{Review+Giveaway} Trainium Academy Creative Thinking Camp & Confident Speech Workshop

We stumbled upon Trainium Academy and the courses they offer while planning for June holiday activities.  Trainium Academy focuses on developing children and empowering them with the ability to think out of the box, and to prepare them for confident speech presentations through various workshops.  As mentioned earlier in my worry that R has the lack of social presentation skills and being very frightened when he has to approach a stranger, I approached Trainium and was advised that it is very normal in small children and that they need to be given plenty of opportunities to develop their self confidence.

Even as I know that I must create opportunities for R to “sell his speech”, he might not get the real chance of having a readily supportive “audience” to interact with him.  I try to create chances for him to interact with strangers on a daily basis.  However in our actual world, children are often ignored, strangely (unless adult stands around visibly to watch over them).

  • There was once when I got him to return a student TransitLink card to the MRT Station Control officer, the staff (probably encountered too many of such cases but that’s just bad PR) simply took it over and chuck it over at the nearby countertop without so much of an effort to acknowledge R – did not look at him, no smile, no thanks.  R was wondering why the person was so rude. So I had to save the situation by personally thanking R for doing a favour to the child who lost the card by returning his card to the right people.
  • There were other times when I sent him to Mall Concierge to ask for directions, he could barely make himself audible after the lady tried to get him to repeat three times.  I normally don’t step in unless he really couldn’t make himself loud and clear enough or I was embarassed for taking up too much time from others.
  • Have you ever encountered sending your child to get an extra pair of chopsticks while out dining only to have him treated as transparent paper when he tried to ask for it from the busy staff?
  • R had his first show and tell in school this year.  I was excited and helped him along with the preparation.  It was a short 5-sentence presentation on his pet and to encourage him, I even allowed him to bring along his terrapin “Ninja” to show his friends in school hoping that he’ll be so proud to share with his friends.  Even though he could already make a pretty decent presentation to me at home, and remembering his lines well, I was told that he froze when it was his turn and teacher had to guide him along.  His teacher told me that he was visibly frightened and need to show him more encouragement.  I was crushed but didn’t dare to show R my disappointment.  I think he felt the pressure when it came to the real thing compared to practicing it at home with me.  And hence I could only tell him that “It’s ok, we will do better next time.” and then went on to ask about his terrapin’s adventure at school, his friends’ reaction to “Ninja”, etc..
  • Once, I showed him a video of LEGO Robotics competition about this model being constructed to make use laser and computer to solve rubic cubes puzzle within seconds.  He was awed on the train and kept asking for replay.  There was this uncle who also saw and decided to share with him about the competition between China and Germany and went on to blah blah about rubic cubes.  R was so shy and could mostly only stare at the uncle blankly while listening to his friendly conversation.  And he could not answer his questions with words except only nodding/shaking his head.  Nevertheless, he managed to say thanks and farewell after I reminded him before we got off at our station.

All these negative experiences happened pretty recently, as in within this year.  I didn’t even mention the weekly poem recitation at Shichida classes when he was 4-5 yo.  Now that I realize the grave importance of the ability to deliver his presentation, I hope that it is not too late as he will be having his first formal Show & Tell test (yes, graded) in Primary 1 within the next 6-9 months from now.  Like my friend has mentioned, there’s only one kind of mould in our school system – you fit or don’t.  😦

What worked for his elder sister, K, didn’t work for him at all.  But I was kind of overly gan-jiong and want to help him in building his self-confidence.  But then, this is life 😦  Not everybody is a born talker.  I can only use these failed attempts as teaching points and constantly show him that he needs to be heard when he speaks, and he needs to also grab people’s attention first before he tries to speak.  I myself have this problem too.  How to blame him?  😦

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We were elated when Eugene offered all our three kids, K, Wey and R, the opportunity to attend his June workshops on Creative Thinking as well as Confident Speech Presentation at Trainium Academy.  Eugene is the Master Trainer at Trainium Academy and he coaches both adults and kids professionally to bridge their confidence in speech presentation and communication delivery skills.

