Thursday 22 September 2016

The Parent’s Dilemma: to work or to play?

Defined as the age before normal schooling – usually the age of 5 – “early childhood” is a vital period for kids in forming their adult lives, as they grow up. Early childhood education involves the formal teaching of young children that is important in shaping their characters and values in life. But the question here is: should parents forfeit their kids’ carefree, play-centric childhood for a schedule packed tight with beneficial enrichment supplements?

Right Brain-Left Brain
Each side of the brain controls different types of thinking, and people can be more inclined to one side as compared to the other. According to this theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks, while the left brain is considered adept at tasks that revolve around logic, language and analytical thinking.

Is your child left or right brain dominant? In academic-oriented Singapore, many parents rush their kids to classes that claim to nurture their children’s studious nature, providing them with exercises that prepare them for the long road of academics lying in wait.

Founded on over 40 years of research and 20-odd years of practice by Professor Makoto Shichida, a fellow of the International Academy of Education and advisor to the Japan Mathematical Certification Association, the Shichida method of learning believes that the human brain starts to rapidly develop soon after birth. This belief has resulted in Shichida establishments sprouting across Japan, Singapore and Malaysia in a bid to help desirous parents nurture their children from a tender age with a bevy of specially tailored classes that rigorously push students to fulfil their potential.

While some send their kids off to classes, others choose to educate their little ones in the comfort of their homes. Keeping your children at home, coming up with stipulated timetables for them, allowing them to perhaps enjoy more time at play than work, and making sure that they are well adjusted in their environment. Sophia Tan, ex-teacher and full-time homemaker, is one such example. Sophia coaches her three kids at home, while they were aged below 5, and constantly impresses on them the importance of all six aspects of love: love oneself, love to learn, love your family, love the society, love our Earth and love God (be it any religion). Today, her hard work has paid off and her three girls, on the brink of teenagehood, are happy, respectful and intelligent children.

It’s your choice
At the end of the day, regardless on which route your children take, don’t forget that what your child needs most is your love and attention. As parents, we want the best for our children and because both methods of teaching have their pros and cons, it’s important to properly mull over all options before settling on a decision that is most beneficial to your kids’ early growing phases.

In an online article for BBC News, Professor Kok-hai Ong from Malaysia remarks that “education should be continuous… What is misunderstood is the concept of “formal” education versus learning… What is worrying is the regimentation of schooling that is associated with education”. Perhaps his words might provide us with some fodder to chew on.
Parents Dilemma | Life | Article | MyMailMoment