How to teach my 5 year old to study?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

How to teach my 5 year old to study?

Postby xavierine_angel » Mon May 31, 2010 9:24 pm

Hi all,
I have a 5 yr old son who is studying K1 in PCF. He is an eloquent speaker but he has difficulties learning to memorise the words. Whenever i ask him to practise writing (whether eng/chn), his eyes just wanders around and he just anyhow write, trying to completes his tasks fast, and play next. Thus, he doesn't remember what he was writing at all. He is currently attending icanread english classes once a week, chinese enrichment (by PCF) and art & craft (by PCF). He enjoys attending lessons and have intense interests in vehicles (eg. navy ships, torpedoes, missiles, incinerator plants, rubbish trucks, fire engines, lego, etc). I have brought him to see the navy ships and is arranging for a visit to the incineration plant. But, how do i teach him to study? as in writing skills and learn to read the words? He is a rather obedient child but is very lazy.

Many thanks.

xavierine_angel
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Re: How to teach my 5 year old to study?

Postby tamarind » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:01 pm

xavierine_angel wrote:Hi all,
I have a 5 yr old son who is studying K1 in PCF. He is an eloquent speaker but he has difficulties learning to memorise the words. Whenever i ask him to practise writing (whether eng/chn), his eyes just wanders around and he just anyhow write, trying to completes his tasks fast, and play next. Thus, he doesn't remember what he was writing at all. He is currently attending icanread english classes once a week, chinese enrichment (by PCF) and art & craft (by PCF). He enjoys attending lessons and have intense interests in vehicles (eg. navy ships, torpedoes, missiles, incinerator plants, rubbish trucks, fire engines, lego, etc). I have brought him to see the navy ships and is arranging for a visit to the incineration plant. But, how do i teach him to study? as in writing skills and learn to read the words? He is a rather obedient child but is very lazy.

Many thanks.


I do not believe that there are any lazy kids below the age of 7. I believe that every child is keen to learn. Parents must use the correct and most effective methods to teach them.

You should focus on teaching him phonics. A child who has a very strong foundation in phonics will be able to spell effortlessly. My K2 boy is able to spell over 90% of the words in the P1 spelling lists(first half of the year) without the need to practice writing the words at all. He is able to write most words by listening to the sounds. Do not make a child memorize the words, you should teach him phonics instead.

Check out my blog about how to teach phonics :
http://tamarindphonics.blogspot.com/200 ... onics.html

Since he is already attending I Can Read, he should be able to read well, provided that you read with him everyday. Just to share, I taught both my kids to read amazingly well before the age of 5, thanks to the Peter and Jane books :
http://tamarindphonics.blogspot.com/200 ... ybird.html

Also note that it is very important for the child to read extensively. This is the only way to prepare him well for primary school. Read this page to find out what to expect in P1 :
http://tamarindphonics.blogspot.com/201 ... y-one.html

Also note that nowadays for spelling tests, P1 teachers do not say a word then ask the child to write. The spelling test is in the form of Cloze passages, or read a passage and fill in the blanks. The child must be able to read and understand the passage before he can fill in the words.

Attending enrichment classes once a week is not enough. Parents must teach the child to read everyday, in both English and Chinese.
Last edited by tamarind on Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to teach my 5 year old to study?

Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:27 pm

tamarind wrote:I do not believe that there are any lazy kids below the age of 7. I believe that every child is keen to learn. Parents must use the correct and most effective methods to teach them. ...


Well said, tamarind. There are no poor students... only impatient teachers :) The key is to let our kids learn at their most comfortable pace.

