paper, reference books and dictionaries. But it should be largely uncluttered – a messy desk can be distracting. Have a clock nearby as well as a personalised calendar so your child can keep track of his own schedule.
From school notices to worksheets, the paper stream can get out of hand very quickly, especially if you have more than one child. Arm yourself with labelled folders and containers – at least once a fortnight, sort through what needs to be filed and throw the rest away.
Get your child to file away all his worksheets as a habit, and emphasise that he’ll need them for exam revision later on. This instils in him a sense of ownership, and develops his organisational skills.
The home schedule
play, children can control their own actions, solve their own problems, interact with their playmates and learn to follow rules.”
Ensure that your child has enough time for unstructured forms of play – such as cycling, nature walks, ball games and more – in his schedule. Structured extracurricular activities, such as dance or piano lessons, should not occupy all his leisure time.
The parentteacher relationship
Praise hard work
Don’t forget to praise Junior, as this can help him build self-esteem and confidence. But give praise not for good results, but for the hard work that went into a task. “This helps your child to understand that effort is more important,” Dr Lim says.
Dispense praise only when it is well-deserved. Janice cautions: “Sometimes, too much praise can backfire, especially when it is insincere, or makes kids afraid to take risks for fear of not being able to earn the praise again.”
You should also refrain from praising and criticising your child in one breath. “This will discount your praise and confuse your child,” Janice explains.