Monday, November 30, 2015

0720 in a weekday

It's school holiday... and I now have the 'privilege' to step out of the house later... yes, after sunrise, just like many of the office workers...

7.20 am. I alighted the bus at Tampines Interchange, taking the path that I take every morning (during term time). Except, the sky is now brighter. And there's someone there to distribute that morning papers, which are normally left intact, wrapped in plastic. Yes, can see the order queues, where the commuters bother to join to collect a copy of the Chinese papers before they join another queue to collect for the English (Today) papers.

The atmosphere seems lighter, with live music along the sheltered walkway leading to the MRT station. Yes, someone playing the saxophone loud and clear. As we walked nearer to the MRT station, there sat another live musician playing a chinese instruction (like the yue qin). Both elderly men were enjoying what they did. I guess commuters also walked at a livelier pace.

Welcome! It's Monday morning.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tuition - to start before knowing your needs?

Chanced upon this advertisement this morning (in the Straits Times).
It's from a Tuition Centre to encourage one to start early to prepare for the "future", which I think it could be interpreted as 2016 EOY exam results or as far as your performance for the GCE exams!

Indeed, this is riding on this kiasu syndrome, which exists, I think, more amongst parents then students (though the advertisement addressed to students).

This set me thinking... do you just give 'extra tonic' when you might not have diagnosed the issue? There's only one "top" place there if you want your child to move all the way to the top... but it is worth to sacrifice other (comparatively) better things to come in the expense of the the hope to achieve results. I wonder.

Indeed, it would be great if a child could cope with demands in the school on his own, with the support from the school, as well as the support from home. What does he do with the rest of the time? Well, to be engaged in something more meaningful as a youth - a based experiences would be more desirable.  Indeed, one parent wrote in a recent survey reply. She was grateful that her child could survive Sec 1 without having to go through any tuition as the support rendered by the school is enough. Well, note... this child is a scholar!

Occasionally, parents would ask, "Is it time for me to get tuition for my child?"
My advice is always... let's diagnose the issue first...
1. Is your child really not doing well?
2. When your child did not do well, is it because your child is academically weak (since young already faced challenges to make sense out of the string of numerals) or is it due to his personal habit?
3. If it is about personal habit... have you sat down with your child to analyse what were habits that need to be addressed to, what new/ good habits need to cultivate?
4. If it is about personal habit, would sitting him in front of the tutor helps?

These are just few questions (out of the many) that parents need to think before making the first step to engage the tutor.

Indeed, for some parents who already engaged tutor but children still have yet performed up to expectations, one question to ask would be: How was the child responding to the tuition?
e.g. Is he clarifying areas of doubts (that he did not know and needed help) - which should be the primary purpose of tuition
OR is he doing additional pieces of work assigned by the tutor so much so that he had not gotten the opportunity to clarify his doubts? Is he also overwhelmed by this 'additional amount' of work?

Points to ponder...