Building a solid foundation

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Like many parents, the husband and I hope to instil values and necessary skills to equip the boy for life. Like many parents, too... there are times when we don't even know where to begin.

Far beyond learning and educational skills, we would like BabyMoo to grow to be a discerning individual, adaptable to his surroundings, and street smart to a point where he can get out of or avoid unnecessary altercations with others. I am of the belief that it is much easier to teach a person subjects which can be found in books, but it is a challenge to ensure that they are able to 'read' situations and respond appropriately.

The Singapore Education System is a rigorous one, whereby children are required to not only be able to think on their feet - but ideally, also have a learning capacity far beyond their years. Children in Kindergarten are given 'homework' and assignments... on top of the Enrichment Classes which parents are apt to enrol their kids in so that they are better prepared for Primary School.

Different parents have their own different approach to providing their best for their offspring, so I definitely am not in any position to judge anyone for their chosen ways. Ultimately, I believe that all parents want the best for their children... and they are the best persons to judge what works best based on their children's individual personalities and preferences.

There are times, however, when I'm made to feel that I'm not doing enough for the boy.

Reading updates on efforts and attempts to introduce the basics of English, Maths, Science and the Mother Tongue from mothers and their success stories can evoke feelings of inadequacies to even the most loving and well-meaning Mum. Usborne, Eric Carle, FIAR (Five in a row) method, just to name a few... didn't make sense to me. I was clueless about these, and suddenly felt that my son could be missing out on a lot of things - because his Mummy doesn't know. 

DaddyMoo and I have decided that we will let BabyMoo develop at his own pace, for we believe that every child will meet developmental milestones in their own time. I then wondered (perhaps due to the information overload from other Mums who seem to be doing so much for their children) that if this train of thought is just a poor excuse for laziness on our part? Are we denying our son the avenues to help him reach his fullest potential?

At the risk of sounding like a super kiasu parent (afraid to lose out), I worried about having an ill-equipped child in terms of exposure. What if he enters nursery or kindergarten in a years' time, and feel out of place because he was never introduced to the basics of learning? What if these feelings manifest itself into something sinister... and (God forbid!) stomps on his self-esteem? BabyMoo has always been a very sensitive child, no matter how aggressive or adventurous he portrays himself out to be, and I am fully aware that with such sensitivity, he is more prone to feeling the effects of negativity even more.

I thought about it, and wondered aloud. Of course, the husband thinks I'm thinking too much... but it's a mother's duty to worry, is it not? :)

I finally decided that it would do all of us (especially the boy) a world of good for me to at least find out about the wide array of developmental books and be informed about the numerous methods of teaching and learning. It will not kill me to read up on these... and implement those that I think will be appropriate for the boy. Even though every day is still a process of trial and error with BabyMoo in terms of discovering the 'real' person inside that bundle of energy, I think I'm able to figure out what will work best for him. I rely on my mother's instincts most of the time - and it hasn't failed me thus far.

He can identify words now!

I try to incorporate what I've learnt (thanks to the many wonderful Mums who put in so much effort out there!) into every day communications with the boy. I found that numbers can be taught in a fun way that captures their attention and gets ingrained into their minds even when their attention is directed elsewhere. I realised that phonics can be introduced to him using word sounds that he associates with things he loves. Learning through play is still play to a curious boy... and that makes him eager to learn more.

I admire the tenacity and creativity of the many Mums who come up with so many fabulous ideas to introduce the concept of learning to their children. Gone are the days where kids are made to sit at a table to learn their multiplication tables through conventional methods (i.e: memorising) instead of understanding and the ability to visualize. History comes with 3D effects via interactive museum activities. English is fun with colourful books with graphic crafts to bring the stories to life.

I have a long way to go... but I'm learning. I don't hope to be a Super Mum who can craft, bake, story-tell and soothe aches and pains with a ready smile; neither do I wish for a Super Baby who can speak in complete sentences, have impeccable manners and is able to not only say his ABCs but read simple story books all before he turns Two.

Ok... this is a posed picture.

I only hope to provide adequately for his first steps towards being his own person in life. I want him to be comfortable in his own skin... and I don't want him to miss out on things that other kids do because he doesn't know. I would introduce concepts to him and expand areas where he shows his interest... and I trust him to learn enough to be able to participate in conversations about a wide range of things as he grows older.