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Postby xavierine_angel » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:55 am

Hi, I enrolled him for the PCF reading class when he was in nursery last year and tried reading on a daily basis. He always grab the book and just throw it to one side. I even tried to buy those books he is interested but he still show no interest in reading. His PCF teacher last year, was a really good English teacher. She told me that he will always look away or day dream when he is the reading class and he is just not interested in reading. So, she told me not to waste time to enrol him in reading classes as he will learn in his own pace. Well, I showed him the Peter and Jane books but he is just not interested as well. I spoke with the icanread teacher and she also said that he is not ready to be 'promoted' to the 4.5 yr old class (which he is supposed to be in) as he cannot pronounce the middle sounds or so. It doesn't help when I am not good in phonics either. The teacher once said that if I am not good in it, I better not teach as I cld be teaching him the wrong stuff. In all, he only get to write nicely and remember the words when I flare up at him and hit his hands with the rulers. Otherwise, he'll just treat it as we're preaching or so. It sometimes terrifies him too much that he starts crying. I'm at wits end as how to teach this obedient yet 'refuse to listen' child. :pray:

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:58 pm

xavierine_angel wrote:Hi, I enrolled him for the PCF reading class when he was in nursery last year and tried reading on a daily basis. He always grab the book and just throw it to one side. I even tried to buy those books he is interested but he still show no interest in reading. His PCF teacher last year, was a really good English teacher. She told me that he will always look away or day dream when he is the reading class and he is just not interested in reading. So, she told me not to waste time to enrol him in reading classes as he will learn in his own pace. Well, I showed him the Peter and Jane books but he is just not interested as well. I spoke with the icanread teacher and she also said that he is not ready to be 'promoted' to the 4.5 yr old class (which he is supposed to be in) as he cannot pronounce the middle sounds or so. It doesn't help when I am not good in phonics either. The teacher once said that if I am not good in it, I better not teach as I cld be teaching him the wrong stuff. In all, he only get to write nicely and remember the words when I flare up at him and hit his hands with the rulers. Otherwise, he'll just treat it as we're preaching or so. It sometimes terrifies him too much that he starts crying. I'm at wits end as how to teach this obedient yet 'refuse to listen' child. :pray:


I can understand your frustration. Have you considered passive learning, eg. Leapfrog DVDs or games that can promote learning while playing? That way, he may not even know he is learning while playing or enjoying himself.

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Re: How to teach my 5 year old to study?

Postby KS_me » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:00 pm

ChiefKiasu wrote:
tamarind wrote:I do not believe that there are any lazy kids below the age of 7. I believe that every child is keen to learn. Parents must use the correct and most effective methods to teach them. ...


Well said, tamarind. There are no poor students... only impatient teachers :) The key is to let our kids learn at their most comfortable pace.


Is so true. I admit my impatient towards DS study attitute :oops:

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Postby xavierine_angel » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:35 pm

thanks for all ur kind comments.. i might try to get the leap frog dvd. right now, i'm trying to adopt the patient method to play along wif him and spell out the words. eg. when he wants to play ps3, i will ask him to spell 'play' for me before he can play. he will always forget after i repeat once but i'll guess i wil just have to keep trying. btw, i have some questions on the 'icanread' teacher. she told me tat my son cannot be promoted because he is still weak in phonics. so i asked her, what kind of weakness is that. she took out the file and told me 'u see the rabbit, i asked him to give another word with the 'r..' sound, he cannot state it' the sound that the teacher made was more towards 'ra' sound. i cldn't tink of any either so i spoke wif my fren abt it. she has been in uk for more den 7 years, yet she cldn tink of it either. the teacher is asking the student to find the word instead of telling them to words and teaching them the right sounds. to what i feel, it might be abit too complicated for my 5 yr old (who doesn't seem to know anything). is that right of the teacher? or shld i just change a school?

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Postby mrswongtuition » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:49 pm

xavierine_angel wrote:she took out the file and told me 'u see the rabbit, i asked him to give another word with the 'r..' sound, he cannot state it' the sound that the teacher made was more towards 'ra' sound. i cldn't tink of any either so i spoke wif my fren abt it. she has been in uk for more den 7 years, yet she cldn tink of it either.


I just asked my 3yr 4mth boy. I asked him to tell me another word with 'r' sound like rabbit, he immediately told me 'Rachel'. My cousin's name is Rachel and he calls her 'Yi Yi Rachel'.

