Major disappointment…


I have been telling people that I don’t want to stress over Kieran’s school work and said that it’s still early bla bla bla…but after we received his school exam results and what I went through with him during the recent school holidays. I don’t think so…His exam results this time was really bad..and I mean realllllllyyyyy bad! Aunty Fiona who’s been helping him with his homework was also very disappointed with the mistakes he made, most of them could have been avoided, e.g. copying the given answers and filling in the blanks…how he went wrong? He missed out an alphabet here and there for English and BM and for Chinese, he missed out a stroke here and there..

Actually I hardly accompany him in his homework and school work until last year end holidays and even then I just bought him some extra work books and made him do without really supervising him. And during the recent holidays, I actually spent a little bit more time with him and to my horror, I found that he couldn’t recognise a lot of words, in all 3 languages, English, BM and Chinese. All these while I thought he didn’t have much problems with English as he could converse pretty well. Unfortunately, he was not able to recognise the words and couldn’t spell a lot of very simple words even…

I have bought so many books but most of them have pictures in it hoping that would arouse his interest in reading but instead he looks at the pictures instead of the words! I tried giving him a very easy book to just test him and he couldn’t read even very simple words too…

Therefore for the past few days I’ve been drilling him in reciting the “times table” and spelling while we are in the car. (time in the car also cannot waste!!) I just pick up words along the way and I remember I asked him to spell train and he went..”t…..r…a…n…”!!! OMG! I was so angry and I tried to make him think by pronouncing the word slowly to make him think instead of just letting him know the correct spelling but unfortunately he couldn’t spell it. So after giving him the correct spelling, I asked him to repeat the spelling and say the word for 5 times.  Can you believe that he can get it wrong??

He starts spelling..

K- “t..r..a..i.n, Train..t..r..a..i..n..Train..t..a..i..n…” 

Me- WHAT??? WRONG!! How come half way you can get it wrong?? Why are always dreaming??

K- *silence*

Me- Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you spell it again and please get it right?? Why must you wait for me to scream at you then only you start repeating the correct spelling?? 

K – “t..r..a..i.n…..Train..t..r..a..i..n..Train…..

Measures to counter to this problem after much thought and discussion with others..

  1. To call Astro and disconnect the cartoon channel..
  2. Take away his favourite toys (those he usually waves them around and make funny & weird sounds, imagining the scenes in the cartoons) 
  3. To spend more time with him, make him read more
  4. To buy more extra work books to give him more practice (practice makes perfect..rite? no??)

In fact I just told him that I will give him 3 more months to show me if he can concentrate in his work and should he fail I will have no choice but to send him to a boarding school far far away from us. I know he still can’t bear to be away from us as there were a few times that we asked him to stay with Apoh for just one night but he refuses most of the time. So I am using this to scare him and see if he will show any improvement..Keeping my fingers crossed….wish me all the best!

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20 responses to “Major disappointment…

  1. Maybe the environment at school is just not conducive to reading English books? Maybe you wanna send him to a “FUN” type of English classes…like Julia Gabriel or something like that? Sometimes “FUN” and “PLAY” may yield more results than you GRILLING in the car while driving?

    Environment is very important. Kids he mixes with is important. My S1 doesn’t seem to read alot previously. His good friend is a book worm, and now S1 reads quite extensively.

    Or maybe the books that you have are not as interesting? My S2 doesn’t like to read story books. He likes non-fiction stuff. So he reads stuff like the Knowledge Series, Guiness Book of Records…that kind of stuff.

    brought him to bookstore asked him to choose also he not interested la…my niece is a bookworm..and during childhood she’s the one always with him how come he’s not influenced?? character la…i too didn’t like to read until like em….std 2 i think…

  2. Or maybe you should check if he is dyslexic?

    My cousin was dyslexic and for the longest of time, my grandmother kept on saying that he is “bodoh”….My aunt got so fed-up that she went to some doctors in London to have him assessed. Turns out he is dyslexic with a HIGHER than Average IQ!!! Not “bodoh” at all. They were living in HK then. And with his diagnosis, he then transferred from the English-system school to the Australian school.

    Australian schools are generally very well-equipped with special needs children.

    wahh apa itu dyslexic???? he doesn’t show he’s totally bodoh also wor…sigh…just concentration level zero only lor…

  3. i told Ian b4 that he will go to Poh Poh house if he doesnt listen to me, and I did send him to scare him. The next day he kuai kuai listen to me. My mom told me that we hv to mean it when we say things to kids, like cannot go gai gai if dont finish homework and we musnt go!anyway, sometimes i get really mad and inpatient with Ian when it comes to his homework esp the mandarin ones. just like tonight, i was getting angry already coz he was giving me excuses la, dont know how to write la, 2moro only write la,etc. then i scolded him really loud. he cried, then i felt bad coz hub sounded me edi, later i went over and taught him his homework with patience and softer voice, he did it nicely!!!
    how about telling Kieran softly in the car. he might panic and get scared after hearing ur loud voice. mayb u can tell him to say the phonic sounds of each alpha and let him join together to make the word? just my 2 cents..

    yeah i feel bad after shouting also but i did start with small and normal voice but he just tests my patience and then i usually cannot control and go berserk lor…

  4. alamak… dunno how to advise u tim… maybe u need to spend more time wt him?

    anyway, all the best!

    thanks….will try to spend more time with him…meaning…can only watch my astro on demand after he sleeps…

  5. I guess u have to spend more time with Kieran and maybe spend more time accompanying him with his homework instead of letting him practise on his own. And don’t forget it needs a lot of patience too.

    Try to remind him of phonics (consonants and words ending with … ain, ake, ray, ink …. ) and sukukata (ba be bi bo bu) taught in his school – helps a lot when it comes to spelling.

    U can do reading together with him and help him along with words he’s not familiar with.

    Wishing u ALL THE BEST!

    yeah thanks for the advise…will try to fulfill that task…

  6. Hey, you better be careful when you’re screaming at Kieran in the car, and concentrate on the driving, yeah? Unless you got driver that is! Ha, you must have a driver. Otherwise how to scream like Pontianak liddat wan? I also sked in Italy. All the cherry blossoms shivering. Takut!! Anyway, certain cartoon channels are quite educational. I learnt my Italian from watching cartoons here.. No wonder half past dead wan.

    so sad & angeli oso cannot control my laughter after reading this comment lor..thanks LB for cheering me up!! LOL..laf die me..

  7. Down here in Canada.. they donch get exams.. till they are about 10 .. i think. I was shocked.. and told the ppl i know here.. about how competitive and stressful it is back home. One of the reasons why i can’t go home permanently is the brat’s education.

    sigh cannot compare with western education style…here the academics emphasis starts as early as nursery school!!

  8. Brendan’s quite bad in spelling and his attention is always diverted elsewhere. I find that words to ‘fill in the blank’ kind of help cos it’s like a game to him and he can learn faster.

    believe me…i ve tried the fill in the blanks too cos it’s usually in the workbooks but he can actually copy the words wrongly also leh!

  9. Is he too early for school? I mean, should you have waited for another year b4 enrolling him or so? My sis’ son had similar problem. He was not able to cope as he was not ready yet. Sis got in touch with the school and they made him sit the same class year after. He looks okay now.

    Be patient. Slow learners need more time. watch him for some time and his actions are more naughty than difficulty, do the needful. Please give hi more time and sit with him through his assessments. You need to show you are also interested.

    Good Luck

    hi,,,you should b new to my blog…Kieran is already in Standard 2 (8 years old) so his reading level is way below this age even…so sad lor…

  10. Perhap unsubscribe the cartoon channels might help. How about getting him a full time one-to-one tutor?

    All the best.

    yeah i should try to find a one to one tutor…not easy oso..

  11. lets hope he improves in the coming months. This is really testing mommy’s endurance. How bout Daddy? He can help sit in and read with him?

    yes daddy helps too but daddy also very impatient one lor..

  12. Disconnect the cartoon channel, spelling in the car, hide the toys- all sounds too familiar. Cos my sister did exactly the same. haha..
    but it somehow works leh, cos they have lesser time for tv and toys, can concentrate on their homework.

    hopefully this works…i totally sound like mom from hell hor??

  13. I think you need to disconnect Astro for him as well as for you! Lol! I think you know what to do, but it takes a lot of patience and time to sit and read with them yah?

    wahhhh disconnect astro for me??? NO WAY! Next time I ask him to go out with instead of the girlfriend can or not???

  14. ok..which then reminds me to not even subscribe for cartoon channel then…:P

    yeah…better not subscribe to it…

  15. Looks like you have major work to do. My daughter also very often copy words wrongly. But I don’t think I want to stress on it or she will get more ‘kan cheong’ and hate learning altogether. I just tell her that by copying the words wrong, she has to do more work by correcting them. Do them right the first time, can finish the work faster.
    Instead of pushing your son to read books, I think you should start by reading to him more or reading together. You need to “de-program” him and “re-program” him to love reading.
    Instead of opting for more workbooks and worksheets, why not try something different. I’m sure he is already “allergic” to workbooks. Check out what “lapbooks” (google it). Have him write the shopping list. Or write short, crazy stories together. Maybe in the beginning, you write them out as he dictate. Later, have him write some, you write some.
    It is going to be tough. Good luck.

    thanks for the suggestion…will try it out!

  16. Oh, forget to mention, you can try this paper craft that I just posted on my blog – http://blog.valuebookshop.com/2008/2-in-1paper-craft-learning-tool/
    It’s one way to help his spelling.

    wow great suggestion..will try tomorrow!!

  17. Send him down to unker cocka! I geranti you he dun want to go home! Hahahaha!!!

    u say one ah..i send one ah!!!

  18. Hi darling,
    can’t help but need to input my thoughts about Kieren’s reading/recognizing words.
    We are always under the wrong teaching/presumption that memorizing is the key in recognizing words and yes no doubt the child can recall and recite the identified memorised words to you but if you recall our good old time using this sytem, it just doesn’t work when it comes to big and unsual words, we are stuck and unable to pronounce it.
    Phonics and letter recognition/sound is proven to have helped children especially for reading. Unfortunately not much drill is being given to children in kindergarten and therefore when the child progresses to primary school, it won’t come to surprise that they can’t read properly. Let alone spelling which is even harder.
    Able to speak fluently doesn’t imply the fact that your child is able to read/write accurately.
    Like Maths, we do a lot of drilling. Reading is the same when that’s cultivated in the child’s spirit, he will want to read and there is where he will pick up new vocabulary and word recognition. I found it very true with my boys esp the younger one whom I instilled reading at birth. He just LOVES books and will even just pick up and look at the pictures by himself when I reluctantly decline his offer to read a story to him. It’s alright if the child memorises the stories and tell it back to you. I found esp in preschool days, it’s not a rush to force the child to be able to read words. The importance is cultivating the desire and interest to read. A child feels proud if he/she is able to recite/recall a story line word for word as though he is reading the book. Underestnading comes later, most important is able to recognise words and read it aloud. Try training Kieren to copy words and randomly mixed the words up e.g train – riant and ask him to write the correct spelling. Stress on the sound of the letters to assist him in his reading and independant formation of words – not relying on memory only. This will be tough for you if you do not know phonics and if he was not trained to read via phonics. But like I said..it’s never too late. You can also make if fun with spelling having games…….I will post something up on this in my blog on simple tips to help children to spell, do maths…etc.
    Chinese writing I suppose it’s drilling and practicing. I found using flash cards help the child to remember the words better. I was told that the strokes form a certain drawing which the child is able to use to remember the strokes……?? Not an expert in this. Food for thought.

    wah so long mia comment! Will try to use the flash cards soon…but now I would like to try the lapbooking style first…

  19. Kieran is very much like my Ryan who has short attention span too. Very often his mistakes are due to carelessness. I’ve never been a good tutor so I leave it to the tuition centres. Why don’t you try sending him to one instead? That way, the tuition is not done by family (Aunty Fiona) and there will be competition to perform amongst kids the same age.

    Good luck Amah. Don’t stress yourself out ya.

    i send him to a tuition centre too! the trouble is he appears to be good at tuition!! unfortunately the results doesn’t show likewise!

  20. Relax lah, kawan! Lots of successful people ard don’t have excellence academic result lah….is their great personality that matter…

    i’m not asking for much la…just basics will do…but his basics also tarak la…how can???

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