Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Proof of the Pudding....

It is not the first time that Competition has befriended me as a concerned parent seeking advice and information, before making a feeble attempt to introduce her own home-learning programme, packaged under a different name.

It is also not the first time that Competition has signed up for my 3-days Bright Minds Lapbookers workshops, under the pretext that she would like to expose her child to my programme, and swiftly launched her 'own' programme that appeared nothing short of a copycat of our tried-and-tested method.

Some will say 'imitation is the most sincere form of flattery'. Hah!

Perhaps it is. After all, how much can Competition learn if she has not been 'educated' by our  method of coaching?

A mum can add some crafts and field trips to a storybook that she reads with her child to enhance the learning experience, but to say she is teaching her child with the multi-disciplinary thematic method just amplifies her lack of understanding of the method. 

Which brings to mind another related question: if a parent can't produce sustainable learning outcomes in her own child, is she a reliable source to depend on for home-learning advice and information? 

Why would I pay someone who can't bake successfully to 'teach' me how to bake, even if it is for only 3 hours? Just listening to her share 'time-tested' recipes and philosophies on baking that she has simply downloaded from the Internet will make me a good baker? 

Anyone can just google and download free resources, but that alone doesn't make her an effective teacher.  In fact, there is way too much free resources online and they are FREE for a reason - anyone with a computer and some time can create them for sharing. But it doesn't mean they are all effective in aiding the child towards learning goals. It's true that not everyone evaluates quality and effectiveness of a resource in the same way. To some, as long as they cost nothing, it is good enough.

Many tend to overlook the fact that there is always an opportunity cost to using ineffective resources - the child's time and effort spent on them, and the opportunity lost to pick up some real skills.

To the parents who have never attended my classes and workshops before and those who have a misguided view of literature-based lapbooking and the trans-disciplinary thematic learning method  that we employ in our Bright Minds Lapbookers classes, they probably wouldn't have known the difference.

As the saying goes... the proof of the pudding is in the eating. 

But this I know - the hundreds of kids and parents who have experienced our Bright Minds Lapbookers (for 2 to 7 years) and Bright Tots Campus (for 15 months - 2 years) programmes and Coaching Bright Minds Workshop  (for parents only) before in the last three years will know the difference.

Many return to our classes, term after term, and also enrolled their younger kids when they are of age. Many are generous with encouraging feedback after their personal experience and through their recommendations, parents from all walks of life come to us. The result - our constant 6-month wait list for many classes. This is certainly the best testament of the strength of our programmes.

And it is for them - my loyal students and their amazingly supportive parents - that I shall continue to innovate and improve and bring on an even stronger programme.

Thank you everyone who have emailed and SMS me in the last few months when I took a break for Olivia .

I am back.

(All five of our three-days workshops are fully booked. The first workshop just ended in April. Our Term 3/2012 weekly classes commence in July.)


Why Not said...

People imitate you because you are good!! In all honesty, your kids are very lucky to have you. I know I wish I can do a bit of what you do for mine. :-)

Anonymous said...

Teacher Shirley, I think I came across the new copycat recently. Tsk tsk. *wink* Obviously without substance. Makes me laugh when I read what she wrote. Some sentences are obviously lifted from your website and blog. So glad you are back in action! My gal can't wait to see you again. See you in July!

M's mum

Alice said...

Well said, Shirley! I always think we were lucky to have chanced upon your classes. You have enlightened me and made such a difference to my kids. The copycats have a long long way to go to ever catch up. You have set the bar so high! Welcome back!

Domesticgoddess said...

Jayne, thank you. You are too modest. You are just amazing in so many ways and your kids are also very fortunate to have such a wonderful mum.

Domesticgoddess said...

M's mum, your comment made me laugh. Thanks for the email. See you soon.

Domesticgoddess said...

Thanks Alice. Your enthusiasm and willingness to work with all my suggestions is equally crucial to unleash your boys' potential. I am sure Timothy is enjoying big school and his newfound freedom. :>

Emma said...

To the first Anonymous: You should check your own conduct before you slander others. Have the cheek to be rude, then at least have the courage to leave a name as well. I am a long time follower of Shirley's blog. Her posts have always been inspiring and she has my utmost admiration in many ways. I am sure many others will agree with me.

Shirley, do ignore this annoying person. Continue writing your wonderful blog!

Wendy said...

Dear Anonymous, unfortunately you chose to *defend* yourself in such a way and it really reflects badly on you......and I believe a lot of readers know who you are....

Dear Shirley, I realised that I have not written a single testimony for you despite returning term after term haha (simply not good with words), but just like to say that so far I have not come across any other class that is comparable to yours! I myself have learnt a lot from what you shared in class. Thanks!

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi Emma, thank you for your courage too! Don't worry, I intend to continue writing. :>

Domesticgoddess said...

Dear Wendy, thank you so much for your encouraging words. I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Sam, I don't understand your comment too. Actually I would have reacted a lot more if I were Shirley. It is her readers, and mothers like me who are more defensive on her behalf. I have read her blog for years and been to her classes for as long and I find it very annoying to read your kind of comments. If you think Shirley copies from others (which she certainly doesn't, once you been to her classes and experience for yourself her generosity in sharing ideas & knowledge and originality of ideas, you will know!!), why are you loitering around her blog? Why read unless you are interested? Obviously you benefit somehow?

Dear Shirley, sorry I had to kaypoh. Can't stand it.


Annie said...

Sam, you are just as rude. It appears to me that the objective of your comment was to insinuate that Shirley copies from others. Such a lame way to defend the copycat mum.

People with any common sense will not believe your accusation. Shirley has run her classes successfully for so many years, why is there a need to copy? She must have real substance for her business to sustain. Copycats never ever last long. Fly-by-night and just out to make quick buck.

We parents aren't dumb alright? So please stop insulting our intelligence.


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