Primary 1 Math Readiness

[Programme Highlight + Giveaway]

If I say, high ability (HA) children are special needs children, the whole world will probably disagree with me. 

“Are you crazy? They are intelligent kids, how could you label them as ‘children with special needs’?”

The general public understands children with special needs as children who are slower than their peers in terms of cognitive development. They are children who are autistic, hyperactive, dyslexic, etc.

HA children sometimes do have special needs mentioned above even though they are highly intelligent. But it is not what I am going to discuss here. What I mean by ‘special needs’ for HA children is that they do need special attention and they do need tailor-made educational programme. There isn't many such offering in the market though.

Our mainstream education system does not allow kids to grow up at their own pace. It is a mass education system, where much slower learners struggle to catch up, much faster learners are made to slow down.

Because of that, the much faster ones are not stimulated effectively, they are not challenged healthily, and eventually, they will go ‘unnoticed’, slip into complacency and mediocrity, and see no purpose to ‘multiply their talents’.

I’m glad that NeuroScholars recognizes the difficulties that HA children may face, especially those who are about to enter mainstream formal education. The first two years in primary school are honeymoon years, the curriculum is simple, most of the time, too easy for the HA children.  In these two years of conditioning, they might develop the mindset I mentioned above.  It is not going to be healthy for them.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not encouraging parents to drill or to 'hot-house' your children. As parents, you should know better if your child is of higher ability or not. If he/she is not a fast learner, loading him/her too much can backfire. But if you are sure that he/she is of higher ability, then you might want to consider ways to develop your child further, so that he/she:

1. could progress according to his/her potential;
2. will not downplay his/her potential in front of his/her peers and teachers for fear of being outcast;
3. is encouraged to pursue his/her interests to reach his/her potential

The hardworking team in NeuroScholars has recently developed a short course for HA children who are currently in Kindergarten 2, going Primary 1 next year.  They are giving my readers 5 tickets to this course held over 2 consecutive Fridays/Saturdays 3.30-5pm at their Parkway Parade outlet. The dates are: 18 & 25 July; 1 & 8 Aug; 14 & 21 Aug and 15 & 22 Aug. If you are keen to participate in the draw, please enter your entry in Rafflecopter tool below:

Still unsure if your child is of higher ability?  Here are some links to articles published by Rise & Shine for reading:

1. Gifted Children – Earlier, Faster, Different! – Is that Your Child?
2. Parenting – Are Tiger Moms for Real?

Our education system doesn’t allow kids to grow up at their own pace.  Nowadays, the pathways are defined earlier & earlier.  If they don’t do well in the PSLE, it means they can’t get into a top secondary school, & with the introduction of Integrated Programme, not getting into a top secondary school means their chances of getting into a top junior colleague & university later on have drastically shrunk.  Everything our kids do now has implications later on.  That’s why it’s better to be kiasu now than to regret later.
- Monica Lim, author of The Good, The Bad and The PSLE


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