Ex-MOE Teacher Says Don’t Have Kids If You Can’t Teach Them How To Read

A former MOE teacher, Lenny Rehman, has hit out at parents who don’t teach their kids to read. In a Facebook post she expressed her disappointment at the fact that, “In this day and age that there are kids in p1 who DO NOT KNOW HOW TO READ.” Clarifying that she wasn’t referring to special needs kids, Lenny reveals that, “They cannot even recognize simple sight words such as "he", "she", "it", "the", "is".” She asks why parents can't spend a few minutes every day to teach their children how to read. Reading is one of the most essential skills they can teach their children, she says. “You CANNOT spare 30 mins every day to read to/with your child?! Wouldn't or rather SHOULDN'T you as parents want your kids to have a better life than you did?!?” And she has a strong word of advice for parents who are too busy working and don’t have the time to spend - “Don’t have kids.” “Busy working but you CANNOT spend time with your kid? Then why have kids in the first place?!” “BTW, reading IS a basic necessity besides food, clothes, shelter. Depriving your child of basic education, is depriving your child of a better future”, she says. This is her Lenny’s full post on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lenny.syafawatie/posts/2232810843416771 Parents, here are some simple tips to teach your child to read: -Set aside some time every day to read to your kids. This will help increase their vocabulary and expose them to new words. -Make your reading sessions interactive. Talk to your kids a lot and ask them questions. The best way to learn a language, is to hear it a lot. -Teach phonics or letter sounds. Kids are usually ready to learn phonics when they are 4-5 years old. Once they can grasp the concept of joining these sounds to form a word, reading becomes fun and easy! -Teach them sight words. Sight words are those which don’t follow the laws of phonics, and which the child is required to memorise by sight, so they can recognise them immediately. They include words like “who”, “the”, “he”, “does”, “their”, “me”, “be” etc Mums and dads, do share how you taught your children to read!

Ex-MOE Teacher Says Don’t Have Kids If You Can’t Teach Them How To Read
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Honestly... my brother (now 20) couldn’t even memorize the alphabets at P1. I don’t think it’s fair to blame the parents because you don’t know what’s going on at home. My parents had just divorced and my dad (who had our custody) was working 2 jobs. He didn’t even have time for us on weekends because he had to provide for 2 kids and wasn’t receiving any financial aid or child support. He would have probably taught us if the situation was different, or if we had our mom to help him do so. I don’t think she was staying in Singapore back then (she moved to Australia) and there is no video calls or whatsapp for her to help teach us through. My brother’s form teacher took me aside one day to voice her concerns. As the older sibling, i was stuck tutoring my brother when i was only P3. Some kids may not have an older sibling to tutor them and may have some unforeseen circumstances. Thinking back, it’s why we were also put in school. We needed education! His teacher should not have to expect a P3 to tutor a P1 when she herself is a qualified educator. The teacher even knew our family situation so she would speak to me as if i was my brother’s guardian. I would then have to report to my dad when he comes home at 10pm, then head to bed to rest for the next day. As a teacher, she should work harder to help these kids and try to find out why they are the way they are rather than blaming the parents for everything. They work to put the kids in school to learn because they may not have the best technique or are not fully educated, let alone to teach their kids to read. Also, brother and i were both slow learners as kids. We may not be special needs but it took time for us to absorb things especially with our family situation. We were both day dreamers in class. I’m not sure about him but i was always thinking about how to get my parents back together and school was too unimportant at that point of time. Again, the teacher should try to find out more as counsellors could have been asked to step in to help us cope with the current situation. Eventually, our learning abilities pick up as we coped with everything. I was about 10 before i could pay attention and excel in class. Bottom line is... an educator should do their job and not blame parents outright. I would teach my child if i could but i may not have the luxury, so i would pay someone to do their job rather than blaming me for a situation i could not control

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2y ago

As if school teachers do not have enough on their hands to do... can u imagine if all 30 students in the class need extra help in learning? Agree that teachers should be more understanding on the student's home situation but eventually the kid is yours, not the teacher's. Don't forget that teachers also have their own kids to teach themselves.

VIP Member

This is effective when u spend 30mins daily. Ur child will love to read and happy to see books. Don't panic if ur LO doesn't have any reactions towards books or writing. You will be the role model. Do it by reading aloud daily at the same time, remove all toys in e room except u and Lo, he/she will sit by ur side to listen the story and look at the book you're holding in ur hands. Similarly to writing, drawing. Let them draw, scribble or doodle. If they don't, u do it by drawing proper shapes etc. They will pick up after u. It is really impt for parents to be the role model & ur child will be ur mirror. They are just like ur signboards. So never be late to start.

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Super Mum

I actually agree that parents should be involved in teaching their children. Home-based learning was a good starting point.. hopefully parents will continue to help their children. My daughter started learning the phonics of each letter, and then we started blending the sounds together. We had to teach her exceptions and silent sounds too. English can be quite complex, but the kids pick it up quickly:) We also started doing Chinese together, and that’s a whole different ball game and learning style. But it’s been fun. And worth it! Seeing her confidence grow is so rewarding.

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yup good tips n sharing...yes i agree phonics is d basic to recognize letters n hear d sound of the letters...though in sch teacher do teach phonics ...do revise it at home with your kids when came back to school n read books with them with big letters with pictures n colourful in it...im sure kids will b very excited n curious...step by step dnt hv to force...go with d flow.

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actually I don't think there's anything wrong with kids who can't read at primary 1. most of us can't read too during our times. I think it's just expectations.

3y ago

in the end the kids are the poor ones. where's their childhood? our childhood were playing around enjoying theirs is stressing over School.

Yeah phonics is very difficult but very useful!! Definitely should spend some times coaching the little ones

Yes teaching phonics step by step is very important...

Good sharing. I agree.

VIP Member

thank you for sharing

thanks for sharing