Finally, one of our wishes came true.
We are not full-time bloggers. We are regular full time working parents like most. As such, we struggle with finding meaningful activities to occupy our kids, especially during school holidays. Choosing a holiday course or camp for our children is always a gamble. Everything on brochures looks good…until you or your children experience it and we’ve had our fair share of hits…and misses these past few years.
For Parents, by Parents
This is where ‘Today Got Class’ comes in. Started by two very enterprising local mothers who have the similar struggles. ‘Today Got Class” was thus conceived to curate, compile and categorise a full list of quality enrichment experiences for children according to their age and needs. By doing so, it does the tedious job of searching, shortlisting then scrutinising the multitude of enrichment providers out there on parent’s behalf. See it as the equivalent of ‘Expedia’ or ‘Agoda’ for enrichment courses and you’ve “Today Got Class“. In short, it’s a one-stop portal to look for quality programmes, camps and courses for your children. Curated by parents…for parents.
Make it, Code it Camp
Our daughter enjoys coding. To motivate her and cultivate her interest in coding, we signed her up for this unique ‘Make It, Code It’ Camp which is personally put together by “Today Got Class” with two hand-picked, established vendors, MAKE and KIDSCODE.
We are no strangers to coding classes but this one seems special. Especially when the course involved both compoents – ‘MAKE’ and ‘CODE’. These days, I find our children seldom get to ‘make’ things from scratch. Yes they read, they write, they apply, they play instruments, they dance, they paint but they rarely ‘make’. It’s a learning domain that has been underrated and forgotten in our affluent, consumeristic society.
We spent some time observing the ‘Make It, Code It’ Camp and I must say, we were impressed. Across the 3 days, the children learnt about design and hybrid propulsion, mastered coding with micro:bit and collaborated to custom-build a remote controlled car. Many experienced hot glue guns and the use of a bench drill for the first time . The kids also had great fun playing tic tac toe, temperature sensor and more games using the micro:bit. On the last day, they put together the knowledge and skills learnt across the last 2 days as the teams challenged their remote controlled car to complete all tasks.
Here are 5 reasons why we loved this camp:
1. Curated: This is one of the camps that are curated and put together personally by the good team at “Today Got Class“. With personalised curation, parents are assured that certain ‘QC’ (Quality Control) has been put in placed by an impartial assessor to ensure that the lesson objectives of the course are achieved or in this case, exceeded!
2. Nurtures ‘real-word’ creativity: The ‘Make It, Code It’ Camp does not merely take off-the-shelf products to teach your kids. Children actually learn how to MAKE their own remote-controlled car from scratch (wow!) and then learn how to code the micro:bit device to make the remote control car move. To nurture real creativity, the children work under time pressure and resource constraints. In addition, they work with one another to accomplish the task – often managing each other’s expectations, communication styles and personality differences etc.
3. Values-driven: The children learn resilience, adaptability and humility, particularly when overcoming challenges as a team. I would be lying if I said it was easy. It certainly was not, especially when these kids do not know one another at all but yet had to find ways to work well in a team. They learn how to listen, respect, negotiate with one another, apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills so that as a team, they make their remote car work. In fact, to up the end when they had to ‘present’ their remote controlled car, they navigated new challenges thrown-in: their car had to climb a ‘folder mountain’ and even ‘hook’ a ring. I was thoroughly impressed.
4. Interdisciplinary learning: By making the remote-control car themselves, the children learn to integrate and apply concepts of design, science, simple electronics, physics and coding. Fundamental concepts of science, design thinking were applied to ensure that it is not an experience of playing with a toy but more importantly, it’s about making something work. So it started by teaching the children to start with the end first – by design. After the design was done, the children then were taught coding to enhance and innovate the product.
5. Improves social-emotional learning: They quibbled, they talked, they negotiated and then finally when things still didn’t work out right, they learn to compromise, take each others’ suggestions to trouble-shoot and problem-solve…all under time constraints. Sounds like real-life? Yes, and that’s why we found this camp very good.
Since we are reviewing the camp, here’s a bonus reason why we think it’s an excellent program:
6. Developmentally sound: Kids at this age learn best when it’s hands-on. Developmentally, they cannot grasp theoretical concepts fully yet until, say, mid or late teens. Which is why this camp is excellent as values, virtues and knowledge are learnt via hands-on experience rather than through a book or traditional classroom teaching style.
Dana did not leave this camp with a pretty remote-controlled car nor a well-designed folder but the things she ‘brought home’ will be far more valuable than anything physical – skills which she has learnt through these 3 days which will benefit her as she grows. Thank you ‘Today Got Class’ for introducing us to this awesome ‘Make It, Code It’ Camp! We’ll be sure to check out more of your classes for both our kids moving forward!
TODAY GOT CLASS