Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Helping Our Children Ace in School

Recently, I seem to have joined the league of kiasu parents in Singapore by enrolling my child in a number of enrichment courses - he is taking tuition for his Chinese, comprehension and essay writing for his English and well, piano which cannot be exactly be categorised under the academic umbrella.

In the recent news articles, one even quoted that a teacher advised a parent to send his child for tuition lest the young kid cannot catch up. During my time, most of my friends literally breezed through the initial school system without the stress that our kids face today. But today’s education system is different, and calls for a different set of responses and strategies.

While I don’t want to be a kiasu parent, I don’t want my boy to fall behind his peers either. Hence, in the selection of the extra lessons or should I term it as essential, I am pretty judicious.

I have no doubt that Perry need that extra Chinese lesson as our family is more of an English speaking family - though my husband thought that we do speak a mix of English and Mandarin, I supposed it's more of a colloquial, the sort that you can get by to buy some grocery from our friendly neighbourhood provision shops. The school's suggestion for Perry to be enrolled under the "Little Chinese Tutor" Scheme, whereby a student good in Chinese in the higher level to coach him, further supported my initial intuition. For English, I have read his earlier essays, they were at best, very boring. Today, they are much better. And also I can see that he enjoy writing.

Some people feel that sending the children to so many enrichment lessons take the joy out of learning. I beg to differ. If managed properly, these lessons can help the child enjoy the learning process. Once the child understands the concept, he will be less stressful, grow in confidence and yes, be successful in school.

Of course, nothing beats being involved in your child's learning journey. Some tips for sharing:

- Read together
- Establish a daily family routine with scheduled homework time
- Talk to your children and... listen to them, too
- Encourage the child to set high standards
- Keep in touch with the school

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