Category Archives: Brain

Here’s Why Traditional Teaching Doesn’t Work For Your Child Anymore

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Dear mummies and daddies,

 

Do you remember those carefree days where all we did was catch spiders and eat 20 cent mee rebus from the noodle uncle on the street?

Growing up then was much easier and expectations weren’t that high.

Studying was simple. All we had to worry about was just memorising and practicing over and over and over again. Or we’ll face the dreaded rattan!

Rattan

This method of teaching is what we call rote learning. And this was the only way our parents knew how to teach us. And I think it was pretty similar to how their parents taught them as well.

To just memorise and drill. You don’t even need to really understand what you’re learning. Just regurgitate all that information when it’s time for exams.

 

Am I right?

 

The truth is…

When it comes to learning in the 21st century, school curriculum has shifted to a more comprehension model of learning where understanding and application is more important than raw memory work.

Rote learning does not focus on understanding and does not help comprehension of a subject or topic. All that memory work has become less important and necessary in today’s education requirement.

And this is why we believe that the old-school method of rote learning will not help your child especially if he just started his primary school education.

 

What your child really needs is a good foundation on the ability to understand and learn well.

And what do we mean by that?

Your child requires the underlying brain skills that help him process, make sense of, and retain the information he learns while in school.

And the only way to achieve the right abilities is through…

Proper Cognitive/Brain Training

 

Brain training does for mental abilities what exercise does for the body. Through intensive brain exercises and activities, the brain can develop its underlying abilities that will help you learn more effectively.

As a whole, there are 5 main areas of cognitive abilities that govern the way you use your brain.

They are:

1) Comprehension

2) Memory

3) Problem Solving

4) Evaluation

5) Creativity

These areas are not subjects that you learn in school. And your child is not automatically perfect at all of them. There are definitely areas that he may be strong in but definitely, areas that he may be very weak in too.

There is also a common misconception where parents believe that certain children are just “born smart“.

But in actual fact, these children are just born with superior cognitive abilities (without prior training). However, all children can go through specific brain training that can help him perform like a “gifted child”.

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So now that you understand the importance of brain training a bit more and that you realise that rote learning (even though it is our only point of reference) is not effective and can be detrimental to your child’s learning, would you like to know how you can help develop your child’s cognitive abilities right at the comfort of your home?

All you need to is just 15 minutes to play fun games and exercises right after family dinner. We have crafted these exercises even for the busiest parents where both mummy and daddy have to work.

-> www.thinkersbox.com/brainfirst-workshop-f

 

“But Felicia, we didn’t go through brain training when we were young and we turned out fine!”

 

Well, I’m not doubting that you didn’t. I’m just saying with the demands of the 21st-century education, simple regurgitation of information during exams is just not enough to get that “A” grade anymore. Expectations are much higher and all our children are performing at a much higher rate.

And this is especially so in Singapore where our children are considered the top 3 smartest children in the world!

I mean have you actually tried helping them with their homework recently? Even questions from a primary 2 math textbook can make the smartest parents stumble and think for an extra minute before arriving at the answer.

With demands like this, our children need all the help they can get!

 

Here’s an example of a math problem straight out of a P2 textbook:

Concert

329 people attended a concert on Friday night.
This was 97 more than the number of people who attended the previous night.
A total of 754 people attended the concert on Saturday and Sunday.
What was the final total attendance for the four nights of concert?

 

The cognitive ability required here is called verbal sequencing.

Your child first needs to understand the big picture of the question. Eg. How many sets of numbers were given? (Some children don’t even see that there are 4 nights in total.)

Then it’s knowing in which order do we use the information given to come to an answer?

And all this is beyond understanding addition and subtraction even though it’s still only a math question.

Without possessing strong verbal sequencing abilities, your child will not be able to complete this question even if he is good at calculating the answer. Rote learning will not help because the question can be mixed up and no 2 math question is ever the same, especially in problem sums.

 

I’m sure you would agree that the way you were taught by your parents back then wouldn’t give you the right skills to help solve problem sums like the one I shared above.

 

And this is just one example of why cognitive abilities are much more important for children in the current education system.

The great thing about it is that more and more parents are becoming more aware that their child requires specific brain training to help him in school. They are starting to understand that just extra tuition and assessment books do not help in the long run.

This is because they understand how extremely important these cognitive abilities are in the current education system, as compared to traditional rote learning and memory.

Here are just some parents that have understood the need of cognitive development:

 

First up is Mrs. Tan mother of Matthew. She noted that cognitive development not only helped improve his grades in school but also made him more sociable and confident. She also knows that other areas of his life will be directly and positively affected.

Mrs Tan - Matthew's Mom

Another successful parent is celebrity blogger Kelvin Ang from cheekiemonkie. His 2 sons truly enjoyed their time at Thinkersbox and Kelvin was astounded by their results.

