“After sitting for the CA1 (Term 1) exam in P5, my youngest son told me that he didn’t want to do maths anymore,” says Grace Yong, executive director of Character Montessori Asia, who has four boys. “He could not do a lot of the sums. In P4, his maths paper only had five problem sums, but this one was the full PSLE paper – with 13. I had to pick up the pieces and rebuild his confidence.”
What’s happening “There are huge jumps in the amount of content covered, and in degrees of difficulty between certain levels in primary school,” says Grace. “Children get floored. I have friends whose children went into depression because they could not cope with the sudden jumps in Primary 3 and 5.”
What you can do You should play an active role in supervising studies and supporting your child emotionally. Grace put aside a fixed time every week to tutor her son – and invited his friends to join in. “He’s a sociable child, so having friends around mitigates the drudgery of something he felt negative towards,” she explains. Her dedication paid off when he did well in the final exam that year.