Creative Thinking Workshop

Creative Thinking Workshop is a one-day camp for 7 to 12 years old and it focuses on the apparent – How to Think Creatively.  We are not so sure if being creative can be taught, for what we know is that children are already creative on their own between the age of 0-6 years old due to the dominant right brain at work.  After the golden preschooling years, the left brain will slowly take over although in many highly-creative people, their right brain is still dominant.  Without much ado, let’s proceed on to see what the kids took home from the workshop.

At the workshop, the children were encouraged to think out of the box and to create something out of nothing.  Through a simple exercise of getting the children to list the uses of old books, Eugene feedback that it took him very long to lead the kids through the brainstorming process beyond the usual read, read and read.  The children were assured that there is really no right or wrong in creative solutions and that really, anything can go or be improvised upon.  At the end of the session, the children managed to compile several uses for old books like, making a birthday card, sit on it, or making a bed out of it.  Actually we thought that they had been given lots of clues too. Hahah!

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Aside from the focus in empowering kids with good habits in the critical areas of communication and thinking skills, he also made sure that a fun and action-filled environment is set up for the little ones.  The children were taught the ABC of Creative Thinking, that is, Asking good questions, Brainstorming, and lastly, Combining ideas.

When given newspapers, masking tape and the instruction to make a head gear, the children went into creativity and imaginative mode instantly.   Just look at what each of them made I believe every mum and dad here would agree that the kids would be able to come up with something very creative totally on their own when it comes to masking tape and papers! Hahahah!

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Photo from Trainium Academy

Trainium Academy

Photo from Trainium Academy

There was also a drawing session whereby the children were given 2 shapes – a circle and a triangle, and they were supposed to draw their own picture as presented below.

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Wey, the highly imaginative one. Minion roller coaster?? Wow!!

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I must admit that K is not very right-brain dominant. No wonder she is the analyzer at home!

From the drawing exercise, we can somewhat tell what goes on in their mind when given a few simple lines on a white paper.  I could also tell the difference between my two kids – K & R.

Towards the later half of the session, while standing outside the classroom, I could hear that the children were taught where to stand and how to position themselves for a short presentation to parents, and were assured that each and every one of their presence can offer bravery and courage to the other.  They were constantly reassured that cues were available on the slides they had helped with input earlier.  They were also told not to worry about their mistakes and forgetting their lines.  Most importantly, they must speak up and be audible when they do.

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Presentation Time from another group – Hats!

It’s a pity that all three of our kids – Wey, K and R were not a part of the presentation to end the camp with, we don’t know why.  Both Audrey and myself have the opinion that the Creative Thinking Workshop is a fun drop-off day camp for the little ones to mingle and associate with other children of varying age.  And mums get to enjoy a day of me-time to attend to other matters, or like what we both did – we went feasting to our hearts’ content!

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Eugene had messaged me the night after the Creative Thinking Workshop about the well-being of K and R, and explained that they both refused to do any presentation and that he did not force them.  He also pre-empted me that he would be separating all the children who attended the workshop in groups as everyone was keeping to their own group of friends and not mingling around enough.

Confident Speech Workshop

The next two days following the above Creative Thinking Workshop, we were off to continue with the Confident Speech Workshop with more expectations of fun than the day before.  They woke up when I called them to, and we reached very early too.    True enough, as per the message exchange the night before with Eugene, all three of them – Wey, K and R got separated into different groups.  So were the other group of children who signed up together.  There were initial resistance and reluctance from the children but they were also quick to listen to instructions.

I was looking forward to this workshop in the hope that the kids could pick up a trick or two while having fun.  As both workshops are not parent-accompanied, I gathered from R that they were “just playing and playing, and playing games” whole day.  What I found out later was that they were playing constructive communication games and had teams pitting against each other in verbal competition.  Team members from the winning team got a prize apparently, something most teachers would use to entice the kids to participate actively in class.  Hahaha!  They also watched some videos and had Q&A session, and also did more drawing.

