Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Primary School Journey: Ergonomics Workstation for Better Spinal Care!

I have scoliosis, diagnosed when I was in Primary School. Similar to the image above, my curvature is an "S curve". Being someone with Scoliosis with an S curve, I am quite mindful of spinal care. In fact, when Dumpling was younger, I have brought her to my chiropractor before for a spinal check. The spine is basically linked to the nervous system and when it is not properly aligned, there could be tension or back aches, etc. For myself, I suffer from some really bad headaches, neck and back aches.

Hence it has been on my mind for some time to look into an ergo table for the kiddo. When Dumpling was younger, she used a small pink desk from IKEA which was alright as the table and chair height were suitable for her size then. However, as she grew over the past years, she would spend longer hours at the table (since there’s more homework) I have noticed that she had to bend over to read or to write.

:: The shop
So over the weekend, the family visited ERGOWORKS at Causeway Point to check out the ERGOSTARS workstation. The mall seems to be a popular choice for families with young children. Ergoworks is located on Level 3 along the near other children friendly shops such as Kiddy Palace, Popular bookstore, etc.

:: The product range

The shop is a cozy unit but there is no lack of ergonomics products on display:

From IMPACT ergonomic bags

To DUOREST ergonomic chairs
(and ohhhhhhhh… I must say that I tried the below range and my back was in utter bliss the whole time I was seated on it. The support and the angle were perfect for my very sore back ~ I just had a deep tissue massage the day before!)

And to this portable Backjoy support which you can add on to your existing chair. And did you see what I saw???? They even have one in Hello Kitty ™ design!!!!

:: The experience
We met up with the shop Consultant – Jacky who is strong in his product knowledge and explained the functionalities of the ERGOSTARS workstation which we are keen on. Based on my observations from the other customers as well as Dumpling's experience, Jacky was very “hands-on” and took the time to explain the various models and choices available. He also got the kiddo to sit down and tried out the various workstations as well as the chairs.

Consultative Advice
One of my friends have shared with me that ergonomics workstations are also available from various online shops. But personally, after having visited the store and learning more from Jacky, I found that the consultative advice shared to be really important for such products, something which we will not have access to, online. 

To elaborate, with an ergonomics work station, this is the neutral posture all of us should have: 

Hence, the in-store experience is necessary ~ to have a chance to sit down on the chair, adjust the angle of her back rest, and the angle and height of the table, etc. and try it for comfort. 

The "trial"
The ERGOSTARS workstation comes with DUOREST ergonomic Junior chair which is made from original German dual backrests design and technology invented since 1988. Jacky was very patient and took his time to advise us on the steps to adjust the chair for good spinal support ~ to sit close to the the back of the chair and that the legs should be at 90 degrees, touching the floor (or a foot rest ~ see last photo below).

During the trial, he was also very mindful that Dumpling is the user and often stopped to check with her on the comfort level and well as showed all of us what the right angle should be. 

Dumpling’s choice of table allows her to adjust the tilt angle where 25 degrees is optimal for reading (Note: see how she is not hunched over in the right pic?)

With a simple press of the lever (tucked neatly on the side of the table), the table top is then placed flat again for writing. 

Other features of Ergostars model include:
  • Effortless height adjustment system
  • Desk height adjustment (58cm to 80cm) to grow with your child
  • Detachable lever handle
  • Child safe design with rounded edge bumper ~ great for younger children
  • Non-reflection desk surface ~ better for eyes
  • Desk feet leveler ~ in case of un-even floor surface
  • Bag hanger
  • Wrist support pad that holds book and laptop
  • Less than 1 meter in width - fit in to most small space! 
  • Environmental friendly
  • Safe to use
  • E1 European Safety Standard
I also appreciate that the desk comes with front caster wheels for easy mobility, which is great for sliding the workstation out for easy cleaning.

The chair also comes with a rest to cater for smaller children whose feet may not be able to touch the floor.

The ERGOSTARS bundle Usual Price is $1998/set ($1299: desk + $699: chair). 

I am pleased to share that the set is NOW at $699/set with options to purchase a drawer and desktop riser at 50% discount. This bundle set comes in 3 different colors: pink, blue and grey. 

:: The delivery arrangement
Once the choice was made, it was a very simple process of writing down our details for Jacky who checked against the computer system and arranged for the delivery. 

