How to ensure 8-10yo child safety when I am not by their side

how to keep kid safe

From the second semester onwards, my 10yo girl has to stay back for classes or volleyball training for 4 times a week. That means she goes out the house before 7 and is only back after 4pm daily by school bus. It is like an 8 hour job, isn’t it? We are thinking to let her take the public transport back on her own. But without a phone, I am worried about her safety on the road and also safety in general. 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

Science Comic – JJ’s Science Adventure Book Review {+Giveaway}

Science is a daily encounter. Children learn about Science through their daily activities. So, Science should be an easy subject when school children starts to learn it as a formal subject in Primary 3.

But, is it really so easy to ace?

I do not think so at all.

I realize that even though children may know Science, they may not know how to answer the test questions using Scientific terms nor do they remember all facts at the age of 9. How to deal with Science questions in the exams would probably be another blog post on its own. But there is a way to remember how Science works and key concepts for the exams and it is easy! Continue reading

Learning Chinese – 3 things that parents must know to help your children

Learning Chinese in Singapore seems to be more difficult than anywhere else. Well, I am not really comparing with learning Chinese in Japan, Korea, etc. However, in an environment or country where Chinese is a mother tongue to majority, why is this subject so hated by many children and their parents.

I wonder why.

It has probably to do with parents here speaking lesser Chinese and more English at home to their children. Hence, compared to China where Chinese is spoken daily, every minute, every second, we speak a mix of English and Chinese and use simple Chinese words and limited vocabulary.

While my kids do not have much of a problem with this subject for now, I should not get complacent. I was told by Eeva Chang (张美香), (the educator and principal of Eduplus who is also engaged by MOE as a trainer for 8 years to teach all school Chinese teachers in Singapore), that children will face a drop of marks in Chinese once in Primary 3 and once in Primary 5. At least an 8-12 marks down.

Why??? Continue reading