Chinese & Science Revision 

I was earlier saying that I didn’t feel like writing about our home learning anymore but knowing that it’s a “big” part and parcel of our life now, it still needs to be mentioned now and then. Not as a structured post but as a “Moments in our life” post.

Chinese Revision

We had been hard at work the past few weeks beginning with Chinese Revision.

We revised on Comprehension the most, using books such as Victoria Publication’s , SAP’s 阅读理解 and EPH’s 阅读理解方程式. I couldn’t decide on getting which one so I got all three. From doing them, SAP’s 阅读理解 was too difficult for him with passages that had many unfamiliar words. He tried doing two passages and started complaining, “Why is this so difficult…I don’t understand a lot of parts”. So I asked him to work on Victoria Publication and EPH’s, and he was much better at answering. At least, he understood the passages. For Victoria Publication, they are in exam paper format with one paper for each chapter, so he could practice other sections too. Their comprehension passages are also quite good for him to do it independently.

The CA Paper is now marked and returned and he had one question wrong and one mark deducted. I was worried about the Chinese Character Writing and his Comprehension but surprisingly, he got them all correct. The section he got wrong was the cloze passage which he had always gotten full marks for…He didn’t know what’s the difference between “自从”, “从来” and chose wrongly. That’s why sometimes I feel a bit dejected over our revision. When we revised the difficult parts, he would somehow get marks deducted for the easier sections. Parts we didn’t revised on or worried about…by the way, the comprehension passages were not difficult in this paper but I’m still glad we put in the effort to revise more.

Science Revision

For the recent Science Revision which we did over two weekends, he had sat for the test on Tuesday. Here, I will mention how we did the revision. 

First, READ Reference Books  | Next, Verbal Question & Answer Session

I sat down with him to look through all his references.

  1.  Textbook – He hadn’t even read it before I sat down with him! His teacher doesn’t use it at all and he was bogged down by so many things to do daily that he doesn’t have time to read textbooks…*roll eyes. So we went through it a little… With the pathetic text, we soon turn to…
  2. McCavendish Science Booster – I asked him to read through the pages from Plants to Living Things. Take note of the important points which was highlighted. I then tested him verbally asking important questions such as:     “What are the characteristics of Living Things?”   |  “What are the characteristics of mammals (replacing with each group… fish, bird…etc.) | “How can plants be classified?”
  3. EPH – Ultimate Science Guide Lower Block – The above questions led us to read through the Ultimate Science Guide because the booster has a lot of extra information which is not needed at the moment when we are in a hurry to do revision. He could read those in his spare time. I like the Science Guide because it summarises all the information in a listed and clear format so we could easily read through, get a few examples. 

From the reference books, I realised that he doesn’t know a lot about plants. Which plants are poisonous? What are examples of plants with leaves which are colourful and not green? The name was given in the references but no picture.

Hence, with the iPad and Google, we searched for pictures of all the things we are not sure about. “Heart-shaped leaves (examples of plants with it)….tooth-edged leaf…Coloured leaves (examples)…” If we read about the example plant or animal with name given, we searched Google for the picture of it. “Hydrilla, Duckweed, Croton, African Violet, Silverfish…etc” It’s the quickest way to show Dar how they looked like. I’m actually surprised that he knew nothing about all these common plants and animals in his Science Lessons. Information such as, how some flowers grow singly or in a cluster, example of water plants, partially submerged or floating etc, were not taught. I remembered learning about them in Primary 3 when I was young, we even went to the Science Centre to look at them.

Frankly, I really don’t know what they do in Science lessons except they do a lot of worksheets. Just plain theory? Because he didn’t know what they looked like and their characteristics, when he try to answer the questions in the assessment books. I had to google for him. It’s times like this that you are thankful for technology. 

Later, I learnt that he didn’t even know whether mango has one seed or many seeds, papaya has many seeds, how lychee looks like or whether bitter gourd has seeds etc… gosh… we seldom eat these fruits and even though I had prepared mango/papaya for him before, he hadn’t seen me cut it, so all he saw was the slices! Therefore, through this revision, I realised that he still needs to read up and observe things more in his surroundings. Questions such as, Does Flamingo Fly? …various odd questions I hadn’t thought or know about popped up and we all started googling to learn about them.

My purpose of reading through/googling, even though some information is not really required in his tests, was also to get him to learn more, instead of just knowing and answering what is required at his level. There is really no harm to go deeper and know more. It helps the child to see the bigger picture of the entire living things, plants and animal kingdom, instead of limiting him to know what is just in the textbook and regurgitate in the exam.

We even showed him a time-lapse video of a plant moving, to tell him that “Plants are able to move by themselves, but not from place to place”, to illustrate one characteristic of Living Things – “Living things move by themselves.”  This was due to him not getting how plants “move”. We usually don’t see them move but they actually do it in a very, very slow manner.

Next step, Practice.

Finally, get him to start working on questions in the assessment books for practice in Exams. 

For Conquer Science, I could tear out worksheets from each section and asked him to complete one by one. Then, I file them up. This book could be used until Primary 4 so we would just do some from each section during revision. I like the way their worksheets look, clean and clear, comfortable to write on. Questions are also pretty thought-provoking. You know how some assessments books try to cramp their questions very tightly on one page, using inappropriate fonts, making it hard to read…think no child would like to do those.

For Daily Dose of Science, I chose a few worksheets out of each section again (Plants, Animals, Living Things) and focused more on completing the Revision Worksheets for his topics in Term 1. I like it that there was a great variety of questions from this book that he could practice on. In fact, many of the questions were asking for the same thing but phrased differently. That way, he had ample practice on how questions could be different, yet answers are the same.

Having a great memory is no use if one does not practice on answering differently phrased questions. So what if he remembers the theory? When faced with “How is this and this similar? How is this and this different?”, he gets stumped, trying to put his knowledge into sentences. This is also when understanding English comes in handy because of the large amount of text they had to read to understand what the questions are asking for. Also, how we should write the answers in logical English and the key Science words to use. English and Science really goes together. 

Related posts: