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Your Child's Reading ability

  1. #33
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    completely agree with you!

    but i've seen far too many 8 year olds with what amounts to "burn-out"

    these are the kids that are so over-scheduled there is NO TIME left for play...and it's their parents that he/she JUST playing???? i've had students before that at age 6 are in full-day school, and taking10-12 HOURS of extra tuition. (if i remember correctly it was...2 hr english, 2 hr mandarin, 1 hr skating, 2 hrs swimming, 1 hr cello, 1 hr piano, 1 hr chinese painting, 1 hr chinese poetry)... with such a schedule, these poor kids don't have time to be kids, they are too busy trying to cram their heads with knowledge all because it will look good on paper when it comes time for the next school interviews.

    i've had parents telling me that their child needs to work harder because they ONLY got 89% on their latest exam. these same kids can hear their parents lamenting their "laziness" & "carelessness", how these kids are expected to grow up with any amount of self-esteem or intiative to question things around them is beyond me....
    if you hear these things enough, you begin to believe them, especially at such a young age.

    now, i'm sure that the parents that i'm refering to are truly trying to do what they believe is the best for their kids....i just wonder if the cycle will ever be broken & how the kids will feel about their childhood when they look back on it in the future.

  2. #34
    Bubbly is offline Registered User
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    May 2006
    Hong Kong

    It's true and sad that some parents do push their children to their limits! I remember I tutored a little girl of 6 every day for 2 hours, and she had mandarin, ballet, piano, painting, swimming etc. classes all lined up. By the time it was my turn (which was 6-8pm), she was exhausted. So what I used to do with her was let her relax and play games whilst I checked her homework etc.

    She was very good at school too, but there was once when I found her in tears, when I asked why she was crying, she showed me her test result and she said she only got 97% and not 100%!!!! The poor girl was devastated. I felt so sorry for her that I drew her her favourite cartoons to cheer her up! She was really disciplined by her mother and I really questioned how much was too much....

    Anyway, that was 12 years ago, she is now 18, and she is doing extremely well. However, it would be interesting to see how her personality has developed. I don't see her enough to know, unfortunately. She was the sweetest thing I have ever met, and I hope she stayed that way.

    Another little girl I tutored was the complete opposite. Her mother let her play whatever she wanted and I remembered that she could not sit still for 5 mins as she kept changing her mind about what she wanted to do that day. She would change into 5 different outfits in the hour I am there and if I tried to stop her, she would push me out of her room and lock the door!! This one had not discipline. Unfortunately I did not keep in touch with this little girl, but it really would be very interesting to see how she turned out too.

    *sigh* it's really tough being parents as whatever you do, you will get criticised for it by others who think they know better! At the same time, you are not sure whether those critisisms/ advice are valid or not! Tough job - parenthood!

  3. #35
    HKfornow is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004

    I have a 4-year old boy who does not read. He knows his alphabet, but will not string it together. We don't do many after school activities, he does not recite poetry, he does not color like Da Vinci & his writing. . . don't even go there. However, he is a happy boy, always smiling always want to play.

    Then there's his classmate, who supposedly, reads, writes her name perfectly, colors inside the line, gets three stamps of approval from teacher for her homework, have after school activities almost everyday & is the best in class. Sounds like an ideal child doesn't it??? EXCEPT, this same little girl refuse to do activities if she can't win, she has been having nightmares waking up crying at night. I gathered, the parents already consulted a psychologist, and were advised to ease up on the pressure, and this mother always brags to me about her child's achievements(paint, write, read, etc.) and always ask me, does your son do it yet? As if we are in a competition.??

    There are times I do feel bad that my son is not as "developed" as her daughter, but you know what? My son is a happy child who will hopefully be very well adjusted, well rounded individual when he grows up. So what if he doesn't go to the best school, or become the President or a CEO of a corporation, it doesn't mean I will love him less nor will I love him more if he did become one of those.

    So I guess my feeling is, as long as my child remains a happy, even a mediocre (not complacent/lazy) student as long as he's doing his best. . . then I am satisfied with that. My son will read when he's ready, and in the mean time, I will still read to him, because he enjoys it. The way I look at it. . . hey more bonding time! And how can that be a bad thing?

  4. #36
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

    As a child I read very early and have loved and devoured books since then....for me reading is something I have to do everyday, and is something as necessary and essential as eating and drinking!
    I was never force fed books or flashcards but was read to from the day I was born and always lived in a house full of books!
    As a young child I use to get dressed for school while reading a book; eat my breakfast reading a book; sit in the car to school reading a book.....!
    I have two younger brothers however who don't read; have never really read anything and don't have any interest in it whatsoever...and yet we all had the same exposure to books and reading growing up.

    Reading, like being academic, is something you are naturally good at- I think. You can encourage children to do better academically and may succeeed but they may never really like it!

    And success at school is not always linked to intelligence- my sister in law has been tested and has what is considered to be a 'genius' IQ and yet she has always done horrendously at school because she was bored by it all.

    We have a house full of books for my son, and we read everyday...I also spend 5 minutes a day on alphabet and number flashcards which he enjoys....but I let him lead....sometimes he wants to play with them, and I let him, othertimes he likes to sit and watch so i go with that too. I'm not expecting him to read, or to be able to say his alphabet by a certain age- I'm just hoping to encourage any natural abilities inside him and hope to give him the basic building blocks for reading etc.

    Sometimes Hong Kong society really saddens me.....especially when I see three year olds laden down with homework and after school activities....the pressure is intense...but for what?

    I agree with so many other people here that academic success doesn't necessarily make you happy- I always did well at school, went to one of the top universities where I am from, did postgraduate study.....and none of it ever fulfilled me, that came later with my husband and baby!!!!

    And now that is all I want for my son- for him to be happy.....I want him to do what he wants to do....regardless of what that is!
    Yes, I want the best for him, and I want him to have the best learning opportunities but not because of the 'success' but because I want to ensure that any natural abilities/talents he has inside him have the opportunity to be developed etc.

    There are so many ways to instill in our children a love for learning....that don't involve books, and classrooms and rote learning! A trip to the beach, to the mountains, to the shops, to the park, to another country....these are all fantastic situations for learning.....and maybe if our children spent more time in these places, we might be able to instill in them a greater respect for our enviornment and those of us that live within it!

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