I was told that most deliveries will be between 5 to 7 working days and they will call us prior to arrange. I will update you again in my next post on our delivery and user experience.  


Causeway Point

1 Woodlands Square #03-26 Causeway Point
(level 3 next to Kiddy Palace )
Opens Daily: 11:30am - 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6893 8488

Marina Square

6 Raffles Boulevard #03-337/338 Marina Square
(level 3 Art of living furniture zone)
Opens Daily: 11:30am - 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6837 3370


176 Orchard Road #03-36 Centrepoint
(level 3 next to LALU boutique)
Opens Daily: 11:30am - 9.00 pm
Telephone: 6836 8488

Connect with Ergoworks on their Facebook page! 

:: About Ergonomics
Ergoworks is the ONLY ergonomic brand endorsed & certified by both Singapore Physiotherapy Association & The Chiropractic Association Singapore, this endorsement assure customers are buying genuine ergonomic products. 
If you have found this post useful, you may enjoy more posts on Dumpling's Primary school journey.   
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. We were invited to review the ergonomics workstations (ergostars) so that we can give our opinions about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions are entirely ours. 
If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both to the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Parenting with Love: Raising a Responsible Child

Suppose your kid forgot about some homework and you found out about it. Your kid is either asleep or is preparing to go to bed. Do you:

a) Get your child to do (either going to bed later or waking your child up earlier the next day)
b) Write a note to the teacher to explain
c) Let it be and let your child deal with it OR
d) Do the work for him/her

Some weeks back, the kiddo shared with me that a classmate was scolded because the teacher discovered that one of the classmate's parents did the child's homework for her. Needless to say, the teacher was livid and well, the class "heard" about the incident.

Since Primary One, I have reached out on my own accord, to set up a What'sapp chat group with the kiddo's classmates' parents. I have previously read an article where the parent's choice was not to be in such a group because she wants her child to be responsible for her own learning and homework. I understand and respect that.

For me, the Whatspp group has been useful in other ways - a mum has reached out to share with me that her daughter has shared Dumpling cried in class ("so is she ok?") where I did not even hear it from her or one of them emailed the teachers to ask about for e.g. test format (not elaborated in the schedule) where the information was really useful.

Of course the kiddo forgets her homework once in a while and what I'd do is to prompt her instead of just telling her that she left something out.

Now, for the quiz above, I have deployed (C) where she had to explain to the teacher on her own. Tough love.

This is also where I have realised that children these days are growing up with an "entitled" mindset (and yes, Dumpling too)! They do not see that they need to be responsible or take ownership of their work or live with the consequences of a bad decision as they have someone to fall back on. And being based in Singapore, I know that there are many family nucleus with working parents where we often turn to employing lived-in helpers to assist us mainly with household chores, meal preparation as well as care giving.

It's a double-edged sword. In my case, while having a helper allows me to have the time to spend with Dumpling and concentrate on things such as school work / play dates, etc., it has also led her to be dependent on having a helper to assist her with many things - e.g. packing of bag and clearing of laundry (when she was younger), help with household chores, etc.

In my journey to continue with my effort on raising a responsible child, here are some suggestions:

1) Baby steps
Start with age appropriate household chores where your child is able to succeed in and gradually work up from there. Here's a great chart which I saw on my FB feed:

Chores by Age from Thirty Handmade Days

While the kiddo does not sweep / vacuum, she clears her own laundry, packs her own bag (takes nagging), helps to clear the dishes and feed the pets. Additionally, the kiddo is also tasked with showering J, our Singapore Special. That was one of the conditions we raised when she wanted to adopt a dog and till now, she's been keeping to her end of the bargain.

2) Equipping them with the skills 
Besides starting small, children do need guidance in learning to be independent; often we need to equip them with the skills. For e.g. Dumpling is pretty much on her own when it comes to spelling and ting xie 听写, and also for Show and Tell. Of course she did not start out independent. What I did was to show her how she is to study and test herself is:

- read the sentence(s)
- look at the words to see / digest how it is written
- cover
- attempt &
- check

I have realised that by getting her to take ownership of her learning and testing herself, she recalls the words better as opposed to us pointing out the mistakes and highlighting where the mistakes are. We have the same experience with her Show and Tell too.

3) Let them make bad decisions 
Dumpling, during her P1 days, became close friends with a classmate, D. From the other mums and sometimes from Dumpling, it seems like the child has had many run-ins with their form teacher where she does not do her work, display some "attitude" issues like rolling her eyes, etc. and has displayed some work ethics issues too.

