Friday, 16 November 2012

Homeschooling approach

When Jazz left her school in SG, writing and reading were not in her academics. I wasn't bothered, I left everything to school. Now that I'm homeschooling her, I gain achievements when I see good results. Over the weeks, I've been so frustrated on getting her to write an A. She could write some other letters, but not the 'A'. She would trace so many times on the dotted A, but never able to do without aid.

For some reasons, I got really mad when she couldn't get it right after so many days of traces. The Asian parenting in me, push push and push. To certain extend, I felt that I was forcing her. Ok, I was. I felt her fear in me when I started to yell and threaten. I didn't want to instil that learning fear, but it really isn't easy to homeschool our own child. I have my expectations too.

So then, after that one fearful lesson with her, I warned her against watching TV, ipad or any fun indulgences, until she can write 'A' independently. I lowered my expectations too - No rush, give more time, practice drawing lines and curves again. I knew I was wrongfully wrong to get so impatient. The next few days, she asked me for the TV, I said, "Do you know how to write your 'A' now?" She said, "Let me try." I love hearing the word 'try' rather than "I can't do it" upfront. With her piece of paper and pencil, she wrote me an 'A' independently! I was impressed and what worked? Not the tiger parenting in me, but the motivation style of parenting. The TV was her motivation. She put in all effort to achieve her reward. Couldn't believe this worked so wonderfully for us.

All by herself - Her first time
When crayons and paper are given in restaurants
She's also progressing well in reading, which I'm happy to be coaching her through. A mother, a teacher. The multiple roles we play. Every child is different. Some work well under pressure and some with motivation. It's all about experimenting the approaches. Maybe a combination of styles work for me.

She was reading a book from the library which I read to her less than 2 times. Next moment I saw, was her attempt to read the book on her own. I was delighted. I've been reading and guiding her to read books with simple words and short sentences. Her phonics foundation really helped. Thanks to her ex-teachers. Together with some sight reading and those very repetitive words for beginners, it helped in her reading journey.

After this fearful 'A' lesson, I told myself, never should I be yelling and forcing this way again. I know, this is easier said than done. I will try. 

Learning milestone: 3 years 7 months

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