Today, we are happy to welcome Dominique as our guest blogger on SANses. I got the chance to first meet Dom (and her feisty Tiger Girl) at a food tasting event, and since then, we have gotten to know each other via the Singapore Mom Bloggers facebook chat, and other events! She is a stay-at-home mom with three kids, and somehow seems to be able to balance it ALL so well. I asked her to share about how she balances both play and more serious "work" for the kids.
Balancing study and play is not easy for a kid. Play ranks in high on their priority list and if they could they would rather play the whole day instead of studying. However as our society is still focus greatly on academic results I can't neglect one for the other.
How then as a parent can we get them prepared and ready for school without compromising their need for play?
I start training my kids from young. We work together to set up a study/play schedule and slowly teach them how to properly manage their time.
Doggie boy is entering Primary one next year and it is essential for me to get him up to speed for the rigours of the new school which he would be attending. There is a difference between studying in kindergarten and primary one. The class size is bigger and there will be less hand holding. Doggie boy will have to rely on himself more and be more proactive in his studies. The speed of teaching will also differ and he will not be able to get as much personalized attention from the teacher when needed.
To ease his transition to the new school I have been coaching him daily after he returns home from childcare to brush up on his academic subjects. We do not start lessons straight away but only after he has his down time to rest and relax. Doggie boy is given half and hour to chill out in front of the TV or play with his toys or games we have at home when he comes home. I find that it is essential that he gets time to rest first or "settle down" before starting up again with work. This way he is less grumpy and resistant towards doing the exercises which I assign him during our 1 on 1 tutoring sessions. To motivate him we set aside time for family games and wi-fi if the kids manage to complete their given exercise before winding down time for bed at night.
Learning at home is not just all pencil and book as I rotate the various teaching ads that we have. On certain nights we do interactive learning on the pc or iPad. On other occasions we take learning outdoor to the park or the neighbourhood shopping mall. While picking up the groceries he gets to practice his maths in counting, hone his analytical skills in making decisions on what to purchase and increase his vocabulary through reading the labels and ingredient lists that appear on the various packaging. He gets to have fun too while learning as we incorporate play into learning.
So, how do you balance study and play for your kids?
Dominique Goh, Singaporean elementary school teacher, freelance writer and mom of three who is passionate about parenting and educating kids. In her free time you can see her dabbling in photography, cooking and cake decorating and blogging at Dominique’s Desk.