Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Parent Teacher Meetings - Tips from a mum of 6

As you can imagine, I have sat through numerous parent-teacher-meetings (PTMs) over the years. In the early days, I used to discuss the obvious. Their marks, their behaviour, if they were having or giving any problems. Some friends tell me they see no point in going for PTM after P1 or P2 because the teachers always say the same things. For me, I look forward to these sessions because in such a short time, issues get ironed out and I discover new insights about my child. Here are 6 tips to make the most of your PTM. (these tips are for primary school PTMs, but some are general and can be applied to secondary and kindergarten levels as well.)

1. Do your homework

You only have 15 minutes. Make every minute count. Be prepared. Know what grades your child got. Have a casual chat with your child beforehand to sniff out any issues she might be having, whether it is regarding her studies, friends or teachers. If there are any specific concerns, list them down so that you can immediately zoom in on them.

When #1 was in P4, she had some problems with her classmates and kept telling me about them. I listened, but thought of it as usual 'friendship' issues amongst girls. Luckily I mentioned it to her teacher and only then did I learn that it was a form of serious emotional bullying as #1 was being ostracised by the entire class as instigated by one girl. Her teacher took the matter very seriously and dealt swiftly with the class. Thankfully the problem was nipped in the bud and #1 was not emotionally scarred.

In some schools, you are only allowed to chat with the form teacher, whereas in other schools, you are free to speak with all the subject teachers. Find out from your child which teacher you will be seeing and how much face-to-face contact he or she has had with your child so that you have an idea of how much the teacher knows about your child.

For example in P1, #5's form teacher taught him English and Math so she was able to give me a good picture of him in school. On the other hand, #4's form teacher had just taken over the class because the previous teacher resigned, so his insight of her was limited. In such a case, I would look for a subject teacher to speak to if need be.

2. Set the tone

I can only imagine that it is very intense for the teacher to have to sit through a full day of discussion with parents and recall information on every child. If I ask surface questions, I get surface answers. I have discovered that by being open and approachable, the teacher would be more forth-coming with her insights. Being with the students everyday, the teacher is in a unique position to notice traits in them, which become all the more obvious when seen in the light of 40 other children. Many teachers have pointed out pertinent observations of my children, both good and bad, which I have failed to see.

Last time, when a teacher started to point out some negative feedback about my child, my natural response was to be defensive or I would try to explain my point of view. I have since learnt to bite my tongue and hear her through. I used to flinch when the teacher said, "I hope you don't mind me being frank." The teacher may have noticed some character traits in your child, but if it seems like you are unable to handle it or that you might be combative, the teacher will likely not tell you everything she might have wanted to.

Now, when I hear those words, I am calm about it because I know that however painful it may be to have to hear negative comments about my dear child, I will leave the room with a better understanding of her. With the nuggets of information I glean, I am able to address my child's weaknesses and she would benefit as a result of it. It is also good training for the child to see that we can be critical of a behaviour without attacking her personally, and she will be more able to accept constructive criticism in future.

3. Discuss academic work 

I try to quickly find out what went wrong with the subjects that she fared badly at. Was it that she did not study hard enough? Did she not manage to pick up the skills and strategies to answer the questions in the way she needs to? Or has she not been paying attention, or gets easily distracted? Once we figure out the reasons, we can set targets and devise a simple action plan.

During #2's P6 year she was hardly given any homework. I asked the teacher why that was so. He explained that as she was in one of the top classes, all the other kids had tuition for virtually every subject and most were over-stretched. Apparently in the previous year, there were kids who buckled under the pressure and their minds went blank during the PSLE. So they decided to reduce the stress by minimising homework from school. I told her teacher that she did not have any tuition besides Chinese and I was relying on the school teachers. He was surprised and agreed to give her individual homework, which worked out well.

Besides looking at the raw score of their marks, I always like to know the percentile across the whole level. That gives me a more accurate picture. A 60 in Chinese may seem ok, but if that was the lowest 20th percentile, then I'll have to start worrying. Likewise, I have seen dismal scores of 55 for English, but later found out that because the paper was so tough, it was in the top 80th percentile.

These information are not meant for us to compare the child with others but simply to have a starting point to work towards improvement. The child might start off with being in the lowest 15th percentile in a weak subject, but so long as she is putting in her best effort and is gradually improving, it is enough.

