Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homework Blues

It's the first time I'm dealing with my kid's homework. Sze Yi finally brought homework back last Friday. I didn't know it could be this difficult. Yes, that's how I spent my 3 days long weekend recently - making sure she finished them all in time, and correctly too.

And I never dreamt that I would be teaching her how to write those Chinese strokes. At home, only hubby is Chinese educated. Both my MIL and myself are English educated. Luckily there's this thing called han yu pin yin that could help me thru when Sze Yi asked me what word was that. Yesterday, I was teaching her how to write 手 (shou) halfway when I heard Sze Juin cried. So I went into the room to nurse her. Then, I heard MIL said, "Write the center stroke first." But Sze Yi didn't listen and after MIL repeated a few times, she said, "Oh...teacher taught you to write this first meh?" I could sense that MIL started to lose her confidence too. So, after I was done with Sze Juin, I came out to see what Sze Yi was trying to write. Oh, it's 水. She started with the right strokes first. Luckily I still remembered how to write this (my parents taught me some Chinese at home when I was young). So I corrected her - center first. And Sze Yi listened! Phew, if it were a more difficult word, or if I was not that confident myself, I'm sure she would insist that she's right. Well, I'm lucky this time, but it doesn't necessary mean that I would do it right the next time too. Does this mean that it's time for me to learn Chinese too?

There were some words that I have to wait until hubby's back before I could be sure that what I told her was right, because the teacher didn't write the han yu pin yin for all the words. Sometimes she was just teaching them strokes like heng zhe wan gou, etc... And the words that came out of that, I have no idea! Maybe it's time for me to start learning up the Chinese dictionary too...sigh! Something which I've been very lazy to pick up since small. Would I change for my girl?

For now, she is just bringing back homework on Fridays. I couldn't imagine some of my friends' kids who brought homework back every day! How did they manage it? After such a long day at work, they still need to make sure that the kids finished up their homework somemore. If the kids co-operate, then it's ok. But what if they don't? I honestly felt that it's not healthy to bring homework back at such young age. They were made to go to school during the day time because the parents need to work and no one could take care of them. Then at night, instead of getting to spend some time doing other activities with the parents, they were asked to do homework instead. We parents would somehow be dictated by this too. By the time the child finished her homework, both parents & child would be so exhausted that there's no more room for other fun play before we called it the day. Would you agree if I said that the education system nowadays is getting more kiasu? Well, it's different if they are older - but hey, they are just 3 year plus! I don't think I even know how to write 123 or abc when I was 3! Well, perhaps I should be proud of my girl, but I'm afraid that over time, she would lose her childhood. I have a friend who confides in me that when she was young, she was made to learn so many extra curricular activities until she missed out all the games that normal kids get to play. She's an all rounder now (I'm actually very impressed by her knowledge and skills in nearly every fields), but she told me she missed her childhood and she would not let this happen to her kids in the future.

I guessed after all, how we want to shape our kids depend on us. But then again, in the current education system where everyone is after the rat race, could we excel if we do things differently?

1 comment:

Pet said...

Alex has homework too which she bring back every Friday. This year, it's about learning ABC in Malay and English. Includes writing the ABC.


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