Children of average ability

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.
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Post by buds » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:21 pm

Heyya tamarind,

3 cheers for boy-boy!

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Smart Kid's Age

Post by buds » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:25 pm

Heyya Chief,

Smart kid's age was 7 yrs old.
Was in RGPS then..

So professional, ay?

Mould from young...
Old enuf can take over business from mummy.. :wink:

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Post by tamarind » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:59 am

I am now teaching hundreds of young adults of at least 17 years and above, in an institution that do not group students according to their grades. In every class, there are always about 10-20% of students who are much more intelligent compared to the rest of the class. However, we have to design the syllabus so that the other 80% of the students are able to pass. Which means that those top 20% who are capable of learning so much more, were not able to do so.

On the other hand, the bottom 10 - 20% of the students, who do not even understand basic algebra, or cannot even divide 1/2 by 2/3, are made to learn integration and Laplace Transforms. Needless to say, they were not able to understand of such complex mathematics.

I think it is not right to expect all students to be capable of learning the same thing. These students are already over 17 years old, so you cannot say that they just "need more time to develop", right ?
Last edited by tamarind on Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MMI Curriculum

Post by buds » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:23 pm

Heyya shylyn,

You're most welcome! :wink:

No worries on the late reply, just catch up when you can, yeah!

1. Curriculum Developers
As far as i've noticed, yes, the developers seem to be local.
Hence their inclusion of lessons from other countries like
festivals and people of the world for the geography part of
Cultural Activities bring the outside world into the classrooms.
Its very interesting and children will benefit from such knowledge.
In my opinion, local developers will take into consideration the
much needed knowledge children need to acquire before entering
Primary 1, hence the curriculum can be more in line to our local
context. And that is a good thing lah... Hence, through the years
MMI has fine-tuned a lot of their lessons and worksheets to
accommodate our ever changing primary school syllabus, since
they first started. This shows improvement from when they first
started out. But again, every end result of the children still depends
on the teacher's calibre and passion for teaching young children...
But on the whole, i find that its curriculum is holistic and prepares
our children for primary education.

2. Back to work?
Yes, i hope to join the workforce again as much as i can. I would
like to retain what i have learnt over the years through hands on
practise. My condition is very simple - i must have a conducive
working environment. Nice boss, nice place and nice people.. :pray:
As i have the upper hand in the sense of experience(ehem), i select
my place of work... hehee... I do not enjoy working in a people-politics
kinda working environment. It distracts the much needed devotion
towards teaching children.

3. Childcare children
Though i do not fancy children being in childcare (if they do not need to),
i do not deny that children who have been in childcare develop into
non-picky and independent eaters for one... as they HAVE TO eat what-
ever is being served on the table. This is a good thing.

Children who have been in childcare develop good sleep routine.
(For full day children) Even after childcare, they will sleep at the
designated times they have done so in childcare. And they will
sleep fast. Without the talk and the lullabies and stuff to lull them to
sleep. They will just sleep. Hehee..

Rotten apples? Everywhere oso have lah.. Bo pian. Its not just the
duty of the childcare to mould the child. Parents must play active
role to be PARENTS.

4. New Curriculum
As for the new curriculum, push for it okay.. until you get it.
Its your right as a parent to know what is being taught or what
will be taught to your children.

5. Messy Classroom Management
Highlight what you have seen to the person in charge and the teacher.
Don't suffer in silence. It must've been heartbreaking to see your son
in that situation that unfortunate day.. hopefully and oversight due to
the many children to a class. :( The teachers take turns to care for the
sleeping children, have their lunch and prepare to afternoon lessons
during the children's nap time. Talk it out with them so it will help ease
the disturbed feeling you felt that day. My heart goes out to your son.
The poor dearie..

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Post by tamarind » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:43 pm

Ooops. Anyway, I also want to clarify in case other parents get the wrong idea.

