Kids vs SA2 Exam 2017

Date:  Nov 1, 2017

Today, I decided to give myself a break, so I did not go for my extreme 2-3 hours morning walk.  I feel a bit fatigue after continuously done that > 20K steps for almost two weeks.

Today is the end of the kid’s SA2 year end exam.

I feel very proud of both Jay and Kay.  This year, they have demonstrate to me their ability to be independent when it comes to study for their SA2 exams.  Of course I cannot do this without the help of two important tools.

Self-learning is very important.  The kids must understand the important of self-learning.  Self-leaning means when you come back from school, you will automatically do a revisions on all your subjects so that you are prepared for taking the exams.  It is not daddy mommy stand beside you shout at you and tell you to go do homework, do revisions, etc.

Self-learning is a self-discipline skills the young one has to learn.  If they cannot learn that from young, I think you will face some problem and challenges when they go into the secondary schools.  In secondary school, they will face 10 subjects instead of 3 or 4 subjects in Primary school.

Let me share with you what I have done, and the two important tools the kids has used to achieve this self-learning, self-study attitude.

But before we go there… we must set goals and expectations to ourselves.

  1. Kids will demonstrate their ability to do self-study, self-learning.
  2. Parents has to LOWER down the expectation. Means, their marks might be lower, and much lower.  BUT, you need to know, this truly reflects their own efforts, and it has to be rewarded even the marks does not meet you-the parent’s expectation.  Sometimes parents may thing, “if and only if I have done this and that, my child would have score 10 marks better…”  Remember, it is your child who is the one who needs to learn, not you.


Tool #1:  Superstar Teacher

I subscribed to this 2 years ago.  And I found it useful.  I was asked to subscribed to this when I shop in Popular Bookstores at Bras Basah rd.  When I listen to the sample of videos, Immediately it came to my mind that this could be a solution for me to push my kids to go into self-learning mode.

So, it is basically, a series of videos on different levels different subjects.  basically, it is a supplementary videos to give you another teachers (other than your class teacher) how they teach the subject.  So, I found it useful when the kids listen and watch the video, it is just like watching another teacher teaching you the subject and this teacher also chip in their thoughts on how to tackle exam papers.  The tips and tricks to do to score well.

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Now, just imagine.  If the kids don’t know a certain topics.  He basically can go back to the video and watch it again.  And again, he can pause the video, read the white board materials.  And resume again.  So, I think that is the greatest thing about it.

It is based on MOE curriculum, it is relevant to their studies, and it helps to solidify their understanding of the subject.

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And it tracks your progress too.  If you feel you are weak in a certain subject, then, you spent more time on it.  It seems, my younger son has so much time and he has completed both his English and Math lessons on Superstar Teachers.

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As for Jay, hmmm… He has tried his best and I knew.  hahaha  And I knew the Superstar teacher has helped him a lot.  And he knows understand how to make use of it to do revision.  Although you don’t see 100% use of it, but it has help my son do the SA2 preparations since 2-3 weeks ago.

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It usually comes with 40 weeks of lessons with test questions, interactive questions.

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Now, you know what subject they don’t like.  ahahahahaha  But yet, they tried to do the last 10 lessons just to have more preparations.

The Study Tracker is one feature I can appreciate.  As and when I will know their progress.  At the beginning stage, you do have to ask them to do it, but as it becomes a habit, they will self-pilot the revisions.

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So, usually, we have heavy usage of this 4-6 weeks before the SA2 as a revision tools.  They actually do not spent time looking at their work as those are covered from the class rooms.

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Tool #2:  E-知识

Again, when you make a trip to Popular Bookstore at Bras Basah, the promotor will always come and talk to you and try to promote their stuffs.  And this is yet another one. And I found this very useful too.

You know the kids always have this Chinese learning paper, 新朋友 & 新列车.  They are from this sites.  So, they have this iPad app called e-知识, and this is to teach them Chinese.

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So, I subscribed all 6 levels this year.

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iPad learning is something the kids welcome.

Because touch here touch there to learn, very easy.  The content of this app is according exactly to MOE curriculum on Chinese.

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There are additional reading and exercise to help you gain more in depth about the Chinese you are learning from school.

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It also teach how to write the Chinese characters correctly.

Also, the alternative story that uses exact same wordings (but different story) gave the kids another views of how to use all those words.

The 字宝宝 is very important for me to test their understanding of the words.  You know last time I always make my own flash cards.  This year on wards, forget about it.  Just use this iPads to teach and evaluate their learnings.

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After each chapter, they can test themselves in the MCQ.  These exercise tested their learning progress,

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Additional games and reading in each chapters are some of the fun the kids love.

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And there are also moral education stories too.

So, it is a very strong self-learning tools for Chinese.

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Because of these tools, it actually motivates them try to learn more on their own.


Of course, self-study is one thing, but let them play is the reward.


When it comes the time to study, then, they study.


When it comes the time to play with friends, they play.




And play.




And play.


And study.  Like that.  Make it very balance.  Play vs. Study.  Don’t short change them.


And you will get very good surprise.

So, today, we talked during breakfast.  Jay told me he already have some preliminary results back for the SA2.  18/20 for Math MCQ.  24/28 for English MCQ.

I told him.  “Son, this term you two have to be very proud of yourself.  Because this is the first time, daddy has actually let go of being a “teacher” at home.  All your self-learning, self-study, self-testing are 95% out of your own efforts.  So, the marks will reflects that, and it does not matter what marks you get, but you just need to be very clear about one thing, it is all your own self efforts.  And every day you still get 30-75min of iPad time before sleep during SA2 periods.  Daddy will never short change you that.  And Daddy allow you to go all the enrichment class like Da Vinci, Wonderworks, Weekly playdates, Badminton, CMA, taekwondo, swimming, etc etc.  So, be proud of yourself.”


Next year, I think I can goyang-kaki liao!





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