Hello! I’m Jacinth, a parenting coach, a secondary school Math and Science teacher, textbook co-author and mom to two children. These are my two kids (Daryl and Charlotte). Three of us are BFFs (best friends forever) because we spend so much time hanging out together.
After junior college, I took up the Singapore’s Ministry of Education Teaching Scholarship because I was very certain that I wanted to be a teacher. Upon graduating with a degree in Physics (Hons), I attended a one year PGDE teaching programme at Singapore National Institute of Education (PGDE, Distinction) and started my teaching career officially in a secondary school.
If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” ― Ignacio Estrada
I always believe that every child learn differently. You cannot expect every child to learn by the same way of drill and practice because they have varied learning styles. If you sit in my Math and Physics classes, you will notice how I break down a 40 minute lesson into different parts: I use videos to spark interest, movement to encourage brain-friendly learning, seat work, short breaks to consolidate learning, group discussions, songs (for the auditory learners), manipulatives (for the kinesthetic learners), summary to enforce learning in their long term memory etc
Gosh as I am typing this, I do miss teaching in a classroom!
I was at the peak of my career. Then, I got pregnant.
While I love my teaching and progressing up the leadership track, I know that this is the season for me to focus on my own child. I had limited help then, so I decide to drop what I have accomplished and be a stay-at-home-mom. But of course the educator in me cannot stop teaching so I started “Mama School” – basically means my kids attend my school in the afternoons 😂 (I’m not homeschooling, the kids attend kindy in the mornings)
Instead of a class of 40 students, I now have a class of 2 students! Each day, Daryl and Charlotte spend most of their time playing, exploring and learning at home and out, with ME!
During these 6 years as a stay-at-home mom, I began sharing my ideas and teaching tips on my social media account @ourlittleplaynest. I believe in fostering a love for learning in children, especially when they are still young. Children are innately curious about the world! As parents, we can do a lot to create an enriched learning environment to get kids to read, ask questions, get excited about how things work, create and innovate (which is the highest level in Bloom’s Taxonomy!)
I am also an advocate of positive parenting, so I coach parents at in-person workshops, online course From Yelling To Connecting and a members only parenting community Sprout.
I’ve heard about how stressful formal school can be for children entering primary schools (grade 1). I know that learning is a lifelong process, and while there are still weighted and non-weighted assessments in our Singapore schools, learning can still be made fun and enjoyable for kids, regardless of their ages! Hence @ourlittleplayacademy is born to help parents help their children with Mathematics.
My son asked me an interesting question, “Mama, why do you teach parents, why don’t you teach the children directly?”
My reply? “Because their parents see the children every day, I’ll only see the kids once a week!”
As an educator for so many years, I noticed that the students who struggled, are those who have minimal family support. If you can be present, provide emotional support, converse with them daily, your children will become motivated to do well after you have met their basic and psychological needs. Don’t underestimate your power daddies and mummies. You have a such a profound influence on your children and your family values!
Passing on my teaching knowledge to you
I hope you find these tips and strategies valuable to you as you guide your children in Mathematics. The subject is one that builds on its foundation, so don’t wait for your children to reach Primary 6 before you start teaching him – your child may not be receptive by then. Be intentional and speak to your kids about Mathematics in our daily lives (e.g. lift buttons, distance from home to school, buying food, telling time etc).
Don’t worry about not being able to teach your child, join the community and receive bite-sized, research backed tips on how you can help your children in enjoying Mathematics. See you in your inbox!
I equip parents with research-backed teaching strategies & fun games to cultivate their children’s interest in Math🎉 Free math games 👇🏻