Friday, September 20, 2013

Illustrations, Pictures and the Real McCoy

Real hat, image of a hat and illustration of a hat
One of my hubby’s kin is a kindergarten teacher. At the end of every school term, she’ll give my daughter some coloring workbooks which she got free from the distributor. This person (let’s call her Madam O for now) is rather generous when it comes to my daughter. Now I don’t talk to Madam O directly, unless it’s Hobson’s choice. I’ve offended her far too many times that I’ve almost used up my entire stash of get-out-of-jail-free-cards. You see, if you irritate Madam O; she will unforgiving send you straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred. But despite her extreme emotional hyper-sensitivity, Madam O can sometimes be nice like summer sunshine.

Now back to workbooks. Those workbooks given to my daughter are all illustrations of day to day objects. While some illustrations are pretty much straight forward, others can be quite confusing particularly for a two year old. I’ve watched numerous times how Madam O used these workbooks to teach my daughter new words. More often than not, my daughter ends up forgetting the name of the object after every two pages or so. Simply put, Madam O taught my daughter the using the conventional method of memorize and regurgitate. It was very obvious my daughter was struggling to grasp what Madam O was trying to teach her and my little baby vents her frustration with high pitch baby shriek.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t stop Madam O? Please reread paragraph one above. Madam O is an obstinate and selfish woman. Instead of offending her (yet again) with my observation, might as well share it mothers out there who would appreciate. But I won’t blame Madam O entirely as that was how she was taught in school and also how she was trained.

I’ve noticed my daughter loves hands on approach. She learns faster and remembers better. It was apparent during our trip to Perth last year at Caversham Wildlife Park where we all saw, touched and pet kangaroo and koala for the first time. Till this day, my daughter remembered how these two marsupials looked like and correctly identifies images, illustrations and even stuffed toys versions. But if we follow the current school system of teaching solely with illustration as opposed to images or real objects, I am almost certain I will end up having a very frustrated and clueless child!


  1. I'm also not to keen about nowadays school system. Seems like in our times, we had more fun. A child these days is put under so much stress. I really feel for them, if the parents at home don't understand this and also give them a hard time.

    1. Yes, I agree with you very much too! It is why I try to break away from the conventional methods of teaching.
      The current school system here has gone insane with parents even requesting extra "tuition" classes for kindergarten aged children!


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