Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Singapore primary school teacher has this advice, “We must protect our Mother Tongue at home.” (An Interview By TheAsianParent)


I am very happy and honored to be interviewed by TheAsianParent for this Teacher's Day article! Thank you TheAsianParent for featuring me.




This year, for Teachers' Day, we decided to interview a Singapore primary school teacher. She has this valuable advice and tips...

Teachers’ Day is almost here in Singapore, and this year we decided to interview a Singapore primary school teacher, to get some valuable advice and tips for all parents.
Meet Kai Sin Goh, Singapore primary school teacher, and mummy of 3 boys, aged 7, 4 and 9 months. She became a teacher 10 years ago, and in her words, “I am  not really sure, but since young, I love to pretend be a teacher and especially like marking books.”
“Even when revising for examinations, I would pretend that I was a teacher teaching my students.”
Kai Sin teaches Chinese and Higher Chinese for P5 and P6 students (She is currently on maternity leave.), and here she is, talking about her role as a teacher in guiding little minds. Read on!
Whats the best part about being a teacher?

Says Kai Sin, “I have ample opportunities to touch the hearts of these little ones and I know every word I speak, has the power to influence and change them for the better.”

“It is a joy to watch them grow and improve. I am excited by each little step that they take.”

“I think we are just like doctors. Doctors save lives and take care of the physical aspect.
Teachers have the power to either build or crush their souls so we have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders and should take note of how our actions and words affect our children.”

Is a Singapore primary school teacher’s life stressful? Especially P5 and P6 teachers? Is there pressure to get good results for PSLE?


Kai Sin tells us, “Yes, our work is pretty hectic everyday and everything is in a rush.”

“We have our KPIs to meet, but to me it is just a reference and not a matter of life and death because what is more important is the well being of my students. I believe if I take time and effort to lay the foundation well, everything will fall into place and results will show.”
“I spend a lot of time correcting their attitudes because I think with the right attitude, their potential is limitless and the possibilities are endless. My focus isn’t on their academic results but whether have they done their best and become better than who they are yesterday.”
“Hence, in my class, I never reward top performing pupils but will encourage them to continue their good work and strive to become better. Not only better in their studies, but to level up and contribute by helping their weaker peers. We progress together as a class.”

6. What is your teaching style?And what is your opinion on giving children a lot of homework?

Kai Sin reveals, “I am strict. Children being children need some pushing, it takes a while before they become self motivated and disciplined.”

“In class, the teacher is the higher authority and respect and obedience must be shown.  I always remind them that we are not friends, I am their teacher. However, I will always be around to guide and advice.”

“Submitting homework promptly and doing correction are the little things, that if done properly everyday, will contribute greatly to how they perform.”

“As for homework, I am for quality over quantity.  It is meaningless to mark something which the student hasn’t put in effort to do. We will both be wasting our time.”

“Primary school students can be in school for up to 8 hours sometimes, so it is best that they can rest at home and not do anymore homework.”
Any tips to make learning Chinese easier for Singapore children? 

Kai Sin opines,”I understand that most children grow up in an English speaking environment nowadays.”
“If so, daily revision helps a lot as Chinese at Primary School level is still pretty manageable. With daily revision and the right techniques, children will still be able to manage their examinations well.”
“But in the long run, it is still advisable for children to speak and read the language more often.”

“For parents with young kids, I would advise them to expose them to Chinese first. Speak Mandarin to them from young and continue doing so if possible. This will prevent them from rejecting Chinese when they are older.”

“Nurture their love for reading Chinese books because this is the most natural and enjoyable way to arouse their interest for the language.”

“Will they reject English? Very unlikely, because our bigger environment gives them ample exposure and opportunities to use English.”

“So…we must protect our Mother Tongue at home.”

Any PSLE tips for Singapore children?

Kai Sin stresses, “Hard work is the only route. There is nothing that can’t be done as long as there is a willing heart.”

“I am looking at progress, as long as they progress everyday, they have succeeded in my eyes.”

“But sometimes, even though they are progressing well, they failed to reach the passing mark in time (for PSLE). They think they have failed, and people might label them as failures, but they need to be clear that they have not. “

“This is where teachers and parents play very important roles in encouraging and supporting them, so that they will continue to believe in themselves.”

What is the nicest gift you have ever received on Teacher’s Day?

Kai Sin tells us, “My students would know that I don’t accept gifts for Teacher’s Day. I tell them that the best gift they can give me is their obedience.”

“They have not earned money and most of the time the parents are the ones preparing the gifts. Sometimes I receive cards without addressing to me. Gifts that do not come from their hearts are meaningless.”

“However, if they really want, they can give me handwritten notes, handmade cards or write letters to me. These are gifts which I treasure.”

“My graduating class from 2012 gave me a handmade notebook where all the students wrote down words of gratitude to me. That is the most memorable gift I have received.”
What is your own personal parenting style?

