Friday, 7 February 2014

A conversation worth remembering

I was busy in the kitchen and my Baby decided to talk to my son.

Baby: do you think I love you more or I love mummy more?

Isaac (in his gibberish-baby-English): mummy (m)or(e)

Baby: yes. I love mummy more. Remember, I love mummy first before I love you.

This conversation melted my heart. It is very rare for my baby to say such sweet words. So when he said these words, it's like honey to me!

With valentine's day just around the corner, I really think this is a better gift than any material gift. Moreover, those words affirmed our love and relationship.

I think it refueled the passion I have for my baby. Really want to remember this conversation.

I love you a lot too baby.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Focus on the process

Easier said than done for Singaporeans!

We have been raised for generation to focus on the outcomes, i.e. results.

But really, focusing on the process of learning has many benefits. Children build characters, problem solving skills and resiliency.

I am usually irked by teachers and parents who are too concerned about the "beauty" of the works. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What if, that art piece or that piece of writing appears beautiful to the child but just not by our standards? I say, leave it, respect it.

Children learn through exploration. It has been amazing for me when Isaac shows me things he learnt through his own discovery. That includes singing songs. He has been singing songs I don't teach such as "are you sleeping" and the alphabet song.

So, I am glad he is progressing just fine and happily exploring the world he is in. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

My route of education - too long?

I haven't written a post in a while. Not that I haven't got anything to write but I simply have no time with work, studies (teaching diploma) and family. So, why am I writing a post today?

It's the third day of Chinese New Year, the horse year. No big deal really. However, CNY is very much the time for family catch-ups. We meet up with relatives whom we probably rarely meet throughout the year.

A discussion I had with an aunt left me slightly disturbed and I felt the need to share my perspectives.

We started talking enthusiastically about Early Childhood Education (my passion) and Isaac (my love). The topic veered off to choosing a primary school for my little boy who is barely two. I am not being anxious. I was trying to find out the prospect of enroling him into the only not-too-bad Christian school in Singapore, which her son is studying in. That, for your information, is ACS junior. 

My reason for thinking about this school is as simple as "I want a Christian school for Isaac". For some reason, we started discussing the differences between "good" and "not-so-good" schools, peer influences and academic routes in the future.

Suddenly, the topic turned to me. She mentioned "I took a long route". At that moment, I wasn't quite sure what she meant. She talked about how she always sees me "studying" (more like pursuing my education). 

For the benefit of my readers, I went through the standard education and went to junior college. I dropped out and studied in polytechnic. I emerged a top student (not because I was more studious). And I took a part time degree as I was anxious to join the workforce. The degree I took was a scholarship too. Now, I am studying for a teaching diploma at 30 years old because I made a career switch after 10 years. 

This discussion really disturbed me. It took me two days to ponder. 

Simply put, I have never regretted the routes I took. I may have friends who climbed the corporate ladder. How many of them are really happy? I am not sure.

Also, I got to where I am today because Singapore's education system never prepared me for post-secondary school. I was so clueless about my strengths and weaknesses. I loved the arts but it wasn't as flourished then and my parents were against my pursuit. I took to the path most Singapore students took. I went to JC only to realize I hated the mundane academic style of JC. Eventually, I had to go through trial and errors and many experiences along the way to discover what I really want and like to do in life!

Little did I know back then I am a kinestatic learner! No one told me that. I am not even sure if that was because I went to a neighborhood school so the teachers weren't capable of identifying my learning styles and strengths for me.

It took me a good 10-15 years to finally follow my heart and passion. That was after trying hard to do well in stuffs I didn't like doing. So many times I wanted to leave everything and go into Early Childhood. 

There were too many risks and negativity then. I have God and Isaac to thank. Probably The Lord felt the time was right and he opened the door of early childhood to me. It gave me insights into education and child raising. I am better at managing my expectations and managing Isaac. 

To sum up my post, I do not agree with the education system in Singapore. I feel that children do not get enough exposure to allow them certainty about what they would like to do to choose the choice of specialization in the university. 

Therefore, my philosophy in education is simply, children are curious. The more exposure they receive when they are young, the better. At least, they are able to identify themselves and decide their future pursuits early.

I want Isaac to be resilient. To be able to take risks, failures and discover the world and his life all by himself. 

Someone asked me about "strawberry generation". I think it came about because protective parents plan their children's lives!

What do we want for our children? A high flying career? Or success being measured by achievements from their interests and passion - usually accompanied with satisfaction and happiness?