Every parent is excited when it is time for kids to start Primary 1. Education in Singapore is highly valued, and as a parent, you would always want your child to study further. But with this excitement also comes anxiety.
How Prepared Is Your Child For Primary 1 In Singapore?
Your child may not have any qualms about starting Primary 1. They may actually be very excited, pulling out their uniforms or school clothes every ten minutes to examine them. They will tell all their friends about their new bags and lunch boxes, and how they can count to three all by themselves.
Still, you worry. Did they learn enough to do well in Primary 1? Were their home tuition classes adequate? Did you put them in the right kindergarten classes? How strong is their grasp of English, Math, and the Mother-Tongue language you have taught them?
Instead of worrying, find out exactly what your child should know before getting to Primary 1.
English Language and Studies
Here are the things your kid should know about English as he is going to Primary 1:
1. Your child should be able to read. No, your child isn’t expected to be a fluent reader of Oliver Twist, but he or she should be able to recognize a certain number of words and read them out clearly.
2. Your child should know something about phonics. This will help them to identify words by their sounds. They will also be able to identify what letters or letter clusters create what sounds.
3. Your child should be able to make local deductions and predictions from clues like titles, headlines, or keywords. From the title of a book, or the name of a topic, your child should be able to tell what will be discussed.
4. Your child should be able to hold a pencil and write or draw recognizable words. Your kid should also be able to write appropriately, i.e. start from the top and go to the bottom, and write starting from the left to right.
5. Your kid’s writing should be legible, and he/she should be able to spell certain words.
6. Your child must know how to form sentences. They should be able to form proper sentences with the right subject + verb agreements.
Here are the things that you can do to help your child as a parent:
• Get storybooks for your kids, books on subjects they love. This will make reading a joy for them.
• Create fun activities for them to read, like reading out a recipe for cookies. This can be informal or through formal English tuition sessions.
• Create time for them to read. A specific hour every day should be dedicated to reading. Make the reading space fun, so that it won’t look like a boring activity.
• Help your child to spell and in other grammar basics, they need help with. Be their tutor.
• Give them compliments on a job well done. If they make any mistakes, encourage them that they can always get it right on the next try.
Here are the things your child should know:
1. Your child should be able to count from 1 to 20 off hand
2. Your child should be able to recognize and write number, in numerals and in words, at least form 1 to 10
3. Your child should understand simple addition and subtraction.
4. Your child should know his/her shapes
5. Your child should know simple division and multiplication, but this is not a necessity
Here is what you can do for your child as a parent:
• Provide them with fun games and videos on Math. Games like Ludo and Snakes and Ladders are great. Videos with sing-along songs make learning Math easier.
• Get them toys and other objects to count. Lego bricks are perfect for this. You can also tutor them in counting using fruit.
• Teach how to count using Abacus, or engage a mathematics tutor to do so
• Point out objects for them to guess the shape
• Tutor them in a way that they find out answers for themselves. This will help them develop their problem-solving skills
Here is what your child should know:
1. Good listening skills are important. Your child should be able to listen to what is being said and understand correctly
2. Your child should also have good oral skills to match. Listening and understanding makes them bold enough to express themselves in class
3. Your child should be able to write some sentences in the mother-tongue language. If their mother-tongue language is Chinese, your children should be able to create sentence structures, and they should be able to write the simpler word strokes.
As a parent, you should:
• Make your children comfortable speaking their mother-tongue. Talk to them in the mother-tongue language. Carry out conversations in the mother-tongue as often as possible. In and around the house. Getting comfortable with the language will help your kids in school
• Get books in the language. There are several books for children that you can buy or borrow from the library written in the mother-tongue. Read these to them and tutor them to read as well.
• Get them to be more interested in the language. You can do this by playing them videos in Chinese, watching dramas with dialogue in the mother-tongue, engaging a fun private Chinese tutor, or attend workshops conducted in the mother-tongue language. If learning the language is boring, your child will not be motivated to learn.
Your child is expected to know these things by the time they get into Primary 1. Armed with this information, you can better prepare your child for their first day of school. Don’t fuss about it too much, though. Learning is a continuous process. Prepare yourself to be your child’s tutor when they get back home. Give them primary school tuition at home in the form of reviewing the day’s school work. By the second week of Primary 1, you and your child will be fine with school.
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