Frankly, I was concerned about her friendship with that girl but I bit held tongue.

A few months ago Dumpling called me from home and was in tears. Her name, along with the D's were written on the white board where they were said to be talking. Dumpling insisted that she did not but was reading a book instead. So D told Dumpling to erase away the name on the whiteboard which Dumpling did, in a moment of anger and retaliation. Interestingly, she did not erase her name but D's. She later realised her folly and wrote it back but of course, the form teacher did not take too kindly and punished the girls.

When the teacher asked D if she had told Dumpling to erase it, D said no. Dumpling was shocked and really hurt and I guess at her age, she has not faced any "politics" so she took it quite bad. It was a hard lesson learnt.

4) Let them live with the consequences
Following on from the quiz, Dumping has forgotten to submit her homework before and she has also forgotten to bring work back to complete.

As she was new to Primary school in P1, I helped her out once where I drove home and sent the book down for her. But I made it clear that was the only time and I would not do it again.So yes, despite that I know of some work that the kiddo has to do, I do not remind her all the time and there have been instances where she forgot and was reprimanded. She was naturally upset that I did not "bail" her out but I stuck to my guns and she has also learnt to be honest where she would tell the teachers she had forgotten and not lie about it too.

5) Modelling it and associating this to real life scenarios
Children learn through observations and even at this age, I am very mindful of what I say and how I handle things in front of her. E.g. I clear my own plates and bowls despite having a helper and she does the same thing too.

I also share my challenges at work and how I tackle them and work my way around them. For e.g. I sometimes vet copies numerous times and I will link this back to her checking of her school work. Despite the fact that I am bored up to my ears and how badly my toes would cringe after proof reading like 101 times, I still have to do it as that is my responsibility as an employee to the company. I find that after I have shared that even I face such "challenges", she is usually more receptive.

It is still a "work-in-progress" of course and yes, the kid does whine about some stuff has even commented that I am a "horrid mum", I stuck to my guns and still let her "fall" and make very obvious mistakes. My view on this is simple: sometimes lessons are meant to be lived through, so that they learn.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Raising the bar: Heart Studio June Holiday Workshop

Children express themselves in many ways, differently. As the pace of formal education picks up, the "need" and the "want" in me to look for ways for the kiddo to "let loose" increase too. And with the kiddo, it is all about Art.

The kiddo doodles when she is free, when she is happy and even when she is thinking (as that seems to be the way she processes her thinking). She started her Art journey with Heart Studio since almost 4 years back where I first blogged about it here and she has been with the studio ever since.

I advocate unstructured play and the kiddo gets loads of this at home, on her own where she draws, does crafts, paints pebbles and draws some more. Because it seems to be the medium which allows her to unwind, we have pretty much stuck to her Art classes.

For the regular terms at Heart studio, Dumpling has pretty much done Animal Themed projects,

Buildings (this was a "work-in-progress" photo)

and even artist inspired pieces like this "Henri Rousseau" piece

(my favorite project so far not because it is pretty but the kiddo applied the technique in one of her recent school projects) 

Now, for Heart Studio, their Holiday Workshops take on a different approach. The projects are mostly designed as 1-day workshop (usually less than 3 hours) where the studio introduces a mix of genre and media for the children (see poster below!)

Now, what Dumpling really loves is that the holiday classes also offer her the opportunity to learn different things such as new technique (pointillism), use new media (clay), etc. This time round, the kiddo chose "The Dancer" workshop.

The painting is of 3 ballerinas and the style, abstract. What the kiddo like was that it was a new technique learnt (short strokes, "layer on" instead of blending) and that well, all girls like pretty ballerinas I suppose! :p

:: The Process
One thing that stands out is that while most of the students' work look really impressive but in all of the sessions, it is the process that the teachers focus on.

From the very first lesson when the kiddo was just about 4YO, the teachers at Heart have been working with the children on the same process: starting all artwork with basic shapes and outlines. This was the same as with the Dancers painting. The hubs was at the workshop earlier and he proudly told me that the kiddo was pretty much independent in doing the painting with Teacher Elma demonstrating or making certain suggestions along the way.

The learning objective of this project is to introduce the children to "Abstract Art" as well as getting them to learn how to layer on the paint and learning how to use colours harmoniously. :) 

For me, I was glad that Dumpling has a chance to learn how to paint human forms as that is often challenging.

