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No spelling in preschool

Discussion in 'Year 2006 Mums' started by cherish2dae, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. cherish2dae

    cherish2dae New Member

    Dear parents,

    My son is currently in N2 and will be in K1 next year. I understand that his pre-school will not have spelling or chinese tingxie at all and I'm getting a little worried as I understand that in primary one, children are already expected to write simple sentences. My generation belongs to the "old" school and we have learnt words through spelling and tingxie....

    His pre-school does teach phonics though but I feel that spelling should be complemented to the phonics to at least let them get used to the spelling craze and also to apply the skills from phonics.

    I would like to hear from all other moms who have been through this stage....please let me know whether my thinking is correct or not.

  2. minnie_gal16

    minnie_gal16 New Member


    My boy's preschool didn't have spelling or tingxie too last time. The principal says no point having those as what happens is the child can spell/write the word but don't know how to apply it in a sentence. Thus, what the school does is to make my boy write compositions and chinese sentences on his own instead and naturally, the child learns both spelling and application in the process. With good phonics foundation, your child would have little problems in English spelling.

    My son is now in P2 and his school conducts spelling tests (both English and Chinese) using a combination of single words and sentences. No problem for him at all. So don't worry so much and let your boy enjoy the learning process. No spelling or tingxie does not mean he will not fare well but its just learning through different methods. [​IMG]
  3. cherish2dae

    cherish2dae New Member

    Hi Minnie,

    It was great to hear from you.

    You mean in pre-school your boy is able to write compositions and sentences totally on his own, using his phonics skills ?

    My son's pre-school does teach phonics and word blending. However when I give him a new word, I find that he can't really make out on his own. I do not have knowledge on phonics and cannot do reinforcement at home.

    Thus now knowing that there will be no spelling or tingxie, makes me worry. What if my boy can't really grasp the phonics well enough ?

    How do you let your boy practice writing chinese in pre-school ? Through words tracing ? or doing all those K1/K2 chinese assessment books ?
  4. luanluancao

    luanluancao Member

    Hi, I am having some concerns now as my girl is in K1 now, and from this semester, they started to have spelling and tingxie. The school had given us a list of what they are expected to know each week, from single words to simple sentences.

    So for chinese, first 2 weeks are writing chinese words from 'one' to 'ten', and for English, she got spelling of 'mother, moon, man, nuts, nap, net and nose' for first 2 weeks. you can see ome of these words are not easy even you know all phonics.

    I find it hard to teach her English part. She had learnt Phonics, and even attending I can read now. but still it is not a easy task, as she is year end baby, I am really worried that she cannot cope when gets into P1. I saw kids half a year older than her can spell very well liao. I am not comparing, just that I found it too much to expect a K1 kid to know spelling, but on the other hand, that is the expectation here. Really wish as parents we can find a better way to help them out.
  5. cherish2dae

    cherish2dae New Member

    Hi Kelly,

    I also feel that with phonics training, it might not be easy for the kid to write and make out the words on their own.
    I'm in the view of letting the child enjoy their childhood....no spelling, tingxie, assessment etc but we as parents cannot help but feel stressed, thinking about how they might be able to cope in P1 if we are too relaxed with them now.

    That's well, I'm really in a dilemna too...to have spelling or not to have spelling in K1/K2. However if the overall govt instructed change like "learn thru play" is only implemented in pre-school, how to expect the kid to cope in P1 where the standard and expectations are still too high ?
  6. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Dear all,
    It is definitely possible to let our kids enjoy their childhood and still do well in school. The trick is to know how to teach them. I have shared my experiences with my 2 kids in my blog :


    Phonics is essential for spelling, but the child must be very good in phonics for it to be useful. Both my kids know how to spell the words in their spelling list without the need to practice.


    Letting the school teach phonics is not sufficient, parents must practice phonics with kids at home every day. It is also very important to read story books with kids regularly.
  7. giggler

    giggler Active Member

    Hi tamarind,

    How I wish I got the same determination as you. Just cant be consistent and read to the kids everyday. Sigh... now my gal alr P1 still cant really read well.

    You have any enrichment sch to recommend that can help her? Her phonics is ok but she dun know how to blend the sound to pronounce the words.

    Other than reading everyday, what else can I do to help her?
  8. minnie_gal16

    minnie_gal16 New Member

    Hi Cherish,

    My boy started to read independently after his 5th birthday and I contribute it to the new pre-school. He is an Oct baby. He was in a Church kindy and couldn't read in K1 and thus, I switched him to a montessori pre-school during the last term on K1 that started him from basic phonics. It worked and he was reading independently after a month. I was very surprised at his progress.

    I do not have any assessment books for him and I still do not have any now even in P2. I thought school was sufficient and didnt bother much. Hah, guess I was pretty lazy. Yes, he was writing english compositions on his own in K2 with the help of a dictionary. His pre-school emphasises on independent learning and thus each child is supposed to look up the word in a dictionary if they cannot spell it.

    For Chinese, the school teaches them by HYPY and slowly, they write in words too. He was attending Berries during kindy days and I think it strengthen his HYPY. He is very strong in HYPY and scores well for HYPY tests in school.

