How is your kids coping with primary school syllabus?

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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How is your kids coping with primary school syllabus?

Postby sunny » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:30 am

hi, I must admit that I am a KS mummy. :D I am looking for school for my 3 yo+ gal. Have been researching hi-lo for suitable childcare/preschool for her. After researching, I am more or less wanting to send her to montessori based school instead of mainstream based.

The principals of the montessori schools reassure me that the kids would have no problem in coping with the work when they go to primary school. Some said that what the kids have learnt can be equivalent to what a P2 student learn in school.

Can the parents here whose kids attended montessori schools share their experience on whether your kids can cope with the primary school work and environment?

sunny
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Re: How is your kids coping with primary school syllabus?

Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:52 am

sunny wrote:hi, I must admit that I am a KS mummy. :D I am looking for school for my 3 yo+ gal. Have been researching hi-lo for suitable childcare/preschool for her. After researching, I am more or less wanting to send her to montessori based school instead of mainstream based. ...


Actually, you are less kiasu (in the Singaporean context) than you think if you are planning to send your kid for Montessori education. Share with us why you prefer Montessori than main-stream. Is it because you value life skills more than academic skills?

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Montessori or Mainstream Based

Postby KingRascal » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:55 am

Hi there
Please do not misunderstand me to be feeling proud of to be boasting of my child's progress. I merely want to share my thoughts and what I went through now with my child. Hope it can shed some light for your decision making, pit falls, etc.

I placed my son with a montessori pre-school for 4 years (3-6years old). At the age of 5 he was placed in the K2 class. This meant he attended K2 twice... He coped very well all the way.

Quite a number of his classmates were also doing advanced syllabus. At 6years old, several of them were already reading Enid Blyton, Magic Rainbow, Geronimo, Roald Dahl series (which probably would be meant for 7-10years old).

They are all in Primary 1 now. After term 1, many of them were streamed into the higher chinese classes. Another boy's mother told me her son's doing p3 math assessment right now.

All sounded rosy. Now here's the pitfall or problem...though many people tell me it's a happy problem for me. My son appeared talkative and distracted in class sometime in the 1st term. This is because he already knew everything that was taught. The form teacher could not slow him down and already allowed him to complete his term 2's workbooks. I met the form teacher and finally we reached an agreement. When the form teacher deems it is appropriate for my son to be excused from her teachings, she'd let him do other forms of assessment papers (i.e. other schools' SA papers).

I don't know what all these would lead to. I am still monitoring the situation. SA1 is round the corner. I would have to see what this "happy" problem would bring me to second half of the year...

In summary, you have to be careful on the behaviour change of the child in primary school. It could be the start of nightmare. The child may be so used to getting distracted, that it becomes a habit. Even when new knowledge is being taught later on, the child may already have a problem of concentrating... I have been warned of this and I am indeed seeing it happening. So I have to be extremely careful now...

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Re: How is your kids coping with primary school syllabus?

Postby sunny » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:53 am

ChiefKiasu wrote:
sunny wrote:hi, I must admit that I am a KS mummy. :D I am looking for school for my 3 yo+ gal. Have been researching hi-lo for suitable childcare/preschool for her. After researching, I am more or less wanting to send her to montessori based school instead of mainstream based. ...


Actually, you are less kiasu (in the Singaporean context) than you think if you are planning to send your kid for Montessori education. Share with us why you prefer Montessori than main-stream. Is it because you value life skills more than academic skills?


hi chief
i find that i should let my kids learn in a less stressful environment i.e. no to worry about not being able to catch up with peers and can learn at their own pace to an extent. as i am brought up in different educational system i.e. not in s'pore, i hope that the kids are able to learn more abt life skills before they go to primary school and i guess it would be very academic based. :)

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Re: Montessori or Mainstream Based

Postby sunny » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:04 am

japhys wrote:Hi there
Please do not misunderstand me to be feeling proud of to be boasting of my child's progress. I merely want to share my thoughts and what I went through now with my child. Hope it can shed some light for your decision making, pit falls, etc.

I placed my son with a montessori pre-school for 4 years (3-6years old). At the age of 5 he was placed in the K2 class. This meant he attended K2 twice... He coped very well all the way.

