Date: Feb 14, 2014
Yesterday, I read a very nice article about parenting. The article is titled “What A 4 Years Old Kid Need to Know” in Chinese.
The original article appears here… http://jiaren.org/2014/02/13/jiaoyu-18/
The following are copy and paste from there…
Plus some of the comments I have…
Indeed, like what I always encourages parents to do, is to provide your kids a true “Childhood”. You can sent them to enrichment class, but you have to get your kids to “agree” and your kids must have interest in it. You simply cannot force these courses into the kids schedule. But some times, kids is like this… They say they like this they like that… after you sent them there, after 1-2 classes, they wanted to quit. So, sometimes, it is up to you to negotiate with the kids so that they learn 1) they cannot simply anyhow making decision, 2) once they make the decision, they must at least complete a terms class. It is a learning process. Like Jay Jay, he got a lot of sport classes. A lot of friend asked if I sent him too many sport classes? I told my friends, it is not me who choose all these classes. I should be glad that my son is making his own decision to choose what he wanted to learn. And I love seeing him mingle around different groups of kids (in different classes) and thus learned the important social skills. And most importantly, it is the laughter I see, and that is what I called “Happy Childhood!”. As a father, I also try to learn to be a father. So, I think “preserving” the happy childhood is important. That is why you see why I video down a lot of home movies, why I blog all the interesting events he has attend during his childhood days. By remembering these happy smiles, I think at least Jay will grow up to be a happy kids with positive personalities.
So far, the only courses that Jay has quit is violin, and he chosen to replace it by learning Piano. Of course, learning Piano is not for him to take exams. Means I have no intention to sent him for gradings. Learning how to play Piano is good enough to spice up one character. For me, unless he asked for it, otherwise there is no need to go thru any gradings.
So remember HAPPY CHILDHOOD is the key.
This is a must. The kids must always remember, daddy and mommy is always loving them. Whatever daddy and mommy teach is important, because this is how to shape up a person’s character.
Yes. The key of teaching kids is to be sensitive, be observant and know what your kid likes and dislike. English, math or Chinese is essential. But if going to these classes makes him sad, why not twist a little bit. Like CMA is a abacus and mental math class, which is not under MOE curriculum. But it was fun to see people using abacus to calculate sums. So, the point is sending kids to enrichment class does not need to be following MOE directions. Like how I teach Jay write in Calligraphy too. I teach him words I like him to write. I told him, you are a Chinese, and you need to learn this. He understands.
I removed him from Berries, because he simply don’t like it, and he was having lots of problems catching up in the Berries class. But he has no problem to engage Private Tutor who spent quality 1-to-1 time with him, reading story books, teaching how to do homework. As for English, sending him to BrainFit that can play 30min on computer learning (mostly games), and jumping on trampoline to play Hang man seems like a great choice. So, you see, it does not have to be 100% following what MOE wants your kid to be, simply follows your heart, what you think they should learn and know. i.e. Learn to enjoy happy childhood, learn to make friends at this age, learn to be happy all the time. As for Kay, he is still 4 years old going into 5. I simply left him full day with his friends at the preschool. Since he likes Taekwondo, I let him remain in Tots class for almost 1.5 years. No intention to move him up yet to normal grading class yet. I do force him to learn swimming as I think swimming is life skills you need to pick up as early as possible. But who does not love water?
This is very important. Every kids learning path and learning capability is different. Most of them are going different ways, but eventually, they will cross each others. For me for an example, my math my calculus sucks during my High Schools years, I even score a RED 55 back in my last year of high school math. But 1 year after high school graduations when I came to Canada to further my studies, I did well in my math. I can even teach all my classmates math and physics and chemistry. So, kids learning is just like flowers. There are so many different kinds of flowers and all of them does not bloom and blossom at the same time. Some in Spring, some in Autumn. The key is you need to know that.
Yes. When I am not busy, I try to read to them. So, thanks to my wife travelling to US once a month for a week every month. I got to spent quality reading time with my kids.
Try not to give pressure all the time to kids. You are their father or mother, so, when the kids in pressured, you should know it. Recently I learned a new trick. I will let Jay practise his Chinese spelling or English spelling a few days earlier, and every day test him on a few words. But one day before the spelling test, I will not test him at all. He also felt strange. But I told him, we learned is not to be tested. We learned because it is important for us to remember what we learned. This is such an important concepts the kids need to know.
So, one day before the test, I will let you (Jay) think if you are ready for the test or not. If not ready, you will know what to do yourselves. My job is to make sure you learned you know and you remembers what you learn, not to give you pressure. So, for Chinese Spelling, usually we will have fun writing the words in the air by referring to funny way of remembering the words. And he loves it. And when we did this? a day before the spelling day, we learn things that is not to be tested. And I found it useful, and he most of the time, remembers what he learned.
Remember, I read an article saying not to scold your kids when they dirty the wall. In fact, home is their home, and it should be warmed. So, my home, I don’t care what other things, but I decorate it with their paintings. Nice or not nice, all paintings goes up the wall.
One more thing kids need to learn and parents have to try our best to teach is to teach them to be independent. Teach them to be responsible. As a student, you are responsible with all your homework.
Yesterday, I sit down with my son Jay to go thru page 3-page 41 of his Math Pupil Book. There is a quiz coming. And I think my son learned a lot from yesterday review. And after the review, I got a kiss on cheek from him, and he said “Thank You daddy for teaching me”. Hmmm…. I think there are some mis-concept that he had, and he was not sure, and thru this review, he actually learned how to solve those. And he thank me by simply a kiss on my cheek. You feel so good after that. And you feel so proud of it.
This kid has really grown up… so fast that you may not even know about it.
The kids always make their parents their idol. They need us. So, no matter how, we must give them some of our time. We must let them know that we always love them. Money can earn later, but building the foundation of a kid can’t wait. And you really have to strategise it. Be with them when they grow up. And that is your responsibility as a parent.
And happy childhood is important. Remember, why you need to make home movies, is to look at those happy times we spent together. Always remembers all these details. For me, I remember it using my MiniLiew blogs. That is my family diary. When we gets older, it will always be fun looking back to all these blogs. http://miniliew.blogspot.sg
Every one are in control of their own times, it is a matter how to organise it. So, cannot say you don’t have time.
It is not wrong to let your kids play so much. Up until today, I still have friends say I let me kids play too much. No need to study meh?
Well. we will manage it. Together hand in hand with my son. P1 and P2 should be playing time. Should be honey moon period.
Let’s see how it goes…