Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

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Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby Imp75 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:20 pm

Hi
Saw many forummers here with excellent PSLE results from children (congrats).
I wonder if there are any stories parents wish to share regarding getting good PSLE results without tuition at all and how did the parents/child/school achieve it together.
Thanks for sharing!

Imp75
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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby TravelMummy » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:08 am

Imp75 wrote:Hi
Saw many forummers here with excellent PSLE results from children (congrats).
I wonder if there are any stories parents wish to share regarding getting good PSLE results without tuition at all and how did the parents/child/school achieve it together.
Thanks for sharing!

DS didn't have tuition. We just stretched him with assessment books and top sch exam papers which he was trained to self mark. He is a motivated kid. Average performer till he woke up end of P5 and blossomed. Thankfully he did well enough to get into an IP sch nearby. It is poss to do without tuition with a self motivated kid. Stress level is lowered and we didn't need to deal with logistics of ferrying him to & fro. Kid has plenty of time to rest and do sports. I recommend dropping the tuition crutch. :smile:

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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby Imp75 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:46 am

hi thanks TravelMummy

I am holding off sending my daughter for tuition as she is still doing alright in school and I want to give her more space to pursue other things like her heavyweight CCA and outside school enrichment activities and also dedicated time for play. But I am increasingly getting worried as seems like all around me and in this forum, most children do well with the help of tuition even though they don't really need it. I am told by friends to prep her for tuition (before it's too late) but I am hesitant to do that as it means cutting back on her leisure time. Already this year in P4, she needs to stay back 4x a week (till 430 or 530) and she needs to be in bed by 830 latest and normally I grant freeplay after 6pm everyday if hw is completed. Not sure if I am too relaxed with her?

You mentioned your child is self-motivated, how can you tell and does he also spend a lot of time on CCA?

Thanks for your advice.

Imp75
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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby libran269 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:57 am

Interesting topic..would love to hear more from parents whose kid dont need/go to tution centres..

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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby Nebbermind » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:00 am

if no problem with normal schoolwork, then doing assessment books should be OK. How much value-add can a tutor offer if one already know his work?

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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby Imp75 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:10 am

hey NB

You'll be surprised, I bought only one assessment book for eng and maths and my daughter can't even complete the assessment books even with her workload in P3. We had to cram last minute past year exam papers practice on those 4 PSLE marking days last year to prep for exams. Maybe I am too relaxed?

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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby Nebbermind » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:23 am

Imp75 wrote:hey NB

You'll be surprised, I bought only one assessment book for eng and maths and my daughter can't even complete the assessment books even with her workload in P3. We had to cram last minute past year exam papers practice on those 4 PSLE marking days last year to prep for exams. Maybe I am too relaxed?


But if getting a tutor is just to make sure the kid spend time doing assessment book, then isn't it very expensive?

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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby slmkhoo » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:52 am

My daughter was educated overseas, but we brought her back to Singapore in June of her PSLE year (2 yrs ago) to take the PSLE. I had done some revision with her on top of her international school workload which admittedly was not very heavy. In terms of PSLE revision, she did about 45 mins a day, 5 times a week from about November of the year before. She didn't have paid tuition, but she had me setting out what she was to do each day, reviewing her work and answering questions, and her father helped with Maths if she needed it. During the 3 mths in Singapore, she just did schoolwork (which was mostly revision by then) plus some additional stuff we gave her at home. She did mainly past papers, and I think she only had 1 assessment book per subject. She had it easier than most as she only had to do 3 subjects (MT exemption), but that was balanced by her needing to adjust to Singapore-style exam requirements within a short time. She was always done by dinner time, in bed by 9pm, and didn't work during weekends. She did better than we expected and could take her pick of schools.

However, I must say that she is intelligent, motivated and disciplined, and only needed some guidance and encouragement. We did not have to study with her or do much pushing (just a mild pep talk every couple of weeks when her energy flagged). But my other child would not have been able to do this as she has less motivation and will power, and is also not as academically able. So it really boils down to the individual child and your expectations. We were prepared to accept more moderate results, so her good results were a nice surprise.

We decided against intensive tuition when we back in Singapore even though that might possibly have given her an additional boost as she seemed to be coping OK and we were around to help. I really can't say she she didn't have tuition, just not paid tuition, because having parents who can help is surely as good or better than having tuition. However, I didn't sit her down for x hours a week and watch her or help her study. How does that compare with regular paid tuition? I really don't know.

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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby TravelMummy » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:28 am

Imp75 wrote:hi thanks TravelMummy

I am holding off sending my daughter for tuition as she is still doing alright in school and I want to give her more space to pursue other things like her heavyweight CCA and outside school enrichment activities and also dedicated time for play. But I am increasingly getting worried as seems like all around me and in this forum, most children do well with the help of tuition even though they don't really need it. I am told by friends to prep her for tuition (before it's too late) but I am hesitant to do that as it means cutting back on her leisure time. Already this year in P4, she needs to stay back 4x a week (till 430 or 530) and she needs to be in bed by 830 latest and normally I grant freeplay after 6pm everyday if hw is completed. Not sure if I am too relaxed with her?

