Why should I start my child off so young? Will it really have an impact?
Not only would your child be coming away with some sense of what to do and how to conduct themselves when they encounter situations in which they have to be the center of attention, they would also be picking up important life skills like confidence, self-exploration and a familiarity with placing themselves outside the narrow boundaries of their comfort zone. The skills they will be exposed to in our course will also be directly relevant in their academic lives – we all know school and university is filled with one presentation after another, and the students who can deliver a speech convincingly and confidently get the best grades.
Is this an academic course?
Unlike Math Olympiad or other academic courses offered at Prep Zone, this is a subjective course centred around soft skills and overall enrichment. Your child will not be graded or measured against other children. Instead, constructive feedback and encouragement will be provided and hopefully, your child will come away having enjoyed himself and formed a love for learning and self-improvement.
What skills, specifically, are we talking about and how will these be developed?
This 5-day public speaking program is focused on very specific skills that they can practice in-class in a short time, and then continue working on at home independently – confident body language, good articulation and pronunciation, thinking on one’s feet, and how to structure ideas well. We work on these skills through a variety of in-class exercises such as tongue twisters, dramatic play, word games such as taboo and of course, guiding your child to complete his own presentation or speech. The program will also introduce your child to the basics of debate and critical thinking, as well as research skills, all invaluable to both school and life. We try to make education and enrichment as fun as possible, so that your child goes away having enjoyed himself and thus begins a love for lifelong learning and improvement. Such a course is designed for a child who is dipping his toes for the first time into confident speaking. Students will also be exposed to good speakers and presenters and be guided on what they should pay attention to and emulate.
After the course is completed, how can I encourage my child to put his skills to use?
Of course, the work doesn’t stop after this program; moving forward, there’s lots that you can encourage your child to do. Some skills, such as the ones we’ve chosen to focus on, can be introduced and worked on quickly. Others, such as developing good vocabulary, articulation and a critical mind take years of work. We highly encourage that you put in place a daily routine of 30 minutes of reading before bed – there is no shortcut to this if your child wants to improve his language skills, vocabulary and general knowledge. This should be time spent away from the phone or any other electronic device.
Besides that, we also encourage every child to start a vocabulary book – every time your child finds a word in a book that’s new to him, he should write that in an entry, along with the dictionary definition, and make a sentence with the word so you can see that he is using it correctly.
You can also get your child to write weekly book summaries for you. He should be finishing a book a week or every two weeks. At the end of that period, a half page summary (great writing practice!) will help him utilise his vocabulary, and help you keep an eye on his reading progress.