4. Connect with the teacher

Teachers face a class of 40 students, and most have to handle a few classes. The PTM is a time for me to introduce myself to the teacher and for her to put a parent's face to the child. When #3 was in P5, I spoke to her Math teacher and he had good things to say about her. Attentive, quick learner, spontaneous in answering questions. I thanked him for teaching her so well and he gave me his word that he would look out for her as she did not have a tutor to rely on.

After the mid-year exams, he called me to come in and meet with him in school. She had failed her Math paper and he was worried about her. He told me that she had stopped volunteering answers in class and was constantly doodling while he was teaching. We went through the paper together and figured out that there were chapters she could not grasp and was probably getting demoralised. I had a chat with her and she shared that Math was getting too difficult and she had given up. We worked out a plan and with Mr Tan's help, she was able to get back on track.

Teachers are incredibly busy, so once the contact is made, it is easier for the teacher to communicate with the parent, and vice versa, either via email, a call or even a quick chat during school events. (Yes, I'm always doing that, to the point where now my kids will point their teacher out to me saying, "Mum, Mr Tan is there, do you want to go over and say hi?")

5. Their teacher is your ally

It is very important for our children to know that we as parents are in alignment with their teachers. When #3 was in P6, they had a teacher who came from another school. This teacher had a no-nonsense style of discipline and she was very strict and expected them to give of their best. Naturally, #3 did not like her nor her style of teaching. She kept complaining to me about her harsh methods but never once did I simply agree with her nor put her teacher down. In fact, after hearing her daily rants of how 'unreasonable' and 'mean' she was, I told her that she sounds like an excellent teacher. When I finally got to meet Mrs L at the PTM, it was like meeting a like-minded friend. Mrs L shared with me that #3 was a tough nut to crack. She had quietly showed her disdain for her tough methods and was uncooperative.

At the PTM, I told her that I was in full support of her methods and would have a nice chat with #3. After that, Mrs L reported that her whole attitude changed and the fire in her turned from being a destructive force to a positive one and her grades soared as a result.

I hear from teachers that in the upper primary, some students think they know better and can thus be obstinate. I try never to undermine their teachers because it is akin to parenting. Both parties have to present a united front for the child to respect the teacher and to learn well. There were instances where my kids came home and complained about their teachers and I made comments such as "Aiyo, why your teacher so bad", without realising that it impacted their view of the teacher. So now I don't do that any more. And besides, I have come to the realisation that kids tend to exaggerate or obliterate facts to their advantage.

6. Show your appreciation

I had just attended #3's PTM and was extremely heartened and humbled by her teacher's genuine care and concern for her. Settling into Secondary 1 had been quite difficult for her. The subjects had doubled, she got home past 7pm most evenings and wasn't getting enough sleep, and was disinterested in the new subjects. Her teachers found her to be uncooperative, but her co-form teacher took the trouble to take her aside to have a personal conversation with her. Only then did she see a different side of her and from there, she was able to address the problems easily. I have never seen any teacher have such great faith in a 'challenging' child, and her genuine concern for #3 touched me deeply. I wrote an email to thank her, and she replied that she was grateful for my words of encouragement as it is appreciation like that from parents which spur her on.

Save tip: By working hand-in-hand with their teachers, I have managed to hold out on tuition for my kids until the P5 or P6 year. Because sometimes, there are other factors which are impacting on their ability to learn and the sooner these problems are addressed, the better it is for the child.

Sane tip: Parents are allocated 15 minutes, but I have been to sessions where the wait ended up to be almost 2 hours long. You can imagine the mood of the parents and the stress of the teacher. Hardly conducive for a good discussion. Try to be concise and get to the root of the problem instead of telling stories and dwelling on one point in detail.

Educating a child is indeed a partnership between the home and the school. Hence, the more successful the partnership, the better it is for your child.


Related posts:

6 tips to really prepare your child for P1

6 things to do in the PSLE year



~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parening 6 kids in Singapore ~

Friday, 27 March 2015

Lessons from Mr Lee Kuan Yew

When I was young, my dad hardly watched TV. The only time he did was when Mr Lee Kuan Yew was giving his national day speech. My dad turned up the volume and we had to be quiet. I wondered who this man was, who spoke with such power, and whom my dad revered. My parents went through the war and the Japanese occupation and they will forever be staunch supporters of the PAP and Mr Lee.

