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Friday, July 15, 2016

More on K's chinese homework ........

Since yesterday's post was on K's learning to be responsible for a mundane task as 习字, thought I'd share my parent-teacher meeting experience with her Chinese teacher which took place just before the June school holidays.
Her teacher is a very kind & gentle lady. She is not fierce to the gals and is ever so gentle when she speaks. Think the gals like her 
Anyway, she started off by telling me K is a good student and her results were good etc etc. Then went on to highlight some composition weakness. She did not mention any issue with K not handing in her homework on time etc until I raised it. I mentioned to her that I understand that K is sometimes (or maybe all the time??) late in handing in her Chinese homework and is that an issue with the teacher? Told the teacher that I have tried addressing the issue with K with little success and that Chinese is the only subject that I see she is tardy wrt homework.
I told the teacher that she can be fiercer to K if she sees the need and it is alright with me if she 惩罚 K appropriately. Essentially I am requesting that she exercises her authority as the Teacher (without saying it that way).
She did not immediately agree to my suggestions .... in fact .... she said something to the effect that she would prefer to channel that energy to teaching the kids. Not wrong I suppose.
But 2 weeks into the new term, i think the teacher is taking up my suggestion in a different form..... I can tell that K is giving her Chinese homework a little more emphasis (hope this continues). To my knowledge (may not be complete since this is what I hear from K), the teacher has spoken privately to her in addition to giving her notices !
Sometimes 老师讲一句真的胜过家长讲十句.
To all the passionate teachers out there - thank you for choosing this challenging profession!
To the teachers i have met who are so effective in their teaching methods, at the same time command the respect of their students and also be loved by the students, I salute you!! K has had the fortune to have such teachers and may she continue to be blessed by them!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Homework ......

First week back in school, K came back with her Chinese 习字本and I realised she "owed" her Chinese teacher 1 semester of corrections. I dont know how her teacher can tolerate that. 😅 Anyway, i think her teacher had a word with her and she did them as quickly as she could during the first week.
Today, I discovered that besides the corrections she actually did not do a lot of her 习字 for semester 1. 😓
when I met the teacher during the PTM ... she actually didn't complain to me 😜 so I was clueless.
I know K has been quite laxed about her homework (she's on the ball only if the teacher is fierce) but I always thought she would hand in her work ... even if she's late. To me, I think she is an responsible girl mah 😉 haha, think I am wrong on this count.
Now she's whining and whining while doing her 习字 . Imagine having to write so many words in 1 day 😂😂 it's quite a dread. I totally understand. (And the reason why she is doing them now is because the teacher '贴大字报' 了 。。😛)
Guess she has to understand and take responsibility for her own work.
What has mummy been doing u ask?
Oops, Sorry, I am not responsible for her homework. I usually check with her if she has any and if yes, has she done it. I take her word for it and that's it. I don't check or enforce. I told her that's not my responsibility.
I hope she learnt her lesson! And be more responsible going forward.

my reply to a friend who suggested that i should keep closer tabs on her homework until she gets the "hang" of it ... :) 

to me, homework is between she and her teacher. She must learn and recgonise that she is responsible for what is assigned to her. The homework was not assigned to me. If she chooses to ignore the homework or simply forget about it, because the teacher is not stringent or fierce and she thinks she can get away with it. Then, it's time that she realise that she cannot get away with it and there will be consequences. Just like how this teacher is now "after" her for what is owed her. like you said, nobody taught us how to manage our homework!  heehee. some skills can be self taught i think and in this respect, i believe it's still an area that she can afford to fail/fall and learn from it herself .... hope i am right!

Monday, June 20, 2016

June Getaway to Bintan, The Canopi.

For this year's holiday, we chose a destination which we have avoided for a long time!! Our last visit was probably in the mid-1990s before we were even married! I think! I really cannot remember.  I only remembered the name of the resort - Sedona Beach Resort -- understand that it's been rebranded and now known as Bintan Lagoon Resort.