From the years that she has been with Heart Studio, she has grasped the understanding of light and shadow as well as the technique of blending. For this piece, Teacher Elma shared that Dumpling was "challenged" as there was no blending involved but to work on layering different tones. The style was that the paint should be thick where there is "texture" too.

From a parent perspective, I like that with each workshop and with each term, Dumpling is always learning new things be it a different style, working with water colours in different ways, etc.

And the finished piece? Ta-da! 

For parents who are keen to try Art out, I do not even know where to begin on the great things Art does for children. Besides improving on areas such as fine motor skills and focus, Art empowers children to exercise their imagination and creativity. It allows children to have a means to express themselves and allow the brain to make connections in ways we cannot imagine.

Heart Studio offers highly personalised classes where even in theme based classes like these, the children are allowed to choose the angles, characters and colours they wish to work with. Just look at Dumpling's recent term project on "Cubism"!

Check this out: almost all the children were working on vastly different characters! How's that for child-led approach? 

Workshops, to me, are a great way for children to try out something new as well as allow parents to gauge the child's interest and if they are comfortable with the environment, the approach and the teachers. For us, I am glad to say that the approach still "works" even after almost 4 years. :)

Heart Studio is running its June Holiday workshops from 30 May till 10 June. Because I am nice (LOL!), I have pasted the schedule below for your convenience :p

If you wish to contact Heart Studio to find out more about their cost / availability, here's their contact details. The slots do run out pretty quickly so do call them earlier :) 

Address and Tel
1 Charlton Lane #01-04,
  • Singapore 539631
  • T: (65) 6554 7563

  • Disclaimer: We were invited to the Holiday workshop so that we can give our opinions about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions (and  artwork LOL) are entirely ours though your kid can bring home their piece of artwork if they were to enrol too!
If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both to the kiddo and my furkid, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Busy Mum's Cheat Sheet: Composition Writing Made Easy eCourse by Big Ideaz Education (Review + Giveaway!)

I recently had a chat with a friend who shared wisely reading and writing should not be seen as "work". How true that is. As one who is in the early childhood industry, I would love for children to have more time to acquire the love for the language naturally and by naturally, I mean to read to and read, many many times over, with them. 

Alas, things are somewhat different when children enter mainstream school. Though tests are now called holistic assessments (which are basically tests broken down into bite size assessments and last over a span of 4 – 5 weeks!), end of the day, marks are still given and the papers are still graded. I have previously blogged about my thoughts on composition here

Creative writing is a skill which needs to be wielded like a sword; to mesh different materials together using a variety of tools and techniques. With Primary 2 being an important year for her (the school will be streaming them into different classes), Dumpling has expressed an interest to learn more and hone her writing skill and we were blessed to have the opportunity to review a Composition Writing Made Easy eCourse by fellow mummy blogger - Hui Ing. 

:: The eCourse 

This eCourse spans over 8 lessons covering a range of techniques which includes:
  • Writing a good introduction
  • Describing events and problems
  • Creating suspense, etc. 
What you need:
The eCourse is pre-recorded where you will need a working laptop / PC, internet connection and printed course notes. The page / materials are easily available with a simple log in where the each lesson focus is very clearly titled. 

What it entails

Each lesson comes with 3 components

  • A pre-recorded video clip (which lasts about an average of 8 mins elaborating on each of the topic)
  • Comprehensive course notes as well as 
  • Weekly assignments

Hui Ing, in her videos, reminds the children weekly to print the course notes and have them ready before she starts. The files for the weekly course are all in PDF where it maps back to the videos and the students makes the connection with the video viewed and attempts the questions on the spot.

(The above are all discussed in the video and Dumpling would pause the video to fill in the blanks)

So basically, for each lesson, the children are to watch a video, complete the notes and then work on their weekly submissions and then submit the work. Submission can be via a scanned  PDF file / good quality jpeg file. The turnaround time for Hui Ing is 3 working days. 

:: Our assignment

Dumpling is not familiar with the new PSLE format though she is attempting 4-picture compositions in school. With the new PSLE format, the good thing is that it allows for more imagination and creativity but the concept can be a tad "abstract" for the younger children or for children who are not articulate as they may lack the vocabulary and skill set to elaborate on the essay. 

