Our Children in Singapore and the Push for Academic Excellence

The education system seems to have evolved into a competition arena where our children are in a fight to get the highest grades possible. It seems to be a part of our culture to keep them at 100 percent academic performance and to have a spotless school record. Is it all for getting a better job, or is it for bragging rights of the parents? Our daughter brought to us some information about Singapore physics tuition when she thought her grade was going to drop in her physics class. She was worried and wanted to do something about it. Very admirable of her, but I also want her to enjoy childhood.

We picked a tutor that is very popular and can really capture the attention of the kids. We wanted to keep academics as fun as it possibly could be for her. The stress to get good grades from her peers was a pretty big weight for a young girl to be carrying. She is extremely smart, but she did not enjoy science as much as she enjoyed other subjects such as math and history. We think it is great that she recognized the issue and wanted to do something about it. In my mind I would have been very happy for her to come home with a grade that said she was average. I am not for pushing kids to make them feel they have to be superior to their peers in every way.

Still, she stayed up at the top of her school for grade performance. So, if it is a goal of hers, then we will support it too. However, I never thought in a million years that as parents we would ever have the thought cross our minds about teenage academic burnout. So, we make sure she does fun kid things too in order to take her mind off the academics for a little while.