What time is it? Summer time! While we stay home (again) with Phase 2’s heightened measures, here’s a list of fun techtivities you can do with your family in the comfort of your own homes!

In the event of these heightened measures, we hope that you take the necessary precautions when going out and continue to stay safe and healthy! Keep holding on! 💪

Watch Theatre Storytelling Sessions Online

Gateway Arts Limited have super fun storytelling sessions suitable for children ages 3 to 7 years old (on-demand available). This June, they have a lineup of FREE and paid online sessions that you and your child can enjoy!

With fable titles like Tiger Loses His Stripes and The Brave Dragons, you can spend the holidays gaining memorable lessons that your child (and even you!) can benefit from in order to better navigate the world.

Secret Little Helpers, one of the sessions organised by Gateway Kids Club.

Price: Free – $20
To check out and book their sessions, click here.

Experience #MuseumFromHome by the National Museum

This timeless repository of online resources and programmes developed by the National Museum will surely keep your family entertained for hours on end! Get curious and learn through technology, and even learn about technology, such as the Setron TV (Hint: It’s a locally assembled television in the 1970s). Access free video tutorials on arts and crafts, baking and science, that are suitable for all to enjoy and great for family bonding! You can even download and print activity sheets to do as a family.

Price: Free
To find out more, click here.

Learn How To Grow Edible Plants with NParks

Since we are advised to stay home these days, why not bring the outdoors to you? Keep your house fresh and green by planting your own edible plants. Here’s a helpful playlist by NParks on how you can grow your own! They show how to grow herbs like lime and basil, as well as vegetables like eggplant and lady’s fingers. Best of all, you can learn from the NParks experts from home, all thanks to technology.

All the best, we’re rooting for you! 

Price: Free
To learn more, click here.

STEM Stories with Piqolo Kids

Join little space explorers Peppy and Lili as they embark on a mission to locate their missing eggs in the tropical wilderness of Singapore! Piqolo Kids comics are the perfect way to introduce STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to young ones aged 6 to 9 (younger and older kids can enjoy too!).

Volume 2 of the exciting series will be coming out this June, so keep your eyes peeled for it! Meanwhile, Volume 1 is on sale – it’s adorable and jam-packed full of fun activities for your little ones to get acquainted with STEM.

Includes: Activity book, character cards, sticker and translation sheet
Price: $8 with free shipping
To find out more and access FREE activity sheets, click here.

Summer Holiday Coding Camps

All of our Coding Lab classes are now online. But fret not, our complete e-learning solution includes live video conferences with our tutors, online questions, video-on-demand and everything you need to fully understand the material. Experience our award-winning curriculum from the comfort of home – some have said that it is easier to navigate than MOE’s Home-Based Learning!

Check out this video of our 5-year-old junior coder in action:

Date: 31 May to Mid August
Price: From $375.25
To find out more, click here.

The Ultimate Stay-At-Home Summer Bucket List For Families

We’ve compiled the exciting techtivities above into this ultimate checklist specially made for you and your family! Feel free to download the printable A4 version here – you and your kids can add to the bucket list with their own favourite things to do too!

Download and make your own bucket list!

If you haven’t seen our previous techtivity recommendations, check out our May #TechtivitiesOfTheMonth, which includes more cool tech-related activities you can do with friends and family!

(Written by Zulaikha)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Home-Based Learning (HBL) is slowly becoming the new norm, with students, teachers and parents familiarising themselves with digital devices in order to continue the pursuit of knowledge.

Wondering how to enjoy HBL with your child or how you can get through it? Look no further! From concerns of screen time to helping your child acclimatise to online learning while juggling other responsibilities, we have you covered!

The Coding Lab Team has specially curated a list of tips for you and your child to navigate this HBL successfully. Take deep breaths and read them below!👇

Tip #1. Create a conducive environment for learning

Tip #1 - Create a conducive environment

Did you know?
Good learning environments can increase one’s motivation, focus and general learning ability.

Ensuring a conducive learning environment is fundamental to the quality of your kid’s learning. So, what are some ways that you can create the ideal learning environment and help your child to learn better? 

  • The state of your child’s study space can determine their learning ability and life habits, so encourage them to organise their study area. This reduces visual distractions, which improves focus and memory. It also helps that you are building good lifelong habits in them!