The below is a portion of Dumpling's writing assignment from Lesson 3 and Hui Ing's comments. (Lessons 1 and 2 were focused on introductions so I am not sharing here.)

:: Our thoughts and experience

A busy mum's cheat sheet!
Being a FTWM, my worst enemy is time. It is hard to schedule my time and send Dumpling for classes in addition to her already busy schedule peppered with CCA, Art, Violin, etc. So this course is like a busy mum's cheat sheet as it works like a dream. It allows us to work on things anywhere and yes, the kiddo can even watch the video on my iPhone too! How's that for mobility? 

(Print screens of the video clip from my iPhone!)

The kiddo went through the first two lessons like a tornado as she found it to be really useful. Hui Ing was able to bring the point across in a short and succinct manner for e.g. using acronyms such as "SAFE" to prompt the children to be more intentional in their attempts at writing direct speech (elaborated below).

The marked paper was also sent back within 3 working days promised where she requested for a final draft to be sent back to her. :)  

:: What I like about it:

No memorising of fabricated phrases
In my opinion, Hui Ing made some simple but sharp suggestions on Dumpling's essay. In one of the holiday workshops that Dumpling has attended (and apparently at a rather "famous" writing enrichment centre), Dumpling shared that the teacher wrote some "power phrases" on the white board and the children were told to choose from the list to use it in the composition. She hated that. 

With Hui Ing's comments, as you can see, there was none of those. Hui Ing basically worked with the children's essays and guided from there. In the weekly course notes, examples of good phrases / vocabulary are given but she also requests for children to add on to the list to build up their own phrases / vocabulary bank. 

With Dumpling's compositions, the issue is not on grammar or on the vocabulary. As her stories tend to run a bit long, she sometimes does not elaborate enough on the "climax" / problem and Hui Ing was able to pick that out and zero in from there. Thereafter she gave a suggestion to guide Dumpling in her thought flow. In her email reply to Dumpling, Hui Ing was very encouraging too and I could see that was a confidence booster for the kiddo. 

Systematic approach on framework
The eCourse outline is well thought through and well planned. The lessons are systematic and the content short yet crisp. It has a very strong focus on helping children to get the framework right. 

For e.g. some of the courses which I have come across use the 5W and 1H approach. This I find, may be too generic for young children. In the children's writing, they could have all these 5W and 1H information but the story may not engage. In essence, the story does not draw the readers in. 

With Hui Ing's suggested "introduction" approaches and using acronyms to guide the children, it gives a framework where it becomes more intentional. For e.g. SAFE stands for Speech Action and FEelings and with such a technique, it helps the children to focus better when they are using direct speech, where the writing and thought process take on a more intentional and systematic approach. 

:: What Dumpling likes about it

"I like the lesson because there are lesson notes which are useful for me to refer to when I am writing. The videos are cool ~ I have never had e-lessons before. There are certain phrases and tips which I did not know and they were useful too." 

:: What the eCourse is NOT

The eCourse is great for the working mums as you can view the lesson anytime, anywhere. Having said that, there is support needed from us parents. For Dumpling, I had to support her in guiding her initially on this format and of course, we will also need to ensure that the children do their assignments and then send it back for marking.

The process of writing intertwines with other aspects of English such as grammar and vocabulary. While some of these will surface in the writing, essentially, this is a composition writing course and may not be able to deal with root problems such as poor grammar where the kid may not understand some basic grammar rules.

Lastly, like all things, practice makes perfect. The student needs to work on this consistently to be able to see an improvement over time. 

:: Extra, extras!
Keen to learn more? You can read some of Hui Ing's students' work here You can also view a free video which I personally love on "how to create suspense" to have a "feel" of how the weekly videos are like. 

Now that you have read about this eCourse, I am pleased to share that Hui Ing will be starting a new enrollment for July! And best of all, I have a give away for 2 readers worth a total of $400!

Just take part using "Rafflecopter" below!

:: Terms and conditions:
1) The prizes are not transferable and they cannot be exchanged for cash.

2) Only entries via Rafflecopter are valid. 

3) Answers to the question via rafflecopter (What is the most challenging area in the coaching of your child's writing process?) MUST be listed in the comment box below to qualify. Please remember to leave:
- your child's age
- your name &
- your email address in the comment box too. 

4) The eCourse is for the advanced Primary 2 students to struggling Primary 5 students and lasts over 8 weeks (2 months).  The course commences in July 2016. 

