedule as below:

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Don't miss being an early bird

Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road S(169074)

Thank you groundworks for this opportunity given to Js! 

Disclaimer: Js were given the opportunity to attend the preschoolers program for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions are solely ours and photos are credited to groundworks.

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