As for my later post, I was only ranting about the system, and about those people who think that all children are equal and should be taught the same way. I am not necessarily referring to you. I have edited that message and removed your quote.
Last edited by tamarind on Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by tamarind » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:56 pm

Also, his current class is rather messy with 22 kids to 2 teachers (though there r 2 assistants in the morn) & I was really concerned when I popped by yest to peek at my boy while he was sleeping. His pants were soaked in urine & he was still sucking to his empty bottle, which disturbed me a lot as I don't know whether this is a norm a not! According to his teacher, he just wet his pants & in fact, frequently gg to the toilet. But my boy will tell us whenever he wants to go to the toilet! He wont just wet his pants even when he is sleeping!
I would be very disturbed too if I were you ! I agree with buds. Don't suffer in silence ! My heart goes out to your son too.

3. Childcare children
Though i do not fancy children being in childcare (if they do not need to),
i do not deny that children who have been in childcare develop into
non-picky and independent eaters for one... as they HAVE TO eat what-
ever is being served on the table. This is a good thing.
This may be generally true for most children. However, I know of cases where the child simply does not eat anything in the CC. My brother's daughter was very difficult to feed, her CC teacher had no patience feeding her, so she simply went through the whole day without eating anything. My brother had to withdraw her and keep her at home (mommy's not working).

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Childcare Picky Eaters

Post by buds » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:25 am

Heyya tamarind,

Gee. The poor thing.. i can totally feel your brother's situation.
No need to look so far for an example. My kiddies are picky
eaters too. I don't blame them for not wanting to eat the
childcare food cos as they have been raised by me, in our
home, with our food preparations and our own menu,
eating at another place other than home is kinda hard..
So, its not entirely their fault.

They were both not cared for by anyone else except me,
hence i understand too if they were clingy and had longer
separation anxiety (till it hurts my heart, it aches to watch
them cry.. :( )

But, never dwell on the problem. It prolongs.
Instead, find a solution to problems. Or so i thought..

I was doing a part-time stint in a centre one time, hence
I had to bring my kiddies with me in the mornings when
i work, and they'll both go to their kindergartens in the
afternoon after lunch. They were both not in the same
class with each other or myself. Which was a good thing
so i cud work better. But the treatment i showered over
my class kiddies varied from how my kid was treated
and i began to regret rushing to go back to work...

It wasn't just the verbal abuse my P2 endured. She was
mocked at for being introverted, for not wanting to eat
the childcare food she was scolded and for crying silent
tears (to herself) ... called a baby. If from the other
classmates i might've been more understanding. But,
the TEACHER started it! Not to sound petty, but the
stuff P2 went thru during my stint (very short one!)
was enuf to last me a lifetime of nightmares. When i
watch kiddies sleep at night, at times i'm being haunted
of the memory of that experience which they went thru.
Just cos mummy had to work...

And even thru all the mis-treatment P2 received, at the
end of the day when i tuck her in to bed and ask her if
she's all right... her answer wud be...

"Its okay mum, i understand. You have to work..."
................... :( ..........................

Sorry, side tracked a bit..

Ok, i really tried my best to solve the situation.
It shud've worked both ways. I prepare my own
lunch for my two kiddies before we leave home.
If i am done with lunch for my class, i'll assist
my own kiddies to theirs or else even if i'm not
physically there, they'll eat it, cos i prepared it.
I didnt wanna impose on the other staff to handle
my kids since i was there. Plus they had many
other children who needed settling down.. I said,
once they know mummy can prepare the food
for their lunch they won't be so stressed at every
makan time. I offered to slowly adapt them into the
"eating childcare food" by allowing the teacher to
feed her. I wud remove their lunch box and prepare
the table for her to eat, pass her back to teacher after
telling her i gotta send the children in my class back
to their parents. After which, i will come back and get

At home, i wud tell them that they shud try other types
of food in school. If they don't try they wud not know if
it was yucky or yummy. So, a bite to taste wudn't hurt.
If its yucky, quickly drink water. If yummy, finish it and
even ask for extra helpings if you want. Teacher will give
if the kitchen still has extra. I wud tell them the same thing
in front of the teacher at makan time to reinforce the

Point is - I didn't want to give the staff a hard time and i
wanted to swiftly settle my kids into the environment...
Try to work everything out diplomatically lah..