Quite a number of his classmates were also doing advanced syllabus. At 6years old, several of them were already reading Enid Blyton, Magic Rainbow, Geronimo, Roald Dahl series (which probably would be meant for 7-10years old).

They are all in Primary 1 now. After term 1, many of them were streamed into the higher chinese classes. Another boy's mother told me her son's doing p3 math assessment right now.

All sounded rosy. Now here's the pitfall or problem...though many people tell me it's a happy problem for me. My son appeared talkative and distracted in class sometime in the 1st term. This is because he already knew everything that was taught. The form teacher could not slow him down and already allowed him to complete his term 2's workbooks. I met the form teacher and finally we reached an agreement. When the form teacher deems it is appropriate for my son to be excused from her teachings, she'd let him do other forms of assessment papers (i.e. other schools' SA papers).

I don't know what all these would lead to. I am still monitoring the situation. SA1 is round the corner. I would have to see what this "happy" problem would bring me to second half of the year...

In summary, you have to be careful on the behaviour change of the child in primary school. It could be the start of nightmare. The child may be so used to getting distracted, that it becomes a habit. Even when new knowledge is being taught later on, the child may already have a problem of concentrating... I have been warned of this and I am indeed seeing it happening. So I have to be extremely careful now...


hi japhys
thanks for sharing your experience. If i were you, I will be very proud of my kid, too. :D

can share with me which montessori school your boy was?

sorry, what's SA, SA1?

so, on day-to-day basis, what do you do to help your boy to cope with the primary school work since he is more advance than the peers and the homework given by the teachers might be seen to be easy and straight forward for him?

sunny
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Montessori or Mainstream Based

Postby KingRascal » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:38 am

Hi Sunny

My son was with Shekinah Montessori House in Seng Kang. No regretst at all for those 4 years he was there.
Besides life skills, they are very equipped with academic syllabus. All rounded. They incorporate mind map for their project approach. I understand that they have the intention to include brain gym teachings. Not sure what the status is right now.

Languages - revision would be done for his grammar (both english and chinese). Alot of reading would be introduced as it is the best way to learn vocab and creative writing.

I work on his creative writing through introduction of mind mapping from Tony Buzan. He applies it on his weekly journal and story book review, and I could see results after a few months. While some of the students merely wrote a couple of sentences, he was able to write almost 2 pages of the small exercise book. To me, this is enough for a p1 with only a short introduction on creative writing.

Vocab is king to creative writing. Besides understanding the meaning of the word, we cannot run away from the fact that the child needs to memorise the word in order to apply it. For each expression, allow the child to know maybe another 2 words that could be used to replace it. For example, instead of the simple sentence "I am happy", we can teach the child to say "I am elated" or "I am delighted". Another example could be to replace "a cold day" with "a freezing day" or "a chilly day". Of course there are alot more elaborated words, it's important not to rush or else it would make learning stressful and tough for the child. Do it incrementally.

We must be careful not to overload information. There are just too many things that we can share with the child. Don't rush. I once received this thick book from Tony Buzan on phrases. Very impressive if the child can remember all. For a while I wanted to write all on small white cards and display them in the study room. However I feel that it'd be information overload. Instead I looked through and decided to introduce by themes and maybe just 4-5 phrases each time. I just tried it out last week and I realised that it works. I introduced a group of phrases namely "red carpet treatment", "red-letter day", "see red", and "caught red-handed", and created a sentence for each. I used coloured markers to write the words, emphasizing those 4 terms with red markers. I am pleased to say that he is now well-versed with using these 4 terms. He's been pestering me to replace them with new phrases cos he finds it very interesting.

Grammar is standard after p1. Vocab is what matters from p2 onwards. So do take time to find out how your child learns best, i.e. media and format (online, visual, audio, class setting, 1-1)...

Language is also the key to learning math. My son has classmates who do not understand some math questions as they don't understand the instructions! So if you have only time for 1 enrichment, make sure your child's reading foundation is strong. Once language is good, the child would be better equipped to learn other areas.

Having said all these, I did not neglect his non-academic needs. He has the usual ones like swimming, art and music, which he enjoys alot as well.

