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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Making kids love School

Hessa seems keen going to school. Unlike her previous year when she was enroll for Pra Sekolah ( Pre School ). Unlike my generation Pre School seems akin to compulsory now a days. By Malaysian law, primary school education is compulsory, parents could be dragged into the court of law if the failed to school their kids. As an extension to that, so is the Pre School enrolment.

In Malaysia nowadays every parent put their kid either in kindergarten which are privately owned and run. These are places for the haves. Those who went to these places are expected to shine above the rest. A cut above in syllabus, upbringing and sharper in English. To start well is the key word. Nobody want to be left behind at the starting block. For the have not, they would have to vie for one of those Pre School places at the school their kids will potentially go to.

Hessa eargerly posing for school

I had observed how my Minister of Home affairs managed my kids – going to school. It is quite a run out from the norm her father, reputed to have been, a hardcore disciplinarian. Records of achievement of his kids proved that he did well. I should say that her softly, softly approach did pretty well too. She is not the kind that pushes her kids to school. Her lacking in emphasis in discipline sometimes worry me. She took it easy even when the kids seems like refusing school on purpose.

Her style have been to progressively make the kids love school. Generally my kids have a bad start. In case of Hessa she had been sickly and had missed school on many occasion. At times I went to school to tell her teacher. Once her, teacher came to the house to know, why she is missing school. Her mum did well, she pampered her, follow her progress in reading and writing and make her felt she misses something for not going to school. It works. The fact that she misses school make her fond of what she would have acquired should she be there. She developed the interest in reading and writing on her own.

At the end of the day she reads and writes reasonably well for her age group before the actual school starts. Mostly importantly she looked prepared and wanting to go to school when it reopens for the recent academic year. I am always for kids to attend the Pre School. It introduces them to school proper observing those slightly older making their ways in school. It is like an orientation program to be accustomed with the ways of schooling proper.

Hessa, first day in class.

A reason that kids normally do not like schools is the way their peer groups behave towards each other. Some of these kids are not really bullies but they are rather harsh and brute. This may make some kids felt uncomfortable. The mum have too always lent their ears to stories from schools which their kids brought home. This is necessary for her to properly anticipate any un-homely and unfriendly atmosphere that developed. The kids may feel that they are bullied, and as such do not like school. When this situation developed the kid is like in a “do, you be damned” and “don’t you’ll be damned” situation. What I meant here is that the kid is faced with a problem of to live with it - will be suffering but to fight it, would leads to more unnecessary problems.

This is where the mum’s role normally comes into play. Whether telling their kids to make more friends or to be choosy of one or whatever. The worst case scenario may be to slow talk to the teacher concerned to change her sitting position, thus re-orientate or re-organize her peer and play groups. The gist of the matter is still to make the kid loves school, like the environment, love their lessons and like the knowledge. That is the best motivation that keeps them going to school and learning.

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