Photo from Trainium Academy

Photo from Trainium Academy : That’s R writing or drawing (?) something on the board.

They started on writing a little bit about themselves in preparation for next (and final) day’s presentation in the afternoon.  As for the smaller ones, they were guided with age-appropriate 4-5 sentences written on the board and they were supposed to customize the speech for themselves.  However R doesn’t understand and ended up copying every single word written on the white board!  Hahah!

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Essentially, in the eyes of R, his daddy is the Best Hugger (is there such a word? LOL) in the world.  But I’m not so sure about the “listening to make him happy” part.  R is notoriously obstinate and stubborn when he is unhappy 😦

As for myself, ahem(!) I’m the Best Badminton Player in the world, okayz!!  ;p

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True enough, that night I had helpers to mop the whole house.  But then, their energy seemed to have stopped there.  It’s back to mama-the-mopper again after the workshop 😦

On the second and last day of Confident Speech Workshop, both Audrey and myself turned up earlier than expected, hoping to see what’s going on just before the kids were due to give their presentation speech to parents.  The children were taking turn to rehearse their speech in different rooms and we saw that they were constantly given reminders on how to project their body language, and how to talk properly, how to stand, etc.

I didn’t have much worry about K as she has always been under the category of “OK” type since small.  With practice and maturity, she should have no problem in a normal speech delivery to survive in the corporate world – I don’t know about her teachers in school, but that’s what mummy believes in.  She volunteered to be the first to give her speech and as expected, it went pretty well for her though I still can sense the usual nervousness with her body language.  But I must say she has done it pretty well for her age.

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What surprised me big time was that, when it came to R’s turn, he actually gamely went up to the front, full of smiles and was READY to give his speech (albeit still feeling nervous as you can see from his hands).  He started his presentation very audibly loud and it would have ended well if not for him forgetting the last two remaining lines.  Hahha!  Even so, I was really impressed by his courage that day and had questions over how Eugene managed to transform him within the short 3 days with him.

Actually, I was not supposed to publish the above video.  Each parent received a video of their own child/children via email after the workshop.  But nothing proves what I’ve said above other than watching it for yourself right?

I found out from Eugene and he shared that his team played a lot of verbal and communication games with the children over the past two days, with the objective of making them feel relaxed with each other and make new friends.  It was easier to boost their confidence and to prepare them for their speech.  The children were also individually guided along the way about what to say (for eg., the “best hugger” part hahaha), and no pressure were given to the children at all.

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However, after listening to Eugene, I didn’t detect any special tools or method he used with R to help him overcome his fears.  I was happy and proud enough that he managed to do it and now has beliefs that he CAN do it too if he wants to.  Just how?  Perhaps sending him to regular classes and continuing to give him more opportunities will help him a lot.

Photo from Trainium Academy : Fooling around after workshop ended.

The kids are all eager to return to Uncle Eugene’s class in the next holiday.  This shows how much they loved his workshop and are eager to have him play with them again.

For parents who are keen to sign up for future workshops, here are some details for the upcoming ones happening in a weeks’ time!

Creative Thinking 1-Day Workshop (For 7 – 12 year old)

Date :  7th September 2015
Time : 9.30am to 5pm (Parents will be invited to watch a presentation by their kids at 4pm)
Fees : $250 (lunch included)
Class Size : Max 20

Click here for more details.

Confident Speech 2-Day Workshop (For 7 – 12 year old)

Date : 7th-8th August | 8th-9th September 2015
Time : 9.30am to 5pm (Parents will be invited to watch a presentation by their kids at 4pm)
Fees : $500 (lunch included)
Class Size : Max 12

Click here for more details.

