This year, the Ministry of Education introduced a plan known as “Learn for Life“.
Under this new plan, students are encouraged to perform in other areas aside from academics. For Primary 1 and 2 students, this new plan means they would no longer have exams and other tests.
But, exams and tests are good indicators of a child’s progress. So, what can parents do to track their child’s performance without exam results as a basis?
Embrace the Change
This change in Singapore’s educational system is a big step for the country. Before, academic excellence was crucial to getting a good job and financial security. But, with the new plan, academic excellence takes a backseat. Children will now be able to go in-depth with each subject and understand it more thoroughly.
As parents, this change should not be seen as a setback because learning is more than just grades. For Primary 1 and 2 students, in particular, learning should focus more on key life skills that would help them as they grow older.
The change will also allow children to reflect more about their studies and determine which career to take in the future.
How Can Parents Track their Child’s Progress Without Test Results?
A great way to track your child’s progress in Primary 1 or 2 is by speaking to the teachers. Your child’s teachers are the ones who are with your child every day and could see how well they perform everyday.
Although schools regularly have parent-teacher meetings, you can speak to your child’s teachers when you feel it is needed. This will help open dialogue between you and the school and answer all your inquiries.
To get you started, you can ask your child’s teachers about their progress and how you can help them. You can then ask specific questions like “Is my child having problems making friends?” or “Is she actively participating in class? Can I do anything to help them?”
Create More Home-Learning Experiences
Aside from school, there is always something new for your child to learn at home and outdoors. You only need to know where to look and show it to your child.
Here are some tips to help create more home-learning experiences for your child:
1. Take them out to museums, parks and other interesting locations
Singapore has a lot of public places where your child can explore and learn at the same time.
During these outings, you can ask your child what they think about the place or if they see something interesting. These questions can help them learn more about the world and understand how it works.
2. Ask for their opinion
Your child cannot make a strong opinion for themselves. But, asking them for their opinion will help them build their confidence and teach them how to support their opinion.
Of course, when you do ask for their opinion, be supportive and show that their opinions matter.
3. Support your child’s learning by providing real-life examples to their lessons
A good way to teach children concepts is by showing them real-life scenarios where the concepts are applied.
If your child is learning mathematics, you can use fruits to show how to add and subtract. Or your child is learning basic science, you can do simple science experiments you can do at home.
These real-life scenarios will help their curiosity develop and improve their knowledge of the world.
4. Introduce the Wonders of Books
Books are a great source of information and it is ideal to get your child interested in them while they are young.
Some children may find reading a bit boring, but by introducing them books about their favourite topics, they will pick up reading easily. They will also gain the interest to look into other books and grow interested in learning more.
5. Introduce People Who Can Inspire Your Child to Learn
If your child has an idol they admire, you can look up documentaries about them and watch with your child. You can then explain to your child how these individuals become successful and help them see how they worked hard to reach their dreams.
Helping your child know how their idols become successful will give them an example on how they can work on their dreams. It can even give your children ideas on how they can reinvent themselves.
Get a tutor or get them enrolled in learning centres
If you can’t watch your child’s learning yourself, you can also opt to get a tutor.
Like teachers, tutors can teach your child what they need to know. Some tutors can even customise lessons which cater specifically to your child‘s specialities and needs.
After each lesson, they can give you insights on how well your child is faring and what you can do to help. They can even tell you your child’s top subjects and which subjects they need help with.
If tutors are not possible, you can enrol your child into learning centres. Learning centres are like mini-schools because they offer advance and tutorial classes. They also offer non-academic classes like arts, music and drama.
When you enrol your child, they can assess how well your child is performing and even recommend if they need extra lessons.
Learning is not just something your child can experience at school.
It is also not something that purely academic in nature because academics alone is not enough to succeed. Children must be taught to love the lessons they are introduced to because without it, they will not enjoy excelling in a subject.
With this in mind, parents must encourage their children to not focus fully on academics. Parents must also let their children explore, work hard and dedicate themselves to their passions. This will let them gain both academic and life skills faster than before.
So, even without exam results, you can be guaranteed your child is learning at a great pace because they are enjoying their studies better.
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