It was quite different for me. I was born into a generation which took much for granted. Over the years, controversial headlines in the newspapers left me with a different opinion of the government as that of my parents, and it was hard to shake off the fearsome image of Mr Lee.

This past week, as I followed the articles in The Straits Times, I was enlightened by the personal sharings from our ministers and many world leaders. I was ashamed that I knew so little about the history of a man so pivotal to the transformation of our nation.

Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information
The article by our current Education Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat on Mr Lee's 'red box' was a real eye-opener. Mr Heng was his principal private secretary from 1997 - 2000. We have heard about the policies he had implemented and how he has taken us from third world to first. But here was finally an account of how he worked.

"Mr Lee Kuan Yew had a red box. Before Mr Lee came in to work each day, the locked red box would arrive first, at about 9am.

This red box held what Mr Lee was working on at any one time. Through the years, it held his papers, speech drafts, letters, readings, and a whole range of questions, reflections and observations.

Mr Lee was well-known for keeping extremely alert to everything he saw and heard around him - when he noticed something wrong, like an ailing raintree, a note in the red box would follow.

Inside the red box was always something about how we could create a better life for all. We would get to work right away. Our aim was to do as much as we could by the time Mr Lee came into the office later. While we did this, Mr Lee would be working from home.

In his days as PM, Mr Lee's average bedtime was 3.30am in the morning. Deep into the night, while the rest of Singapore slept, it was common for Mr Lee to be in full work mode. Before he went to bed, Mr Lee would put everything he had completed back into the red box, with clear pointers on what he wished for us to do in the office. The last thing he did was to place the red box outside his study room. The next morning, the duty security team picked up the red box, brought it to us waiting in the office, and a new day would begin."

Such discipline. Even when he was in his 70s and 80s. And here I am, begrudging the fact that I am over-worked and have no time for myself. How self-indulgent. He makes me want to squeeze more life out of my days and to set the bar higher. To be the best that I can be, in my own capacity.

I also liked the tribute written by Mr Bilahari Kausikan, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He says of Mr Lee:


"He wanted to get things done. He always dared to try. Mr Lee never stopped learning and was never too proud to seek information even from the most junior, and certainly never too proud to change his mind whenever the situation warranted. His sense of mission, his dedication to and passion for Singapore inspired an entire generation of Singaporeans from all walks of life to defy the odds and to serve some cause larger than themselves."

The greatest of our founding fathers left a lasting legacy for all of us.

What legacy do we want to leave for our children, our grandchildren, and for those around us?

If we dare to dream big dreams, have the dedication and determination to see it through, put our hearts and souls into making the world a better place for ourselves and our fellow Singaporeans, I'm sure our nation will not just survive in the next 50 years, but thrive.

As a friend put it so eloquently in her post
"The best way to remember your spirit is not in weeping, but in girding up our loins, putting our shoulder to the wheel, and working for a better tomorrow for all Singaporeans. We will mourn for there is sorrow, but more importantly, we will try to make you proud."


Here's a round-up of tributes from our community of mummy bloggers.

~ www.mummweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Monday, 23 March 2015

Kate's antics: March holidays

It was the first time Kate experienced the March school holidays as her kindergarten follows the school term. Here's a glimpse of what she had been up to.

I try to let her spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors in an attempt to negate the effects of hours spent in front of the TV.
Gardens by the Bay
Took her cycling with her cousin. I encouraged them to be creative and pointed out objects in nature which can be used to play with. The 2 of them were intently discussing how to cook with leaves and twigs.

Bukit Batok Nature Reserve
When I got too busy to take her outdoors?

Outsourced her to relatives.

Her all time fave - The Zoo
Times I was tied-up with the older ones?

Left the kiddos to the hubs. I can always count on him to up the ante - great outdoors with a view to boot.
Sentosa
When it got too hot?

There's always plenty of water fun to cool off with.
Gardens by the Bay
No one to take her out?

DIY splashy fun at home!
Garden spa
But the best part of the school holidays?

Waking up in the mornings to see that everyone is at home.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lesson #26: What are we worth, mums?

All that talk about the worth of stay-at-home-mums (SAHM). Talking Point recently did a session on it and a fellow blogger wrote about the worth of a full-time-working-mum (FTWM), as the issue has been hotly debated since our Annual Budget 2015.

