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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Breaking Out of Sisyphus' Punishment

I received great news today via Facebook messaging from a Mommy. To know more about this child, read...

(1) HERE
(2) and HERE

Anyway, the Facebook exchange below says it all. The white bubbles are the mom's messages. The blue bubbles are mine.

The boy scored 30/40 in 2014 SA2 Primary 5.

32/40 was highest in class.

He had scored below 24/40 in 2013 SA2 Primary 4.

He had improved to 26/40 in May this year (2014). In view of the fact that the schools raise the standards steeply between P4 SA2 and P5 SA2, this child had caught up with and surpassed the jump in standard to be able to pull in a much higher absolute score between P4 and P5.

Readers must note that Dr Pet cannot perform magic. I see the children 1.5 hours a week. If children produce sloppy HW week after week because parents are unable to supervise (i.e., no time or don't think they are able to) and ensure quality of HW, the children do not improve even after 18 months. 

Yes, I did have children like that.

Dr Pet can advise or coach parents what to do. If parents disagree, don't know how or don't have time, I am ineffective. I don't perform magic. I practise research-based strategies that require a tight partnership between parent and myself. At the foundation of this partnership, is trust in my competence and sincerity. If that is not there, I am also ineffective.

I am not able to go to the child's house and ensure that HW is properly done, but I can advise/coach parents how to ensure that. For my approach to work, parents need to be involved in ways guided by me.

These results don't come about because of Dr Pet alone. Half the credit must go to this Mommy. There has been tears and frustration. For her, it must have felt like Sisyphus' punishment. I am so happy for this Mommy because I saw how she suffered. If you had read my previous blogposts on Little T, this Mommy's son is nobody's joke. He is one of the most intelligent boys I know (he is the only one who thinks fast enough to NOT antagonise the gifted kids), and is thus correspondingly naughty.

Congratulations Mommy!

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