Nice Article – What A 4 Years Old Kid Need to Know

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…

一个4岁的孩子应该知道的东西

一个4岁的孩子应该知道什么?他应该知道他总是被完全无条件地爱着。

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一位幼儿园老师的话

我最近在学校家长网上布告栏是看到一位妈妈的留言,她担心她4岁半的儿子懂的不够多。她这样写道:“4岁的孩子应该会什么?”

大部分的回复让我不仅觉得很难过,而且相当恼火。有一位妈妈罗列了一大堆她儿子会的事情。比如会数到100,了解行星,会写他自己的姓名等等。其他家长们也留言附和他们的孩子也懂的很多,有的孩子只有三岁。有几个人甚至在上面张贴相关的网页链接,不外乎什么年龄应该会什么等等。只有少数的几个人说每个孩子的发展进度不一样,不用太过担心。

这些回复十分地困扰我。他们给这个担忧的母亲列出了所有自己孩子会儿她的孩子不会的东西。我们生活在这样一个竞争激烈的文化里,甚至于我们的学龄前儿童已经开始追逐奖杯和炫耀。童年不应该是一场竞赛。

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. 

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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.  

所以,我在这里提供了我认为一个4岁的孩子应该知道的东西。

她应该知道她总是被完全无条件地爱着。

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.  

他应该知道他是安全的,他应该懂得如何在公共场合、和别人在一起和在突发的情况下保证自己的安全。他应该知道谁是可以信任的人,如果他认为不对的事情他可以不做,不管是谁让他做。他应该知道他的人身权利,而且知道他的家人会无条件支持他。

她应该知道怎么笑,怎么闹,怎么搞怪和发挥想象力。她应该知道即使把天空画成橙色,给猫画上6条腿都没有问题。

他应该知道自己的兴趣并被鼓励发展它们。如果他对学习数学不太感兴趣,那么他的父母应该意识到,他在不久的将来也能学会,何不让他就沉浸在火箭船、绘画、恐龙和玩泥巴的世界里呢。

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.  

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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?  

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她应该知道这个世界是多么的神奇,她也是。她应该知道她是多么的美好、灿烂、充满创造力、热爱生活、富有同情心和奇妙的。她应该知道花一整天在户外做花环、做泥饼和搭童话屋比练习拼写要更值得,十分值得。

更重要的是,家长们需要知道些什么。

每个孩子学习走路、说话、阅读和算术都有他自己的速度,这跟他/她将来学得有多好没有太大的联系。

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.

最能让孩子将来有高学分的事情就是给孩子阅读。不是学习卡片,不是练习册,不是多高级的幼儿园,不是闪亮的玩具或电脑,而是父母每天早上或晚上(或两者),坐下来给他们读精彩的图书。

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.  

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成为班里最聪明最有成就的孩子不一定就最快乐。我们想给孩子提供帮助,但却让他们陷入了跟我们一样繁杂而充满压力的生活漩涡。我们能给他们提供的最大的支持便是给他们一个简单而无忧无虑的童年。

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.  

我们的孩子应该被书籍、自然、美工和探索包围。我们大多数的人可以尝试放弃90%的玩具,而孩子们并不会想念的。但有些东西是重要的:组装型的玩具像乐高和积木,创意型的玩具如各种手工艺术材料(很棒),乐器(真的和多元化的),扮演角色的服装和各种各样的书籍,是的书,还是书。

他们也应该自由地探索下面这些事情:当我们准备晚餐时,他们可以坐在儿童椅上玩豆子(当然,得有大人监督);他可以用小铲子揉面包捣乱,在厨台上用刷子玩面团,即使弄得哪哪都是。在后院给他们留一块地方他们可以任意地挖草刨地。

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.

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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.

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我们的孩子更多需要的是我们。我们已经变得很善于说我们更需要照顾好我们自己,甚至把这当成一个借口,让其他人照顾我们的孩子。尽管我们都需要私人的空间,与朋友聚会,需要有效的休息,需要偶尔放下父母的身份。但我们的孩子更需要父亲坐下来用心倾听他们的生活,需要母亲跟他们一起做手工,需要我们给他们讲故事和跟他们一起犯傻。他们需要我们在春夜里陪他们散步,即使他们还只是蹒跚学步的幼儿。他们完全可以跟我们一起准备晚餐,即使这会使完成时间延长一倍。

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.

他们应该了解,他们永远是我们心里的第一位,而且我们真心爱和他们一起共度美好时光。

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…

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