Broaden your child’s horizons
The hard truth: in dog eat dog Singapore, you either fight to be on top, or fall behind. School curriculums here are quickly becoming more complex, and it’s no surprise that a majority of children attend tuition classes just to keep up. Unfortunately, too many parents make the mistake of drilling their kids to be book smart while neglecting other aspects of intellectual growth.
When enrolling your little one for enrichment classes, it’s important to look out for those that offer holistic learning experiences. There are enrichment centres that employ the latest methods to raise students' learning abilities to a higher level than those of their peers.
We sat in on a P5 English lesson at The Learning Lab and found out why a class of 10 year olds understands US politics better than some 20+ year olds.
They are challenged to conceptualise and defend their opinions
The Learning Lab doesn’t just teach students to be exam-smart - apart from grammar and vocabulary exercises, a portion of the 2 hour class was set aside for a session on current affairs. That day’s topic was the 2016 US Presidential Election - Democrats vs Republicans, aka Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump.
Don’t worry about your impressionable young one being propagandised here - instead of swaying the students’ mindsets towards a certain political slant, both candidates' traits were discussed objectively, with their flaws also highlighted. Hillary Clinton’s scandals and Donald Trump’s racially-charged policies were both brought up in the discussion, ensuring that every student's opinion was well-informed.
The Learning Lab’s classrooms are a judgement-free zone, with everyone entitled to their own opinions - students are left to think freely, and it was emphasised that there are no right or wrong answers.
Rhetorical prompts were used to help students think deeper, such as “would you rather have a president with a bad character and good policies, or one with a good character and bad policies?”
One student chose the latter as “someone with a good character might serve the country better. Bad policies can always be changed later on with help from others”. Another chose the former, as “a person can change his character for the better”.
Both points were deemed valid, showing students that they're free to formulate their own stands as long as they are able to defend them vigorously.
Politics might seem a rather heavy topic for P5 kids to dabble in. However, the info was thoroughly explained in a digestible manner catered to their understanding. Exposing children to world issues from young hones their thinking and encourages them to be naturally inquisitive.
Constructive conversation is encouraged during classes
Back in school, we were chided for looking at our friends’ answers, but The Learning Lab takes a different approach, getting students to peer-share their answers to arrive at the same solutions. If their answers differ, students explain to everyone how they arrived at their conclusions - this allows them to voice out their thinking processes while learning from others.
Questions are encouraged, and everyone gets called upon during class - even the quiet ones break out of their shells to participate. A boardroom-style seating arrangement facilitates this interactiveness.
Understanding context clues is more valued than rote learning
Rather than memorising word pairings and being told “it’s just like that”, students are taught to understand the reasoning behind sentence structures. They’re also trained to derive answers by looking at context clues.
For added excitement and motivation, the kids are sometimes split into teams to compete for points during in-class practise exercises.
The centre is equipped with super modern facilities
If you’ve walked past The Learning Lab’s United Square branch, you probably would have gaped in awe at its sleek Science Lab. Fully equipped with lab coats and apparatus, it’s a station for little scientists to get in the zone with hands-on experience.
English and Chinese students also have the privilege of borrowing books from The Learning Lab’s extensive in-house library, with more than 77,000 titles to choose from.
With a welcoming environment atypical of a tuition centre, this learning hub doesn’t make children feel closed in, so there’s less restlessness and boredom. Classrooms are named after cities around the world - such as New York, Copenhagen, and Munich - to foster a sense of wonder.
Workstations are available for students who wish to do self-study before or after classes.
A comfortable lounge for students to read or parents to wait for their kids at.
A holistic learning experience at The Learning Lab
With 15 years of success to its name, The Learning Lab is one of the top tuition centres in Singapore. Offering classes in English, Mathematics, Science, and Chinese for children in Nursery all the way to Junior College, many of its alumni have earned coveted spots in prestigious programmes - such as the Gifted Education Programme, Integrated Programme in elite schools, local universities and even the Ivy Leagues.
Lessons at The Learning Lab aim to not only help students ace their tests, but also train their minds to continuously think out of the box - even in daily life. After all, learning is a lifelong process which isn’t just limited to academics. With engaging lessons that stretch their potential, your children will be equipped with life skills such as eloquence, the ability to question, and to see both sides of a coin.
To prevent your child from complaining of boredom or idling away during school holidays, The Learning Lab also has a series of unique holiday programmes - such as a Young Radio & TV Presenters Workshop, Book Lovers’ Programme, and even an Ivy Summit Series in partnership with Harvard Student Agencies.
A programme with workshops conducted by Harvard undergraduates, the helps Secondary and Junior College students cultivate skills that will hone their personal growth and last them for life. It is also designed to help them through college applications.
Registration for The Learning Lab’s 2017 classes have already started. Do sign up fast to avoid disappointment, and give your child a headstart for next year!
For a first-hand experience of TLL’s classes, register your child for happening November to December 2016 at Rochester Mall, United Square and the brand new centre at Tampines Mall - opening on 26 November 2016!
This post was brought to you by The Learning Lab.