Eye Level from the perspectives of our Parents (Part 2)

This month, we share with you blogger mummy, Cherry’s experience with Eye Level Singapore 🙂

Here is an excerpt from her blog, Sweet Memoirs, on how Eye Level has developed the confidence of her boy who is currently in K2:

“I have never seen G doing some number problems before ever so confidently and enthusiastically until he started his lessons at Eye Level. Every time we come back from his lessons, he would ask me to set the timer for him while he works on his assignment to be submitted on the next session. “Please turn on the timer for me, mom. See how I can finish it very fast”, he’d proudly declare.”

Find out what else she said about Eye Level by visiting her blog, Sweet Memoirs, today!

Eye Level from the perspective of our Parents!

Mummy blogger, Jolin, tried our Math programme on her boy, Big J! Here is an excerpt from her blog, The JS Arena after joining us for two months:

“What I really like about Eye Level Math is the individualised curriculum which starts teaching from his eye level. This allows him to learn at a pace and level that is comfortable to him and not feeling too stress.

The blend of BTM and CTM is also interesting to me. I feel that this is very suitable for pre-primary level as the combination is useful for the child’s developing brain. The systematic and progressive curriculum helps in building a strong foundation for learning more complex concepts.”

Learn more about her journey with us by visiting her blog The JS Arena today. You may even pick up useful parenting tips from her along the way!

 

Images courtesy of The JS Arena.

Parenting styles – How do they affect your child’s personality?

Our beliefs in what is beneficial for our children determine the approach we take in parenting them. These beliefs are formed as a result of our experiences growing up and of our observation of the way other people discipline their children. While everyone wants the best for their children, do you know that your method of parenting could indirectly implicate your child’s achievements through their personality development?

Traditional psychological theory reveals four distinct parenting styles, differing only by the level of demands parents have on their children, and parents’ responsiveness or involvement in their children’s lives.

Authoritarian parents set high expectations for their children and tend to be cold and unresponsive. They expect conformity and set rules without explaining why. Children of authoritarian parents tend to be withdrawn, at times defiant, and often lack social skills.

Similarly, authoritative parents are firm in the way they discipline their children. However, they do so while displaying warmth and care for them. Such parents are known to interact frequently with their children and explain reasons for the rules they set. As a result these children tend to become more agreeable, open, conscientious, which are traits to success at school.

A third category of parents is known as permissive parents. These parents are generally loving towards their children but they provide few guidelines and rules. They do not expect mature behaviours and often seem more like a friend than a parental figure. These children have learned to get their way, and tend to be immature, compulsive, unmotivated, disagreeable and have trouble relating to peers.

Finally, uninvolved parents are those that show little to no interest in their children. These are children who tend to acquire negative personality traits, lack self-control and long-term goals, and can be disobedient and easily frustrated.

 

How do these concepts match up with the parenting styles of Singaporeans?

While Singaporean parents are shown to prefer using reasoning rather than caning as a form of discipline in a study conducted by Singapore Children’s Society (SCS), a separate five-year study by NUS has shown that unrealistically high levels of expectations to perform could lead to children with depression or anxiety.

So, in bringing up confident children, as parents we must bear in mind to balance the need to be both involved and non-intrusive at the same time. While this does not mean that it will guarantee your child to a life of perfect personality development, it will give him/her the most conducive environment to grow up with a positive identity of themselves.

Reading Fluency vs. Grammar Accuracy. Which is more important?

The debate about which is more important, reading fluency or grammar accuracy, is a long standing one. Such is a chicken or the egg problem, which unfortunately, Critical Thinking Mathematics will not help.

Traditional educators would argue that a child develops its ability to form grammatically correct sentences by imparting technical knowledge such as the recognition and usage of verbs, nouns, punctuations and tenses. On the other side of the fence, the liberal educators would stand by their pedagogy that fluency would help with a child’s understanding of meaning and context.

However, it is truly the case that one method is more superior than another? According a research in cognitive psychology, the brain is divided into different areas. The area that focuses on grammatical processing is known as the Broca’s area, a small part of the left frontal lobe. Its general function includes language comprehension, action recognition and production, and speech-associated gestures, such as using sign languages.

Learning language fluency, however, triggers the whole frontal lobe, which has also been linked to executive functions, such as attentional control, working memory, reasoning and problem-solving.

So, which is truly more important? Perhaps there isn’t a strictly correct answer. Perhaps both arguments are correct. Non-native learners would benefit more with the study of grammar as it taps on a smaller part of the brain. This would progress towards a fuller understanding and comprehension of the language as they develop larger parts of the frontal lobe later. Native learners, on the other hand, benefit by first understanding context and meaning as these help them form meaningful relationships with others, which also develops the self-identity of the child. They would then work towards refining their understanding of the language through the study of grammar. Either way, both go hand-in-hand and are equally critical to the study of a language.

On a side note, scientists have researched and determined that the chicken did come first. Mindblown!

Critical Thinking – Important to Have or Just a Gimmick?

 

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinkers – these are people that our nation wants to nurture, companies want to hire, and parents want their children to become. With the term bounced around so often, it is no wonder that progressive enrichment organisations are starting to adopt “Critical Thinking” as part of their regular programmes.

Often confused with a “CREATIVE thinker”, a critical thinker leverages on experience, observation, reflection and/or communication to derive at a set of heuristics (i.e. a process or method). While the creative thinker aims to derive an original/fresh solution, the process or method of thinking the critical thinker uses is often situational and relevant to the question at hand, and would thus allow the decision maker to derive at a logical solution.

Importance of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is an important skill to have as the modern world progresses. According to a research by Hong Kong University (HKU), critical thinking is critical (pardon the pun) because:

  1. It is relevant for whichever profession we choose
  2. It allows us to understand information and technology in order to make quick and effective decisions in the global knowledge economy
  3. It ensures that creative solutions are relevant to the problem at hand
  4. It is important for self-evaluation and reflection so that we may live a meaningful and structure life
  5. It is the foundation of science and democracy

So, do we need it?

Short answer – YES! This is especially true in the context of Singapore where we are often thought of as being book smart and not street smart. As such, critical thinking will not only break the notion that the Singapore education system is all about rote learning, it will also allow us to tap on the knowledge that we have learnt and apply it rationally in a variety of settings. This makes us effective individuals and contributors of our society.