Category Archives: Education

Why I am greying prematurely

Familiarising Athos with this week’s 听写 words:

Me: “印象” means “impression”
He: Oh. I thought it meant “Indian elephant”.

Reading with Daddy

Pilgrim Dad brought the kids to the library yesterday. It was primarily for Athos’ benefit – he has an extended book list from school that he’s working through.

But Pilgrim Dad decided he would try to encourage Porthos (who doesn’t like books) to read as well. I was delighted until I saw the book – a war-time commando comic.

Me: What?!?!

Pilgrim Dad: Hey, he now knows what ‘strafe’, ‘achtung’ and ‘luftwaffe’ mean. And the different pain levels as denoted by “AARGH” and “AAAAAAAAH”.

I roll my eyes and rest my case….

NLB’s Video Library

Exams are over and the school holidays are almost upon us! Which means I am once again trying to keep half a step ahead of boredom and mischief among the Pilgrim brood.

Thankfully, there are few places more trustworthy than our neighbourhood library. I’ve raved about Singapore’s library system and its treasures elsewhere on this blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that besides the books (which already offer rich pickings), NLB also carries DVDs.

I’m not sure how they determine what titles to offer – you won’t find Hollywood blockbusters or primetime TV series – but there are award-winning documentaries, instructional videos, educational CD-ROMs and the occasional classic movie.

This week Pilgrim Dad and I borrowed and watched To Kill A Mockingbird, the 1962 film adaptation of the book, that won Gregory Peck an Academy award for Best Actor. And for the kids, we’ve found the Popular Mechanics for Kids and Bill Nye the Science Guy series delightful.

I can imagine few better uses for my tax dollar!

Gigantic Beans

I had to sign Porthos’ spelling sheet last week. As I pulled out my pen, I saw that he got a score of 9/10. The one he got wrong was “gigantic beans”. And against it, the teacher had written, “gigantic bins”.

Me: Why did you write “beans”?
Porthos: Because that’s what the teacher said!

Pilgrim Dad and I couldn’t stop laughing. Another case of “leopard preenz”!

Pilgrim Mom Kena Scolding

Athos and Porthos have a Mandarin tutor who coaches them through their school syllabus. This has led to, I must confess, a rather lackadaisical attitude on my part when it comes to the boys’ progress in Mandarin.

And I was caught out today –

Tutor: 我已经开始准备孩子的 CA2.
Pilgrim Mom: CA2 是什么?
Tutor: 你这个妈妈真没用!

Ahem. For the record, CA2 is Continual Assessment 2. And I still don’t know what that really means….

George Eats Laksa, Not Durians

A few days ago we were playing Bible Quiz over lunch with some friends. One of the adults asked – “Who can name the first five books of the Bible?” After Genesis and Exodus, none of us were entirely confident about the order (which speaks volumes about our Bible knowledge!)

Anyhow, it was an opportunity to teach the kids about mnemonics, specifically first-letter mnemonics. The one I learnt in school for the colours of the rainbow was “Richard Of York Gained Battles in Vain”, which I always found a bit odd since the poor Duke is mostly unknown to Singaporeans. Much better that we come up with one that makes sense for ourselves!

Anyhow, I challenged the kids to come up with one for the Pentateuch so we wouldn’t be lost for the answer again. And the title of this post is Athos’ attempt, which I thought was quite a winner!

MOE suspends AWARE sex education programme

MOE has just announced that it will suspend AWARE’s sex education programme.

The statement says that “Today, schools are allowed to engage external vendors to supplement MOE’s sexuality education programme. MOE has reviewed the internal processes for selecting and monitoring vendors and found that they can be improved. MOE will put in more stringent processes to ensure that training materials and programmes delivered in schools are in line with the Ministry’s framework on sexuality education. Schools will suspend the engagement of external vendors until the new vetting processes are completed. The Ministry is also reviewing ways to provide parents with more information about sexuality education in the specific schools that their children are in.”

About AWARE’s sexuality education, MOE said that “in some other aspects, the Guide does not conform to MOE’s guidelines. In particular, some suggested responses in the instructor guide are explicit and inappropriate, and convey messages which could promote homosexuality or suggest approval of pre-marital sex.”

You can read the full statement here

The whole saga at AWARE has left me troubled. I didn’t like how the new guard came into power and their inability to articulate a coherent position and direction from the get-go. But I was also upset by the subsequent savagery online and offline that demonised Christians.
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