The idea is not to force. When forced, they'll refuse anything
and everything. And cry.. And childcare will be that bad place
mummy and daddy sent me to while they work. It worked for
K2 cause the teachers and support staff were helpful and
more compassionate. Eventually, she ate what she liked and
tried a little something for a first time for others.. :D I also
noted to the centre's cook to help me provide the smallest
portion to my kiddies for whatever makan time, so they don't
feel so overwhelmed (like MUST finish the whole bowl!) or too
afraid to try, cos if just take one bite to taste, teacher will scold
them for wasting food. A portion just enuf to try out..

Plus, there was that milk time before nap hour... that shud help
warm up even the emptiest stomach and the grumpiest child,
unless if the child does not like to drink milk.

For P2, (to make long story short) suffice to say... she was thrown
the bowl in front of her and was told by the teacher from hell...
"There's your lunch. And don't you dare tell your mummy i forced
you..." (This was witnessed by a staff and related to me..)

I found her crying while waiting for me to send her to her
kindergarten in the afternoon, after my class was dismissed...
She refused to say what happened. She just dried her eyes and
said she was fine now that she saw me. Gave me a big hug and
told me she was so looking forward to her afternoon school...

When i came back to centre after that to pick up K2 and was
mumbling to some other staff who usually sit together with me,
about my confusion... (How come P2 was crying silently but when
i asked nothing happened she said and teacher also said nothing in
particular. Teacher added you know lah your girl too soft, little bit
only cry.. the usual only.. nothing in particular.. ) The staff who
witnessed the incident felt so bad she just had to tell me on the
account i do not expose her.

Amongst all the other mis-treatment plus the audacity to throw
food to my child, that was definitely the last straw to my patience.
I suppose in my case patience wasn't such a virtue. More to weak-
ness, hahahaaa! I withdraw her - 24hrs notice! And most definitely,
stopped working there. But i was still professional enuf to give ample
notice! I said my decision to withdraw is based from a parent's view.
My decision to quit is to fully take care of my children hence i cannot
work without a proper caregiver. (Which to much disappointment, the
childcare is not able to provide... I planned the curriculum, photocopied
all the worksheets, changed the thematic board, printed out the upcoming
newsletters to parents for the next three months and handed over to the
teacher who was initially assigned the class but was serving notice...
Boy, was she happy. First time came into work, no need to prepare

This post is kinda long, sorry for that..
Just to share with you, i sooooo understand what your brother went thru.
Maybe at an even deeper level. In my lifetime and through the course of
my journey in this early childhood industry, i have NEVER subjected the
children under my care nor my own (of course) to nasty treatment! So,
for another person to do that, (not just to other people's children, but
even to my own kid - even the teachers know - who is very quiet and
well behaved ) - i tell you.... its beyond words.

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Post by tamarind » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:41 pm

Thanks for sharing about your child's experience in the CC. I felt very angry when I read about the verbal abuse by the teacher. And how dare they throw food at your child ! It's great that you made a quick decision and withdrew her.

After reading what you wrote, I am even more convinced that my decision of not putting my kids in CC is correct. In fact, I almost wanted to do so, and I had even put my girl's name on a CC waiting list before.

However, I could not get over what I saw in the CC. About 8 children (18 months to 3 years old) were made to sit around a small table. Each of them given 2 or 3 toy blocks. They were simply sitting there holding those blocks and had no idea what to do with them. It was their free play time, so the teacher left them to play on their own. What can a child do with 2 or 3 toy blocks ? I supposed this was their idea of learn through play but I was not impressed.