5) Closing Date of Giveaway: 16 June 2016, 2359 hrs.

6) Winners must respond to my email within 48 hours otherwise, they will be given to another winner. 

7) The giveaway is not endorsed, associated with administrated by Facebook. 

Note: Hui Ing only accepts up to 10 students per eCourse intake. So if you cannot wait for the giveaway results, please add your name to the eCourse wait list here

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored giveaway. We were invited to review the eCourse so that we can give our opinions about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours. 

:: About Big Ideaz Education
Big Ideaz Education is the brainchild of former MOE English Teacher Hui Ing. Big Ideaz Education provides resources for Creative Writing & Composition, Writing Workshops & Online Writing Courses for primary school children.  

The Composition Writing Made Simple eCourse is designed for Primary School students who are beginning to write compositions for examinations. It is targeted at Primary 3 and 4 students but is also suitable for more advanced Primary 2 students as well as Primary 5 students who are still struggling with the basics of composition writing. The course focuses on writing compositions based on the new (2015) PSLE format.  You can subscribe to Big Ideaz Education's mailing list here to receive the latest tips and news!

This is an ongoing series on documenting my learning and Dumpling's Primary School journey

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Creative Writing: The sleuthing way!

When I was still in school, English was my favorite subject. Being a bookworm, I found the subject fairly easy as there is not much prep-work to be done. The secret to English, I found out, was to read read and read.

Perhaps because the syllabus was more forgiving then so children were not expected to write compositions till in Upper Primary level. At that age, most of us would have matured and were able to voice our thoughts and pen our plots well.

Now that I am a parent, the challenge is different and the struggle, many times, is real. I am blessed that the kid loves languages and reads a lot but she was a reluctant writer. It took a few years to build up the practice before she was more intentional with her vocabulary and plot development. It is no secret that I am not a big fan of memorized phrases as I find such approach meaningless. My thoughts are if the children are inspired, there will be that innate passion and interest to pursue / delve into that area of interest.

With this belief, I recently helped organize a creative writing workshop and not just any “regular” workshop but one facilitated by the authors of Sherlock Sam, a popular children’s series! From an educator and a parental perspective, I wanted children to have the chance to meet published authors and understand their process, their work and the “pains” too! 

:: The authors
Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez are the authors of the Sherlock Sam series. Under the pen name of AJ Low, this husband and wife pen wielding team is well-matched both in interest and in the humour department, judging at some of the funny antics our hero Sherlock, gets up to. 

:: The workshop
The workshop started with an introduction on themselves as well as how they organise their ideas and co-write before they moved on to share on character development. 

The sharing was light-hearted and engaging as it was peppered with their own experiences while developing the characters - Watson and Sherlock Sam. (It helps that funny illustrations were shown too. LOL)

After every "segment", the children were then given time to work on their versions.

What I like was that tips were also shared and the authors walked around to interact with the children, asking them about their progression, prodding them to extend the storyline a bit more, etc. 

E.g. Dumpling decided on a super hero dog. Adan then "challenged" her to think deeper about the villain's background, the language her super hero spoke (LOL), what crimes her superhero would solve, etc. 

(The young participants were raring to share their characters with the authors) 

(Some of the boys' characters)

Judging from the response from the children, many were really excited about reading and parents have shared that they almost dove immediately into the series after the workshop. Some mums have also shared that the children discussed about the session / characters with them on the way home too.

:: How to book for it
The event was booked through the publisher - Epigram where a flat rate is charged for the workshop (about 90mins). Venue has to be arranged on your end. There is no minimum number of attendees to start the workshop since it is a flat rate. 

For this group, we prefer a smaller and cozier group so we had a size of 13. To support the event, Epigram also brought down some books for onsite purchase (though pre-orders can be arranged) and autographs were done by the authors after the workshop.  

:: What this workshop is not
The session is not a tuition session nor is it a diagnostic clinic. If you are looking for a workshop where you wish to expose your child to "power phrases" or to learn about certain "said formats" ~ e.g. the 5W and 1H, then this will not be for you. 

The attendees of this workshop were mainly in the Lower Primary (all except 1) and objectives that the parents had were to encourage the children to write in a meaningful and fun manner.

This is through inspiring the children through the engagement of these 2 published authors who bring with them a different set of experiences. Experiences on how they get ideas, how they work on developing the characters and story lines of Sherlock Sam, etc. 


If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 
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