Anyway, the reason we were not keen on Bintan was primarily we thought it was full of singaporeans (it still is i think!) and quite pricey -- as prices were similar to singapore.  So after 1 visit, we thought we will give it a miss since there are other more interesting and worthy destinations to visit! heehee.

However, when I saw pictures of The Canopi, and because i was really keen on the idea of glamping (having read about it much earlier) -- i thought it's a good chance to try since it's so near home too!

Bintan, well, there were still many singaporeans and yes, prices are still similar to Singapore.  But i think prices have ran away so much in singapore that Bintan prices now appears slightly more reasonable....LOL.  More importantly, the activities available were really kids-friendly and i am glad we did not close our mind to Bintan as a holiday destination.  Overall, it was an enjoyable time and just like our Langkawi experience, so glad we gave it a try! 

But, comparing Bintan and Langkawi, i personally think Langkawi is a nicer destination.  The advantage that Bintan has over Langkawi is that it is nearer to Singapore and accessible by ferry which makes it cheaper and faster. 

My complaint about Bintan is that it feels very man-made (but of course it is!) unlike Langkawi :) and where we stayed, there weren't many shops/F&B outlets within walking distance.

Will i go back to Bintan again? Probably....only because i have a child and i think she will enjoy it!

Here's my review of The Canopi on tripadvisor.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Post parent-teacher meet thoughts

Last Saturday was the PTM (parent-teacher meeting) with K's school teachers.

I kind of look forward to meeting the teachers to hear their views of K... even though there's also contact throughout the semester ...guess the Semester 1 results provide a good reference point.

Anyway, their feedback about her behavior is quite consistent to what we have heard in P1 and P2 - so that's OK. The usual friendly, caring, likeable comments :)   She seems more confident in class now ... in P2 her Chinese form teacher ever commented to us that she likes to 'hide behind' her classmates and relies on others for answers/thoughts. Seems like no such comment this year.

When it comes to her work, while the teachers generally have positive comments about her, there are also areas she needs to improve on:

- not handing in her work (late or completely not handing in Chinese homework)

- distracted in class. (Maths)

Her Maths teacher told us frankly that she was pleasantly surprised by K's Maths results.  I think she was expecting a much lower score... lol. And she was telling us that K generally has a lot of corrections for the work done and she often does not know what's happening in class -_-  I guess I am not surprised by the feedback. .. because I have seen her worksheets and practice papers ..... full of mistakes! Thank God she decided to be careful and put in the effort during her Semestral exam.

Whereas her Chinese teacher seemed resigned to the fact that she is one of those students who is not diligent when it comes to homework 😑  poor teacher.  I think K is taking advantage of her 'kindness'.

K is most afraid of her English teacher who has a reputation for being fierce. But sadly, English is also the subject she fared worst. Let's see if I can help her brush up her English this June. 

The funny thing is I think the English teacher prepares the girls quite well for exams ... so there is a disconnect for me in terms of the results. Maybe K is trying so hard not to be scolded by the teacher in class that she is missing out on what is actually taught ! Haha.

Well, let's see how terms 3 and 4 go!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rough ride ahead - part 2

Spent the last few years rebalancing our portfolio and cutting out some worthless crap.

Hopefully it is enough to sail through the days ahead without too much of a dent.

Yield wise, results have been satisfactory.  Managed to achieve my annual dividend (based on last 4 years portfolio)  collected in the first 4 months this year. That's what I was working towards.  Doubling the dividend yield and actual amount collected. Hope it all turns out as expected!

Wish me luck !

Rough ride ahead I think....

Singapore unexpectedly eases currency policy

Friday, January 22, 2016

Is it any different in Primary 3? - Part 2

For some unknown reason, Kaira seems a little more responsible with the start of the new school year.  The change is "sudden" in my opinion ..... it's like just a few days before the start of the school, she was still the same old 8 year old ;) but with the start of the new school year .... i can see a slight positive change.

