In part 2 of "What Makes a Good Story", we learn about climax, character, style and tone and creative twist and unexpected ending.
This article explores the various educational and academic choices, mainly the Integrated Programme (IP), the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Specialised Independent Schools (SIS) that are available to our students. Ultimately, of more importance, is the suitability of the programme based on our child’s strength and interest.
There are numerous approaches to teaching your children the importance of money and how to save.
How do you begin? What are the important categories to consider?
Given these “complex” questions, what then is a good age to start our children on the path to financial management? How do we teach our children something that even you and I as adults struggle with? Something which even governments sometimes struggle with?
Remember the tracking of where each cent goes? Of painfully holding back just so we do not “burst” our budget? So that we can set aside an amount for our savings? Yes, we’ve been told that it is difficult in the beginning; that it takes 30 days to cultivate a habit. And yet, the answer is that it does not have to be a struggle at all.
The solution? Simply “pay yourself first”. Make it automatic. No struggles with “budgets” and with watching your spending (although this will fall into place later). This simple advice was doled out in the 1920s by George S Clason, in a book called The Richest Man in Babylon.
The beauty of this method is that our children soon learn that it does not have to be a struggle when managing one’s finances. It actually is very easy… and something we as adults can even learn to do!
My daughter Elise, for example, has three jars; one each for “spending”, “saving” and “giving” respectively. When she receives her allowance, she knows that 10% would go to each of the jars. This means she is free to spend the remaining 70%. No planning, no tracking, no pain! And yet, she will have her savings, her money for helping other people and the money she can use when she goes shopping.Try it. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Editor: See also
Rich dad, rich mom - A baby-boomer's perspective
Ah.. the seduction of immediate gratification. Hands up those of us (harried) parents who have not heard these 2 words from our little ones. How do we deal with this, without feeling like we are setting our kids up to be spoilt brats?
This is a question my wife and I face all the time. But wait. Let’s think out of the box… is there an opportunity to use this as a lesson for our children?
When my daughter was 3 years old, she suddenly developed a liking for ballet. We were not sure and decided to wait it out and see if she would persist in her requests. Persist she did. Over the next 6 months, we were to see a whole series of pitches. It was pretty much was an ad campaign!
Fast forward 6 months, and our 3 and half year old was still asking. At that point we decided that it was a “go” for ballet. That was when my wife had a brainwave… what about asking our little girl what she would give up that she could have her ballet lessons? We left that decision up to her.
A very short time later, she presented her proposals : She would not ask us to bring her to her favourite fast food joint, and she would not ask us to buy her any gifts / toys, except when it was for her birthday.
We were amazed. As promised, we went ahead and brought her to ballet. The result? She held her end of the bargain (almost all the time, anyway J)… and today, almost 4 and a half years later, she is still passionately into her ballet.
Amazing what our kids can do if we let them.
I have been into mind mapping for a long time and use it almost daily at work and home. It is therefore not a surprise that I had my kids into it as well.
My girl got a hang of it quite quickly and readily. She would not start her composition without first drawing her map and it has definitely helped her in her structuring. While my son does make use of it especially for Science when he was in Primary 5 and 6, he did not quite enjoy the mapping process and had to be pushed to do it. This year at Secondary 1, he has many more content-heavy subjects such as History, Geography, Literature, etc. I know mind mapping will help him a great deal if only I could convince him to use it willingly and more frequently. Finally, I decided to work at where he would find most interest in - computer! I downloaded the mind mapping software into his PC and after a few minutes of tutorial with him, he has since gotten hooked! In fact, he so impressed his classmates and teacher when he presented his last History summary presentation using the mind mapping sofware. Today, he uses the mind mapping software willingly, frequently and with such ease. This entire holiday, it’s just mind mapping for all his revisions and I need not utter a word to convince him further. The wonders of technology!
Visit www.freemind.com for the free source mind mapping software if you face similar challenges.
I 'meet up' with my 14-year-old niece Min quite often - via MSN IM. Though she lives like a 3-min drive from my home, it's tough catching up in person. So sad but in today's context, relationship is built through the click of a button! Well, at least there's the click...
Min, like all children in Singapore, studies too hard. Everytime I ask what she's up to, it's study and study and study. She's self motivated, bright and very hardworking. Engages in a little golf, surfs the web and plays the piano at grade 7 (who else doesn't play the piano in Singapore?). A good student, definitely a role-model child. She does not give her parents any trouble at all, at least from my perspective. No great surprises from Min. We will be shocked to hear of any...her life is so safe, so predictable. Ask her why she is often with her nose in her books till late in the night and she goes, "cannot blame me. Ask the government why they put so much pressure into the educational system lah. I must work in order to score then can find the job that pays well!So no time to play!"So occupied at 14 - working! Totally no nonsense and so clear minded about what she wants and needs to be in order to be seen successful - a doctor! So this year, she needs to be streamed into pure science else it's not going to make her happy :( It has been a long long time since I saw her letting her hair down. This September holiday, she came by my home and became a 'naughty' child - she played water bomb in the garden and was soaking wet, messed up the kitchen with new receipes, turned my walkway into water slides and pillow fought with her cousins. She still tried to steal time for study but eventually gave up! She is a child after all just carrying a little 'burden'.
Another of my nephew turns 3 in a few months time. He stays about 8-min drive from my home. Visits me every Sunday and every alternate Wednesday. He spends his time playing and most time up to mischief. Very spontaneous child and constantly getting into 'trouble' with his new found 'adventures'. With Zeph, it's surprises most time as he acquires new skills through new discoveries often resulting from his 'misconduct'. We adults, learn new findings from this little bundle of joy always! Now as I watch him, I cannot but wonder when the playfulness and spontaneity will succumb to the harsh reality in life. *sigh*... got to go, my son needs help in his studies...
- Exercise alone is not enough!
- Psst! The National Library is only a click away!
- Help for your overweight child: Tips for concerned parents
- Does your child enjoy laughing?
- Early age internet use may be a plus
- Conquer primary maths problem sums effectively!
- Street smart bully at 4
- Let your child try that problem sum on their own!
- A Salute to Parents
- "My child is bad at sports!"
- Cyber safety for kids: Parents, the "first line of defence"
- Overweight kids tend to be bullied more, study suggests
- Be a holiday detective – meet Fletcher Moon, private investigator!
- A tween/teen? Try holiday apprenticeship at Resorts World Sentosa!
- New Media = New Children?