5 things we’ve gained from a year-long course at Big Ideaz Education

Tuition at centres has been suspended in view of the escalating Covid-19 situation. I never thought that Singapore would ever see such a day. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

While I had been planning this post for some time, with online learning becoming the norm now, this seems almost like the perfect time to tell you about our year-long experience of our online writing course with Big Ideaz Education.

It’s been a year since I enrolled my boy in the Junior Writing Course with Big Ideaz Education. In my previous post, I shared with you how the lessons are conducted, what to expect and the pros and cons of e-learning. You can hop over for the details.

The Junior Writing Course is targeted at Primary 1-3 students (composition based on 4 related pictures). If your child’s school is not following this format, and has chosen to proceed to the new PSLE format, this course may not be entirely suitable for you. Your child can however, still learn the basics of writing a well-developed composition.

So, after one year of attending the e-course, what have we gained?

(1) Confidence in using good phrases

Frequently being exposed to how to describe a character’s feelings through the e-course, my boy has internalised some phrases and uses them in his compositions.

(2) Ability to develop a story logically

You’d be surprised, but there are many children who cannot develop a story logically, even in the middle block (P3-4). “Practice makes perfect” is definitely true when it comes to writing. I feel that there is just not enough time in a school curriculum to target the weaker students to learn how to develop their story coherently. Doing his writing assignments bi-monthly through the e-course has helped my boy learn to process his thoughts.

(3) Time saved (from travelling to and fro to a brick and mortar writing centre)

I think it’s actually more than just time saved, especially in these times where the CoVid-19 virus is making its presence felt globally. We learn in a safe environment (home) and do not need to travel and mingle with others – something I think everyone appreciates these days. Home-based learning has never been more appealing and favourable.

(4) Time saved (from not having to source for teaching materials)

If you are always grasping at straws when it comes to choosing which books to buy to improve your child’s writing or scouring the Internet to look for resources, I’d highly recommend that you channel those resources to just signing up for the course. Many of the model composition books are not really beneficial – I have stayed at Popular for probably much longer than I was welcomed to browse through the books there that purportedly improve your child’s writing.

Perhaps if the child is really weak, those books might be useful; but if you are looking to hone a skilled writer, your child would benefit from having their work marked by experienced ex-teachers who run the show at Big Ideaz Education. Reading a model composition is not the same as trying to write one. With the pre-recorded videos which help the child progress in writing, the curriculum at Big Ideaz Education is a sound one – I can assure you that, having been with them for a year.

(5) Learning to be more self-disciplined

Like I mentioned in my previous post, self-discipline is important in this e-course. If you end up not doing the assignments due to lack of self-discipline, you will not benefit from the course. We took a month-long break from the e-course as there was some issue with my laptop, but eventually, we got back on track. Not having self-discipline at this moment doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t become better at it. We need to have the growth mindset to believe that even we, as adults, can learn to become better and improve.

If you’re undecided about the course, you can always opt for the 7-day free trial. During the 7 days, you can cancel anytime and not be billed for the lesson.

If you prefer lessons at a brick and mortar writing centre, Big Ideaz Education has a branch at Tampines, although having lessons there in the next month will not be possible due to the new measures in place to curb the spread of Covid-19. If you have other questions, you can check out the Frequently Asked Questions. You can also hop over to my previous post for more information.

Disclosure: We were provided with a year-long access to the e-course for the reviews. No monetary compensation was received.

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Shepherd’s pie delivered to your doorstep

Shepherd’s pie is a classic comfort food for many. Savoury beef mince paired with a crispy cheesy crust and smooth potato mash – what’s not to love?

I bake my own and sometimes order it at restaurants. But what to do when the craving strikes and you don’t have the ingredients or you’re just too lazy to go out to get some? Shepherd’s pie lovers rejoice, for now you can have it delivered to your doorstep!

Shepherd’s Pie Singapore offers a range of different flavours and you can choose between chicken or beef for the filling. I had the curry beef shepherd’s pie which I find unique and tasty. In my years of eating shepherd’s pie, I’ve never thought to have a curry version. Surprisingly, it was really delightful. Even my kids ate and enjoyed it (with quite a couple of cups of water).

The potato was smooth, the cheese was fragrant and the curry beef filling was a wonderful pairing. We had ordered the Medium sized pie (9 inches x 5 inches) as we weren’t sure if we could finish the Massive one (9 inches x 9 inches).

On top of ordering the Medium-sized pie, I also requested for six Mini sized pies (cupcake size) to come unbaked so that I could keep them in the freezer for a weekday lunch with the kids.

I simply have to defrost it the night before and bake them in the oven for 18-20 minutes after I get back from work with the kids. While the oven is doing its job, we’d just get our baths, freshen up and come out to the delightful fragrance of shepherd’s pie in the house!

Delivery is $7, but there’s free delivery if your order is above $70. You can order these for your meal or if you’re having a party. I find that the price is quite reasonable for the portion size, especially now there’s a sale!

Disclosure: I received a medium pie and six mini pies for the tasting. No monetary compensation was received.

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