Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Creativity and Lifelong Learning with 79 Light Bulbs + Supporting the High Ability Kid

As a mom of three young kids, I sometimes ask myself, "What have we gotten ourselves into?" Parenting is not an easy task. It's a HUGE responsibility. It's more than just feeding, bathing, playing, educating at home and then sending our kids to school. Those are just the rudiments of parenthood. On a deeper level, I believe that God gave us our children to teach us how to love unconditionally, and at times it may seem, to test our faith. 

I look at my three young kids and see them as untainted works in progress. But as well-meaning parents, we cannot shield them from what is wrong with the world. Instead we should raise them to not just survive, but also thrive in an environment that is uncertain. It is our job to nurture them in a home where they will feel safe, where they will be taught to discern what is right from wrong and then think for themselves, learn to accept consequences, disappointments and failure with grace, have a strong faith system that allows them to understand God's wisdom and concept of timing. On the practical side, we also have to guide them to discover work that brings them fulfilment, teach them how to handle finances, how to deal with different people, how to think creatively and work around problems and never back down from a challenge.

If we are mindful and deliberate about raising our kids to fulfil their life's purpose, hone and support their talents, guide them so they can overcome weaknesses and accept them for who they are, I think we can rest safe in the knowledge that they will be happy with themselves and can stand on their own, and that we have done our job well. Yes, even in these uncertain times when it seems many people  are not thinking right and doing right.

I think it is this desire to raise my kids right that led me to meeting Joy Sua Go of BrainRX, KIT101 and now, 79 Light Bulbs. She has come up with the most amazing programs that are a blessing to both parents and children alike. Why a blessing to us? I asked her to share how her passion for learning and love for her kids have come together to offer these programs that will allow us, in her own words, "courage in self-expression and an open, adaptive mindset" which she believes will allow us to continuously grow in mind and spirit in the best and worst of times. This also serves as an invitation to attend their first ever event, "Supporting the High Ability Kid" which will help parents and educators understand and support gifted children. Please read on.

Creativity and Lifelong Learning with 79 Light Bulbs + Supporting the High Ability Kid 
By Joy S. Go

There is something about being in the driver’s seat of my mini-me’s uncharted lives that I find so daunting yet exciting. 

I’m a mom to a young teen and a tween. Balancing that desire to respect my kids’ wants and that conviction to do what my husband and I think is right and needed for our kids’ future is a tough yet delicate work-in-progress. One thing is sure: I discovered I very much enjoyed teaching my kids, understanding how their minds work plus why they act the way they do, and guiding them to improve what needs to improve. This revelation came only after I became a mom, and it totally changed my perspective on my values. Eventually, this paved the path for me to introduce the BrainRx cognitive training program from the US,

BrainRx brain training programs consist of intense mental exercises that sharpen the core skills the brain uses to think, learn, read, reason and pay attention.

BrainRx is especially helpful for struggling students, kids with ADHD, seniors who want to sharpen their memory and those who have had brain injuries and just about anyone who wants to stay sharp, as the exercises help improve thinking, memory, reasoning, and focus.

the KIT101 art program

Tin: This was Berry during her trial class at KIT 101. She was first taught the fundamentals of drawing a face using grid lines. Then she moved on to actually painting a portrait. 

I was amazed at what she could do in one session, with guidance from the art teachers at KIT101 of course

She was made to choose the colors she wanted for her portrait, they even taught her the concept of shadowing.

With Teacher Taka of KIT101, guiding Berry through the finishing touches of her portrait. We signed up for the Exploration program right after. It was amazing seeing how Berry's drawing and painting skills improve in just one class. 

and now, 79 Light Bulbs.

79 Light Bulbs offers quality activities promoting creativity and lifelong learning. It aims to inspire new ways of thinking and living, so we can be "the best persons we can be by our own standards." According to Joy, it will help us parents in our journey to raising our kids to become happy, productive and creative adults.

Friends ask how I come up with these ideas. To be honest, I just do what I feel is right. While I love being curious and learning so I can improve myself and my kids, it turns out that I have been incorporating the same passion in the three programs I’m doing—albeit subconsciously at the start. Beyond their common goal of improving minds, they’re really all about empowering parents and kids.

If there’s a ‘reason for being’ for 79 Light Bulbs, it’s this phrase that popped in mind one day: “Creativity is the wellspring of authenticity.” When we listen to our inner voice and let our creative essence (a.k.a. soul, creative spirit, chi, or mojo) flow and shine in the way we think, speak and act, through our choices and decisions, we honour and are being true to our selves. 

I created 79 Light Bulbs to help promote the value of creativity and lifelong learning, with the underlying goal of empowering ourselves and our children. It really takes a village to raise a child, much more a creative child. I hope to engage friends, parents, teachers, support personnel—all guides in our children’s lives to participate in a learning journey to raise our children into happy, productive, creative adults. With courage in self-expression and an open, adaptive mindset, I believe we can continuously grow in mind and spirit in the best and worst of times. 

Our upcoming event “Supporting the High Ability Kid” on October 15 focuses on an area where few trainings are available locally. This is not about making the brightest kids become brighter but rather, learning how to support and manage them as they experience their challenges.

Our speaker, Ms. Clarinda Choh, is the gifted program director of Hwa Chong Institution, one of the 6 known independent schools in Singapore that attract the top 5% of their national cohort.  With over 16 years of experience in teaching, administration, policy and leadership programmes in various schools, she is most happy to engage with us.

We hope to attract parents and educators to listen, learn, converse with a highly knowledgeable resource speaker, and get ideas that we can perhaps use in our lives and communities. What does it take to guide and support a high ability child? How should we address their cognitive, social, and affective needs? This workshop will take both parents and educators towards understanding the pathways of a high ability child including the foundation support for holistic development.

For details & registration, please visit http://www.79lightbulbs.com/current.html

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