  • Too many members in your household at home? Discuss and decide on the house rules and map out the areas to learn, work, rest, and bond. Your child could do HBL at the tidy dining table while you work in the living room. This way, everyone has the perfect environment to work and study in!

Tip #2. Plan daily routine

Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Did you know that planning a daily routine with your kid also encourages them to take ownership of their learning?

Unlike in schools where there are teachers to supervise your child, you may not always be available to watch over them, nor make certain that they are doing their work. In this case, it is crucial that you establish a structured routine with them.

Guide your child to plan their own HBL days and set their own learning goals. This will help your child to get into the right mindset, be more productive and keep the boundaries between work and home from blurring.

  • Consider when to study, play and eat together, which will teach your child to be disciplined and to stay on track.
  • Ensure that mealtimes are consistent (balanced and nutritious) to provide nourishment for your growing children.
  • Make sure that your child changes out of his/her pyjamas before HBL starts! This will serve as a cue to start the school day.

Tip #2 - Plan daily routine

Need a planner template?
The Coding Lab team has created a printable planner for you. Print it out and put it on the fridge, use a whiteboard, Google or Apple calendar – try it out and find out what works best!

Tip #3. Inculcate healthy digital device habits

Tip #3 - Inculcate healthy digital device habits

Did you know?
You can control and monitor your child’s screen time with Digital Wellbeing on Android devices and Screen Time on Apple devices. Beyond simply restricting your kid’s access, educate them on how they can take responsibility for their own online well-being. 

Read more: 5 Tips to Better Eye Health

With full HBL, the age at which children use digital devices and are encouraged to get one of their own is getting younger. Healthy digital device habits are necessary for our digital economy, with the widespread use of digital devices. What are these “healthy digital device habits”? It refers to using the Internet responsibly, minimising screen time and taking regular eye breaks! 

Follow ROLE to cultivate healthy screen use habits:

  • Review your child’s and your own screen use, so you can be a role model for your little one.
  • Offer fun screen-free alternatives to engage your kid. For example, have them do off-screen activites with family-friendly games such as Jenga or a family exercise session together.
  • Limit your child’s screen time and ensure that there are consequences to violating their amount of screen time allocated. 
  • Eliminate unneeded background screen time, such as the TV, to avoid distracting your child. 

Additionally, enforce regular eye breaks. We make it compulsory for our students to take eye breaks every hour – whether they are doing physical or online classes. This instills good eye care habits, and we all know the benefits of having breaks – it gives us a breather and helps us to be productive and stay focused. Set a timer and look out of the window at something green together with your child, and reap the benefits together!

Tip #4. Have regular check-ins

At the end of the day, make time to have regular conversations with your child. Such check-ins can help them feel supported and cared for. Ask your child about their day gently, but be sure to listen attentively! Simple questions such as ‘How was your day?’, ‘What did you learn in class today?’ and ‘How is your daily routine?’ can spark a meaningful conversation.

It is essential for you to model this behaviour by sharing about your day too. How was your own day? You can take the opportunity to bond with your child and affirm him/her for the resilience and learning to adapt to the current situation, encourage your child to explore strengths and interests, and help them work through any issues that they might need help with. You can also involve other family members and check in on their well-being.

This is also a good chance for you to exemplify how the topics they have learnt in their textbooks and assignments work in real life. For instance, if your child is learning about lipids in school, you could make a cup of Dalgona coffee with them and explain the science behind how lipid compounds in coffee oil help to form a stable coffee foam that you can pour over milk. You can even get creative and make latte art together too!

Tip #4 - Have regular check-ins

Wondering what to talk about?
Here are some conversation starters and topics.

  • Do you require any guidance or assistance?
  • Is there something that you want to do or learn more about?
  • How do you feel about the current COVID-19 situation?

Tip #5. Have ‘me time’

Tip #5 - Have 'me time'!

Learn about STEM through comics!
We’re giving away 5 sets of colourful STEM comics by Piqolo Kids for ages 3 to 9. Hurry on and participate here, the giveaway ends on 31 May 2021!

‘Me time’ is a need for daily functioning, not a want. It also increases productivity! By making a conscious effort to take the time out to relax, it can release stress and tension, and increase motivation.