Venue : 111 North Bridge Road, Level 21, Peninsula Plaza, Singapore 179098 (Map)
Registration Deadline : 2nd August ’15
Group Discount : 10% discount for 3 kids or more
Multiple Workshop Discount : 10% for both workshops signed up together
Payment Method : To be advised once registration is accepted.

To register, email priscilla@trainiumacademy.com or call Eugene at 91791401 for more information about workshop content.

[Ended] GIVEAWAY : Creative Thinking Workshop ($250) [Ended]

Thanks to the our kind sponsor, Trainium Academy, we’ve got 1 slot for a child to attend the upcoming Creative Thinking 1-day Workshop, worth $250, for giveaway to readers of SAys! Happy Mums! That’s right! 1 lucky reader will get to send his/her child for the full-day workshop.  Scroll up above for details on the workshop.

Date of workshop : 7th September 2015, Monday, School Holidays

To take part and qualify, please make sure all the following steps are completed:

1) {Compulsory} COMMENT on this blog post with your Child’s Age, Facebook Name and your email address (for contact purposes in case you win).

2) {Compulsory} LIKE SAys! Happy Mums  and Trainium Academy on Facebook.

3) {Compulsory} LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post with the caption “Tag @Friend A  @Friend B  @Friend C @Friend D @Friend E  @SAys Happy Mums has a full-day Creative Thinking Workshop for children to give away.”.  DO set your post to PUBLIC so that we are able to verify your entry.

4) {Not Compulsory}  It helps us track your entry easier ~ Leave a comment on the Facebook post. Simply comment DONE!  🙂

5) {Optional + 1 Chance}  We’d love to have you joining us on Instagram!  Follow @sayshappymums for instamoments.  ❤

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 6th August 2015, Wednesday at 11.59PM.
  • Prize is fixed and cannot be changed to a different item.
  • Winner(s) will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 48 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck!

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulations to Jenny!  We will be in touch via email shortly ❤

Trainium Academy

Announcement Date 11 Aug ’15

Wait!!  There’s 1 more giveaway!!

Right now, Trainium Academy is running a Facebook giveaway contest for ONE lucky winner for a slot in their very popular 2-day workshop (worth $500).  Hop over here to take part for your double chance!

 

ABOUT THE TRAINER

Website | Facebook

Eugene is a proud father of 3 children, aged 10, 6 and 4, married to a beautiful and supportive wife.  Having graduated from NTU with an Honours degree in Communication, he has earlier invested 12 years of professional life in managing strategic marketing and communication projects for large corporations in SG and HK before he decided to provide coaching for children.  He firmly believes that children can be empowered with the ability to form good habits in the critical areas of communication and thinking skills, and at the same time, maintaining a fun-filled, action-packed environment.  Being a humourous and approachable adult with a warm personality helps bridge the gap for children who are shy and helpless when in front of strangers.  When children learn the skills of confident communication and creative thinkers, they will also grow to become more successful and fulfilled in the years ahead.

Trainium Academy

All photos belong to and are provided by Trainium Academy & SAys! Happy Mums for purposes of this review article. Pls do not reproduce any of the photos for any purposes unless prior approval has been approved by us.
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Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.
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~ SAys! Shirley
Disclaimer : Our children were invited for the above two camps and this review is done based on what we could gather feedback from the children.  All opinions are of our own and no monetary compesation was received.

 

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About SAys! Happy Mums

We are a Singapore Mum Blog hosted by BFFs Shirley & Audrey. We blog about our children, parenting and family lifestyle. Most often than not, we find ourselves immersed in family and kids entertainment and can't escape from the lure of great food!

11 thoughts on “{Review+Giveaway} Trainium Academy Creative Thinking Camp & Confident Speech Workshop

  1. Isaac (the naughty Laughing one) is 7 going on 8 years old
    Mummy’s Facebook Name is Kathy Woon Tan
    Our email address, prectitude@yahoo.com

    Hope to win this to boost his grades for Show & Tell.. was just telling hubby, this lil one needs some polishing with public skills presentation!!

    Like

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