Monday June 22nd, 2020
“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” ~Arthur Ashe
In marking the end of the last Academic Year 2019/2020, Tzu Chi Primary School students were challenged to think out of the box and improve their life skills through practical activities. The
challenges were presented as what was called the ‘Home-based Challenge’, in which Primary students were asked to complete numerous tasks involving daily life skills (P1-P3), and
managing a personal project (P4-P5) from 2-11 June 2020.
Mabel Graciela, a P5 Harmony student, decided to make a comic book. She wrote in her journal back on the 4th of June saying, "I am so excited because I can't wait to make a comic book by
myself. I am making a story about coronavirus."
Upper primary students at P4 to P6 levels like Mabel, each student has to start a project of their own and go through each stage of a project management from beginning to end which includes:
setting their goals, planning, evaluating, and presenting their projects. This allows students to dig deeper into their own interest and therefore, enjoy the whole process.
Ms Anita Artan, Tzu Chi Primary School Renwen Teacher said, “We are looking into teaching them about project management, so for example; the kid sets their own goals, sets their own timeline, and see for themselves whether their plans work out or not. When their projects are done, the kid should be able to present it to others.”
When finishing her comic, Mabel wrote, “Wow... coloring the whole comic made my hand calloused, I took like 4 hours and a half but after a hard time, I was very proud of myself for doing a great job.”
Through this #homebasedchallenge, upper primary students were seen enjoying themselves trying new things and developing their interests such as baking, drawings, or growing vegetables. Besides, finishing the whole project also teaches children to reap the efforts they have invested in their projects, and appreciate the whole process in general.
Daily Life Skills
For lower primary students at P1 to P3, the challenge was suited to their age and was made more simple, yet, useful. The challenges were focused on implementing basic daily life skills such as brushing their teeth, sweeping the floors, making beds, and others. “These challenges are easily done by the kids and the goal is to make them become more independent and realise it is possible to do things on their own,” Ms Anita Artan added.
Both children and parents expressed their positive feelings towards this home-based challenge, which was set for almost two weeks from 2 to 11 June 2020. “There are challenges of course, like minor technical difficulties but kids are mostly very happy. They came to realize that they are able to implement what the teachers had taught them in class. Turns out, I can do this and that,” said Ms Anita Artan.
During the last parent-teacher conference that was done online on Friday, 12 June, a few parents showed their support towards activities like this and wished for challenges to be incorporated into future lessons, despite the situation. Ms Anita Artan, who spoke to some parents during the PTC said, “They feel activities like this should be done a lot more, because even though it wasn't a part of the grading system, it is beneficial for children. By doing this challenge, children were more keen to complete their work and spend less time watching Youtube or playing games.” Tzu Chi Primary School Counselor, Mr Andrias Wijaya highlighted, “Home-based challenge allows children to dig, find, and develop their interest,” especially challenges done in the upper primary levels.