Kelvin Ang - Cheekiemonkie

Now the question here is:

Are these children any different from yours?

NO!

They are also primary school kids who had difficulty learning effectively in class and their parents were searching for ways to help improve their grades and understanding for all the subjects they take in school.

All these parents did was to put their doubts aside to find out exactly how they can impact their child’s learning.

If you too could just put your doubts aside for awhile, to learn simple and effective lessons that you can do at home with just 15 minutes after family dinner, then your kids can experience the same kind of amazing results in a very short time.

If this is something that you are interested to find out more…

Click the link below to know more about our Brain First Workshop! This is where you’ll learn those exercises that can help improve your child’s learning abilities!

-> www.thinkersbox.com/brainfirst-workshop-f

 

Think about it…

Simple memory work is being taken over by machinery and other processes. To survive in the 21st century, we require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. That is what our education system is striving towards. Now it’s time to equip your child with the right skills to not only survive but be successful in the future.

Note: It is much easier (and definitely faster) to include cognitive development and training during a child’s earlier years… and I am sure you will agree that it is definitely much easier to teach children than to “fix” adults who have failed to succeed in school.

So while you still have the chance to strengthen your child’s learning foundation while he is young… give him the chance to improve his learning ability early by clicking on the button below to sign up NOW!

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5 Mistakes Singaporean Parents Make That Affects Their Child’s Learning

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Being parents, we want the best for our kids. But usually most of the time, we don’t know what we’re doing wrong or what we’re doing right. Truth is, there is no wrong or right way to teach a child, we all have our own way of teaching.

But from my 10 years of experience, I’ve noticed a few common mistakes that parents unknowingly commit that slows down their child’s learning potential.

These mistakes although seems normal on the surface, can slow down your child’s learning, growth and sometimes even confidence. But it can be easily identified and prevented.

So if you have a child aged 5-12, you might be making the same mistakes as the many parents I have spoken to or observed. And the pointers I’ll be sharing will be crucial to helping you make sure that your child is on the right path to using his brain effectively.

So let’s get started!

 

Mistake #1: Discouraging Your Child From Expressing Themselves

 

Many parents I’ve noticed are quick to tell their children to keep quiet and behave in public. Sometimes, they do it just because they are too busy to handle their child’s comments or maybe they’re just having a bad day.

The problem here is that if you stop your child from expressing himself, he might lose confidence in his thoughts and might feel that his presence is unwanted. This reflects in his learning as he will be more afraid to make mistakes and will be closed off when exposed to new concepts.

 

Here’s what you should do:

Ask him about what he learned in school that day. Not just surface questions, but get him to try and re-teach you what he learnt. This way, you will also get him to revise and reflect the lessons he learnt in school. Also, he’ll be more confident in sharing more about all the other things he experiences. He’ll always be on the lookout to learning new things so that he can explain them to you once he gets home.

 

Mistake #2: Letting Them Use A Digital Device At An Early Age

 

Many kids under the age of 3 are already exposed to using a tablet or some other form of digital device as a method of learning. Many experts have had differing views regarding the use of technology with kids at an early age. But I believe the golden rule here is moderation.

 

Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman says that children need to have regular face to face contact in order to pick up the social skills that are vital for them being successful during their lives. He believes that if many hours a day are being displaced by looking at screens passively these skills may not develop as fully. And it could also have an effect on how children interact with each other.
(
http://www.itv.com/news/2013-11-28/tonight-too-young-for-technology/)

 

Here’s what you should do:

Control and moderate the amount of time spent on digital devices. I advise less than 60 minutes a day. And make sure that he only uses it for educational purposes.

 

Mistake #3: Not Giving Him Time To Play Or Exercise

Bogging him down with too much tuition, after class activities (sometimes till late at night), even after all the homework, he receives from school, damages and limits his ability to learn and accept all the new information that he receives.

Walking or cycling regularly for between six months to a year can improve memory and problem-solving skills in children by between 15 and 20 percent, according to researchers.

They have shown that such exercise can also increase the size of crucial parts of the brain. The scientists have also discovered that children who are fit also tend to be better at multitasking and performing difficult mental tasks than unfit friends.

Professor Art Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, who led the research, said their findings could have major implications for improving children’s performance at school.
(
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9090981/Regular-exercise-can-improve-memory-and-learning.html)

 

Here’s what you should do:

Set aside some time, at least, an hour, purely for outdoor activities. There are many sports that you can partake with your child. Badminton, football, basketball, just to name a few. This will also build his fitness and stamina other than just his cognitive abilities.

Also, brain games and activities that exercise his brain in a fun and healthy way can also give him the right training to develop a strong and effective mind.

