This post is Singaporean parent-centric. I am writing this because there are parents asking for assessment books recommendations for their children going primary school next year. The first and third assessment books that I endorse here were suggested by the school’s bookstore when I first bought #1’s P1 textbooks. Having no experience in the primary school journey, I thought the primary school bookstore is the best bet to rely on. We have yet to engage tutors and I merely relied on the following books to guide my son. I saw results.
Targeting Mathematics – Student’s Companion (1A and 1B)
This book has been a great help. It follows the textbook very closely and sets the child’s foundation before moving on to the next level. Beyond the foundation section, there are a couple of questions in the reasoning and problem-solving sections to stretch the child further to develop a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts.
This works great for my son to set his foundation right. However, for children in the fast track, this book is not challenging enough.
I move on to this book after my son established his foundation. The book is targeted to prepare the child for his half-year and final exams (or Holistic Assessments for the P1s and P2s). Honestly, I do not intend to finish the entire book. I pick questions accordingly to his test requirements. I gradually increase the difficulty level and skip the genius level ones! There is no point stumping him with something he obviously cannot understand even after a few rounds of explanations because it will only cause him to lose interest in the topic. Every child thinks and strives differently. If your child loves challenging questions, go ahead and finish the entire book.
I mentioned many times before that my son sucks in his Chinese. He started his P1 journey hating Chinese. While he still dislikes it now, he no longer attempts to evade doing his Chinese work. He hated it partially because he was weak on the subject.
The practice book I recommend here helps him gain confidence in his mother tongue such that he doesn’t loathe the subject anymore. Similarly, the book progresses together with the school’s textbook. The intensive practice refers to the 11 sections which a child needs to go through for each chapter. Each section has a different focus, from vocabulary to hanyu pinyin, strokes, listening comprehension, reading and comprehension.
The repeated drillings through the 11 sections helped my son to become conversant with the new words learned by the end of the practice.
Tips from my experience in guiding a P1 child who loathes Chinese.
Honestly, he was initially antagonised by the sheer thickness of the book and the number of questions he had to go through. I gradually got the hang of guiding him after a few months of struggling with him. The key for us is start revision early so that we can break the learning into manageable pieces. I also minimise his writing. I remember I didn’t like writing Chinese characters when I was very young and often got discouraged by the extensive amount of writing I had to complete.
When faced with an impending test, we start by familiarising the new words taught in the chapter via the flashcards provided by the school before attempting the book. We differentiate the words that he needs to know how to write and those that he must be able to read. I then assign him pages to practice depending on his condition that day. For instance, if he feels tired and listless, we will attempt the easier sections such as matching and filling in numbers. If he happens to be in tip-top condition, we will tackle the comprehension section or rearrangement of words into proper sentences. Once I think he is sufficiently competent in a particular chapter, I may skip the unfinished parts and move to something else.
Hopes my sharing helps.
Do you have any resources that help your child? Hope you can share with us.
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