Since February, I enrolled E in Kumon for Math and reading so he can continue where he left off a year ago. Since we are not doing Abacus Math anymore, we decided that this is a better alternative as he is aready familiar with the method. So I went to the closest Kumon (Niog, Bacoor) and have him assessed. Initially, they wanted him to start at 4A for both subjects but I told them to give him an assessment test for 3A as he was already doing 3A a year ago and they agreed. He passed both tests so he started at 3A. The first 3 weeks were difficult, he struggled to do his homework — he would cry or whine saying that it is difficult, etc. There were times when I was ready to give up and cancel Kumon but I kept thinking if we stop again it will be a waste of time. Had we continued last year, I can’t imagine how advance he is now in Math and Reading. So I persisted, did the Nanny 911 reward system for good behavior 🙂 I also spoke to his teachers and asked them to continue encouraging him and lessen his worksheets from 5 to 3 pages a day. Somehow, it worked. Last night he came home after a long day, tired and sleepy, yet he wanted to finish at least his reading without me telling him. So we did. He said he wanted to do the Math when he wakes up in the morning before school. Wow! this is unheard of 2 months ago!
My point in all this is that the key to success in getting things done for his activities (like piano and Mandarin) is consistency. Yes, I listened to his arguments and empathize when he said its hard, give him a hug when he’s tired or ask him how can I make it better, etc …. yet I have to be firm and explain that there are things in life that are important and need to get done because in the long run, it will help him. As much as possible, I want to be consistent in what I want them to do because if you aren’t you send them mixed messages and confuse them. My best friend jokes that I am sort of a “Tiger Mom,” well, maybe to a lesser extent, I am. But aren’t we all? Aside from the fact that we want them to grow up happy and well-adjusted kids, we also want them to succeed in life. So what do we do? We guide them and give them the opportunity to discover their strengths and work on their weaknesses, expose them to different activities to help them develop their talents and eventually prepare them to live in this very competitive world. Parenting styles are different but I believe that our biggest role is to advocate for them. It is fun, tiring, expensive, but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it! Last Tuesday, when his Kumon teacher told me E is moving up to the next level (A), I feel that all the hard work for the past 2 months he and I did paid off. He went home happy knowing that he accomplished something and is very proud of himself 🙂