    Like Tamarind, I feel that our kids can enjoy their childhood and still cope well in school. Most importantly, to me at least, is to find a good preschool which sets a good foundation for them. I didn't stress my boy by doing books of assessments, even now when he is in P2, and just let him be. But, he does attend Chinese/Math/English enrichment (more to occupy his time in the AMs before school or he will be watching TV instead). Once the homework is done, he can play. In fact, sometimes I think he spends more time playing than doing homework. :p

    Hi Giggler,

    I think if your gal is weak, her school's LSP staff would have identified it. If she is in the normal class, guess she is ok. Sometimes, because of peer comparision, we feel our kid is weak when actually, he/she is coping well at school. Maybe you can try asking her to write journal? Give her a topic, eg, my favourite animal, my holidays, etc and ask her to write. Give her a Learners Dictionary and teach her how to look for words she can't spell. I believe you will see progress after a while.
  9. giggler

    giggler Active Member

    Minnie, thanks for sharing with me. My gal is not in LSP, she's in normal class. I asked her to write diary but she dun seem to write it often. Can you share what are the Chinese/Math/English enrichment that you send your boy to?

    I understand the importance of pre-sch now so didnt send my #2 to church kindi, instead send him to Zoophonics daily programme.
  10. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi Giggler,
    Reading well is a result of reading consistently everyday. Attending those once a week enrichment classes is not going to help.

    Do you read to her ? I believe that it is most effective for the child to read every word out loud. This is also the best way to practice their phonics skills. Try to get her to read out loud to you for about 30 minutes from a good story book, persist everyday, even on weekends, she will definitely improve after a few months.

    Also, don't forget to teach Chinese as well :

    It is also very important to be able to read Chinese books independently before P3.
  11. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi Minnie,
    Personally I feel that parents who can teach their kids at home, are really the best teachers.

    I also wish to be able to find good teachers for my kids, unfortunately we were not able to do so. Every teacher who has taught my boy complained to me that he does not pay attention in class, even now in P1. The only teacher who told me that he does not have any problem at all, is very good teacher from UK, but too bad she is gone now.

    So my boy actually learned everything from me at home.
  12. cherish2dae

    cherish2dae New Member

    Dear Minnie,
    Thanks for your reply...
    Dear other mummies,
    Thanks for sharing
  13. minnie_gal16

    minnie_gal16 New Member

    Morning Mommies.

    Hi Giggler,

    I have a Chinese tutor that comes to teach my boy at my place and he attends MPM for Math and icreative for English. You can give your gal a topic that is close to her heart and something which she would have lots to write about and I think it would interest her. Perhaps after a trip to the zoo, ask her write about her day at the zoo? Simple stories for a start. Even if its a 8-10 sentence page, its good enough.

    My boy has a Math topical test tomorrow and he asked me to give him some worksheets to do to practice tonite. I suddenly feel so bad that I don't have any Math assessment book at home!! Hahaha.. Dats how relax I am. :p


    Yes, we are the best teachers for our kids but at times, I think I get high blood pressure earlier if I teach my boy. :p He normally completes his homework by himself and I teach him when he does not understand. I believe in independent learning. I taught him how to use the Chinese and English dictionary to find words that he does not know. What I do is to sit beside him to read when he does his work and help him when he doesn't understand. I don't mind doing that cos its like a form of bonding and at the same time, I can check on his progess.

    I have read your blog before and I think you are a great and patient mommy for what you have done for your kids. I doubt I have your patience!
  14. giggler

    giggler Active Member

    Tamarind, that's the problem with me, I don't have the patience and energy to read with her every nite. [​IMG] That's why thinking of out-sourcing for help with her reading. I really peifu you for your patience and determination. [​IMG] I've been your loyal fan, has been reading your blog but never been able to follow through your advice. Sigh...

    Minnie, thanks for your input. I just asked her to write on her excursion recently and she only write 2 sentences and alr feel that she accomplished a great mission! Sigh...
  15. minnie_gal16

    minnie_gal16 New Member


    At least she wrote 2 sentences. Next time, tell her to write 4 sentences, tell her must double each time. Then add that you would like to compile everything into a book for her to show how clever she is. [​IMG]
  16. giggler

    giggler Active Member

    Minnie, hehehe... gd idea!
  17. tamarind

    tamarind New Member

    Hi Minnie and Giggler,
    I also don't have much patience. In fact, I have only spent less than 30 minutes a day teaching my boy since he was 3 years old, I lost my patience after 30 minutes. By the time he turned 5 years old, he was reading English independently, and all I have to do is to listen to him read to me which is both relaxing and enjoyable.

    Next I started to teach him to read in Chinese, and I also spent only 15-30 minutes a day, and now in P1, he is able to read long Chinese novels.

    By P1, both can do their work independently. I still continue to ask them to read out loud to me from interesting story books in both English and Chinese everyday, because it is a great way for me to bond with them.

    So I believe that parents don't have to be very patient, they just need to be committed to spend at least 30 minutes a day, and it is best to start at 3 to 4 years old.

    The fact is that while some kids can learn very well in class, like my older girl, many other kids do not learn well. I know this because I am teaching many students age 17 to 19 years old, even these students have problem focusing when they are in a group.
    If parents want their kids to improve significantly, the only way is to give them one to one attention everyday, not just once or twice a week.
  18. bluemarinesg

    bluemarinesg New Member

    Hi all,

    I happened to chance upon this thread. I agree with what Tamarind has said- reading well is the result of reading consistently everyday. I am a bookworm and it so happened that my child is a bookworm too. Books ranked some of his fav items, among milk, toy vehicles and good food. Haha

    After 2.5 years of daily reading, he is now reading some books on his own and he's bilingual - in both speech and reading.

    And I definitely agree that parents who can teach their children are the best teachers. Partly because they have vested interest, partly because they shd know their children the best and partly because their teaching can take place anytime, anywhere.

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