Educating The Head, Heart and Hands

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education". Mark Twain.

The school has reopened for about two weeks now. I can only imagine the challenges with online classes, especially those of you with young ones going to Standard One. Imagine being the first generation attending the first day of primary school virtually. Given the current circumstances, this might be the best viable solution, albeit with many limitations. I hope this would not be the norm for generations to come. Young children need interaction for growth. Well, parents, brace yourself, grit your teeth and weather the bumpy rides ahead with your child.

Incidentally, many news and articles were floating in the cyber world about this topic of education. Dr Mazlee talked about the need for more "creative and progressive" classes and suggested using movies and news as tools. While I fully agree with the former, I'm not so sure about the latter. I prefer to read to my girl. More interaction and both get the chance to learn and improve. Win-win if you ask me. Ha! Well, he is the one with a PhD. What do you think? Anyway, if you are looking for a better online resource, I suggest Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). It's a non-profit educational organisation created in 2008 with some of the world's well-known supporters like Bank of America and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Even Bill Gates used it to tutor his children. Moreover, recently Elon Musk donated $5 million to the organisation. Worthwhile to check it out, suitable for children and adults.

Another being the announcement by MOE about having extra lessons for Standard One students. The objective is to help them acquire basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills since kindergartens were mostly closed in 2020. Then it got me thinking. How much of these academic skills should children learn in kindergarten? Shouldn't they be allowed to be children and spend more time playing, which itself is a very complex learning process? Aren't skills such as social interaction, teamwork, problem-solving, building resilience, empathy, imagination & creativity be emphasised more when they are young? The fact is, most schools' end goal is academic excellence because, since the Industrial Revolution, they have given the task to produce the workforce for the market. Along the way, standardised exam became the easiest way to gauge the performance of students. As a way to categorise, much like separating the sheep and goats. How unfortunate to those who find it hard to fit into this rigid system.

I feel this is where, we, as parents need to take a holistic view of education that put the child at the centre. Develop them as a whole being, helping them to discover and unleash their fullest potential. This calls for the education of the hand (purposeful activities), heart (feeling & emotion) and head (mental & thinking). Since schools only deal with a part of the child's total education, what are you & I going to do about it? For a start, how about doing household chores together, like cleaning, gardening, prepping for meals for bonding and character-building. Please share your thoughts or the things that you are doing to complement the formal school education that your child is receiving. It would benefit everyone reading. Alright, I'll sign off now with the quote above by Mark Twain, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education". Happy learning.

 

#HappyParenting #BetterOurselves

Photo credit: jcomp @ www.freepik.com