Wait a minute. Why is there even a need for us mothers to justify our choices to others, whether we choose to work or to stay at home with our kids?


Over the past 16 years that I have been a mother, I have thought long and hard about my priorities and tried different ways to find a balance between being around for the children and earning an income to contribute to the family's finances.

I have been a FTWM, a part-time working mum (PTWM), a work-from-home-mum (WFHM) and mostly, a SAHM. I have even been a FTSM. What's that, you say? It's a full-time-studying-mum.

Let us imagine for a moment, a world, a world without say, politicians. Or CEOs, CFOs, bankers, brokers, or television personalities. They may be top wage earners but does that automatically reflect their worth?

Now imagine a world with no mothers.

Would there be today? Well jokes aside, without the influence of mothers; their love, gentleness, compassion, patience, wisdom and devotion, what sort of a place would this world be?

However a mother chooses to best take care of her children, is for nobody to judge. To talk about her worth is derogatory, vulgar even. Our value is not to be reduced to mere dollars and cents. To some, doing the best they can may mean being there for their kids 24/7, while to others, it may mean giving their kids a good life which they themselves never had growing up.

We all have different circumstances. Different aspirations. We are also in different life-stages. We don't need anyone to define our worth for us.

Let us keep our heads high, our resolves strong. Let us soldier on as we have always done. SAHMs, FTWMs, PTWMs, WFHMs. These are just labels.

We are first and foremost, simply, mums.



Other lessons (which I've learnt the hard way):




~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~


Monday, 16 March 2015

How we plan our March holidays

When they were young it was very straightforward. I plan an activity and take them all along. Now that the 6 of them are between the ages of 2 - 16, it's way more complicated.

Before the start of the holiday, I will draw up a schedule with a column for each child.
  1. We start filling in the 1-week calendar with the activities that are a must. #3 has CCA practice as SYF (Singapore Youth Festival) is in 2 week's time. #4 has to complete a project with her classmate. #1 has to work as her manager is away on annual leave. So these few things take priority.
  2. We make a list of some activities which we want to get done. For the June and December holidays we can fit more in, but this week, we'll be lucky if we can get 1 or 2 things done. I have decided to take their grandaunt out for lunch with us.
  3. We look to see if there's any slots left where everyone is free and block that out for family time. We'll decide on the activity later. If there isn't any, we'll have to either shift someone's activity or skip one which is not that important. It looks like we have Friday and Saturday mostly free.
  4. I have to make sure that no 2 activities clash where I am needed.
  5. Along the way, if something else comes up they will check with me before confirming the appointment.
  6. If I am out with one of the older ones, the hubs will be around with the younger kids. His activity of choice? Letting them watch a movie. Keeps them entertained, quiet, and happy. Hmm.
  7. It's good to jumble the kids up once in a while as we get different dynamics going on and it's important for the kids to bond. Some days when there's 1 or 2 of the older kids left at home, they will go out together to catch the latest movie.
  8. The last day of the school holidays is generally kept relaxed so they have time to prepare for school and rest before going full speed into the next term.
The kids don't know how much logistics go into planning the school breaks because I make it look effortless, thanks to years of practice. If I don't do this, they will be pulled in every other direction and it would be impossible to find a common time where the family can spend time together.

I try not to pack our schedule, as the kids need a break to rest their bodies and minds. The CA1 had just ended and #2 and #3 had a pretty exhausting few weeks. They were home mostly at 7.30pm because of CCAs and other things going on in school, and by the time they finished revising, they barely had 7 hours of sleep most nights.

Usually after dinner, they are happy to chill in the room playing the guitar and singing. Kate can even sing some of their 'pop' songs! I hear lots of laughter in there and I'm sure some of their best memories are made of simple times like these.


~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~


Friday, 13 March 2015

Volunteering overseas: #1's experience

During the December holidays, #1 flew to Shanghai on her own to visit her aunt. Her aunt had been encouraging them to go over during their school holidays to get immersed in the Chinese culture. Now that she had completed her 'O' level exams, the timing was right for her to make the trip.

Besides the usual sight-seeing, shopping and eating agenda, we decided it would be a great opportunity for her to help out at Will Foundation.

What is Will Foundation?

