I love books. I used to get absorbed into workbooks , revision exercises and textbooks for my child, especially when she was in primary school. I used to browse for references that may supplement her studies in school. Most of the books I bought for her were either Mathematics or Chinese. I am pretty good at Mathematics. I studied Elementary Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Statistics and Econometrics. However, I just couldn’t, for the life of me, convince her she could be just as good, if not better.
I discovered later, of course, we were two peas in different pods. Haha. So much for understanding my own daughter. I got smart. I started to follow her. I have followed the child (my child at first), and now I am fully aware of what that truly means.
I have learnt that the child is not a vessel for us to keep pouring information. That’s Montessori philosophy. So you have to stop thinking what to get, rather follow where the child is growing. Where? You will never know until you start connecting the dots from where they started to where they have arrived. Where they want to be is still a mystery, because everything will change. The world they are about to live in will change, the life they are going to live will be different from ours. Learning journey, made functional is an exercise for the restless at heart.
Answering Your Questions:
What books should you be getting for your children?
There are textbooks, workbooks,course work, past year questions, top school examination papers and many more. It is mind boggling. Here is what I think.
Its a new year. Which means your child is a year older and closer to adulthood. What you get today will not be useful in 6 months time. That’s the reality of growth. The hair gets longer and therefore we have to cut it.
Follow the curriculum. Let the learning unfold.
So do you go buy books written by topics, themes or examination format?
I’m all for learning for life. But there will be a point where you want to be clear with your objectives whether you want your child to study to pass exams, you want to guide your child or follow the school curriculum.
If your child is still unable to link a few topics, chances are you need revision on his basics. Not the topics. So for instance, he cannot do synthesis and transformation. He cannot join two sentences using the connector “and” or contractor ‘. It’s not a topic on punctuation or grammar. It’s a learning skill issue. There’s no topic on this. It’s called cognitive understanding. This is where experienced tutors like myself and your experience as an adult learner will have to work together.
“My child is naughty.”
“The syllabus is too tough.”
Practice does not make perfect. Practice clarifies your doubts and improves your process on how to think.
I’ve successfully trained many students, over the years. I’m not using my academic qualifications to boost them. It won’t work. Those days are gone. Even teachers become senior teachers and principals. Only experience with childhood and your learning experience can help. The children of the 90s and 21st century are following a different journey. Revise your strategy.
In one week, a student of mine scales up from 50 percent to 80 percent. In 6 months , another one who’s been failing turned to a success. From F9 to B4, in not one but two subjects. I know you can because I have done it, as a parent and teacher. It’s not impossible.
If you cannot do what I can, yes, it’s time to consider hiring a tutor. But I encourage you to at least try it out first so you understand the pain of learning when your children are studying. Do a question on your own. Put yourself in their shoes.
Start to make a connection between parenting and teaching. Being a teacher takes can be life changing because you can begin to understand how simplify your parenting styles to work with your child. Here are some of the feedback from the parents in our facebook group.
Do you have a burning question to ask about parenting and childhood development? Please feel free to connect.