MOE announced that HBL would enable students to have the time and space to explore their areas of interests by initiating learning activities independently. Let your child read up on topics of interest or try out activities they are passionate about, such as tinkering, baking or playing a musical instrument (why not give coding a try?).

But, ‘me time’ shouldn’t only be reserved for your child! Yes, even if you are a responsible parent, you still need your own personal time. We know that working from home and supervising your kids can be tough and require more of your attention. All this parenting can have a mental and physical strain on you. Making time for yourself to rest and recharge is paramount in preventing severe burnout during this time. Play your favourite movie, contact your friend for a chat or take a jog — just find time for your personal relaxation! Remember, taking care of yourself is the first step to taking care of your children. 

We hope these five tips will help you in getting through HBL with your dear child (or children!), and do share this article with your friends and family if you found it useful! 

Now that you’ve read our article on what you can do to get through your child’s HBL, why not learn even more tips to make your child’s digital journey the best it can be? From proper typing posture to digital security, read What You should know Post-Circuit Breaker now to learn more and gear up for when Hybrid classes make a comeback! 😉

Need more resources? You can check out the Parent Kit curated by MOE. Remember to stay home, stay safe and stay curious! 🤩

(Written by Amanda Soh and Edited by Cheryl Tang)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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Today, we would like you to meet Kieran Ho, our student and 1st Place (Python and Electives) at the International Coding Showcase 2020 (JP-SG) and awardee of Most Promising Young Coder at the Young Coders Global Hackathon (YCGH) 2020 Meet the inquisitive and bright, young boy in Secondary One this year.

Hi Kieran, tell us a bit about yourself!

Photo of Kieran, aged 12 and awarded the Most Promising Young Coder
Meet Kieran, aged 13 now, and with two years of coding experience

I turn 13 in July, and I have just started studying at NUS High School of Math and Science. I first got interested in coding when I came to Coding Lab in Primary 5. This led me to choose to attend NUS High as they have a module for computational thinking… and most of my friends are going there as well!

How was your initial coding experience?

When I first realised coding was a thing, I was slightly confused and didn’t really know what it was about. I only knew that you could code games. However, in Primary 2, when my friend said that he was reading a book about coding, I got interested in the topic and decided to find out more. Since then, I was fascinated by coding and after joining Coding Lab, I have deepened my understanding of programming immensely enough that I want it to be a part of my future career.

“Even if it seems hard now, in the future, it will get better and your hard work shall be rewarded!”

What is your favourite coding experience so far?

I really enjoyed participating in YCGH 2020. At the time, it was the largest project I had done, and I worked hard on it. In the end, my hard work paid off! I got a Merit award and got into the Top 5 finalists.

Is there a favourite project or program that you’ve done up?

My favourite project was probably a school administration system that I made using Python in my free time. The school administration program basically stores a list of students and teachers, and you can add students and teachers to the list and remove them as well. It could be used to manage teachers and students who have joined the school. This actually took a few weeks for me to code, which was quite a long time to me back then, as most projects I did back then didn’t really take too long to finish. It was quite fun to make and I really enjoyed it.

Watch Kieran’s International Coding Showcase submission

What would you say to other kids who are starting out coding for the first time now?

I would probably ask them to follow their dreams and to never give up. Even if it seems hard now, in the future, it will get better and your hard work shall be rewarded!

What do you like most about your coding classes?

I like that Coding Lab provides a great atmosphere to learn coding and even make new friends. The lessons are fun and immersive, and in case you need help, experienced coaches will always be by your side.

What do you want to do with coding in the future?

I might get a job that involves coding in some way, or enrol in a computational thinking course. I would definitely continue joining coding competitions, as I think they’re fun and can also help to improve my understanding of coding as a whole. They also teach me several important moral values such as resilience and perseverance.

Catch Kieran in the interview video with our dear students!

Kieran Ho, 13, is a Year One student at NUS High School of Math and Science. He started out with App Inventor when he was 11 years old, and has since quickly breezed through Python. He is brimming with potential, already taking on the Advanced Electives under our S200 series (recommended for ages 13 to 18).

(Written by Nicole Loo)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
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The task of understanding and memorising important facts and information for exams can be daunting at times. Every mark counts and you definitely want to answer all the questions and get the highest score you can get! 💯

Before beginning to memorise, you should always understand the content first – then memorise. When we teach our students to code, we ensure that they understand the codes and can apply them regardless of the situation, instead of simply memorising and following. Memorising is the key that will help you to do your questions quickly and to lock in your marks, and we find that it works best for facts and formulae.