There are alot more I can share....hope I didn't bore you out ;)

SA - Semestral Assessment, equivalent to mid-year or final year exam/test.

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Postby sunny » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:04 am

wow japhys, you have done so much for your boy! *clap clap* i wonder if i can put in so much effort like you.

ya, agreed with you that language is really important. my english is quite poor, and i always have problems in articulating the whole issue and presenting it to my colleagues and bosses; and not to mention the writing skill which is worse. haha...

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Postby daisyt » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:06 am

Hi sunny, japhys, my girl attended Montessori when she was 3 yo but only attended for 1 year. Although its quite a short period, I feel that she actually learned a lot during this year. Morever, I also bought a book and did a few of the exercises with her at home.

She learned to recognise words better and can pronounce words with little effort. She started to like reading by then and was reading many Enid Blyton books at about the age of 4 or 5. Till now, she still loves to read. She has no problem with her English subject, which I think Montessori did contribute a part to it.

daisyt
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Montessori or Mainstream Based

Postby KingRascal » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:21 am

Hi Daisyt and sunny,

Reading is really very very important. Daisyt, keep up your child's good reading habit. I am sure you would reap the rewards. How old is your child now?

One regret is that I did not do enough for reading in chinese. Now I have to put in alot more effort to get him to be confident and proficient in the language... Almost every primary school I know of is moving into higher chinese...it's very trying!

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Re: Montessori or Mainstream Based

Postby MdmKS » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:27 am

japhys wrote:Hi Sunny

My son was with Shekinah Montessori House in Seng Kang. No regretst at all for those 4 years he was there.
Besides life skills, they are very equipped with academic syllabus. All rounded. They incorporate mind map for their project approach. I understand that they have the intention to include brain gym teachings. Not sure what the status is right now.

Languages - revision would be done for his grammar (both english and chinese). Alot of reading would be introduced as it is the best way to learn vocab and creative writing.

I work on his creative writing through introduction of mind mapping from Tony Buzan. He applies it on his weekly journal and story book review, and I could see results after a few months. While some of the students merely wrote a couple of sentences, he was able to write almost 2 pages of the small exercise book. To me, this is enough for a p1 with only a short introduction on creative writing.

Vocab is king to creative writing. Besides understanding the meaning of the word, we cannot run away from the fact that the child needs to memorise the word in order to apply it. For each expression, allow the child to know maybe another 2 words that could be used to replace it. For example, instead of the simple sentence "I am happy", we can teach the child to say "I am elated" or "I am delighted". Another example could be to replace "a cold day" with "a freezing day" or "a chilly day". Of course there are alot more elaborated words, it's important not to rush or else it would make learning stressful and tough for the child. Do it incrementally.

We must be careful not to overload information. There are just too many things that we can share with the child. Don't rush. I once received this thick book from Tony Buzan on phrases. Very impressive if the child can remember all. For a while I wanted to write all on small white cards and display them in the study room. However I feel that it'd be information overload. Instead I looked through and decided to introduce by themes and maybe just 4-5 phrases each time. I just tried it out last week and I realised that it works. I introduced a group of phrases namely "red carpet treatment", "red-letter day", "see red", and "caught red-handed", and created a sentence for each. I used coloured markers to write the words, emphasizing those 4 terms with red markers. I am pleased to say that he is now well-versed with using these 4 terms. He's been pestering me to replace them with new phrases cos he finds it very interesting.

Grammar is standard after p1. Vocab is what matters from p2 onwards. So do take time to find out how your child learns best, i.e. media and format (online, visual, audio, class setting, 1-1)...

Language is also the key to learning math. My son has classmates who do not understand some math questions as they don't understand the instructions! So if you have only time for 1 enrichment, make sure your child's reading foundation is strong. Once language is good, the child would be better equipped to learn other areas.

Having said all these, I did not neglect his non-academic needs. He has the usual ones like swimming, art and music, which he enjoys alot as well.

There are alot more I can share....hope I didn't bore you out ;)

SA - Semestral Assessment, equivalent to mid-year or final year exam/test.


Wow! japhys! you have done so, so much for your kid, must kow tow to you. :udawoman: the next thing came to my mind is that your kid will have a very high chance of getting into to the GEP programme with this learning a head training.

MdmKS
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