Tuesday, October 25, 2016

enrichment changes

The flux and flow of enrichment classes which drain our monthly resources continue.

In a nutshell, enrichment changes for the kids this year:


He’s finally done with tuition – for the year at least – as his Chinese tuition stops after the PSLE. He’s very happy now. But I’ve already been warned – Chinese in Secondary school is HARD.

He recently stops gymnastics, after three whole years. His gymnastics career fizzles out with a whine when he stops classes and the teachers don’t even ask why. That’s the thing about enrichment. Sometimes it takes several years for them to realize they’re not very good in it and that they don’t like it very much, but too bad you would have spent the money already.

* Miserable gym-ming

But in place of that, he takes up taekwondo.

He also re-started piano, at the start of the year, after stopping for a year plus. That’s the other thing about enrichment. Sometimes they stop, but they don’t really mean it and the parent is left guessing – Is this renewed interest for real?


Jo stopped Chinese tuition at the end of last year, meaning she’s been tuition-free the entire year. The Chinese tutor, who also taught Day, said Jo could do without it and waved her off with smile. But I’ve been warned – Chinese in Primary 5 is HARD. Jo herself is most concerned.

She is still fully invested in her gymnastics and piano classes. The thing about Jo is she keeps going without ever losing steam, which is good, but which also means you think twice before letting her start anything because everything piles up.

* Jo and Lu at a recent student's piano concert

So why did I let her start private erhu classes? I don’t know. Except that teacher called me up twice to say Jo should do private classes and I thought it’d be nice if she gets good enough to get into a proper orchestra and enjoy making music with other kids who practice at home and not once or twice a week. She’s also taken an erhu exam.

Jo, even without tuition, is the busiest "enrichment" kid by far.


Lu is still banging away on the piano, resentful one minute and happily plonking out her tunes the next. She wants to stop, I know, but she’s malleable and having learnt from Day (don’t always listen too closely to what the child wants) I choose to believe that she does like music and that she’ll enjoy playing for herself next time and that a music education is enriching in many other ways.

On everyone’s advice, she also starts Chinese tuition in the middle of the year, which has pushed up her Fail to a miraculous 80 percent. It's probably a fluke but ah. She is undeniably passing, thanks to the undeniable power of a good tuition teacher. Lu outwardly hates going for tuition class and flounces about yelling “I HATE tuition” just before I fetch her there, but I notice a tiny, blooming interest in Chinese. She makes me read Chinese books to her. What does that say?


Anonymous said...

Hi Sher,

may i know if the kids are taking private piano classes or from a music school? i am looking for a piano teacher for my girls. Any good recommendation? thanks!

Sher said...

private lessons. email me? shermaine.wong@gmail.com