Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Like Tree14Likes

I need a rant & advice

  1. #17
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    Quote Originally Posted by matemate View Post
    actually just to say, there are alternatives and alternative schools to what you describe above, but they do cost money
    Yes, what I meant by writing that "it's too late" is that if you're choosing to be in the HK public school system you can't start the school and then say, "Wait, but I just want him to 'be a kid' and be carefree and have no responsibilities." Because, once you start you accept the unwritten rule that he is considered a student and will be expected to perform like a student does in HK. So, my thoughts are that if a parent really is uncomfortable with their child having these types of expectations put upon them (and the family--because we all know how much work it takes as a parent to oversee the process) then it might be possible that kindergarten this early isn't the right option for the family. Or as carang suggested, international school may be a better choice. Of course, there are difficulties that arise with any choice made--some schools cost more money and are harder to get into; starting primary school without kindergarten in HK can be more challenging for students; going to kindergarten at 3-years-old requires children to "grow up" faster in a way--nothing is truly a perfect solution.
    carang likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #18
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    personally, i think it is better to start they way you mean to go on. it will be much more difficult later to become more strict with homework if the child has been allowed to say, "no" to it in the past.

    there are no right and wrong answers here.... you do what you think is best for your family. i am very glad we were strict with our kids about doing homework. it makes it easier as they get older. they know the rules (homework isn't optional) and they know what happens if they don't do it. this doesn't happen overnight. it is always a learning curve, for both parent and child. and of course, there are days that i hear, 'but i don't want to do homework!'..... my answer is always... "that's ok.... i don't WANT to cook dinner! let's not have dinner tonight, ok?"
    elle likes this.

  3. #19
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    Quote Originally Posted by OX Jess View Post
    I agree that "It has to be a dictatorship, not a democracy when it comes to these things (doing homework)."

    Don't ever get me wrong, when I wrote my first message here I never meant I DON't want my child to do any homework. Just the opposite - I want him to have homework every day. Before he starts kindergarten I gave him 'homework' on daily basis (colouring, connecting dots, drawing lines, etc.) and I always manage to make it a 'fun' thing for him so most of times he enjoys doing these with me. Whenever he shows reluctance to do any more I just say, "ok, that's it. Let's do it again later/tomorrow." Then we move on to something else. So no, I don't complain about child having to do homework, not at all.
    But it seems to me what you are saying is, "I want my child to do homework but on our time and schedule." It's different when you're assigning him homework on your own--you can complete it on your own time table but when it comes to being part of the bigger class and part of an institution you've given up your right to make that schedule. And, like I said, if you really feel it's too overwhelming for your child you can always work with the school to work out a schedule (i.e. send a not saying you need more time). But, you're not on your "own time" anymore--you're actually on the school's time. It's different now.

    What I was trying to say in the message is whether we should 'push' a 3-year-old that hard to do his colouring page when he is not really in the mood. Some of you must say, 'well, doing homework is not about if you are in the mood. You gotta do it." Yes, I know and I agree. But my point is: whether we should be so harsh to a 3-year-old. If he is already in K3, having spent 2 years kindergarten, I wouldn't expect he is allowed to say no to his homework. I think, one of the issue my husband has is lacking flexibility (not only on this particular issue but in general matters).
    I think it depends on what your opinion of "harsh" is. I personally don't feel it's harsh to make my children do things that they don't want to do in their everyday life. I've always taken this approach so even at 3-years-old my son knew that if mama says it needs to be done, it needs to be done. I don't think this is "forcing" or "pushing" him at all. But, again, approach is the key. It's most important how things are done, in my opinion.

    Your concept seems to be that you're going to "gradually ease" him into doing homework so by the time he's in K2 or K3 he will do it without question. But, if you start the habit of letting him sometimes refuse to do it then I don't see how you're going to establish this sort of schedule for him. From the very beginning--day 1 of K1 my son was expected to always do his homework and not put up a fit. We worked with him to create a fun learning environment and we never gave him the option of "well, we'll do it tomorrow/later when you're in a better mood." Then again, we did choose times of the day which would easier for him to do it--such as after he's rested from a nap and had his lunch in the afternoon. So, it's not as if we "eased him" into doing homework--it was just always required and in my opinion, totally wasn't "harsh" at all to require him to do it--even on days when he was less-than-enthusiastic. That's where skills as a parent come into play--knowing how to motivate and work with your own child to help them.