Would you like to learn practical and applicable lessons and tips backed by proper scientific methods? Lessons that need just 15 minutes of family dinner every day?

Click here to find out more.

 

Mistake #4: Not Training Your Child To Pay Attention

Is your child easily distracted when he is doing his homework?

You find that he has difficulty staying on one task for longer than 15 minutes and every day… you have to constantly remind him to pay attention in school and at home.

However, no matter how many times you reminded him, he still commits silly careless mistakes in his homework at the end of the day.

Not only that… you find yourself having to constantly repeat what you have to say to him because his mind just seems to be somewhere else.

If you find yourself nodding to any of the statements above, chances are your child may have weak attentional abilities.

Popular to contrary belief, a child’s attention can be trained.

 

According to a study conducted by Meghan McClelland an associate professor at Oregon State University, preschool children who were rated high by their parents on attention and persistence had nearly a 50 percent greater chance of earning their bachelor’s degree by age 25.
(
https://www.care.com/a/10-tips-for-getting-kids-to-pay-attention-1309201107)

One of the biggest objectives of proper cognitive development is ensuring that your child remains focused and attentive when completing homework or even when he’s in class.

 

Here’s what you should do:

1) Provide Clear Directions

Break assignments into small steps, and ask your child to repeat the directions. This will help your child with organizational and sequencing skills and ensure your directions are understood.

2) Set a Timer

A kitchen timer will help your child learn time-management skills. Knowing there is a time limit will remind children to redirect their wandering attention back to the task at hand. A timer also tells the child the task has an end, relieving them of the hopeless feeling that it will go on forever.

3) Monitor Your Behaviour

Children take cues from the adults around them. If you find yourself only half-paying attention to your child while checking email on your phone, be aware you are modelling this behaviour in front of your child.

 

And at our Brain First workshop, you’ll learn 4 more EFFECTIVE strategies that will solve the attention elements your child is weak in and once you’re able to pinpoint their weak points, you can fix them immediately and see results in a matter of weeks!

Register here now!

http://www.thinkersbox.com/brainfirst-workshop

 

Mistake #5: Too Much Stress

Before you continue reading this,

I want to stress that this is the worst of all the 5 bad mistakes I shared.

 

Especially in Singapore, too many kids are already so stressed out with high expectations from their parents and experience high competition in the class itself.

So please pay careful attention your child’s stress levels.

Like I mentioned before, many parents are now placing too much stress on their kids by sending them to excessive amounts of tuition. Some even send their kids to tuition just because they don’t want their kids to “lose out”.

**Don’t get me wrong, It’s not that tuition doesn’t work (many children have had massive help and success with tuition), I’m just saying that there is a fine balance between having enough and having too much. And excessive tuition is definitely harmful and affects your child’s academic ability.

This “tuition fixation” was also addressed by past Minister For Education, Mr. Heng Swee Kiat, and he even calls it “harmful”.

(Click here to read more)

 

Here’s what you should do:

Send him for just enough tuition and only if you think he really needs it. It would also be good to communicate your expectations to him clearly. Also, cognitive development will help him learn better and in turn, reduces the stress he experiences when doing homework.

But I’m sure another big reason why parents send their kids to tons of tuition is because their child usually gets bad grades in school. They might even get stuck on a question and start to lose concentration and ends up doodling on his book and loses interest in continuing.

 

The truth is…

It is not because their child is not smart.

It’s not even because he is “slow” or “takes time” to learn.

Or even because he is ill-disciplined or has behavioural issues.

Their child just has…

 

Poor Cognitive Abilities!

“What’s that?”

 

Cognitive abilities are the core foundation for all our learning functions. Without strong cognitive abilities, it will be almost impossible for us to understand something new.

And this is the root cause that most parents don’t understand.

Many just believe that feeding more content or even teaching their kids “mind mapping” will help them learn better or achieve better results. (These are just techniques and tactics that do not guarantee real results and sometimes makes it even more confusing for some children)

The truth is, without a strong foundation, your child will not be able to easily grasp new concepts and apply newly taught information.

 

Now…

 

What if I tell you that there is an easy scientific solution to develop and improve your child’s cognitive abilities?

In just 2 hours, you’ll be learning practical, and applicable, lessons and tips backed by proper scientific methods.

Don’t worry, we got rid of all the scientific jargon and made it easy for you to understand!

Not only that…

We’ll go through it in the workshop with demonstrations and examples… so you’ll be able to apply them RIGHT after you leave!

The lessons you learn here are designed for parents who are BOTH working. All you need is just 15 minutes after family dinner every day.

Wouldn’t that be something you would want to learn?

Here are just some of the things I’ll be covering…

Understand the 3 Most CRUCIAL Cognitive Aspects of your child’s brain! You’ll spark his motivation to start studying… He’ll enjoy doing homework right after school and complete it without any difficulty whatsoever!   