At home, my kids each have hundreds of Lego blocks to play with. They are able to build structures of elaborate designs. They also have tons of Playmobil, Fisher Price Geo Trax train system, ZOOB, etc. I am not rich, I simply save up the money I would have spent on CC :) A few hundred dollars a month is more than enough to buy tons of good toys. I also have a collection of a few hundred children's books, and my kids are free to read any books they like.

I am not saying that expensive toys are good. In fact we let the kids pick red beans, cut cabbages using butter knife, pour water from from one cup to the other cup, play with ice cubes, etc, and my kids had even more fun. The point is that it is possible to provide a very enriching environment at home, and most importantly, an environment in which the child feels that he or she is deeply loved.

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Post by smurf » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:53 pm

tamarind wrote:
shylyn wrote: I can imagine how u feel. Both r ur kids but one is far more advanced than the other, of cos he will feel a bit inferior compared to his sis. I guess u can ask him to get his sis to help him make a call to u and do so when he's nearby so he is able to see and learn. Try to assure him that he will eventually learn how to make calls to learn best during stressfree moments.
I believe he does not know how to feel inferior, in fact, we praise him much more than his sister, and he is very proud of what he can do. I guess we make him believe that he can do everything that his sister can do. Except for making telephone calls. My girl usually volunteers to call for him. But he really want to do it himself.

I read somewhere that the more you praise a child, when there is something he cannot do, he will get very frustrated and feel lousy,

Let me go and bring out the book. :lol:

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First Impressions

Post by buds » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:24 am

Heyya tamarind,

Hey, i know watcha mean!
For me, first impressions are crucial..
So, i can sooo imagine how lame that CC you visited was in my mind!

1. 8 around one small table is kinda crampy... the standard pre-school
desks and chairs usually seat 6 at max.

2. 2 to 3 blocks is super lame!!! As the grp mentioned is between 18mths
to 3yrs range, definitely more blocks required! Children are much smarter
than adults usually think they are.. Observant teachers can observe a grp
involved in diverse activities. Even if they must be assessed on that one
mundane 2-3 block activity, it can't be that the older ones also get 3 blocks!

All children should be observed playing with as many blocks as they can,
( if it just had to be block play for that hour ) while the observer takes
notes / records down the details of what the children are capable of.
And if i read it correctly, the teacher LEFT the children to that free play.
If it were me, give free trial oso dun want! Hehehehee.. So pathetic leh.
If i was a first time parent, this wud be a total turn-off.

3. If the group were given more blocks to dabble with, teachers cud
observe many a sightings with these cuties. One may be arranging all
same coloured blocks in a row-like-train.. Another may be counting
quite far already, than we thought he could! One other mate cud be
arranging domino-like patterns with flat blocks.. Or a few may be
engaged in stair-like structures ( exploring dimensions! ) And many
many other observations, other than construction-based creativities.

Each child wud have their own creative play preference, a unique
trait to each individual..... if only they had more blocks to go around.
Heheheeheee... Reali tickling ya know imagining a grp with that few
blocks!!! You sure you saw this, haa? Not pulling my leg? :evil:

4. Expensive toys like you mentioned are the more durable ones and
assured to be of non-toxic material. They last longer through the years
even for daily play. Hey tamarind, i suppose after you saw their measly
toys, you felt like wah lau... can't be so cheapskate right? I suppose
expensive is not the exact word to describe those wonderful toys. More
to value for money, ay? Agree? If we pay good money for the toys and
they seem to be able to last a decade without losing much of the shine,
its money well spent.

5. Teacher leaving children to play on their own is a NO-NO for me.
Thats for sure!

6. Ooooh... my kiddies love to cut bananas to make fruit salad with ice
cream! Can top with whip cream and those hundreds and thousands
some more. Fine motor? - Check! Super yummy? - Check!
Very fun??? - Checkmate!!! Price? $2.50 for a huge bunch oredi.
Materials? Chopping board and butter knife? - Model's own! Ahakz!

Learning shud be fun leh, i totally agree. Not dead.
3 blocks sounds dead to me! Kahkahkahkahkah!
Can't get the image outta my head, man!

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