    So, the problem is finally sorted. When I came home this evening, the first thing I did was to take that colouring sheet out and told him it's time for homework. Then I sat down with him and did it together with him. As usual, I made it fun and made laugh. He enjoyed it. Then I took out another sheet of homework (drawings) given to him today and got it done as well. What if he was not in the mood for homework, I would put it aside and tell him, "ok, let's something else / let's get a sweet, then we come back again..." He has to say YES before I move on to another thing. Then I will try to lure him back to do his homework. This is how I would handle the homework thing with a 3-year-old.
    It seems you have a manageable way to work with your son. I would be careful, though about giving him too much say in whether or not the homework gets done at the time you've designed for it. While it might not be a problem right now I can easily see your son growing to take advantage of the fact that, "If I'm not in the mood, mommy will let me have candy and play as long as I want until I'm in the mood again." So, what's the easiest way to avoid doing what you don't want to do? Just not be in the mood! I think it's a fine line and things that start off being really great "motivators" end up coming back to bite us later.

    Yet for my husband, homework is homework, you gotta do it. It's completely wrong if a child refuses to do his homework. Very straight-minded, not flexible. I think, my approach with a 3-year-old is correct. I am not saying I will continue to be so 'soft' with my child forever, it is just a starting stage. When I help him develop a habit of sitting down for an hour to do his homework, I expect he will do them without much struggle and I expect it will happen, say, half a year later or when he starts on K2.
    In that case, maybe you're the one to handle the homework. Between my husband and I for the past two years I've done most of my son's homework with him--sometimes sitting for 1-2 hours to complete everything and help him practice extra things. My husband doesn't have the same sort of patience. But, this year my son's Chinese homework has increased drastically and my husband helps him with that. My husband finds that he gets stressed working with my son and he is aware of this himself so he has taken to putting on some relaxing music softly in the background that helps him (my husband) stay calm while helping my son and it has made a HUGE difference. It's all a journey of learning how to look in the mirror and see ourselves honestly for who we are as parents and then make steps to improve.

    I think it's really important to not develop an "You're wrong and I'm right" approach when it comes to these things. I think it takes being humble and honest and discussing. For example, when my husband and I sit down and talk he will honestly say, "Working with our son on this particular homework really stresses me out and I know that I don't do the best job at helping him--maybe you can help him with that and I'll help him with this other thing." So, in that way we can work together to get the homework done. It's kind of a fine art, actually of negotiating who will do what--not everyone is strong in the same areas.

    As for the issue with my husband, disagreement is sorted out as well. We went home together and we had a brief chat on the bus. I told him I shouldn't have intervened when he was having words with his son, but I explained to him why I couldn't stand what he did. Then he said, he wants to deliver a message to our son that doing his homework is a serious issue. Then I said his intention is good but his approach is not acceptable on a 3-year-old who has just trying to adjust to his school life! No further discussion after that. Basically, we have previously agreed that I am in charge of the kids' homework, but now and again I understand he wants to get involved.
    See, the words I found a bit concerning in what you wrote above were "couldn't stand what he did" and "approach is not acceptable...!" You've kind of set yourself up as jury and judge at this point. If I were him, I would either give you the cold shoulder (i.e. "no further discussion") after that or really become defensive. Yes, you don't like how he did it but I promise you that this issues is going to resurface again and again unless you can really respect his point of view and come to a functional compromise. I hope he also will respect your view.
    carang likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #20
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
    Posts
    219
    Very good reply, thanka2. Thanks.
    You gave me some new perspective in handling my son's issues (not just homework, but in general issues) and the way to communicate with my husband. Very helpful advice indeed.

    Putting aside the homework issue, I admit that I am in general rather loose with my child. I let him make too many decisions to a point now I find sometimes he has too much power. I realiased it and I am going to turn the table. I am reading a book called "Have a new kid by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman. I found the approaches suggested by Dr. Leman are in general good.
    thanka2 likes this.

  5. #21
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    316
    To chime in on what others have written, I don't allow my daughter to complete her homework if she is crying or stroppy. I'll ask her to stop, take a time out (just sit here, go take a drink, toilet break, but nothing fun) as I want her homework time to be a positive experience for her. I find that pressing the children onwards when they have spiraled down a hole of negativity sets up long term problems. The parent's attitude is also important. If the parent is relaxed, happy and engaged then the child picks this up and generally happily (at least not unhappily completes the homework). My hubby when he does homework with my daughter basically just wants her to hurry up so he can do something else. He's always wandering off to get a drink, chat on the phone, take a sneaky peak at the TV. She picks up on this and has a very negative attitude when he is around and cries out for me. Unfortunately I can't speak/write/read Chinese so he HAS to do the homework but she struggles due to his attitude. My husband is not very open to criticism (he thinks children should just do as they are told), so now I'm thinking about getting some paid help for the Chinese homework because the tension in the room during Chinese homework time is so poor.
    I think what the parents do have a huge impact on the outcome for our children. If you can both get on the same page then great if not you need to sort out an alternative solution. The parenting techniques of coercion that I have seen amongst my local friends is not for me but seems to work for them.

