I met and found lots of kiasu parents nowadays. Most of today’s parents eager to have children who can read at age 2, can do counting at age of 1, can speak fluently at 18 months old, can play piano at age of 3, etc. And thus, lots of companies are really making money, by taking this pure advantage and offering lots of packages of early learning.
During my childhood, kids are sent to kindy at age 5 or 6. But today, most of the kids are going to kindy at the tender age of 2 or 3, especially urban kids. This might the cause why the gap between urban and rural kids is very very wide, since not all rural kids go to kindergarten at such ages, and some might not even go to kindy.
Of course I am not excluded cos my kids are in the group of ‘urban kids’
Like other mothers, I want my kids to get the best for their life, able to read, count, recite, talk, trick, etc. like their friends.
But sometimes I forget, “Do we really enjoy these?”.
I have a family member, who was (and still is) bright, however, because of that he becomes lazy and slacker, except during exam week then he’ll struggle to score. Other than that, he refuses to learn, read, watch or does anything adding value. He could read at a very tender age, until up to a point he refused to read anymore because “I can read, so what?”.
What important is to instill the spirit of lifelong learning, not just to be a bright early learner/reader, but a lifelong ones.
I give books for my children to ‘play’ with, and usually Hafiy would ask me to read for them, and sometimes ‘reading’ by himself. I read and I explain. Our intention is to create bonding between them and books, so that it’s not only about ‘reading’ but enjoying the process and learning new things through reading.
I am a bit selective in their reading material, because I too, love reading, but unfortunately I like things like comics, rubbish magazine, etc. When it comes to ‘good materials’, my brain stuck and suddenly my system pops out the ‘error message’ because my DOS cannot open .exe files.
To others, maybe it’s not a big deal, as long as it is ‘reading’, but to me it’s really a big deal cos it gives negative impacts to my beloved siblings. Reading unnecessary stuffs is good for past time but if all the time only reading those stuffs je… then becomes ne’er-do-well pulak. Except if you’re working as a cartoonist ke, good la to read all those stuffs kan, it’s your job after all
Some friends of mine told me how unlucky they are for not having chance to learn, use and apply the today’s hot early learning methods such as Shichida and Glenn Doman. They were afraid if their children might left behind for not having early stimulation.
From my experience, we’re providing the best stimulation when we provide our unconditional love to them. It doesn’t matter what methods we are using, or doing it our own ways, as long as both us mother and child enjoy the process. If you ask mothers of Adiputra, Yusoff’s family, and other ‘geniuses’, their secret recipes are mere ‘loving them’. In fact, Einstein was loved by his parents and his uncles who were great engineers, so no wonder he became so genius in physics then.
Education started before the birth, and it is very abstract. It’s not only to have children who able to read or do Maths at age of 3, but also get a kick out of it. So that they could value the learning process and able to think independently and grow up as adults who have a very intelligent-extrovert interaction with the world.
Some of us might aware of the existence of ‘textbook people’, or maybe we’re one of them and we find that they’re not very dynamic and fear to take risks. Some bright students becomes employees for their whole life and some ‘red report card’ students have luxury lifestyles doing businesses or becoming managers.
It is not about when our children can read or count, but how they learn to value it.