Nurturing a sense of wonder in preschool child

How can we nurture a sense of wonder in our preschool child? As parents, it’s important to understand why the sense of wonder is so critical and important in a child’s life; and to revive the delight in the mysteries and beauty of nature. “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of… Continue reading Nurturing a sense of wonder in preschool child

[Video] How a boy became an artist

When Jarrett J. Krosoczka was a kid, he didn’t play sports, but he loved art. He paints the funny and touching story of a little boy who pursued a simple passion: to draw and write stories. With the help of a supporting cast of family and teachers, our protagonist grew up to become the successful… Continue reading [Video] How a boy became an artist

[Video] Education Re-think: Focus on children’s character building

I remembered chatting with a mom, who has three children from three to 13 years old, during lunch about Singapore education system and the attitude of students and parents in our competitive result-driven environment. The stories I heard about a student mentoring another weaker student wrongly on purpose to get a competitive edge, and was… Continue reading [Video] Education Re-think: Focus on children’s character building

Why children need nature

More than a week ago, we went to Botanic Garden for a stroll and Dot tried climbing a big Tembusu tree but failed at her first attempt. She is not discouraged. She saw a smaller tree yesterday and said that she wanted to climb. I replied her,”This tree is too small. If you climb on… Continue reading Why children need nature

“Origametria – Using Origami as a Tool to Teach Geometry” is an 8-minute film that introduces a teaching program run by the Israeli Origami Center (IOC). Each week throughout the school year, 10,000 children in 70 schools study ‘Origametria’, taught by 40 specially trained teachers. The film features interviews with School Principals and with teachers of math in schools that use the ‘Origametria’ program, and includes much footage of ‘Origametria’ in the classroom.

This short film is included as an Additional Feature on the full Between the Folds, which we watched recently. I never knew origami can be used a tool to teach Mathematics. A simple square can be transformed into an extraordinary piece of work – be it a Science or Art – it is breathtaking.

You can borrow this DVD from our library.

I was searching for information about “Consumerism” and I found this video on how advertising and marketers are targeting children as young as infant to entice them to be lifetime consumers. Sadly, I am unaware of this until I watched this video.

Sue Palmer in her book ‘Toxic Childhood” also mentioned that behind the TV programmes and computer games that keep our children entertained lurks an army of anonymous manipulators – marketing executives and child psychologists – to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation of consumers.

It’s troubling. We should know what we are exposing our children to and the possible implications.

How are we helping our children to navigate the commercial culture?

What are your thoughts on this?

On the first day of school, the little boy waved to his mother and turned to run down the bright hallway to class. His teacher smiled and pointed out his desk. “This is going to be great,” he thought. “I love to learn new things.” After a few fun stories, the teacher handed out crayons and paper and announced that it was time to draw a picture. The little boy enthusiastically grabbed the crayons and began to imagine all the things he could draw: mountains, lakes, airplanes, his family, his dog, the ocean,the stars at night…

Hundreds of ideas raced through his creative little mind.

His teacher, seeing that he had started drawing, stopped him and said that today the class would be drawing flowers. The boy’s mind again ran wild: daisies, daffodils, roses, carnations, violets, lilacs, pansies, mixed bouquets, green gardens full of rainbows of colors…

The teacher again interrupted, informing the class that today they would be drawing a certain kind of flower. Taking colored chalk, the teacher went to the board and drew a green stem, with two leaves, and four identical pink petals. The little boy, eager to please, dutifully copied her drawing.

After several attempts, his drawing looked exactly like hers.

The teacher congratulated him for doing such good work.

As the school year passed, the little boy became a very good student; he learned to listen, obey instructions and get the right answers on tests. His parents were very proud of him, and his teacher was impressed with his excellent progress.

When the next school year arrived, the boy had done so well in his classes that he was enrolled in an accelerated program.

During the first week of class, the teacher handed out crayons and paper and announced that it was time to draw a picture. The little boy, still in love with art, enthusiastically picked up his crayons and waited for instructions.

After several minutes the teacher noticed that the little boy wasn’t drawing. “Why haven’t you started?” she asked. “Don’t you like to draw?”

“I love to draw,” responded the little boy, “but I was waiting for you to tell us what the assignment is.”

“Just draw whatever you want,” the teacher smiled and left the little boy to his creativity.

The little boy sat for a long time, watching the minutes tick off the clock and wondering what he should draw. Nothing came to mind.

Finally, in a burst of creative inspiration, he picked up his crayons and began to draw:

A green stem, with two leaves, and four identical pink petals.

 

Source: A Thomas Jefferson Education, Chapter 3

 

“Now our education system is predicated on the idea of academic ability. And there’s a reason. The whole system was invented — around the world, there were no public systems of education, really, before the 19th century.They all came into being to meet the needs of industrialism.So the hierarchy is rooted on two ideas. Number one, that the most useful subjects for work are at the top. So you were probably steered benignly away from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds that you would never get a job doing that. Is that right? Don’t do music, you’re not going to be a musician; don’t do art, you won’t be an artist. Benign advice — now, profoundly mistaken. The whole world is engulfed in a revolution. And the second is academic ability, which has really come to dominate our view of intelligence,because the universities designed the system in their image. If you think of it, the whole system of public education around the world is a protracted process of university entrance. And the consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.And I think we can’t afford to go on that way.”