Children taking up Primary 1in Singapore have a lot to prepare for throughout the year even if they do not have long exams to contend with. They will need to prepare for pop quizzes, oral exams, and presentations, all of which can cause your child to break under pressure if they are not supported in any way.
Considering this problem, how can you help your child cope up with their busy academic life and the problems that may arise because of it?
I didn’t have time to study for my test.
Primary 1 students have quite a lot to do throughout the year, which can be overwhelming for kids to keep up with. Ideally, being able to handle everything and staying on top is good. However, this is difficult to achieve because of the various activities in the child’s schedule. As a result, your child will not be able to prepare properly when they learn they have an exam coming up.
In order to help them prepare without resorting to cramming and still do the things, they have on the schedule, create a study timetable for your child to follow. This study timetable should allow time for the child to do constant revisions for them to understand the concepts closely. Of course, you should not forget to add breaks for your child to relax after studying hard, as well as a clear time when your child needs to go to sleep.
You should also remove any distractions in the room where your child would be studying so they can focus properly in their revisions.
I thought the test was tomorrow.
Overwhelmed with a new study environment and tedious routine, your child can make the mistake of forgetting doing their homework, or worse, their test dates. Instead of jumping into conclusion that your child is lazy and doesn’t care much for his studies, look closely into his daily schedule to check if he is struggling to keep up.
Aside from making sure your child is on top of his studies and regularly revises at home, you must be able to help them track their schedule and see which tests or presentations are coming up. This will ensure they are not taken off guard when the exams come up. Once they get a hang of their study schedule, let them handle it independently.
If there is a test coming up, you can ask them if they are ready for the test or presentation and what they need to prepare for it.
I was so nervous that I forgot what I learned.
Math drills tend to get children nervous to the point that they may end up forgetting what they reviewed in the first place. The same can also be said for Mother Tongue classes. If your child is well prepared at home but seems to have amnesia when he is sitting in the exam halls, he has an attack of the nerves.
In order to help them relax, encourage them to do their best and explain why these exams would give them the opportunity to show that they understand their classes. You must also take into account which areas your child will need help with and explain to them the concepts through practice questions. As they learn how to deal with these questions and understand how the concepts work through these questions, they will feel confident in answering these questions and even learn from their mistakes.
In Mother Tongue classes, you can help your child relax in their exams by practicing the characters with them at home. This will help them remember the characters and recall what they are. You can also use Mandarin words or phrases in your daily routine to give the child examples of how these words can be used.
I’m too shy to present at show-and-tell.
Everyone can feel nervous when they are required to stand in front of an audience to present and kids are no exception to this rule. Your child may enjoy presenting or even performing at home in front of his family but he clams up when it comes to public speaking.
In order to get your child get rid of their nervousness before their presentation, talk to your child regarding their presentation. Ask them how he will start, what is his topic and how he will end his presentation.
Allowing him to practice regularly can also help build confidence and practice his speech. You can even get your entire family to listen to your child’s speech so he can feel comfortable discussing in a crowd. You can also use the time to teach them how to make eye contact, adjust their tone and get the audience to listen.
Of course, don’t forget to encourage them as they practice and with your advice, you will help your child build their self-confidence. Should they need to present in Mandarin, encouragement, and practice can help them talk naturally in the language.
I couldn’t catch up with the rest of the class.
Your child may hide the fact that he is struggling to understand the concepts taught in class and he may just be too embarrassed to admit that he needs help. His self-confidence has taken a beating as he watches his classmates sprint through chapters after chapters while he is still confused over the fundamentals.
The key to identifying this problem is when your child struggles to complete his homework without your help. Sometimes, he might end up disliking going to school because it made him feel worthless.
It might be a good idea to look into hiring a personal tutor to help your child get ahead of his classmates. A good tutor can answer any questions that he might be afraid to ask his teacher in front of his class. In addition, a tutor can provide extra focus on repetitive teaching on subjects that require attention.
My teacher told me that I spoke too softly in class.
In Singapore, Primary 1 classes have an average size of 29 students. It can pose a serious problem when your child is unable to speak up in front of his class. If his teacher cannot hear him, it may plummet his self-esteem and in turn, refusing to ask any questions when he needs to or volunteering his answers when he knows them. This will decrease his participation in the classroom.
When presenting a speech, it is important that your child has the right posture and self-confidence to perform flawlessly. Help your child by teaching them how to stand straight and focus on the crowd as they talk. The crowd can help your child determine how loud they should talk.
You can also record your child’s speech and see if they are speaking clearly. If there are parts where your child’s voice tends to become softer, let them try again and correct the weak parts.
Still Need Help?
If you want to support your efforts in assisting your child handle their workload, you can also enroll your child in one of Singapore’s tuition schools or get them a tutor offering special tuition. These schools and the tutor you will get for your child can look into your child’s problems more closely and apply the right strategies to solve the problem.
Handling school work is no walk in the park, especially for kids who are just in their Primary 1 level. With some help and encouragement, your kids would slowly be able to adjust to the workload school brings. Remember, don’t scare your kids or force them to improve because the results will be contradictory to what you are after!
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