The months of May and November are where most of the parents and students take their exams and get their results. This is also the period where most of us will anticipate that their hard work and dedication will finally pay off.
But then the results arrive, and disappointment settles in like a heavy cloud. Your heart sinks, but don’t forget that your child would feel even worse.
You may have switched different methods or private tutors or tuition centers and you find yourself questioning what went wrong, where the gaps lie, and how to help your child overcome these obstacles.
As a parent, I understand the pain of witnessing your child’s confidence falter as they confront grades that fall short of their expectations. I have seen children crying when they received the results. It was devastating.
It’s in these moments of realisation that I realise there is more to success than meets the eye, and there is hope yet to be discovered.
Before we head into finding the right solutions, we need to debunk the 7 most popular myths that hold our children back from achieving their full potential. We need to shift that mindset so that we can empower both ourselves and our children to rise above the constraints of low exam scores and pave a path towards success.
Let’s get started!
Myth #1: Some people are just naturally good at learning and getting A’s.
How many of us have this in our mind when we see others getting great results again and again?
Is very common to have those thoughts and even when we move into adulthood, we continue to have this same mindset that others are just naturally good at what they do and we are not.
The truth is while some individuals may have certain innate abilities, everyone can learn and improve their grades through practice and hard work.
I have taught many students and those who score well are those who are willing to put in the effort and time to learn and practise what they learned.
As parents, we have the power to cultivate a growth mindset within our children, instilling in them the belief that with dedication, perseverance, and the right strategies, they too can achieve remarkable results.
Explore practical steps that empower you to foster a love for learning in your child, encouraging them to embrace challenges, overcome obstacles, and realize that their true potential knows no bounds.
Find out more on how to motivate your child to reach their potential here.
Myth #2: Memorizing information is the best way to get A’s.
Memorization can be useful in some cases, such as memorising names, dates, methods, etc.
But understanding and applying concepts is generally more important for achieving A’s.
I teach Science and I have witnessed many children tirelessly cramming facts and figures into their minds, hoping to regurgitate them during exam time. But when the question was tweaked to a different scenario, the child either felt lost or regurgitated the answers which are not related to the questions.
True learning goes beyond mere memorization; it’s about understanding concepts, making connections, and applying knowledge in meaningful ways.
By shifting our focus from rote memorization to effective learning strategies, we can empower our children to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.
Let’s liberate our children from the shackles of mindless memorization and equip them with the tools they need to thrive in their academic journey.
Myth #3: A’s are only attainable for the most intelligent students.
This is the most damaging myth and children with that belief tend to give up easily.
But I want you to know that every child has a potential to grow and be successful in what they want to achieve. Factors such as study habits, time management, and motivation can also play a significant role in academic success.
Intelligence is not a static entity; it is a dynamic force that can be expanded, refined, and nurtured over time. We possess the ability to learn, adapt, and develop new skills, regardless of the initial performance.
With effective learning techniques, we can help our children realise that their abilities are not set in stone.Let’s break free from the chains of the intelligence myth and unleash the extraordinary capabilities that lie within our children.
Myth #4: Getting A’s requires sacrificing social life and hobbies.
I have seen many parents around me putting their children’s social life on pause. Sometimes I do ask myself if I should do the same but watching my children being more focused after the activities.
Imagine yourself in a scenario where you work non-stop while skipping your favourite hobby. How would you feel?
How about another scenario where you get to take a break and head out for a game of tennis or basketball. How do you feel?
I would definitely prefer the second scenario where I get to head out for a short break because I will come back more refreshed and have better focus.
Achieving top grades doesn’t have to mean sacrificing precious moments with friends or abandoning the activities that bring joy and fulfilment. In fact, balancing academics and personal life is key to long-term success. While there may be times when studying takes precedence, it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Myth #5: Only strict discipline leads to success
Discipline does play a crucial role in achieving success, but it doesn’t need rigid rules, relentless study schedules, and an absence of joy.
We understand the importance of structure and responsibility, but it’s equally vital to strike a balance that nurtures our children’s well-being and happiness. Success isn’t solely measured by the number of hours spent studying or the strictness of the routine.
