Recently, a special community called “100 Voices” was set up. Basically, they found individuals who did not do so well academically and shared their success stories. It was a movement to encourage parents to stop emphasizing on grades. I also read many comments which stated that this would not work in meritocracy based Singapore.
There would always be external factors hindering and people would always complain, simply because they wanted everything(a perfect solution) served on a silver platter. The gap between expectations and reality was not easy to bridge.
I agreed that locally, the parents here placed way too much emphasis on studies. Had I foreseen the trend earlier, I would have joined teaching, run a private tuition centre and be part of the billion dollar industry. We would never know what the future trends were, so how would attending more English, Math, Mother Tongue and Science lessons today help?
With preschool and lower primary students being on the worst end of the sticks, their child-like innocence and playtime were being burned away at additional academic lessons and tuition.
Parental involvement was the key to teaching a child because you could identify the weakness. If you could convince your child to listen to you, your child would be a good listener in school too.
Parent-led coaching was effective because you could tailor the teaching and impart values at the same time. The whole process could also be more productive. You spend lesser time to get the same results. It was never about giving the child answers but to encourage a problem-solving and concentrating mindset.
Instead of letting children spend hours and hours cooped up in a tuition/enrichment centre, I would rather let them run free and play as they liked, for as long as they can before their real responsibilities grew with time.
It had been 4 years since I held my ground against academic enrichment. Initially, Z’s preschool teachers voiced their concerns. When his concentration peaked in school after all that play and sports, they agreed that additional enrichment were not necessary.
I had been tempted to send Z to the likes of tuition and Learning Lab. However, whenever I recalled how I used to zone out at those extra lessons and spending time with tuition centre mates that did not value add my EQ, I knew I would not want to coop Z further in a classroom. The real classroom was the world outside.