For one, she started to be more responsible with respect to the homework assigned by her teachers.  For the last 2 years -- as homework was rather infrequent, maybe she isn't used to it ;p -- she will forget that she has homework and she usually never did them until reminded by the teacher or if for some reason I am aware of it, i will ask her about it.

But with the start of the new academic year, she surprised me by doing her homework without being asked/told.  and no complaints whatsoever.  What a splendid change i thought!  How that happened, i don't know.  Maybe it is a - going on-9 phase??

#2, in the past she hardly tells me the instructions that the teachers give.  Or if there's any communication. she will tell me that she has forgotten or she will get the details wrong. But this year she is communicating the instructions more! and they are usually accurate.

#3 used to have to take the longest time to wake her up in the mornings!  This year, miraculously she has been very cooperative so far! no dragging her feet whatsoever in the mornings.  so much easier to wake her up compared to the last 2 years! Praise the Lord.

Certainly hope that these positive changes will continue and that there will be more positive changes!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is it any different in Primary 3?

This year marks the start of a new phase for little (well maybe not so little afterall) Kaira.  Primary 3.  Why new ? Introduction of Science as an additional subject. and believe it or not, more homework and expectations from the teachers!

I am so not used to it honestly.

So to a certain extent, it is true - P1 and P2 years are honeymoon years!! And looking back, I am kind of glad that i chose to be more relaxed during the 2 years and her days are filled with playdates and fun times after school.  Once this phase past, we will never get it back isn't it?

of course it doesn't mean that she doesn't do any studying or work.  but my emphasis was more on her weak areas -- through the worksheets/test results that she received, i was able to identify certain areas of weakness in her academic work -- and i chose to focus on these areas rather than just push her to do well for everything. my rationale was that better that she builds the foundation for the more difficult academic requirements ahead .....

to be honest, i think if i had chosen to push her harder in "studying", doing additional worksheets -- she could possibly have done better. maybe average of 5 more points per subject so that she gets closer to full marks ??   but i am not sure if that is worth the effort ................

i mean if she naturally scores full marks  -- then good for her ......... .  but if with whatever effort she puts in, she gets between 90-95 -- i think it's also good enough for P1 and P2 lah.

but 1 important "lesson" that she learnt in P1 and P2 -- which i hope will stay with her in the years to come -- was that she can do better and more if she chooses to put in the time and effort.  and stop whining and complaining!! for some reason, she has the bad habit of "complaining/whining" about how difficult things are ....that she can't do it .... and she will give up halfway because she feels that its too difficult. 

i am not sure where this trait came from ... but it became fairly apparently with the start of primary school.

So of the subjects that she didn't like very much initially is Maths.  She is not the kind that find pleasure or satisfaction in sovling challenging maths problems.  I know some kids are.  They are motivated to do well and they will try to solve the problem because they take pride in being able to solve the problem. My daughter is not one of them.

Once she encounters a more difficult problem -- which actually if u break it down and maybe think about it -- it's not that difficult afterall -- she will just say she doesn't know how to do it. and sometimes refer to the answer key..... 气死我了! this more so in P2 as the problem sums gets a little more challenging.

for the last term in P2, i spent more time with her on Maths - explaining the answers to her and getting her to practice.  and of course, reminding her to be careful and to check her work (she is simply very careless in her work -- so much so that she can miss out an entire page during tests....).

finally in her SA2 maths paper -- she scored a perfect score and i can tell that she was very pleased and happy.  and i had to reinforced the point that hardwork and being careful can make a difference.... now, i am still using this as an example to encourage her. and she acknowledges that because she went through the process and she saw the improvement in her results. 

I am grateful for this teachable moment.

This year, i told her we will have to do the same for her English and Chineses --- for they have been neglected during last 2 years....haha..... especially her English! So atrocious now. let's see.

i do feel that she seems to have less time after school these days as she comes home with homework everyday! what a difference from P1 and P2 :(  i don't want to add to her burden by giving her more work .... but o well, let's see how things go.