Parenting tips on education

It Just Takes Time and Patience

I used to write the number '2' in mirror image and was SLAPPED by my P1 teacher then. She said something like I was stupid that had repeated the same mistake despite being told and shown the correct ones.

I was made to stand outside the class when I handed in a correction page with her big '2' and many boxes of my reversed '2'.

Those incidents were so humiliating that I could remember until now.

It was just the way my brain 'saw' the number then that no matter how much slapping or scolding would not change the way my brain 'saw' the number (somehow, my mirror just applied to '2' and not the 'b' and 'd'. Maybe it did happen to the 'b' and 'd' but my English teacher then didn't correct me). It self corrected itself a few months into P1.


Primary Schools - CA or no CA?

Children who have CA and SA tend to fare better cos they're more prepared for the big exams.

My kiddie's sch no CA as well.  Then came SA1 straight away mid of the year.

Parents have no grounds to base their expectations on their children. Nor do they know whether their children are "really" prepared. For stay-home-parents, we can supplement their study time with relevant assessments and activities to ensure no SA stress when it comes. After school and before school care helps for working parents. For children cared for by grandparents, can ask children to do up a couple of assessments that parents will check and follow up with them.


Teaching Maths At Home! - Making It Fun

For starters, number recognition of 1 to 10 will be good. Usually the playgroup classes will indicate learning the quantity from 1 to 10 and recognition of numbers 1 to 10 in their Maths curriculum for the whole year.  Provided the centre has a curriculum to begin with! Yikes! Hahahaaa! Well, not reali funny, but such occurences ARE a reality. I've been to a few who couldn't show me their centre's curriculum. When i asked to view their worksheets of what their children have done to date, she showed me a measly few copied from local assessment books and transferred to like their very own "legit" worksheets. Such audacity!


CCA in Secondary Schools

In general, students should only have just 1 CCA. It's pretty rare to have 2 CCAs because of the time commitment and the workload.

CCA can reduce up to 2 points off your L1R5/L1R4(?) at O levels, depending on what grade you get (A1/2 - 2points, B3/4 - 1 point).  It's graded on the LEAPS system. See this for details.

Most people take the same CCA for the 4 years throughout, reason being you lose all your CCA points if you transfer (or so my school claims), probably unless you have very special reasons, eg medical. It's not advisable to change CCA and it's a great hassle (school admins are normally unwilling) so my advice is choose smart.

For 6 year IP, those going on to the affliliated JCs can choose to change, as for schools like DHS/RVHS/ACS/NUSHS, I'm not too sure, probably yes because I heard you get more options at year 5.


Teachers And Preschools

Personally, if I were to compare local teachers and China teachers on apple to apple basis, China teachers are on average more than 50% better than local ones (their 3 to 5 years full time early childhood training in China is 400% better than the locals). Having said that, not all China teachers are good of course. Maybe out of 10 China teachers, 7 China teachers are good; out of 10 local teachers, 3.5 of them are good. That's my estimate base on experience.


Teach Your Child - And Enjoy The Experience!

When helping children, stay positive as much as possible and focus "more on the strengths" than the weaknesses...

Tho' no two children are alike, there is still this saying that nothing is impossible. Have faith, that thru' all your patience will come the fruit of your labour. All we need is more knowledge to assist our children to the best of THEIR abilities.


Primary One Preparation - Mathematics (Part 2)


(Updated 31 Dec 2008) Now that you know what your child will be required to do in Primary One for Mathematics, the question is how can you help prepare your child so that he/she can cope with the subject.

With proper guidance, it should not be too difficult for the average child to undergo the following progress schedule.  Please note that this should NOT be taken as a definitive guide to gauge the ability of children!


Primary One Preparation - Mathematics (Part 1)


New parents will have to come to terms with the great changes to Primary School Mathematics syllabus when their children enter Primary One.  In fact, the older you are, the bigger the shock.

If you were born in the 60's or 70's, the early Primary math you were familiar with are probably addition, subtraction, and the memorization of multiplication times-tables up to 12.  You will be most mistaken if you think your child is going to be graded on the same methods that had you aceing your math tests during your time.  Unlike the rote learning you might be familiar with that focused on the application of specific techniques for solving math problems, the new Primary Math syllabus focuses on how much the child actually understands the fundamental concepts.

It is no longer enough that the child knows that 7+3=10 or 9x6=54.  The child is expected to understand why, and how the same results can be attained by a variety of other means.

Understanding the Challenge: