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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Recap : Primary 1 in Singapore

Realised that I don't have many posts about Kaira's primary 1 year and the various interesting encounters and/or challenges that came along our way throughout Primary 1.

But i did do one thing which I think will be a great memento for her when she grows up and that is to develop a photobook for her Primary 1 year! Thankful that her teachers do send us photos regularly of what's happening in class and also because I volunteer for certain school activities I managed to capture some wonderful memories of her and her primary 1 classmates. Flipping through the photobook when i first received it (some time end of last year) brings back wonderful memories! I hope she will treasure it when she is older :) definitely worth the time and effort!

I am grateful that the mums of her classmates are a terrific bunch! Always ready to share information, insights and extend help whenever required.  thankful!

for me going into primary school, my foremost concern for kaira was how she will adapt socially and whether she will have relational/interpersonal issues since she is going from a small group environment (max 10 kids in her kindergarten class) to a big class of 30. next would be issues such as time management, money management, how to get her out of bed in the morning  etc

i honestly wasn't too bothered about the school work -- i figure she should be able to cope. but i needed to deal with issues such as "independence (or lack of),  "being responsible", "overconfidence", "unwillingness to put in effort and hard work" ..... endless list.

maybe because she is an only child.  i am always worried that she is being "mollycoddled" by her parents -_-   so from young, i try to mindful and am quick to examine my ways .... such that i sometimes think i come on down too hard on her sometimes. poor gal. o well, i guess when one is sensitive to certain issues or cognitive of the possible negative consequences, there is a tendency to over-compensate.  but i think i have kind of found a "middle ground" :)

let's start with some areas that i think i have yet to overcome it with her ..... then maybe if some one has any feedback/views, will be kind enough to share via comments :)

(1) unwillingness to put in effort and hardwork ..... when it comes to academic work

i am actually quite relax when it comes to academic achievements for K.  i don't expect her to score full marks for tests. i don't send her for academic enrichment lessons except for Chinese.  i don't give her alot of work to do at home --- depending on whether she has homework to do, if she has, i will limit it to one subject a couple of pages.  if no homework, then maybe 2 pages each for 2 subjects.  usually takes no more than 30 minutes if she is cooperative.  but she usually whines and complains and gets distracted that she takes a long time just to finish up 2 pages of worksheet.

actually i only started this "consistent work" idea with her from the 2nd half of primary 1.  the first half of primary 1 she practically did nothing after school except play (that i shall elaborate more later on ....).  so initally she didn't like it at all.  she couldn't understand why she needs to do more work at home since she was already learning and doing in school??

my rationale is this ..........better to put in consistent effort daily (even if its 30 minutes a day) so that there is no need for revision or whatever....even if there are tests coming up.  and by putting in consistent work, i can identify the areas she is weak in and help her to strengthen these areas.  and it all started when i realised that she was having some trouble with the maths problem sums.

i think while she does get the idea now..... she is still quite resistant.  many a time she will tell me that schoolwork is very easy.  Tests are also very easy and that she doesn't need to study and she will be "fine".

well, i can explain and explain until the cows come home and if she doesn't buy the idea, what can i do?

so i started with "not caring" about her spelling tests (both english and chinese). You know, I had the tendency to nag her to learn the spelling words and test her before the actual test.  let's just say she finds that a chore and me a nag!! so sometimes i purposely don't remind her that she has spelling tests to see if she will be responsible enough to learn them herself.

Sad to say no.  and a few times she came back with borderline results -- and that's when i quickly share with her what a difference  when "some effort" is made to revise the words for the tests.   and it kind of worked.  she is not that resistant when i ask her to learn and practice stuff.  Until....... occasions when she didn't study and still get full marks (or almost full marks!) ..... she will then fall into her "see, i no need to study also will be fine" attitude!! Aaaargh.  Buay tahan (i.e. cannot stand it).  Overconfidence!!  Misplaced confidence!!

I am still figuring out how to motivate her to willingly put in the effort.  i have tried dangling rewards -- and while she is excited about the idea -- it doesn't really translate into effort put into doing work.  in fact, she then gets really upset that she can't have the reward because she didn't achieve the goals we agreed upon -_-  Terrible.....

so i have not found the solution to this and i hope i will have the epiphany moment soon.... cos i think she will need more effort moving into P3 .... unlike now .... i have to admit, she will probably still do fairly OK with minimal effort ..... let's see .... i have slightly more than half a year to go!


I shall continue in the next blog post ......

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