The Coding Lab team is here to lend a helping hand for you to strengthen your memory and ace your exams with flying colours. Check out the tips that we’ve specially curated below! 

Resized Memory Tips - Test Yourself

1. Test yourself! 

When you learn and memorise something new, it is important to test yourself. By doing so, you are asking yourself questions about the material. As a result of that, you have to recall the content that you have memorised to the best of your ability. 

This particular method works because recalling the material makes the memories stronger and easier to retrieve for later [1]. By consolidating and reinforcing your knowledge, you will have a better grasp of how much and how accurate your memory work is. 

You can test yourself by using paper and pen to write out the formulae, voice record yourself reciting the content, or even collaborate with your friends with free online tools like Quizlet. It is a free tool that allows you to create digital flashcards and quizzes to test yourself and share questions with others. This way, you can see how much you’ve remembered and what else you have to work on remembering better!

2. Use mnemonics

A mnemonic is a tool that helps us retain information by translating it into a form that is simpler or easier to remember [2]. They can come in the form of a song, rhyme, acronym, image, phrase, or sentence [3]. The use of mnemonics can help you remember material swiftly and are particularly useful when the order of things are important. 

An example of an easy mnemonic is for compass directions – North, East, South, West. You can use the following expression Naughty Elephants Spray Water to recall the different directions. 

In fact, mnemonic codes are widely used in computer programming and communications system operations so as to enable its user to recall specific instructions effortlessly [4]! How cool is that? 

Memory Tip 5 - Use mnemonics image

Here is an example of a mnemonic in Math – the BODMAS:

Source: Skills You Need

Resized Memory Tips - Sleep

3. Sleep well

Did you know that not sleeping or getting enough sleep could lower your learning abilities by as much as 40%? Getting too much sleep on the other hand could also affect memory and other cognitive processes [6]! 

Sleep helps to consolidate the information that you have learned into memories that are stored in the brain. With the right number of hours of sleep, the brain has sufficient time to create new pathways for the information learnt. Hence, being sleep deprived could make it more difficult for you to remember things and even impact your focus, reduce decision-making skills. You may also have poor emotional and behavioural control. 

We all know that an average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep, but what about children and teenagers? Take a look at the list below to find out how many hours of sleep you or your child needs! 

4. Use chunking

Chunking is the process of taking individual pieces of information and grouping them into larger and more meaningful units [5]. Grouping single elements into larger blocks can improve your working memory immensely as information becomes easier to retain and recall.

A simple example of how you can use chunking would be when you remember phone numbers. A phone number sequence of 6-9-7-7-9-6-4-1 would be chunked into 6977 9641. 

As for remembering items from a list – for example, a shopping list – you can break them down into smaller groups and categorise them based on whether they are dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, or more. 

Memory Tip 4 - Use Chunking image

“Chunking is the ability of the brain to learn from the data you take in, without having to go back and access or think about all that data every time … it makes our brains more efficient. The more you can chunk something, the faster and easier you can process it.” 

Kevin Maney, best-selling author of The Two-Second Advantage

Resized Memory Tips - Eat Healthily

Check out Food For Thought: Best brain food for programmers for more food tips to get that brainpower to code!

5. Have a healthy diet 

As the saying goes: “You are what you eat.” In order to achieve good memory, it is important to watch what you consume. 

Your overall diet has a significant impact on your brain health. Inflammatory diet patterns that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats and processed foods could bring negative effects like impaired learning and an increased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s [7].

In fact, research has shown that this way of eating does not only affect our body, but also parts of our brain responsible for memory – mainly the hippocampus. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge discovered that obese people were 15-20% worse at a memory test than participants who were of a healthy weight [8]. 

It is never too late to change your diet – adopt a diet rich in brain-healthy foods like fish, fruits and vegetables to ensure your brain sustains its optimal functioning.

We hope these five tips will help you in strengthening your brain memory 🧠💪 and do share this article with your friends and family so they can benefit too! 

Wondering about how you can score in your specialised computing examinations? We’ve also curated 3 Tips to Take On Your O Level Computing Examinations just for you!

(Additional writing by Lakshmi and Nicole)

Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger