Beyond Academic Excellence:
As parents, we fret over how we can prepare our children for their future because we know deep down inside that preparing them to be ‘book-smart’ or ‘exam-smart’ is not enough. Developing their talents and interests may also not be enough. All these, while good, would be futile if our children do not have the essential life-skills to cope with the changes of this volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. Often times, we see seemingly smart people who, unfortunately, are unable to cope with the stresses, pressures and complexities of the real world. In the past two months, there were at least two cases of teenage suicides from Singapore’s top colleges. How then can we be more intentional in helping our young children be more resilient and ready to take on the challenges of the world?
When we first heard of The Little Executive’s programmes, we knew it’s something we have been looking for. At The Little Executive, their outlook towards a child’s development extends beyond just the academic or interests or talents. Instead, they are focused to help young children develop executive functioning skills, good learning habits and growth mindsets that would hopefully enable them to thrive as they grow. Executive functions are skills everyone uses to plan, organize, complete tasks and say ‘No’ to our impulses.
A child’s ability to use executive functions is a strong indicator of success in both school and life. Here are some executive functioning skills that children need to function well in school as well as social settings:
1. Impulse Control
2. Emotional Control
3. Flexible Thinking
4. Working Memory
6. Planning & Prioritizing
7. Task Initiation
9. Higher order thinking skills
10. Visualising, Problem-solving, Decision-making
11. Performing under pressure
12. Cooperation and Empathy towards peers
Like all skills, executive functioning can be strengthened. This is where The Little Executive comes in.
Beyond Personal Frontiers:
Space is perhaps one of the harshest and inhospitable places for humans and that is the setting for The Little Executive’s Astronaut Holiday Training Camp. Kids take to the idea of space and astronaut like bees is to honey. What a perfect fit! But not to worry, they are not blasting the kids off to the stratosphere anytime soon but merely creating an imaginary environment to stimulate hands-on learning. How novel!
The three-day camp seeks to introduce and ignite the kids’ emerging communication skills, problem-solving skills, imagination and sharpen their sensory awareness through teamwork. The Little Executive’s key pedagogical approaches are developed from its team of trained psychologists, occupational therapists, literacy specialists and experienced childhood educators.
For three days, Dana was exposed to an environment along with her peers from different ages and backgrounds. They had to build spaceships, defend against aliens, fix space problems and even make space food. It was this unique ‘out-of-the-world’ setting that brought them out from their comfort zones to resolve not your everyday problems.
The tasks were absolutely risk-free but yet as authentic as possible. Example: Wearing thick gloves to fix a lose bolt or using the hands to feel for items and select them by virtue of their shape and size and helping each other navigate through space to hone their communication skills. The program came with a customized ‘Space Passport’ that is attractively designed for each ‘Space Traveller’ to record what they have experienced during the day. It also aids to inform parents the executive functioning skills employed so that we can continue to engage our children in conversations to further deepen their take-away from the camp.
The trainers from The Little Executive were very friendly, engaging yet able to guide the children to stay on-task through the various activities.
It was a truly enriching holiday camp that Dana will remember for a long time to come.
More about The Little Executive
The Little Executive (TLE)’s 3 pillars – Essential skills, Learning habits, and a Growth mindset combine to create a powerful resource for children to develop and hone the high level cognitive skills required for first the classroom, and later the boardroom. These pillars support children’s abilities to observe, think strategically, come up with new ideas, negotiate, and eventually make good decisions. We are not training them for perfection in solutions, but to question, ponder and follow the thought processes to enable them to push frontiers and pursue their dreams.
Address: 144 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 229844
Telephone: 6908 1889
Email: [email protected]