The Lower Secondary School Years Back

The Lower Secondary School Years

Lower Secondary School Home Tuition (Secondary 1 and Secondary 2)

The subjects that Nanyang Academics Home Tuition Agency offer for our Upper Primary students are:

•    English Tuition
•    Lower Sec Math Tuition
•    Lower Sec Science Tuition
•    Chinese Tuition
•    Higher Chinese Tuition
•    Malay Tuition
•    Tamil Tuition
•    Geography Tuition
•    History Tuition
•    Social Studies Tuition
•    Literature Tuition
•    Design & Technology Tuition
•    Art Tuition

Indicative Tuition Rates:  
Diploma/University Undergraduates:                  $30-35/hour
Graduates (Full Time Tutor/Part Time Tutor):            
MOE School Teachers/Former School Teachers:                    $65-75/hour

For your child, the move to secondary school can be a big jump. For one, they are streamed into four different tracks, each with varying standards and pace of learning determined by their PSLE results. They are, Integrated Programme (IP), Express Stream, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical). 

While many things remain similar, the secondary school environment makes many assumptions about what a student has managed to become proficiency in. Expectations and demands also change, and many students may miss their old friends. Here’s how you can help your child to cope:

Check that your child’s reading skills are sufficient, and seek immediate help if they are not
One of the main differences between secondary and primary school in Singapore is in reading. In secondary school, students no longer “learn to read” but rather “read to learn.”
Secondary school teachers will often tell students to go home and read certain chapters or pages on their own; it is expected that students can do so. I have met some parents who are shocked at how their children seem to fall back in secondary school, and this is sometimes one of the reasons.
I always advise parents to check that their children are able to read and understand the given chapters. If they cannot, it is important to seek immediate help from the school teachers (ensure the teachers know of the problem).

Encourage your children to join a wider range of activities
During the first year in secondary school, children will be looking for new friends. Some of the more introverted students, however, may have difficulty here. This isn’t good – students who can’t make friends tend to be less eager about school, and often don’t seek out help from peers for homework, revision, etc.
Do remember that 13 is a difficult age that comes with many mood swings, and children who cannot fit in socially are not going to concentrate well.
The easiest way around this is to encourage your child to join a wide range of activities. Don’t tell them to hurry home every day and stare at the television, or to avoid contact. The faster they make new friends, the faster they will feel comfortable at school.

Lay off the rote learning techniques
Memorising will not work in secondary school (and is in fact inadvisable even in primary school.) At the secondary level, many questions will test students’ analytical abilities, as well as their skills at articulating an argument.
For example, essay writing may require argumentative skills, where they must present and support a case with their own words and examples.
In order to develop these skills, your children must be encouraged to discuss various solutions, rather than being force fed the answers from an assessment book.

Encourage a better understanding of current events
Many topics in secondary school now deal with current events. Magazine and newspaper clippings may be used as a source of questions and material.
I find that students perform better if their parents join in on this. You could encourage them to read the news, and discuss it over breakfast or dinner. You might also want to nudge them toward the right magazines. Avoid trashy celebrity gossip ones, and go for magazines like National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, the New Yorker, or the Economist.
This also helps with the issue I raised in point 3: students will need to articulate arguments, and form opinions of their own.

Teach your child to use library resources
Many secondary level assignments will require children to have some initiative. This means finding extra facts not covered by the textbook, or doing their own research.
Without fail, students who have not learned to use the library will falter. 
To get around this, bring your child to the library and show them how to look up key resources. I find it also helps to teach your children to reference their sources: this is not actually necessary yet, but it demonstrates the effort put into research and is quite easy to do.

Finally, research the options of home tuition for them. 
Check to see if your child’s tuition classes keep pace with the new syllabus and more importantly, as your child would be more involved in school activities in their secondary years, do be mindful of the available days for home tuition so that it doesn’t clash with other activities that your child might have.