It is a sustainable and self-sufficient eco-learning centre for disadvantaged children. Imagine that! I was intrigued. I learned that the founder, Pilar, took in several orphans as her own because she felt that she would be able to give them a better future under her care. What a big heart. And where would they find such a huge place for all of them to live in? A kind family generously donated their unused land to this project.

Their garden
It was wonderful that Pilar agreed to take #1 in at such short notice, and the arrangements were quickly made. She spent a week there volunteering as an intern, which basically meant helping out wherever necessary, which included doing household chores and playing with the 10 children. We called her one evening, and her siblings wanted to know how she spent her time there. She told us that she had just finished mopping the floor with freezing cold water! Definitely a first for her (yes, both the mopping and the freezing water).

This is #1's account of her 1-week stint with the Will family:

The children follow a time-table and every morning, they would do their running rounds in the courtyard before coming in for breakfast. After breakfast, they will make their way to class for lessons. The household is run with strict rules, and lights out is at 8pm. There is no wifi available and the use of handphones is discouraged. (This is probably harder for the volunteers than the children!)
School room
After a few sessions, it is time for a break, and the kids will go out to the courtyard to play. Even the ones with aids will help themselves to a round of soccer.
Score!
The two younger children have physiotherapy in a separate room, and this is where they also do little kid's stuff like playing with blocks and working with picture cards. It was the Christmas season and we had fun fooling around with the hats! Mary is the only girl in the family and she took to me immediately. The kids are very adorable and boisterous, which is to be expected from having 9 young boys in the house! It was a very meaningful and eye-opening experience.
Lil' Santarina
Volunteering opportunities:

If you are able to spare some time, and can help out in areas like tutoring, crafting, mentoring or cleaning, do drop them an email at info@email.willfound.org.

You could also make a direct donation online, and any amount, both big and small will make a difference to these young lives.

The Will kids at home
Even though #1 spent a short one week there, Mary became attached to her and when it was time to say goodbye, she was reluctant to see her go.

After her week at Will home, I kept my fingers crossed that she would help out more when she returned, and perhaps start mopping the floor. No such luck though. Nonetheless, I can see that #1 has a soft spot for children and she must have enjoyed her time with the kids.

Hmmm, I should run my household like the Will home. Impressive.

Goodbyes are hard...

Getting there:

Will Foundation is located on Chong Ming island, which is 1 hour from Hong Qiao.
It will take you about 1.5 to 2 hours by public transport, depending on which part of Shanghai you are coming from.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Monday, 9 March 2015

School Stories #7: Who has an obsession with TUITION?

I love our current Education minister. His new road map is truly visionary. He says that:


"Parents would have to give up their obsession with grades; employers would have to hire based on skills, not degrees; and teachers should strive for an all-round development of their students."


And how does he propose we do that?

"One is to go beyond learning for grades to learning for mastery of skills."

"Second, develop a lifelong learning habit among Singaporeans so that they are equipped for changing economic realities."

"The third is to move from learning for work to learning for life, so that a student develops interests beyond work and a commitment to serve society."

I am excited to see what his ministry is going to roll out to make these a reality. He is indeed courageous to take on this path which "no other country has travelled". I am firmly behind you, Mr Heng!!

One area they are looking to tackle is THE TUITION PROBLEM. Mr Png Eng Huat (MP for Hougang) asked for a survey to get to the bottom of Singaporeans' obsession with tuition, joining at least three other MPs in warning about over-reliance on tuition.

Obsession with tuition?

Why does it sound like we parents have nothing else better to do with our money?

Besides a small percentage of 'tiger mum' parents who are giving their kids tuition even though they are already scoring all As and A*s, for most of us, it is borne out of necessity.

Here's how my kids ended up having tuition.


For my eldest, I did not know much about the whole primary school scene when she entered Primary 1. The hubs and I chose the closest primary school to our home and left her in the good hands of the school (or so we thought). I did not give her tuition from P1 to P5 as I expected her teachers to prepare her sufficiently for the exams. The only tuition she tried out was 6 months at Berries, a group tuition centre for Chinese, when she was in P4. As I did not see any improvement in her grades, I withdrew her.

I had a shock of my life when she failed her Math and Science at the end of P5. How was she ready for PSLE?

I scrambled to ask around for recommendations and realised that everyone we knew gave their kids tuition. We had no choice but to pay through our noses for private tuition to help her plug the gaps.

