Monday, January 21, 2013

Parenting with Love: Child Readiness???

Source: unknown

I am a believer of child-readiness and the sensitive periods for children's learning be it for reading / writing or for any other activities. In one of Dumpling's weekend classes, when we first started, some of her other classmates 'left' that class which I later found out that they were at a 'new' class that Dumpling joined a month later. 

A few weeks ago, I overheard and participated shortly in a conversation when one of the mums shared her decision to withdraw her child out of the class. In her words, she felt that the class was progressing too quickly for her daughter and she has decided to go into private lessons route where she feels that it would be more suited for her child's pace.

It was from the same conversation that I realised that her child, EV, and another student JG were transferred to this new class not because they were 'ready' (this is a higher level class) but more so because they did not like the earlier class as it was getting full. After highlighting their displeasure to the school, the school decided to have both kids at this new class.

Both kids are younger than Dumpling and are possibly amongst the youngest in the class. Based on my understanding, the class is supposed to be for kids who are 4 or at least nearing 4. There is a big difference in that 6 months to a year gap because of the motor skills that's needed. The oldest child in the class is 5 and she is progressing along very nicely because at that age, she has the maturity / focus and the motor skills to do the tasks.

Now, for EV, I do empathize with her. Based on the lessons that I have seen, she does look a tad 'lost'. While the rest are on midway on Task A, she is still playing 'catch up' and there were a few times I saw her sighing and looking a tad sad. I do wonder if such a decision has affected her confidence and self esteem. So for that, I applaud the mum for knowing when to pull the brakes.

Having said that, I also wonder if the child would have been prepped better if she had stayed in the earlier class where her foundation is laid properly before she is "advanced" to this class which does not seem suited for her. Frankly, I am surprised that the school made such arrangements because in this case, it clearly backfired where both child and parent are clearly not ready. Or maybe the school did prep the parent but perhaps the parent decided to plow on?

I certainly understand that all parents want the best for our children. In this Kiasu society, it is hard not to worry where sometimes we, as parents get blinded with all these "comparisons" that we forget who we are doing it for - us or for our kids. It is hard to steer away from such comparisons but as a family, we are doing our best as we often remind ourselves to take a step back and ask if Dumpling is truly ready. By readiness there are a few factors - not just academically but the maturity, emotional aspects, etc.

Now, back to JG. JG's dad commented that he does get JG to practise daily while he (the dad) watches TV. OK, I have to admit that I do struggle with this bit. To me, as a parent, we have to also show interest and 'support' in what the child is doing. If the child is struggling and the parent is not involved - be it to guide to simply be present for that emotional support, then it would certainly be unfair to expect the school or any organisation to be able to do much. After all, the classes happen merely once a week, how much do we expect the child to be able to remember from that one class if there is no home support? When it comes to such incidents, I do wonder if I am the weird parent here. :p


  1. i wanted to say that i am with you on child-readiness. R has been progressing well with reading as well as trying to spell on her own without my help or prompting. she recently started enrichment for CL and i must say, she is more confident in speaking in mandarin and is more open to learn, compared to last year. so, i say, let's give our kids some breathing space and we can also breath along too!

    1. Hi Rebbymum, thank you for your sharing. It is nice to know that by giving R a bit of breathing space, she is progressing along nicely. :) Good job dear!

  2. I am with you. By the same token, I believe if our children are ready to advance faster than than their peers, we, as parents, must also move along with them. Either way, i.e to insist that a child learns at a faster pace or slower pace, can be quite denting to their learning. Following the child's pace & interest of learning, that's what I always say!

    1. Hi Homeschool @ sg, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I am totally with you that parental involvement is important. Last week was EV's last class. Hopefully Dumpling can see her back at this school once her foundation is better cemented with the 1-2-1 lessons. :)


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