Friday, July 24, 2009

100% IQ kid or 100% EQ kid?

Whenever I see young primary school children in my home country Malaysia, I felt a little heartsick. I don’t see the “sparks” in their eyes. The enthusiastic to learn and explore new knowledge were not there anymore. Their mission of going to school becomes so robotic, - spelling, exams, homework...

Our children go to school because they are obligated to. Not because they want to. Not because it is fun. In addition to the homework stress, our children face other pressures like term exams, mid-year exams. Parents are worried for their children and it creates more fear in our children. Some parents even apply for annual leave to provide extra last minute lessons to their children prior to exams. The pressure becomes greater. When the results are out, the children are penalized for not able to score high marks despite the “stress” they had gone through.

Just look around us, our classmates in the old days, did the best student of the year did the best in the corporate world? Did the best student of the year happen to be the one with the highest salary?

The answer is usually NO! So, why do we enforce on our kids to score best points all the time?

In the course of making our kids academic driven, they tend to develop the fear to lose, they become arrogant, not willing to share fearing others will overtake. Failure is totally unacceptable to them. When they fail, they do not know how to handle; they can't face the fact that they didn't do well.

Unfortunately in life, we can’t expect smooth sailing boats all the time. There are bound to be failure. Hence, it is far more important to build our child with strong character rather than merely academic driven. Failure should not be penalized but forgiven for as long as they tried their best.

Are tuitions really efficient?

Compared to my last visit back home to Kuala Lumpur 1 year ago, today I see many new tuition centres opened up. Home tuitions are also mushrooming. Almost every housing estate has a few home tuition centres run by school teachers, retired teachers, university students or housewives.

This indeed has become a very popular trend now. Many working parents choose to send their kids to these home tuition centres. Unlike in school, these centres teach children in smaller groups. They ensure children finish their homework before the end of each day’s lesson and answer queries that children have in their studies.

This is a great relief to working parents indeed.

But, I always have this question in my mind. Do these tuitions really effective?

If YES, then why do parents nowadays tend to be busier and more nervous when approaching their children’s term exams?

If NO, then why do parents still send their kids to tuitions?

I don’t know, I guess it is because everybody is doing it!

Yes, there is lots of homework indeed. But, instead of spending money to have someone watch over our children doing homework, isn’t it better to educate our children the benefits of study smart? Yes, I totally agree that it is easier said than done no doubt but it is not impossible!

Try following these steps, you should see some improvements:-

1. Think of the favourite thing our child like to do. Ask him / her “How many days in a row you didn’t get to play your computer games?” for example.

2. Ask them whether they know the reason why they don’t get to play computer games?

3. They will have all sorts of answers. Mummy won’t allow me to. Some smarter kids would know that it was because they couldn’t finish their homework. Some may said that it was because teacher gave them too much homework. Most of them would say I don’t know.

4. Next, ask our child this: “Do you think the school time is very long?” The answer is usually YES!

5. I did a simple arithmetic below for my daughter, just to prove one point::-

– school 7am – 1pm. 6 hours.
– lunch.
– FREE TIME 2pm – 6pm. 4 hours.
– dinner.
– FREE TIME 7pm – 9pm. 2 hours.

School Time = Free Time

Of course, literally they will not have exactly 6 hours after adding in bathing time, tea break time, chit-chat time etc. But, the idea is to make them believe that they have!

And, what is 6 hours? It is as long as the school time!

Now, the question is where has the 6 hours of FREE TIME gone then?

6. We need to explore with our child what they have been doing during the 6 hours of FREE TIME? Let’s do a list of what our child did yesterday. Homework? Long eating time? Throwing tantrum? Day dreaming? Slept on the writing table?? Don’t know where to start? Not sure?

7. Then, ask our child this: “Do you like going to tuition after school?” The answer is of course NO!

8. “Do you want free choice time after school where you can get to do anything during this time?” YES of course!

