## It’s Where Practice Makes Perfect

The phrase ‘Practice makes Perfect’ is well known amongst many, but is it true? Particularly when it comes to Maths, I think it is very TRUE. If we want to be good at it, then we need to practice. Repetition is the mother of all skills. With daily practices, Little Edison is becoming better and better in his Maths.

In March this year, I’ve set a time table for our daily home practice with Little Edison. But recently, I changed my priorities. Since our boy is able to do his Maths and Chinese writing independently now, I give him 12 Maths questions and one page of Chinese writing as homework for him to do in the afternoon.

After school, he returned to my parents-in-law’s house, showers, takes his lunch, followed by his afternoon nap. When he wakes up, it’s time for him to do his homework – the Maths questions and Chinese writing that I’ve prepared for him.

Initially, I would give him a call at about 3pm from my office to remind him to do his homework. After a few days, it gradually became a routine and he will do his homework without being reminded.

He is able to do addition up to 30 and subtraction for 10 and below independently now. Initially, I taught him addition by drawing balls and adding them up. Once he is familiarized with the concept of addition, I taught him to count with his fingers – starting from the smallest number. I also taught him how to use an abacus, but he didn’t like it.

Subtraction comes pretty easy for him. Since he is counting with his fingers, he can only perform subtraction of 10 and below now. I need to think of a method to teach him subtraction for 10 and above. Any ideas to share with me?

My priorities are now on Chinese reading and English Phonics. So, we spend more time at night reading books (English & Chinese) and phonics readers.

## It’s 9pm! Homework Time!

I’m sure most of us have heard about the excessive homework issues that most school-going children are facing nowadays.

While most parents are concerned about the excessive homework, we’re probably the odd ones who keep wondering why our boy doesn’t have any homework from his kindergarten.

V thinks that the kindergarten is too academically-relaxed when we heard that most PCF/PAP kindergartens are giving out homework and spelling test every week. (Any mommies here with children at PCF? Is this true?)

As for me, I’m not too concerned about the lack of homework. I feel that he should enjoy his preschool days – making new friends and learning new skills at school. When he goes into primary education, he wouldn’t be so “relaxed” anymore.

Perhaps, my only concern is the culture shock that he may experience in future when he goes to P1 – the hectic lifestyle with daily homework, projects, extra-curricular activities etc. It’s going to be totally opposite from what he has in pre-school now.

So, I’ve started to prep him for P1 by setting our own homework time. My objective is to make homework fun when he is young by cultivating his interest. Ideally, I don’t want him to feel being forced to do his homework.

We bought him a new study table from IKEA few months ago, and we made it his study table for doing his homework. When it’s time to start, I’ll help him to set-up his table by taking his pencil case, coloring materials and workbooks.

And I said, “Wow! You got some really interesting worksheets to do today. I’m going to give you 3 stickers if you can do it correctly!” Oh yes, my tone should sound really exciting and the stickers really do wonders for me.

As he does his work, I will praise him for his nice handwriting as a form of encouragement. If he needs to erase something or draw straight lines with a ruler, I’ll give him some assistance. When he is finished with his homework, I’ll reward him with stickers. Trust me, these stickers are really useful. You can get them from Popular book store.

Two important points to take note here: 1) make the effort to praise them, and 2) reward them for completing their homework on time. If we, parents, can create a positive vibe about homework, I’m certain that our children will enjoy it too.

What’s your secret to create a love for homework in your kids? I love to hear from you too!