Kai Sin reveals, “We are a Christian family. Our parenting style is total obedience from them at this stage because we are training them to obey God.”
“If they fail to obey us, they will also not want to obey higher authority or God in future. However, we also ensure that we maintain a close relationship with them and be very involved in their lives.”
“We communicate to them the reason why we choose to be strict and firm with them. We pray that they understand.”
“Nothing is more important then maintaining a close relationship with God. If this area is well taken care of, I believe everything else will fall in place. So this is a top priority in our family.”

“I would think of myself as their co-driver. They will take charge of the vehicle while I provide guidance on the directions to take. When necessary, I will be around to pull the emergency brakes.”

“We are definitely not helicopter parents because we want our boys to understand that they have to first take good care of themselves before they can render helping hands to others. So training them to be independent is always a work in progress in our home.”
“Only when they learn to serve and contribute at home, will they be able to contribute to society and the country in future.”
“I also want them to experience failures. The experience of learning to get up from where they fall is far more valuable then achieving academic excellence.”
“Failing will also keep them humble and learn to empathize with their weaker peers. Since they have gone through tough times, they can use their experience to help, comfort and encourage others.”

“I am not a tiger mum either because academic achievement is actually a really small part of our lives. There are more important things that they need to know like their purpose in life, the importance of being kind, the true definition of being successful etc.” 
13. Any advice for other working mums?

Kai Sin feels that, “If money is not a big problem, it is good to take a break to take care of your children. They are only young once and being involved in their lives when they are young will certainly lessen the impact of the storm that will come along with their adolescent years.”

Thank you, Kai Sin for sharing your advice and experiences with us. Here’s wishing you a very happy Teachers’ Day and more great memories!

Kai Sin


Friday, 25 August 2017

Bento #198 - Little Twin Stars with baked garlic mayonnaise salmon


Aren't they cute? The blue color is a natural dye from butterfly pea flower and the pink is from Sakura Denbu. I mixed the sushi rice with salmon flakes to get a light orange colour.


Kai Sin


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Homeschooling Journey - National Day themed lessons

We stopped our letter of the Week lesson to focus on knowing more about Singapore. I prepared a file for R2 and hope to fill it up with different resources as the years go by.



I spent some time explaining to R2 on the separation between Singapore and Malaysia and was touched by his response.

Was sharing with R2 about National Day...
Me: 所以其实当年8月9日不是一个开心的日子。那一天,我们和马来西亚分开,成为一个独立的国家。我们什么也没有,只有人。
你看,李光耀先生还为我们哭呢,我想他应该很担心,不知道我们有没有办法生存。

R2: 我觉得他不需要哭,因为只要神与我们同在,新加坡一定会没事。
This little boy with great faith.
We have much to learn from these little ones who belong to the kingdom of Heaven.
Sadly, as we grow, our faith gets eroded by our pride. The more we think of ourselves, the less we rely on God.

Singapore has come a long way and progressed to a first world country even though we are just a small little dot on the map.
God has indeed blessed us abundantly and we should not take any of these for granted.
R2 reminded me to continue to pray for Singapore and her leaders while we work hard to contribute and protect our homeland.

We will win each and every battle that we face in life if God is fighting for us.
Let go, let God.

We focus on the Singapore flag this year and R2 was able to remember what the red and white colours signify.


I printed pictures of the different Singapore landmarks and chatted with R2 about them. How beautiful Singapore is!
He drew a drawing of Marina Bay.


And we did a simple craft creating fireworks out from glue, salt and playing with different food colorings. Though they turned out looking a bit like koi fish...haaaaa....

And last but not least, I want them to know that Singapore has come a long way and we should not take what we have for granted but continue to work hard to contribute to Singapore and make it a better place to live for the many generations to come. If not for the hard work of our pioneers, we will not be leading the good life we have today. Much is known about Mr Lee Kuan Yew, someone which I respect a lot, a lot and a lot! So it will be good to let them know that there is another man who has made Singapore what it is today. Actually, there are many more other men to learn about...we will take it slow...





Happy Birthday Singapore! We love you lots and lots!



Do you know that 9 out of 10 people think I'm not from #Singapore? And the 10th person thinks I just became a citizen. Well, I'm a true blue #Singaporean , born and bred here! It doesn't really matter, we are a society which embraces #diversity and the true Singaporean is the one who ❤ Singapore. And one way to show our ❤ for our country is to ❤ our #family. Thank God for the #beautiful weather at #westcoastpark. Fantastic for #cycling. We pray that our leaders will have good health and wisdom to lead the country. That Singapore may continue to prosper and be a peaceful and stable place to live in. And that we will all learn to count our #blessings and treasure the life we have. Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore! #sgparentbloggers #sporemombloggers #nationalday #familyfun #tapsg #tapkids #tapbabies #ilovesingapore #brothers #momlife
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Kai Sin

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