9. I ask further: “Do you know why mummy needs to send you tuition?” The idea is to arrive at the fact that if our child picks up the trick of learning smart, doing homework fast and efficient, they actually can skip tuition all together and at the same time get their free choice time!

Important School fo Taughts

Whether they are angry, sad, upset or frustrated, the homework will never go away.

Going holiday is a happy occasion, that’s why it is always short and sweet.

Time passes very fast when they play with friends because they enjoy it!

So, the change of mindset is utmost important!

Think of the benefits of completing the homework fast …….

Can play computer games, go to the park to play, watch TV, read story books, take a nap, no need to go tuition etc…

So, We need to educate them to think out of the box.


Lastly, the street-smart tricks to educate our children in completing homework:-

– Start with their most favourite or confident subject.
– Next, focus on writing exercise first. Not much thinking required. Just speed.
– Take a break. Drink water, have some snacks, hug their favourite bear, go to toilet etc.
– Continue with more difficult tasks like comprehension, building sentences.
– When encounter difficulties, remind them not to stare at the question, pass and move on.

Revisit after complete the rest. Seek advice if they still can’t solve the problem.

Such approach will mould independent, self-organized, problem solving thinker. Unlike the conventional ways of going tuition, children tend to be more dependent on others in completing their tasks.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Little Monkey Went to the Foothill 小猴子下山

Little story for our children,

There was once a naughty monkey, he escaped to the foothill without his mum knowing it. He looked around, here and there. Everything at the foothill seems too interesting to him.

The little naughty monkey kept running forward, soon he came to an orchard full of peaches, plenty of red huge peaches on the trees. The little naughty monkey couldn’t resist what he saw. He climbed up to one of the trees, chose the biggest peach and plugged it off from the tree.

When he was about to eat the peach, he saw a sweet corn farm ahead not far away from him. He was interested to find out more about the sweet corn farm. From far, he saw the sweet corns were big and filling. He thought to himself: These fresh sweet corns must be very tasty, I might as well pick one nice sweet corn!”

He threw away the peach and went for the sweet corn. As soon as he was overwhelmed by a big huge sweet corn in his arm, he saw a rabbit running out from the bushes in front of him. He thought to himself: “How nice if I can catch this rabbit and make it my playmate!” He left his sweet corn and went after the rabbit. Unfortunately, the rabbit was too fast for him; it disappeared into the bushes again.

The little naughty monkey threw away his peach, left his sweet corn and finally couldn’t get the rabbit either. In the end, he had no choice but to return home with empty hands.




正当它张嘴准备要吃桃时,又看见前面不远处有一片玉米, 对那儿又产生了兴趣。它走近一看,这里的玉米结得又大又饱满,它心里想 :这新鲜的玉米一定很好吃,我干脆去掰一个玉米吧!

小猴子扔了桃子又去掰了玉米。正当它满怀欣喜地抱着一颗饱满的玉米时,突然从草丛钻出一只小野兔,小猴心里想 :我要是能捉到这只小兔,让它陪我一块儿玩耍该多好啊!”它丢下了玉米去追兔子,小兔很快的钻进草丛里不见了。

This story tells our children that .....

No matter what we do, we must do it from the start till the end, do not give up easily. The little naughty monkey in the story was never appreciated what he had and had the impression that the mountain ahead of him would be a better place to be. In the end, he didn’t get anything, therefore went home with empty hands.



Story extracted from “China Xi Ju Publisher", Beijing.
故事采自于 :引领孩子成长的哲理故事,中国戏剧出版社, 北京

Translation by a Happy Housewife & a Happy Mum 翻译


Little Story for your child to read 给孩子自己读的小故事

新衣 (xīn yī)








Little Story for your child to read 给孩子自己读的小故事

旁边 (pángbiān)

妈妈呀, 缝衣服,妹妹呢, 坐旁边

小明家, 院子大, 小河就在它旁边


树下有只兔子在睡觉, 睡呀..睡呀..睡到老虎的旁边