Now that SA1 is over, many students are starting to receive their results.
As parents/tutors, what's the next step?
1. Go through & analyse the mistakes made in the papers.
(a) Careless mistakes - defined by marks lost due to calculation mistakes, poor handwriting, copying of wrong words/spelling/numbers
(b) Failure to pay attention to details - defined by marks lost due to child skipping important info given in the question (such that when the info is highlighted to them, they are able to get the answers without help).
(c) Failure to understand concept/apply - defined by marks lost due to total lack of understanding for the question/concept.
To tackle careless mistakes, you have to be patient and constantly remind them. Add up the marks lost due to careless mistakes and let them feel the impact (and see the difference between the score they could actually obtain vs the score they obtained).
Also, remind them that is it human to make mistakes (as in lost a few marks) but they can try to minimise it by checking, recalculating & reading carefully.
For children who fail to read the questions carefully, it would be good to encourage them to underline/highlight important key words in the questions. Make it a habit by ensuring that they do that all the time - for school homework and additional work done at home/tuition.
Failure to understand/apply concepts:
We will have to go back to basics for those topics. Go through the basic content knowledge. Then go progressively upwards to re-teach the entire topic.
Some children require constant reminders/revision. If your child need this, plan for the exam revision to start earlier. Then, a few days before the exam will be a quick run through of all the topics & key concepts to note.
2. Analyse what has been done during the studying/revision process & how to improve
(a) Was there adequate time allocated?
(b) Did revision start too late?
(c) Was the wrong method used for revision?
If a particular method of studying has been identified as useful, build on it.
If your child hasn't found his/her preferred method, explore other methods together.
3. Encourage & assure your child
No matter the results, all children need encouragement.
For those who scored well, encourage them and motivate them to score better.
For those who did not score well, encourage them to take the first step to doing better. Don't expect an overnight change in your child - it's not realistic. Set small realistic targets with deadlines. For example, you can set the first target as: Revise P3 Diversity Topics and practice related questions by end of 1st week of June holidays. Then, guide your child in work division and daily work allocation to manage his/her time. Follow up by physically checking their work (not just verbal checking by asking them if they've done their work).
Always remind them that you love them. Though you may be disappointed with the results, they are your children and you will still love them. Love is unconditional.
Explain to them why you feel disappointed - you know they are smart kids who can achieve more!
Slowly build the confidence in them, encourage them to be self-motivated.
Children forget easily, you may have to repeat this 'talk' a few times for it to really sink in, especially for the younger ones.
4. Re-look their schedules
Could your child be too tired out from tuition/enrichment classes to focus on studies?
Would it be wise to drop 1 or 2 activities to focus on building up the academic studies, then having those activities again later on?
I personally re-looked my 4yo boy's schedule recently. Though we've always stuck to 'only 1 enrichment class a day', I noticed he had less time for play & socialising (at the playground). We took a bold step and cut down on the enrichment classes (though my KS-parent mind is saying: WHAT IF HE LOSES OUT!???).
I'm glad I did that as he has more time 'day dreaming' and coming up with new stories & games, more time to read storybooks and have been more receptive to spending time sitting down with my hubby for informal Chinese lessons (reading, simple writing, speaking in Chinese).
I hope that parents & students will not be discouraged by the results. This is only SA1, there's still time to catch up.
Getting your child into that dream Primary school is just the start of a 6 year journey. Discuss issues you face with supporting your child's studies in Primary schools.
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