In such cases, it is exposure to different words and making them aware of the sounds that is important in learning phonics. Like when he mispronounces a word, we will emphasis on the individual alphabet sounds to correct his pronunciation. It helps to make him aware of the differences. He used to say 'lollipok'. We had to emphasize on the closing 'p' sound before he said 'lollipop'.

My boy learnt phonics (basic letter sounds) through watching DVDs. It's so fun that he sings the songs all the time. He watches Leapfrog's Letter Factory most of the time. Sometimes he watches the other phonics DVDs that I've bought for him too.
Subsequently, we sent him for enrichment classes that taught him to blend the letters. We also do it at home together using flashcards (alphabet cards & DIY cards).

At 5yo, play is always on their mind. Try making the learning fun.
Get Boggles or Scrabble. Use the cubes with alphabets to form words for him to read. At the same time, can teach spelling :) I used that to teach my boy to spell from one to ten.

If you need help with guiding him (you mentioned you are not very sure about phonics), you can get phonic books from Popular that come with audio CD or CD-Rom. I have 'Hooked On Phonics' which I ordered online, it's good and my boy likes the games on their CD-Rom. My maid learnt together with my boy and she always singalong with him. It helped make her pronunciation clearer too.

Do you have iPhone or iPod? If yes, there are also applications for learning phonics! My boy loves them and is self motivated to pick up my iPhone and use those apps on his own.

Don't despair, don't lose your patience. Honestly, it can be hard to teach your own kids cos they know which buttons to push and how to test your patience. If need be, outsource. If the current teacher/centre is not helping, then try another teacher/centre.

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Postby jedamum » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:11 am

hi,
read that your boy is in pcf.
not sure if it is the premium or normal pcf. but my advice to parents who intend to enrol their kids to preschool soon, to really do their homework to ensure that the preschool's curriculum is robust if the parents themselves are not equipped with the knowledge to teach. my ds1 was in pcf and ds2 was in a church kindergarten. when ds1 was in pcf, i was like fishing in murky water (most likely cos it is firstborn too), trying to grasp how to ensure that he knows how to read. by chance (thank goodness), we chanced upon Berries. Phonics-wise, it was through trial-and-error search on the internet (including the numerous virus attacks we kena from dubious websites - no, we don't have Kiasuparents back then :!: ) that i chance upon sightword technique to kickstart my ds1's reading skills - he did not know how to blend last time (ie he can blend d-r-ink without realising that it is read as drink. the tonation is wrong etc) and at age 5, we did not want to let him start phonics school's programmes all over again from letter sounds. he is very eloquent for his age, but he couldn't read too (ds2 is opposite; he is not a smooth talker, but he can read simple sentences :| ). ds2's preschool's curriculum is pretty robust and at times, ds1 (when 'supervising' ds2 on his seatwork) was also stunned by how come ds2 can recognise certain words.

ok...enough of my 'story' :politebleah:

study skills wise, have you established a routine for study? say 30min a day fixed for doing certain academic-related work, be it seatwork, wordgames or reading? and, psp for a K1....i don't think it is wise. even if you promised a game after the work, the kid's mind may be preoccupied with the game and not concentrating on the work (that was what happened to ds1 during the time when we gave him a fixed 5pm computer slot; he has since lost that priviledge after his eye-twitching incident...which was another story. :politebleah:)

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Postby xavierine_angel » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:18 am

Hi, thanks again. I tink I will try to order in the leapfrog and buy some of the phonics dvd/books from popular to see hw i can help my little one. It doesn't help when my MIL makes him sleep so early at 6pm that i cldn see him when i reach home after work for the past five years. I only managed to get to see him more regularly after i resigned last mth to spend more time with him. I guess again i really need to be more patient towards him. Tamarind, thanks alot. ur blog was great~ i read thru and realised tat i didn get to spend much time with him.. i'll try to from now on. :>

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