5-year-old children hurrying for intensive practice writing classes
  • | VietNamNet | June 22, 2011 06:00 AM

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The babyhood of Vietnam children seems to becoming shorter because they have to begin learning at the year of four or five instead of six.

Vietnamese parents now force their 5-year-old children to practice writing before they officially go to primary schools.

“I never thought before that my child should begin learning at the age of five. However, I now feel worried when hearing that children of my friends all can read and write already. Therefore, I have to bring my child to intensive mathematics and writing practicing classes now to prepare him for the first grade,” said Nu, a parent in Linh Dam residential quarter in Hanoi.

Every day, she and her husband take turns to bring the son to tutoring class and pick him from the class which is five kilometers far away from their house.

Ngoc, a mother in Kim Lien area in Hanoi, also said that she has asked her son to practice writing since after-Tet days.

“Previously, I thought that the curriculum for first graders was simple and no need to force my daughter to learn writing and reading in advance. However, it was my wrong decision,” Ngoc said.

Ngoc’s first child began going to school two years ago. On the first days at school, the teacher told Ngoc that her child was the worst in the class in terms of writing. As a result, Ngoc had to spend her evenings with the daughter until 11 pm, when both of them practiced writing and solved mathematics questions.

Ngoc said that she has learned lessons from the first child and she has been hurrying the second child to attend tutoring classes. “Now the boy can read and write fluently. However, I still ask him to continue practicing, because all other children now can read and write before they go to the first grade,” she said.

A lot of parents have got rattled over the children’s learning, as the new academic year will come in just two months, and they fear that their children do not have much time more to practice writing and reading.

On education forums, parents these days always ask each other about how to find tutors for their 5-year-old children. A lot of writing skill and mathematics practicing centers have been mushrooming to meet the increasingly high demand from parents.

Lien Huong, the manager of a writing practicing center located on Chua Boc street in Hanoi, said that right on the after-Tet days, a lot of parents have come and registered writing practicing classes for their children. Most of the children are preparing for the first grade. However, there are also the children who were born in 2006, which means that they will only begin going to primary school in 2012.

Lien said that some mothers registered two consecutive practicing hours for their children, saying that they cannot arrange time to pick up the children. However, the teachers of the center did not agree, saying that three consecutive practicing hours would be overloaded for the children.

“The children at the age of five remain small, who still prefer playing than learning, therefore, it is impossible to force them to learn too much,” Lien explained. “Moreover, their hands remain weak, and they get weary quickly. The thing that children at the age need to do is just to make acquainted with letters”.

At the age of four or five, many children feel like fish out of water when they come to classes. Some parents have to sit next to their children at the classes to calm the children down. A lot of parents have complained that children nowadays are less happy than the previous generations.

Dang Thi Le Thuy from Smile’s House, a children’s skill practicing center, said that most of parents want to provide as much knowledge to children as possible, fearing that they would lag behind classmates if they do not learn lessons in advance. However, she believes that this may bring more harm than good.

Psychologists believe that when children remain small, it would be a task beyond children’s capacity to ask them to write continuously for more than 20 minutes.

The difficulties children meet when practicing writing before their age would bring negative impacts to children, because this can decline the eagerness for learning. Meanwhile, there has been no scientific evidence showing that children’s handwriting will be better if they begin practicing writing soon.

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