BabyMoo is going to have to rely on his instincts in the future... but until the day when he proves to us that he is perfectly able to hold his own - I will worry, guide and help him along. That's the very least I can do.

23 comments :

  1. There is never enough of what we can do for them. In fact there is never enough of anything in this day and age! As parents, we will always be feeding our children as long as they are hungry. It is also our job to instill interests in them so they can discover what they like and excel in it. There is hardly a perfect way. We just have to go with the flow. When Babymoo is at the right age, he will definitely not let you down. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, Adeline!! If he does... I'll stuff him back in :D

      Thanks for the wise words. Especially from one who knows what it's like.

      Delete
    2. Wise words from the Regal One kekekek~

      Delete
    3. Why do suddenly feel I am Yoda?....

      Delete
    4. HAHAHAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAA!!!! Regal, wise Yoda.

      But you're much better looking for sure!

      Delete
    5. Yoda? As in the one in Star Wars??
      *giggles*

      Delete
  2. Lazy? i'm the lazy one who leave it to the school to teach DinoEgg stuffs. Though I expose & intro alot of books to him. Sometimes I feel that I've over estimate or over did it, imagine I bought Usborne's See Inside of Your Body when he just turn 4yrs old! Luckily he is very interested in the book (Thus the See Inside Your Head that I bought recently).

    Its the opportunity to absorb n learn things that prep them for their growing up years. I am against enrolling toddlers into academic enrichment class so I try to expose him to gain knowledge through books or educational events.

    It normal for parents to wonder IF their child is lagging behind or not. Don't let that fear get the better of you. You can still teach him the foundation by using day to day things n conversation. A child has -very- good memory, they learn fast and remember things -like forever-, so don't worry too much ok?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband thinks I'm mad... haha!

      First I worry about teeth. Then walking. Now talking.
      But I suppose it's my job to worry about him, huh? I don't think he will lag behind - I just don't want him to feel left out because peer pressure can be extremely harsh.

      Delete
    2. I WAS the one worrying abt walking talking teething then I let loose, thinking every child develops at different time. THEN its Daniel's turn to freak out on little things. DinoEgg got a cut/pushed/scratched in school he will tell me in a not-so-happy tone expecting me to rocket to the school, bang table n demand an answer. I did not and he got mad @ me *roll eyes* I'm done being the Worry Mum till he starts P1. I want more black hair n lesser or no white hairs lol

      Delete
    3. EH!!! Same!!

      Oh my... DaddyMoo gets worked up over physical stuff, too! Haha!

      Delete
  3. But it's so tempting sometimes to want to see them become smarter than other children! Haha. But I know we all gotta manage our expectations and do the best we can =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true!! Especially if the 'potential' is there!
      But we're their mums, and thus super biased! :D

      Delete
  4. It sounds like a very good start:). In any case if you panic again, I'm a good listener and well, I'm not super mum too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, PC!! It makes the journey so much easier when we have support all round :)

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. I wanna rant! Can I look for u too PC? lol

      Delete
  5. Don't be too concern with the "technical jargons" nowadays, like Montessori, FIAR, blah blah blah. At the end of the day, you'll discover BabyMoo's way is the best way, not some educator's method with a fancy name. From the way I see it, with you and DaddyMoo as his parents, BabyMoo is going to be a very educated person. It doesn't matter whether he has a PhD or PSLE. He will be a wise street-smart person, because his parents are and are teaching him to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Cindy!! :) It's nice to hear that coming from someone who knows our ways... we may not always be right - but we try to address the wrongs and ensure that we learn from the experience!

      Ya lah... these jargons are driving me nuts. As if I'm not already. Haha!

      Delete
  6. Hi Regina, I am one of the go-with-the-flow mummy for my boy. =)

    As I have written in some of my posts, my P1 boy is behind most of his peers but still I am going with his flow as I feel that he absorbs faster this way. When a child is ready to learn, it's the most easiest way to teach. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ling!

      Me too!! I refuse to 'push' him to try to do things if he doesn't show signs that he's ready to.

      Everything in their own time, and for us to have faith in their abilities :)

      Delete
  7. Wa u hv a lot of things to worry about... But u will take a seat back soon....bb will tell u when he is ready , wait till he starts talking :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Flo!

      Haha... then the problems will start, right? Because they can then assert what they want!

      Delete

 

Powered by Motherhood