Sharing with you all , excerpts of my girl’s journal entries when she was in primary 2. They were written to her form teacher on a weekly basis with a topic posted. I thought the posting of topics was a marvelous ideas as it helps to draw out the feelings and ideas of the child who may otherwise resort to the mundane entries of daily happenings.
A diary represents a private space in life, a beautiful solitude, the moments before we go to sleep just to stop and note what there is about the day or about life at the time. It's like a friend that is always there and is always a comfort. In bad moments I write, and usually end up feeling better. It reflects back to me things that I can learn about my world and myself.
A diary is also a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety avenue for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confidante.
The benefits of writing and keeping a journal
Just to share my experience so that parents can take note also.
I currently have a few P6 students whom I'm giving private tuition to and this incident is about another tutor whom the parents of one student hired as additional help to the child.
From what the parents and student tell me, this tutor is a young tutor who is doing her diploma currently. She claims that she is very good in Maths and can teach the student 'shortcuts' to answering questions. She goes to their place on weekends to help the child with work that he does not understand.
My wonderful, creative and active 21-month-old son absolutely adores books. Every night when we reach home, he will quickly walk into my room to take his books. We will sit together – he flips the pages while I read to him. This makes me extremely happy. It’s a good bonding time for us.
Old-style Ladybird books are word perfect
The Peter and Jane stories of the 1960s taught millions of children to read before falling victim to more progressive methods in schools.
Now the Ladybird series may hold a lesson for today's generation after a study found that children need to master only 100 words before they can move on to books.
Academics at Warwick University said that teachers were wasting time getting children to learn more words. Instead, just as in the Peter and Jane books, children should master the 100 most common English words and then learn others by reading a wide range of stories.
There is a strong connection between learning to read and learning to write. Being able to write a word will clearly help a child to read that word. In a more general sense, writing down things they want to say and then reading them to someone, helps children to appreciate that writing is for communicating ideas.
Given the opportunity, most children start to enjoy scribbling with crayons and pencils while still toddlers. They often want to "read" to you what they have "written". This shows that they are already beginning to grasp the idea that squiggles on a page can tell you something and that there is a relationship between talking and writing.
In my blog, I wrote that phonics and reading are equally important. Once the child understands the basics of phonics, we should start to teach them to read a good systematic graded reader like the Ladybird key word reading scheme, or other good readers. As the child reads, we should encourage them to ask questions, and try to answer their questions as much as possible.
I observe many parents pushing their kids to get into the IP schools (Study hard! Do well in primary school! Sail through PSLE with flying colours! Get in and you're set for life!!!). But I wonder if they think beyond getting in, and consider what six years of being in an environment full of super-achievers will do to their bright kids. It's not just schools and teachers and parents perpetuating the stress. Quite apart from these external 'culprits', kids are perfectly capable of creating stress for themselves too. Especially if one is an achiever who has been "conditioned" for success from all those years of being in elite schools and expects a great deal of oneself.
Just to illustrate. I graduated from a JC where the usual questions before and after A levels were along the line of :