No Longer A Laidback Mum in Academics

Being a mum is a constant learning journey.

Each child is different and I have to craft my mothering skills differently on each child, be it nurturing his/her character or be involved in his/her academics.

I used to think that I will be a Laid Back Mum in Academics for as long as I like and my children will turn out fine studying by themselves, just like how I did it myself. How wrong I was.

After my girl failed her P3 Math exam last year, it was a kind of wake up call that my child may need me to be involved in her studies to some extent. I will not hold her hand forever and still will not load her with tuition and endless helicoptering over her studies such that she will be turned off by me. But I will guide her along when she needs my help or if I see that she NEEDS my help. Children may not know and may not always be so initiative when it comes to academics. I need to be more aware of their signals for help.

Imagine my elation when she came back to tell me she had scored 84/100 for her P4 SA2 Math exam!

This was from a “F” in P3 SA2 Math to a pass of 54 marks in P4 SA1 Math exam to an Ace (in my own mummy ranking) in P4 SA2 Math exam!

Not only that, she scored well across all subjects this time round and her friend actually told her that she should get the BEST IMPROVEMENT award 🙂

Best part is Missy 10 said this one evening when I was at the dining table: Continue reading

5 Reasons Why My Kids Do Not Have Tuition

I know this topic on tuition is going to have 2 camps on it. Hence I need to put a disclaimer that this is not a post to say having tuition is a bad thing but what I feel how a child’s precious life should be. If needed, I may send my kids to tuition, but, it must meet some consideration criteria before I will do that. I will address my take on this later.

My eldest, Missy 10 is in P4 and No. 2, Master 8 in P2 and No. 3, Master 3 going to pre-school soon. From birth till now, all 3 of them have not had any enrichment classes and I hope to keep it this way for as long as it is possible.

There are many parents who send their children for tuition or enrichment classes at a tender age. There is no right or wrong. These parents usually want their children to have a head start in life and be high achievers in their adult life. It may be for the reason of learning things ahead of other peers. It may be due to some children need tuition for extra academic assistance or just want to be ahead in the syllabus than others. And it could be due to the reason that some parents do not want to leave to chance and cannot imagine failure to happen to their children.

For me, I feel that a child’s life, which I am defining here as the category of zero to 16 age of life, is too precious to spend too many waking hours on academic stuff. Formal education can last for about 16 years from P1 to University. Some spent 20 years of their life in academic. Our Missy 10 spends about 6 academic hours in school + 2 hours of extra academic classes which totals to 8 hours on studying, and I have not added the time she spends on homework and assessment. If a child goes for tuition after school, that would mean spending another 2 more hours, not inclusive of the school homework and tuition homework that a child will need to do when he / she gets home. Oh, and the travelling time. Nowadays academic pressure is everywhere and our poor children are subjected to all these stresses at a tender age. They should be enjoying their rightful childhood, doing simple things like play. I wonder how these children will look back in life with not much memories of being a child except going for tuition and studying.

5 reasons that I am putting off tuition for as long as possible.

Continue reading

A Laid Back Mum’s Price – on academic

Before the kids came along, I told to myself that when I had kids, I would give them the best childhood with minimal academic stress as much as I could.

Then, when I had small kids, our weekday evenings and weekends were full of play, play and play.

While many of my friends had started to send their kids to pre-primary prep classes, drafted their own set of learning assignments for 3yos, send to Shichida, and more brain boosting classes, I was not at all worried about my children’s academic progress. In fact, one of my first few questions to my eldest’ nursery teachers before I enrolled her, was what they would be doing in class. The teacher probably thought I would be concerned if there were sufficient rote learning and worksheets. With some hesitation, she told me that their syllabus for 3yos was to train up their motor skills more than anything. Hearing this, I smiled and replied that this was exactly what I wanted for my child to do at age 3. Without looking further, I enrolled my gal into this childcare which was focused on play and scribbling and singing ABCs for these little 3 yo tots.

Before my eldest entered Primary 1, instead of sending her to primary school prep class where they taught them Primary 1 syllabus to have a headstart, I prep her with some basic money counting for recess, writing a little faster for notes taking, teaching her some academic basics like doing some fun activity sheets. I let her continue her afternoon naptime as I knew she would not have much of it when she started afternoon school the following year. Continue reading

A working mum’s woes

I had started my new job in October this year.
I got accepted in a totally new arena and was never so happy in my whole career life to finally do something I like. I was even mentally prepared to do my best and work late because I am determined to excel in my work.

Then work started, and all my predictions came true.

It is a challenging job. It is a work late job. I work more than 10 hours most days, sometimes 12 hours. I resist bringing work home so far. And work began to eat into my time with my kids and family. When I said I was determined to put in effort and time, I really did. I employed a domestic helper (finally!) so that I can concentrate on spending time with my children after I get home from work and have the sanity to handle the pressure at work.

With lesser time with the family and great work stress, I find myself getting tired easily and lesser patience with the children who yearn ever more attention from me. I feel my guilt surfacing almost everyday whenever I lose my cool, and make the kids upset. Such a situation leaves me a total wreck and more guilty and the vicious cycle repeats. There are a few times a thought of regret leaving my cushion job (not high pay though) haunts me and that made me feel worse. Maybe a woman is suited to stay at home, or otherwise not be too career focused. My girl starts to ask me why I had to change my job. The feeling hurts.

This morning, my baby wanted me to sit beside him while he ate his puffs. He knew I was about to leave for work and insisted that I stayed with him longer. I was running late but I obliged and stayed with him for another 10 seconds, what seemed like 10 minutes. Then, I stood up, kissed him and told him Mummy had to leave for work. He then sat still, eyes glued to the Baby TV which I had switched on for him on purpose, and did not turn around to see me leave. Just before I left the house, I stood at the door telling him all the sweet nothings about how much I love him and saying goodbye to a back facing baby. All this while, he did not turn around. After a few seconds later when I was walking towards the lift, I heard him let out a loud wail and started crying “Papa! Papa! Papa!” to his sleeping dad. My heart flew to him literally but I stood rooted to the ground. I knew if I had gone back to him, it would be worse for him and me to experience the separation twice. Continue reading

Multiple Intelligences – How do you view your child?

What is multiple intelligences? Oh, before you think this is going to be a boring post, I urge you to read on further as it is really interesting and will make you aware of your child’s strengths and how to encourage them.

Together with some Rise and Shine partner bloggers and media, I had the honour to attend a talk by Dr Thomas Armstrong, Continue reading