Family plays key role in his good results

Matthew Sun's family pitched in to help him with household chores so he could concentrate on his studies.
Matthew Sun's family pitched in to help him with household chores so he could concentrate on his studies.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Even while preparing for his Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), Matthew Sun, 14, made time almost daily to help his two younger brothers with school work.

The three boys, as well as their oldest brother, also shared the household chores, such as sweeping the floor and cooking dinner.

In the evenings, Matthew, from Huamin Primary School, helped his 51-year-old mother sell packets of Vitagen in the neighbourhood.

But as the PSLE got closer, his family members, including his 46-year-old engineering assistant father, all pitched in so he could concentrate on his books.

For instance, his brothers, aged 11, 13 and 16, took over more chores without being told to do so.

Yesterday, Matthew "repaid" them with his good results, scoring A*s for Chinese and mathematics, A for science, B for English and a merit for Higher Chinese.

"When my brothers knew my PSLE was getting close, they helped to do more of the chores. Their support encouraged me to put more effort into my studies," said the teenager, who lives in a four-room flat in Yishun.


"Family is very important. They are the closest to me. In future, if I have any problem, my family will also help me."

His responsible attitude did not go unnoticed.

This year, Matthew was chosen as class ambassador to help his teachers with managing his class. This included helping classmates who had questions in their studies.

Ms Lai Xiao Xin, his form teacher, said he was also a good mediator.

"He has a good relationship with his peers, and had a way of stopping their arguments," she added.

"He is quite cool and calm, and his classmates do listen to him."

Matthew, who enjoys playing hockey and the guitar, believes finding time to destress was key to his good results.

He spent about three hours daily on revision and then unwound by watching television and playing basketball.

"I believe in balancing my time, and not just spend it all on my schoolwork," said Matthew, who believes he would not have done as well if he had just focused on his books. "I think that some time to destress is also important to do well."

Calvin Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Family plays key role in his good results'. Print Edition | Subscribe