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Will your child be READY for the FUTURE?

25/06/2013

 

Let’s face it – the pressure for kids to perform academically is great. For some, this burden they carry upon their shoulders is light. For others, it is enough to make them crumble. But beyond the constant academic pursuit, let’s not forget that our children thrive best under a wholesome childhood, one in which they can feel happy and accepted – confident in the knowledge that they possess the potential to be successful people.

 

True success should not be measured just by how many A’s our kids can score in their exams, or whether or not they did better than our friends’ children. While striving to perform their best in school is important, putting that as the main focus of a child’s life can cause insurmountable stress, and likely take away the joys of growing up and the value of learning through play.

 

Instead of piling our children with more assessment books and packing their weekends with tuition classes, perhaps a different approach towards the intellectual development of our children needs to be taken. We live in a world that is unpredictable and fast-evolving, and it is unlikely that textbook knowledge and grades will be sufficient to meet the future challenges in life.

 

What then, will ensure that our children possess the capabilities to face obstacles and effectively solve problems – throughout their lives?

 

The key is to give our kids the lifelong cognitive skills to be able to process, analyse, reason, judge and apply knowledge. Instead of rote-based learning, we need to teach them how to learn, think and apply knowledge and information.

So what exactly are cognitive skills? Cognitive skills are the mental processes that we use daily throughout our lives. They include perception, attention, memory, motor, language, visual and spatial processing and executive function skills.

 

Why are these skills important and how do they contribute to a child’s holistic development? Let’s use sports as an analogy. If you wish to be a good swimmer, you need to train your breath control, have good hand and leg control and be able to keep your body afloat. Similarly, cognitive skills are the fundamental brain skills that help us be more effective and efficient in our intellectual processes.

 

When a child’s cognitive skills are strong, they become better able to:
 

  1. Make connections between ideas and words

  2. Be more observant and careful in their tasks

  3. Retain information more effectively

  4. Read more fluently and efficiently

  5. Listen and follow more sets of instructions

  6. Apply thinking and reasoning to tasks given

  7. Be more confident and interested in learning

  8. Pick up new knowledge faster

 

The good news is that every child has the potential to enhance his or her cognitive skills. Each of us has a unique make up of cognitive profile; consisting of strengths and areas of potential. The other good news is that it is never too late to start developing and training these brain skills. Our brains are neuroplastic, which means that it is able to relearnrewire and readjust according to the activities and experiences we expose it to (just like picking up a new language or sports).

 

The focus for our children’s lives shouldn’t lie solely in grooming them to be top scorers. Rather, it is more beneficial to help them be equipped with the necessary skills that will last them a lifetime – skills that are essential to help them become wholesome individuals who are able to think, apply knowledge and solve problems.

 

It is time to look beyond grades and give our children the building blocks for their future success!

 

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