Parenting tips on education

Phonics Snap - Memory Game

This set of flashcards is nice to play to promote fun learning of phonics through memory game.

It also comes with a spell guide, like for you to check all the possible words that can be made with all the cards.

I had fun playing this with my girls and my early readers' students! So, thought wud be good to share with everyone here, since there has been quite a few posts relating to challenges posed in learning phonics.

The same kind of cards also has extensions for blends and digraphs stage. This one is mostly 3-letter phonetic stage and a few blends like st, sh, ch.. etc.


Children's Careless Mistakes

One of my child's Maths teacher told us this. If you keep saying to your child "Why are you so careless ?", he will only remember the word "careless". You should be saying, "Be more careful next time" more often than using the word "careless", then he / she will remember to be careful.

I think a few careless mistakes are fine. Then there will be room for improvement. Even as adults, we can be careless at times. You should be more alarmed if you find that your child is not understanding the question or concept or not knowing where to start solving the problem.

The number of careless mistakes tend to decrease as they grow older. If I can categorize the careless mistakes, I think they normally fall under


Balancing Pursuit of Excellence with the Quality of Life

Do you agree children nowadays live in a pressure-cooker-like environment? At my child's CCA talk for parents, the head of CCA actually told us candidly that CCAs in that school are NOT FOR RECREATION! Indirectly, the school is sending out the message that we, as parents, should ensure that our kids are 'competition material'. Stressed....Stressed.....

A CCA in Sports, UG or PA is compulsory. However, the student has to go through selection tests to get into any of them.

I am very sad to learn that one of the Sec1 students in a top school had collapsed and passed away over the weekend while undergoing his private sports training. Who knows, he may be pushing himself to train hard for his CCA trial. Crying or Very sad

Just one or two months ago, it was reported in the Papers that a sec school boy also jumped to his death over disagreement with his parents/teacher regarding his CCA choice!


Kindergarten versus Child Care

I'm all up for a Kindergarten programme! But only if you're a stay home parent or have a reliable caregiver. Cos kindy prgs are usually only few hours and solely academic learning. Children have less clingy issues due to short hours compared to childcare esp the full day childcare. So kindy children adapt slightly faster in my opinion. Less heart pain for parents, esp those who cannot stand their children crying for such a long time.

Childcare has all the care there is to supposedly substitute home while parents are both at work with no alternative caregiver. ie. b'fast, lunch, snack, sleep time, shower, plus the academics, etc...

Price wise, kindy cheaper. Extra $$$ can put in fun enrichment pgrm for children, ie. ballet, piano, speech & drama, etc


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.