Tue, Jun 16, 2009
The New Paper
Parents take tuition to tutor kids with homework

IT'S not just the students who need extra coaching when it comes to their schoolwork.

Indeed, homework is getting so tough now that parents themselves are signing up for workshops and classes to learn how to better coach their children, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

Parents who tutor their own primary school kids are increasingly stumped by the level of difficulty in the homework dished out to their children.

Housewife Qiu Huilan described her cousin's daughter's experience: 'She is only in Primary 1, but she has so much homework to complete that she needed the help of her father and her aunt.'

But both grown-ups were unable to tackle the questions, which raised the issue of whether primary school homework is getting too complex.

Madam Qiu, whose son is also in Primary One, said she struggles while coaching him on his schoolwork.

It is an exhausting experience for both of them, and she has no guarantee that her son will grasp the concepts she teaches him, she said.

Jittery parents like these have been turning to tuition and enrichment centres like Mind Edge

Mr Alan Yip, the founder and master trainer of Mind Edge, said that he sees 40 to 50 parents showing up at training workshops for parents every weekend.

At least half say they need help to coach their own children.

School workshops

Primary schools are also responding to the rising demand for such classes.

In recent years, more primary schools are organising workshops or training sessions on how parents can teach maths, science and hanyu pinyin.

The number of parents signing up for these classes has also increased, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

Yew Tee Primary School started conducting such workshops for parents a few years ago.

The workshops, which are taught by the school's teachers, have enjoyed an overwhelming response from parents.

Raffles Girls' Primary School also conducts workshops for parents to help them coach their own children.

Mr Yip from Mind Edge says that parents should begin by instilling good study methods and habits in their children.

He said this is especially the case for Primary 1 students, who require more time to adapt to the new experience of being in a large class and having to do homework, as opposed to their kindergarten days.

He said, for example, that making children memorise words by writing them out repeatedly was ineffective.

Mr Yip said: 'Teaching them learning techniques and different methods of using their memory is a more effective means of learning.'

He also encourages parents to inculcate good study habits in their children.

'One basic habit is to have the child sit upright at the study table. This will prevent him or her from falling asleep as well as improve his breathing.'

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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