Parents learn with their kids

Parents learn with their kids
Madam Saravanan Jyothi (left) has been attending parent workshops covering mathematics and Tamil at her son Santhosh’s (right) school.

When Arthur Ho was three years old, he started Chinese lessons with a private tutor. In January this year, his mother, Rosie Ho, a Briton married to a Singaporean, started taking tuition with him to learn Chinese.

"We don't speak Mandarin at home. It's an alien language," says Mrs Ho, 45.

The housewife adds that her husband, 50-year-old haematologist Aloysius Ho, whom she met in London when he was working in a hospital there, speaks only "functional" Mandarin.

"When Arthur was in nursery, he was intimidated by the Chinese lessons there. We got a tutor to help him relax, enjoy and be confident in the language," says Mrs Ho, who moved here in 2011.

She has opted to be the parent who helps five-year-old Arthur, who is in the second year of kindergarten, in the language.

"I've more time. I feel I have to be aware of what he's going through at school."

She also wants to learn Chinese as "getting to know a dominant language in the country you live in is part of embracing a new culture".

She is among parents here who learn with their offspring in academic and non-academic realms.

Some attend subject-based and workshops, usually on Saturday mornings, which are organised by their children's schools to keep up with their children's studies.

In the last two years, Madam Saravanan Jyothi, 38, has attended parent workshops covering mathematics and Tamil at MacPherson Primary School. She wants to help San- thosh, 11, the younger of her two sons, when "he doesn't understand" his homework.

"We have to learn new techniques to guide our children to do well in examinations," says Madam Jyothi, a housewife.

Santhosh, who is in Primary 5, says: "I'm happy because my mother can help me. Maths problems can be quite hard."

Mr Ng Hong Chong, who owns a Web design and online marketing business, attended mathematics workshops to "reinforce learning" for his only child, Ryan, eight, a pupil at Xishan Primary School.

"If we teach him our old-school methods, it might confuse him," says Mr Ng, 36.

Parents may feel they want to keep up with their children's learning because they have not encountered certain concepts in their kids' curriculum.

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