In a mere 8 months, she managed to soar from failing grades to score 4 As with an aggregate of 240 for her PSLE.

For #2, she has always been a very consistent student probably because she's a very obedient child. From the time she was in P1, I told her that she had to pay attention to her teachers and listen in class. And that was what she did. This traditional method of teaching also suits her learning style so she had no problems with school work.


Since she was not failing any subjects I held out giving her any tuition. It was only after her P6 mid-year exams where she scored mostly Bs that I decided she needed some extra help to tackle the papers. I gave her tuition for all subjects but on hindsight, 4 months was too short for her to get used to her tutors' style of teaching to really have an impact on her grades. In the end, she scored 230, which I felt was below her potential.

For #3, she is a visual learner and a hands-on approach suits her better. It was no surprise that she always did badly academically even though it is obvious to all of us that she is extremely bright.

I made the decision to start her on English and Chinese tuition from P5 because she was very weak in both subjects. Thank goodness I found tutors who were creative and managed to make the lessons fun and engaging. I added on Math and Science tuition for her in P6 because she barely managed to pass the exams.

As they were all one-to-one lessons, she picked up very quickly because the tutors could accommodate to her learning style. In the end, she enjoyed her lessons very much and managed to score 229. With such an aggregate, she is now in a school which suits her very well and she loves school. They use different modalities to learn, such as group discussions, project work and lively debates in class. If I had not given her tuition at all, she would likely have ended up in normal academic or normal technical which is a wrong fit for her.

What do these examples show?

That if we leave our kids to the education system, it may not be able to do justice to their capabilities.

Now that I am more aware of the limitations of our education system, I am keeping a finger on the pulse to monitor their progress. And if they are not learning what they are supposed to be learning, I have to supplement it with tuition.

The tuition industry has ballooned into a billion dollar industry, perhaps it's time to acknowledge what it does right.

Most tuition centres have class sizes with a maximum of 12 to 15 students. 40 in a class is just too big a class for effective learning. If only we could shrink our classes to 25 or 30 students.

Tutors are paid to teach. Not to run events, chaperon kids to competitions, deal with parents' complains or attend endless meetings. Perhaps a teacher's main job should be to teach as well.

Such a radical road map is what Singapore needs at this crossroads. I just hope that it will be rolled out with urgency. If a new minister gets rotated for this portfolio, who knows what vision he might hold?

I certainly hope things will be shaken up. Currently I have no choice but to give my kids tuition in their P6 (or perhaps even P5) year. And it looks like they might also need tuition in certain subjects in the Sec 4 year, such as in 'A' Maths, Chemistry, Physics or Chinese.

Let us all - parents, teachers and employers rally together and embrace this new vision to move the next generation towards a more meaningful education to face the future.

I can't wait to save money by eliminating the need for tuition.

School Stories:

#1 - When your son gets into fights in school
#2 - My son the loan shark
#3 - So kids can't play once they start school?


Related posts:

6 tips to Really prepare your child for P1

6 things to do in the PSLE year


~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

School Stories #6: My son. There's hope yet!

This year, I was very surprised that #5 has suddenly 'grown up' and is taking his school work more seriously. In P1 and P2, it was obvious that school only meant one thing to him. And it spells R-E-C-E-S-S.

He was oblivious to everything that went on in class and whatever his teachers said went in one ear and out the other. His homework was hardly handed up on time, his worksheets were perennially missing, and he did not seem to know what was going on in class.

Learning to write cursive
Now that he is in P3, he has finally 'woken up' and I was delighted to see that he took out his books and did his homework and corrections without prompting from me. Last year he seemed to have selective memory and what he didn't like or found hard to do (which was pretty much all his Chinese homework) he preferred to stuff right at the bottom of his bag and hoped that it would magically disappear through an imaginary abyss.

On Sunday, when I reminded him to keep his completed homework in his schoolbag, he said, "Oh ya, and I have to revise. My tests are coming up next week." My girls and I stared at one another in disbelief. Did we hear right? (I must congratulate his teachers on doing such a good job.)

Then he turns around and continues playing. Ah well. The first step is awareness, no?

School Stories:

#1 - When your son gets into fights in school
#2 - My son the loan shark
#3 - So kids can't play once they start school?
#4 - Things teachers say
#5 - Lessons learnt from #1's 'O's

~ www.mummyweeblog.com - a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~
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