Evaluate the 5 learning functions of a human brain and measure which areas your child is strong in! Your child will BOOST his learning ability almost immediately and do better in his upcoming mid-semester exam!

Develop the 2 most important cognitive skills that will help your child learn more in a shorter period of time (Once he masters these 2 cognitive skills, he will be able to understand concepts much faster without you having to repeat the same thing to him over and over again)

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Click here to find out the ultimate secret of gifted children and discover how you can train your child to be the smartest kid in class!

Or click the link below.

http://www.thinkersbox.com/brainfirst-workshop

Child Development Phase – ‘Terrible Twos’

Girl in Terrible Twos Phase

Photo Credits: X

 

‘Terrible Twos’. A phase all too common among parents and perhaps one of the more gut twisting conversation mothers might discuss about.

But what exactly is ‘Terrible Twos’? Well when a child goes pass the infancy stage to the pre-symbolic stage, there are many changes taking place in their brain and behaviour.

From being an angel, to what is more commonly known as ‘Terrible Twos’.

Well this is mainly a transition stage as your child goes through to toddlerhood. But what exactly is the cause of parents’ frustration during this phase? We all love our children, but sometimes, the ‘Terrible Twos’ stage puts us at our wits ends. How do we help ourselves? Is this simply just a ‘Terrible’ phase as it is called.

Continue reading Child Development Phase – ‘Terrible Twos’

Careless in School. Help My Child!

Careless In School Work
Photo Credits: X

 

Why can’t my child see the difference? Why is he constantly so careless in his work and missing out on important details? Why does he make careless mistakes in his assignments? In modern day terms, most parents would assume that their child is careless.

More often than not, we focus on the aftermath, which is the red markings on the papers and schoolwork.

What are the reasons? Are our children simply careless, or is there more underlying reasons?

Continue reading Careless in School. Help My Child!

Feeding the Young Brain – ‘Praise’

 

 Praise

Photo Credits: X

 

Humans don’t thrive on praise, but a little praise is like an jubilant boost to the brain and a person’s confidence.

There are debates on whether praise is beneficial or detrimental to children. However, the important thing to note is not whether “Should” we praise but “How” and ‘When” we praise children.

Continue reading Feeding the Young Brain – ‘Praise’

Child Development – (Listening) Auditory Disorder Impacts Learning

Photo Credits: Liberty Speech

 

Are you listening to me?

Are you doing this on purpose?

Can you please follow the instructions?

 

Are you guilty of saying of any of these phrases during parenthood?


When young children mispronounce words, more often than not parents will enjoy a good laugh. When children hear us talk, they may try to imitate us in speech.


However…

What if children hear words wrongly and at an alarming frequency?

What if they are unable to comphrehend or follow through with simple instructions?

Continue reading Child Development – (Listening) Auditory Disorder Impacts Learning

IQ VS Cognition Functions

Brain Cogs

Photo Credits: X

 

In the past 10 years, if you are an inquisitive adult, we would have guess that you would have probably had your fair share of IQ tests. Be it physical test papers or the online questionnaires, we’ve all played our part. But how many adults have actually participated in a cognitive assessment before? How far are we in terms of our cognitive functions? Continue reading IQ VS Cognition Functions

My Child is Careless – Visual Skills (Visual Discrimination)

numerals-that-look-similar

Photo Credits: University of Sydney

 

Visual skills are important as it can affect an individual’s ability to excel in reading, learning, sports, and in day-to-day activities. We will be touching on one component: Visual Discrimination.

Visual discrimination is a component of visual skills. It is the ability of the individual to distinguish and identify subtle differences, be it in words, shapes, size or patterns or colours. Another easier explanation is how attentive an individual is to details.


Continue reading My Child is Careless – Visual Skills (Visual Discrimination)

Brain Training On the Go!

Photo Credits: Lera Blog

While we place emphasis on keeping our mind active and fired up, not all brainy activities must be carried out within the vicinity of the classroom or computer programme. More often than not, we can train our minds on the go.  Continue reading Brain Training On the Go!

Brain Training Boost Brain Ability

Photo Credits: ktsdesign

 


As children grow and develop, there are several milestones that they meet in the different growing phases. This growth is not just physical but also encompasses mental development. In fact brain development / Cognitive Development is a field that has been widely discussed in over the years, and brain laboratories are popping up over University Campus all over the world.

For example, Piaget’s theory of cognitive development as discussed earlier, gives us a better understanding on how far our children has come along in their brain development. As adults, we may think ‘Why waste time playing when you should be learning your ABCs,’ but what we may not be aware is that playing is actually an essential part of development.

Continue reading Brain Training Boost Brain Ability

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