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Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Feeling of Dread

We attended yesterday's Parent Workshop in force yesterday. The Husband went because he is our math expert. The Foster Daughter (who is bona fide Chinese from PRC) went because she had very kindly offered to tutor Little Boy in Chinese. Little Boy went in order to hear the bad news first hand. I went just to punish myself.

The Teachers went through the intricacies of Chinese oral. Things looked quite manageable until they played an audio-recording of a student's stellar performance. I felt a brick added to the burden that I was already feeling. The Teachers taught us that...
(1) it wasn't acceptable to point at the picture when talking about it. Locational references had to be verbal.
(2) it was good to progress through the picture systematically from one cluster of picture events to another
(3) it was good to make moral judgments about the picture events and characters
(4) it was good to describe the emotions present in the picture

Then the Teachers went through Chinese Comprehension. I felt more bricks added to the load on my back. To cut a long story short, the requirements for Chinese Compre were the same as those I have already blogged about for English Compre. Given that Little Boy is far less competent in Chinese than in English, AND he isn't quite getting it for English Compre, I actually feel a bit nauseous.

Thankfully, math seemed manageable enough. Little Boy is already conversant with the topics being taught, and his Teacher had already properly trained him in the Polya's 4-step process to solving problem sums.
(1) Understand the problem (grasp concepts, visualize and organise info).
(2) Devise a plan (choose a method i.e., diagram or model or algebra).
(3) Carry out the plan (compute)
(4) Reflect on the solution (check by inserting the found answer to the problem).

We just needed to make sure that Little Boy uses the EQUAL sign and the ARROW sign appropriately... as well as reflect the proper conventions when expressing $ and cents and kgs and grams.

Alrighty! We is gonna work on English and Chinese!!

The one silver lining on our HUGE gray cloud is The Foster Daughter. She sat down with Little Boy and outlined an almost scientific/logical approach to writing Chinese Compositions - a template for action as it were. Little Boy's eyes began to shine... like he saw a bright light shining into the dark mysteries of how to write a Chinese compo. It seems that The Foster Daughter was systematically taught a template for Compo Writing in primary school and she merely reproduced it for Little Boy.

I love the template and am so grateful to The Foster Daughter for her generosity.


Anonymous said...

If more USA parents gave even a quarter of the attention you give to your son's education then there would be more respect for school and more actual learning occurring.

Blur Ting said...

Oh wow, since when did studying become so scary? I think the school is very responsible for organising such sessions. We didn't have the when my kids were in primary school.

petunialee said...

Ting - I am in major panic mode under control.

petunialee said...

Theanne - I wish I were a US parent!!