You mentioned your child is self-motivated, how can you tell and does he also spend a lot of time on CCA?

Thanks for your advice.

Yes, when DS did his PSLE last year, he was in both competitive swimming and track & field, so he trained 7 days a week. He sleeps by 9.30pm and has been juggling his own timetable since we killed the last of his tuition in P3. I travelled lot for work and used Learning Lab to assuage my guilt till I walked in to his P3 LL class one day and saw the tutor droning on and no one listening! So I gave up his classes and discovered no difference in grades. He remained consistently mediocre in P4. I just bought the Top Schools' Exam Papers and he would do those in exchange for rewards. Frankly, at the time I didn't realize P4 results is important to DSA applications so we just cruised along, content he was in 3rd best class in school!

Same thing for 1H P5. Now most parents would pay attention to P5 but I was still in LaLaLand. Teacher started to ask the kids to take Olympiad exams (again, since he is kid#1, I had no idea the importance) and I forgot to gave him $$ to sign up for NMOS and so he skipped it. I only realized my error a few months after I came back from my trip! So we made sure he signed up for the ACS Mathlympics. He never got any special coaching since he wasn't in best class in school. Amazingly, he got a Silver medal. That woke him (and us) up. He started to realize he wasn't half too bad since some of the better students got Bronze vs his Silver. So he decided to work a bit harder. Got into best maths class in P6. Landed a Gold for the RI olympiad. I was shocked. So we realized he is actually ok and told him to work harder on the other subjects.

He really woke up in P6 (as did I) and didn't spend much time idling in between his training (apart from computer games and iPad which he really can't do without). Really concentrated in classes, stopped drifting off, amazingly soared in all his subjects. Stopped failing HCL, started moving up from his 70+ mark range in science and English. I just threw him sample compos which he read, and short cut the science revision process by making him read sample answers behind the assessment books. Essentially for PSLE, the science concepts are not difficult to grasp. The key is to master answering techniques, so if you read enough sample answers and figure out the key words, you will get it. For the languages, most of the tuition ctrs just ply the kids with creative sentences, so I just told him to do the same but identify different ones. I am poor in CL but bought a few cheem looking books and got him to underline the good sentences. Poor guy had to use dictionary a lot but I figured it's good discipline. All his competitive instincts were really fired up by march and he was going full steam. I ran out of steam after the DSA process but he was like Thomas the Tank Engine!

He got 3 DSA offers through sports and had to start training with one of the secondary school teams by mid year so essentially there was no break. The training increased in rigor but amazingly, so did he. I just made sure he ate decently and slept early. He decided that he won't get into secondary school by back door but would get in with good academic results and so he slogged and panted like everyone else. He finally got sick of studying by Aug so he dialed up his own computer gaming time. By then he was pretty well prepared so I just let it be. Anyway, there was nothing much i could do. He is the master of his own show. We did cut down his swim training about a month before PSLE so he had a bit of rest time. He did reasonably ok in PSLE and made it comfortably above the COP of his chosen secondary school.

Throughout this process, I realized the key is not tuition but how to wake the intrinsic desire of the child to excel and be the best that he can be. No amount of external pushing and kicking can substitute that desire. And that desire must come from within, not to be confused with parental desire for the kid to do well. Ironically, our lack of push did him good because he was allowed to be mediocre and experience the consequences of mediocrity and hunger for something better. If we had kept pushing LL at him, he would prob be bored stiff and won't even try. And most of all, I am grateful that his school gave him a chance to try for the Olympiads even though he wasn't the best. Hope this helps and good luck with your kid!

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Re: Excellent PSLE results sans tuition

Postby TravelMummy » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:40 am

Imp75 wrote:hi thanks TravelMummy

I am holding off sending my daughter for tuition as she is still doing alright in school and I want to give her more space to pursue other things like her heavyweight CCA and outside school enrichment activities and also dedicated time for play. But I am increasingly getting worried as seems like all around me and in this forum, most children do well with the help of tuition even though they don't really need it. I am told by friends to prep her for tuition (before it's too late) but I am hesitant to do that as it means cutting back on her leisure time. Already this year in P4, she needs to stay back 4x a week (till 430 or 530) and she needs to be in bed by 830 latest and normally I grant freeplay after 6pm everyday if hw is completed. Not sure if I am too relaxed with her?

You mentioned your child is self-motivated, how can you tell and does he also spend a lot of time on CCA?

Thanks for your advice.

Honestly, if I were you, I wouldn't listen to those scare mongering friends but allow my instincts to guide my actions re my child's needs. One man's meat is another man's poison. My kid basically grew up on cartoon network and i watch it with them! I don't see the need to begrudge them their leisure time. In my opinion, tuition should never be the norm.

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