Paiseh paiseh. Damn paiseh cos I have not written in such a looooong time. Not here. Not on Dayre (which is still a sore spot for me). I have been updating more on IG stories although also not much la. Some people have asked if I have stopped writing altogether or if I am still writing anywhere else. The truth is, I’ve kinda lost my mojo to write and update ever.
But hor…I keep having topics pop up in my head that I wanna write about. I am still owing the one on my Tokyo shopping loot (hahaha if can camp by topic I think that would be a hot fav), and review of my new car seats and double stroller. And a whole host of other topics that come to mind here and there.
But today, I wanna blog about a topic that stemmed from a recent blogpost by fourfeetnine. I’ll link it here, but essentially, she was asked about whether Fighter has a Chinese tutor and her response, and what she felt about her kids attending classes and how they learn.
This one hits home for me because well, my kids attend A LOT of classes. More specifically, EB goes for a lot of classes outside schooltime. Technically, I would sign ED up for them if he was of age but most of them require the child to be at least 3. I once counted the number of classes we do in a week and it came to…*drumroll*…
I know what you are thinking.
“That is more than one class a day!!!” 😱😱
What do they have?
Martial arts – Lil Ninjas class.
They also go for swimming lessons together.
Both kids are also still doing Kindermusik (they started at 3mo), but EB is also taking private piano lessons.
ED does MyGym as well as a Chinese playgroup (PlayClub) which is parent-accompanied as well.
That is…A LOT. And I know it, because I have the great honour and task of bringing them for their classes, save for two which happens on Saturday and D brings EB for those two.
The only “free” day we have every week is Friday, and Sunday is saved for church or family day.
Isn’t it tiring?
For me? Yes! Cos I have to ferry them around with all our barangs.
For the kids, especially EB? I think not. In the first place, most of these classes are reeeeally short. From 20mins – 45mins. And the venues are in similar areas/same building, so there are days we do back-to-back classes if they are not too tiring for the kids. ED gets two longer classes – MyGym (1 hour) and PlayClub (2 hours) but these are good for him to understand routines and structure. Plus they are parent-accompanied. They also usually get to nap before or after class, depending on the schedule. And we’ve got it down pretty well that they usually wouldn’t fight naps either.
But MOST important of all, the kids reeeeally enjoy their classes. I’m always very conscious about this and I always ALWAYS ask EB especially if she enjoyed the class. Some days she feels sleepy from not napping enough (or not napping cos she chose not to) and she gets a bit cranky. Or if there is a new teacher or new student that gets her a little shy and not used to it. Whatever the case is, I always ask if she likes her classes and I actually go down the list. I’ll say if she felt tired or did not like doing any of the activities anymore, she could tell me and we can stop going. (In fact, sometimes I sound too enthusiastic about stopping classes cos then not so tiring for me hahaha!) But she always comes back with an affirmative (and I would sigh silently in my heart).
Are you guys tiger moms/dads?
Honestly, I don’t see myself as one. Maybe my husband is. Cos half of the classes were his idea! Easy for him right? Just suggest, arrange trial class, tempt the daughter and when she is in hook, line and sinker, guess who has to bring her for all them classes?!? 🙄
But her swimming teacher actually told us that now is the time to do these classes, cos once they start formal education (Primary school), it will be difficult for them to go for so many classes. They won’t have time for it on top of their academic work and extra-curricular activities.
Have spoken to other mummy friends before too and they feel that the education system in Singapore and the world is changing. Academic results are not everything and at some point, kids need to have other skill sets or be able to show their abilities outside of schoolwork and exam results. How do we know what our kids are good at when they are 3, 4, 5? Heck, I hardly knew what I was good at when I had to choose a university course at 18! Is talent a result of nature or nurture? So do we pick activities and classes which we think our kids are good at, or do we pick what we think they need to thrive in the very competitive world we live in?
My own philosophy when it comes to these questions is probably that it is a little bit of everything. A talent which is not nurtured, is just wasted talent, even if it comes naturally. As parents, of course we want our kids to be happy and have a proper childhood filled with fun and play, but we also hope that our kids will thrive as they meet the demands of the world.
So…if I can help them discover their talents and passion, why not? Maybe somewhere down the road, they may find that they don’t have the passion for one area or the other, whether it be music, the arts, sports or something else, but at least we have tried and gone through it together, and have had the chance to figure it out. I think that is what is important.
I agree with Audrey that play is important, which is also why all of the classes I sign the kids up for have some or quite a large element of play. I personally don’t believe in the right brain training thing, or anything far too academic at this age. Even when choosing pre-schools, I kinda steered away from those which have a more academic structure. Nothing wrong with having worksheets or flashcards (EB gets flashcards from school too), or even right-brain training (my own niece and nephew went through those), but I would just rather spend our time and energy on activities that are more fun for the kids and myself. I’m also far too lazy to do “homework” with/for my kids. If it is not even fun for me, then why would I impose it on them? Like, I would TOTALLY join any of the activities they are doing. I actually have. Started learning the piano this year! Would totally restart my golf lessons and go learn to ride a horse if I had time and no leech (ED).
ED turns 3 next year and he has been sitting at the sidelines while Jiejie goes for some of her classes. He recently joined her a bit for golf but is still too young to formally start. I am looking forward to him starting on some of EB’s classes – pony, martial arts, golf, piano – to name a few, just so I can dump them in class and have some me-time. Hahaha
Is this too much though? I mean, the alternative would be they stay at home and play, watch TV, play more, run around downstairs? Doesn’t seem particular productive nor enough to expend their energies. HOW COME THEY HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY?!? Seriously, some days even after a looong day (or what I feel is long), they still have so much energy and can run and fight and play. I’m like…🤯!
Haha so anyway that is all I have for now. Wrote this while putting the littlest critter down for his nap. Multitasking ftw. Also, I need to pack their swimming bags.
Let me know what you guys think? Curious to know your thoughts. ☺️