  6. #22
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    my kids are older than most of yours, i think. and now, in P2, i'm trying to teach my son to just get on with it. in many ways, he's great. he knows it needs to be done and does it... but he REALLY, REALLY, REALLY takes his time about it. then he is upset that it's bed time as soon as he's finished.

    i'm trying to teach him time management. they usually get home from school around 5pm. sister has a shower while he gets his homework out and gets it ready. then he goes to have a shower and she gets hers out. once they are all ready (usually 5:15ish), i get them to start while i put the finishing touches on dinner. i usually want my boy to do at least a couple of his exercises before dinner. we usually have dinner by 5:30. then it's full on homework time.

    the problem is: he sits down, writes one character, then decides he needs to sharpen his pencil. so he sharpens his pencil and writes another character... then he needs to pee.... so he does that and washes his hands. he sits back down and writes another character. then he asks a question. then decides that the first character he wrote isn't good enough... and on and on and on.... so by 7:15-7:30, he's still working on it... well, bedtime is 7:30... so it leaves no time for stories/games/tv...

    i am in the painful process of teaching him that if he just sat down and did the work without all of the time-wasting, he would have time to read/play games/watch tv. it's a slow process, but i think we are getting there. last night he finished with about 15 minutes to spare. so the reward was getting to listen to a chapter of a book we've been reading.

    fingers crossed he "gets it" soon.... will save everyone a LOT of pain! ;)

  7. #23
    EarlyYears is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    51
    My son has been getting homework since K1. He is now in P2. For his summer homework before P2 he had to create a whole Monopoly-like project.

    Huz and I were not keen on the project at all. We thought the 5-page instruction manual was absolutely ridiculous!!! But when it comes down to it, homework is homework. He goes to a very traditional school where he gets 5 pages of writing and mathematics nightly. It's just the way things are in HK. We just have to be strong and make sure we always have the time and patience to help him through it.

    Arguing in front of children is definitely going to confuse them.
    thanka2 likes this.

  8. #24
    genkimom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    68
    Cara, I don't know how you deal with your son without tearing your hair out. My P1 boy is driving me bananas. If he just did his homework without all the time wasting, he'd have plenty of time to do fun things. We haven't had any fun on schoolnights in months!

    OX Jess, as a teacher myself, I know full well the research has shown that pre-teens don't benefit at all from homework; in fact, research shows it has a negative affect because it decreases motivation. But teachers in Hong Kong apparently don't read research, or if they do, they can't overcome generations of community expectations that there be homework for two year olds on up. You are correct to feel it's absolutely developmentally inappropriate for your son. Yet, as Thanka points out, if you want your child to go to school in Hong Kong, you have to put up with it, or your child will never develop the skills he needs to do the insane amount of homework he will be given as a primary aged child. Even if you choose to put your child in an international school, if there are HK parents also attending, there will be copious amounts of homework, as teachers can't get away from PARENTAL expectations that kids be given loads to do.

    If you keep him out of Kindy, or if you don't lay down the law with homework now, you will be in an awful mess later on. My son was denied a kindy education in Hong Kong ( long story) and was homeschooled until P1. In HS, he was given work to do, but on his own time table and what was interesting to him. Now he has to do what the teacher tells him to do and it's boring and tedious and he hates it and does everything he can to waste as much time as possible to complete it. It's a real battle in our house because doing it is non-negotiable but he will sit there and refuse to pick up his pencil or his textbook and will whine and moan and think of 100 reasons to get up and get away from the table. When he sets his mind on doing or not doing something he will dig in his heels and nothing will persuade him to change course. It's better to make this a habit when he's too young to realize he can resist and can easily be persuaded to do what you want him to do.
    carang likes this.

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. RANT: Finding things!
    By erina320 in forum Everything Else
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-18-2012, 04:32 PM
  2. Random people touching my little one (rant)
    By Gataloca in forum Baby Talk
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 09-20-2010, 02:02 PM
  3. Maternity Leave - Rant
    By sau yi mum in forum Everything Else
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-11-2010, 01:36 PM
  4. Rant : Unwanted advice and opinions
    By wasabibunny in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-27-2007, 12:12 PM
  5. rant of a cranky pregnant lady....
    By carang in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-21-2006, 09:00 AM
Scroll to top