Children have a different perception on tuition. For them, tuition = more learning = NO FUN. Thus, you cannot expect children to sit there for one hour or longer for something that is not fun. To make the learning more fun and engaging, every student needs 5S:
Depending on the gender, you can choose princesses for girls and robots for boys. If you want something unisex, choose pets or nature theme. The stickers can be given for a job well done and are suitable for both primary and secondary students.
I have a “Homework” stamp which works wonder whenever I want my students to do homework. The stamp serves as a magical spell; if the child sees the stamp on his / her assessment book, he / she has the responsibility to finish it before the next class.
I also have other stamps with encouraging words on them, such as Well Done, Excellent, Very Good, etc. The children try their very best to do the homework and the encouraging stamps are there on the page permanently to serve as an encouragement for the children to do better next time.
Some secondary students may think stamps are childish, thus stamps work wonder for primary students only.
3. Sophisticated stationery
Nowadays, children are showered by gifts; they get stationery from school teachers and parents. Thus, if you want to grab their attention, give them something special and sophisticated. They will remember it for a longer period. Of course, you may be having a difficult time finding a “special something”, so do not give on a regular basis. Once in a blue moon, when you have found some special stationery, keep it for special occasion, such as Children’s Day.
4. Someone to talk to
Parents may be surprised, children like to talk and share their experience. Maybe you are too busy to listen to them and always ask them to keep their mouth shut. Lucky for me, I teach Chinese language. As a result, whenever the child wants to share something, I will grab the chance to teach him / her some related Chinese words. I also encourage my students to speak in Chinese language to me.
5. Story books
Just like stationery, you must be selective about the story books to share with children. Generally, younger children like story books with images. The story must also suit the
age language proficiency of the child. If the words used in the story book are too difficult for the child, he / she will not have the interest to read the story book.
Other than the 5S, you may also want to look for children newspapers or magazines to enhance learning. Nonetheless, do not make it like homework. Singapore schools give children magazines and/or newspaper to the students. Teachers may have noticed that not all students read the extra reading materials, and thus they ask the students to do the exercises in the reading materials.
Case study: I select some interesting topics from a bi-weekly children newspaper to share with my 7-year-old student. There was once when the new issue had not reached me, but the student wanted to read more. So, I asked him to read the children magazines, which he has more than 15 issues, from school. He refused. He said those are “homework”, not magazines.
I am glad that the student wants to read my newspaper. On the other hand, I am sad that he treats the magazines from school as “homework” and refuse to read them at home.
My greatest satisfaction is that I have successfully instilled the reading interests in my students. It is the little thing that makes a big difference. Let’s find out what interest your child and help them to excel in learning!