In fact, we should teach our children how to incorporate breaks, leisure activities, and time for self-care which in turn can enhance their overall performance.
By encouraging a balanced approach, we are indirectly guiding our children to develop effective study habits while also recognizing the value of rest and rejuvenation. Let’s debunk this myth that only strict discipline leads to achievement and unlock a holistic approach that brings out the best in our children!
Myth #6: “Comparisons with peers are essential for motivation”
We have the tendency to compare. More so after social media came into our life.
When it comes to our children’s academic performance, we can’t help but wonder why our children couldn’t reach the same heights as others who are better.
Comparison is not totally all bad and it’s natural to seek inspiration from others but making constant comparisons can be a double-edged sword.
Children in the school system fell into this comparison trap very easily due to the grading and ranking systems in the schools. To add on to that, there is also peer pressure and social dynamics within their school community which create more pressure to conform and measure up to the perceived expectations.
We need to understand that every child is unique, with their own talents, strengths, and pace of progress. Placing undue focus on others’ accomplishments can inadvertently dampen their spirits and diminish their self-worth.
Instead, we should nurture their individuality and create a path where their true potential can flourish.
Myth #7: Tutors are the ultimate solution for academic success
In Singapore, private tuition is prevalent, and there are numerous tuition centres and individual tutors catering to students at various academic levels.
According to a study by Straits Times, Singaporean families spent a substantial $1.4 billion in 2018 on extra lessons for their children, as expenditure on such private education services continues to grow.
Parents hired tutors for their children for different reasons and many believe that tutors hold the key to academic triumph. While tutors can certainly provide guidance and support, true academic achievement is a collaborative effort that involves the active participation of parents, teachers, and most importantly, the students themselves.
Tutors can be an effective resource, but they are just one piece of the puzzle in a comprehensive approach to learning and achievement.
Imagine a student named X who is struggling with math. Despite his best efforts, he finds himself falling behind in class and becoming increasingly frustrated. His parents decide to seek the help of a math tutor.
However, the key to X’s academic success doesn’t solely rest on the tutor’s shoulders. X’s parents need to be actively engage in his learning journey. They have to create a supportive and nurturing environment at home, regularly check his progress, and provide encouragement and motivation. X’s teacher also plays a pivotal role by delivering effective instruction, addressing any misunderstandings, and fostering a positive classroom atmosphere.
X also has to recognize the importance of taking ownership of his learning. X has to attend each tutoring session with an open mind, actively participates in class discussions, and practices diligently outside of tutoring hours. He needs to set realistic goals, and perseveres through challenges.
By attending all tutoring sessions and not practising/revising diligently outside of tutoring hours will not make tuition effective.
It’s time to reframe our perspective and recognize that success in learning extends beyond the confines of a one-on-one tutoring session.
It is evident that the 7 myths surrounding learning and achieving top grades have been shattered. We have embraced the truth that natural-born geniuses are not the sole beneficiaries of academic success, and that grades do not define intelligence. We have debunked the notion that strict discipline is the only path to achievement and that intelligence is fixed and unchangeable. We have also seen that tutors, while valuable, are not the ultimate solution, and that memorization alone does not guarantee exam excellence.
In understanding these myths, we have realized that success in education is a multifaceted endeavour, requiring a growth mindset, a balanced approach, and collaborative efforts. It is about fostering a love for learning, identifying individual strengths, and practising effective study habits. It involves cultivating resilience, embracing intrinsic motivation, and managing stress. It is about embracing failure as a stepping stone to growth and celebrating personal progress rather than comparing oneself to others.
So, to all the parents and students out there facing the challenges of low exam scores, take heart. You can redefine success, reimagine education, and pave the way for a brighter future for your child.
Success has different meanings to different people. Define your success. Embrace and support your child for who he/she is, and believe in the unlimited potential within each individual to enable our children to flourish academically, emotionally, and beyond.
It’s time to unleash it and witness the incredible transformation that awaits.
Onwards to a future of limitless possibilities!
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