Saturday, March 05, 2011

Chalk and Cheese 3

People always assume that I will send the twins to the same school. It makes sense. They start school in the same year and putting them in the same school saves either school bus fees or an extra trip for Mommy. But as of now, we're still inclined towards sending them to different schools. There are many reasons for such an inconvenient decision.

1. Both of us would like the boy and the girl to go to single sex schools. Call us archaic but single sex schools.
2. We think it's important that they have the space to develop without the inadvertent comparisons. They will suffer from that enough by virtue of being the same age.
3. Packrat is immensely loyal to his school and cannot imagine sending Evan or for that matter Muffin anywhere else.

But of the three reasons, I think the most important one is so that the twins get a chance to be their own person. It is the reason for this series and we think it is important for them to figure out how to be on their own. This is important not just for their character development but also their learning development. Both of them have markedly different learning styles.


Evan is more conventional. He is academic and it is easy to teach him things like how to read. He is happy with flashcards and words. He laps them up. It can be in English or Chinese, he loves the idea of words and finding out what they are. When I first made flash cards for him, I couldn't do it fast enough. "Table!" "Chair!" "Soldier!" (Packrat was serving reservist at that time) and so on. It's the same with numbers. He recognises, when he doesn't know, he asks, when the numbers make sense (106 goes to Chinese class! Chinese class is in Orchard Road) he draws the link. He is the ideal student.

That being said, I couldn't for the life of me get him to sit down and colour or write. He knows he is not so good at that and we have sneakily incorporate it into the things that he enjoys doing.


Jordan is the exact opposite. She hates reading with a vengeance. Anything with words, she resists. It doesn't matter what language it is. She resists just because they are words and she has to read. But we have discovered that it is the case when the words are abstract or did not interest her. When she learnt to read "I love Mommy, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa" in Chinese, she read it perfectly and was happy to do it again and again.

I fashioned a game in desperation to get her to recognise the Chinese words for the more common body parts. She'd brought home a Chinese book from school with flashcards attached. So, with some masking tape and a living mannequin in the shape of her father, she went round attaching relevant Chinese characters to the relevant body parts. She had a lot of fun doing that although she depended a lot on her brother recognising the words first.

For her, it has to be work alone because her brother, ever ready with the answer will pipe in and she's learnt unconsciously that if she waited long enough, he would supply the answer for her.

She does however have the focus to do craft, string beads to form necklaces in a pattern dictated to her. So sneakily, I incorporated letter beads into it to make her name.

It's a big challenege, to teach them in the ways they learn best especially when in this case, they learn in such different ways. That's why I always think pre-school teachers ought to earn more money

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  1. can she make a necklace in my name? ;)

  2. Can! We make for you when you come for Beer Assed Chicken. :)