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Enrichment classes – almost like a rite of passage for our children today.

It takes a strong parent to withstand the force that is enrichment.

While waiting to pick my K2 after school, a fellow parent leaned over to me and asked what kind of classes i send my K2 to. She said her friend’s K2-aged kid has some enrichment class or the other everyday, from tennis to art to Chinese and she was wondering if she had made the right decision not to send her kid for so many classes so he has time to play.

Actually, it is a struggle for me too.

I constantly wonder if I don’t send my kids for enrichment classes, whether they will lose out to their peers in school. And the reality is that most kids enter P1 already having mastered a good amount of content they will cover for their first semester of the year.

A good example would be Hanyu Pinyin which is part of the P1 syallabus for Mandarin. So many kids go to Berries and other enrichment centres which cover it in their K2 syllabus, so they will have an edge over the “fresh” ones who have to start from scratch

Argh! I really dont want to be caught up in the academic rat race but at the same time, I’m not brave enough to allow my child to go it alone.

I guess my compromise for enrichment is to send my kids for classes whereby they impart skillsets rather than drill the kids on the academics.

So it’s been a conscious choice to send my kids to classes like:

Brain training

To improve mastery over basic cognitive skills, creative writing class (not to those that make them memorise model essays! but one that teaches him the steps to a good essay while encouraging him to exercise his own creativity) ,

Roller blading

To get him active

Piano and art classes

I think these two skills teach discipline and develop patience.

I’m just really hoping that if my kids master all these skillsets at their tender age, it will stand them in good stead for the rest of their (academic) lives.

As for me, I’ve been inspired by an enlightened mummy that I know whose focus is on the process of studying rather than the results so she doesn’t bother about the results her kids bring home to her, but only that they don’t make careless mistakes, they have put in their best for the exams and thats good enough for her.

I’m still a work in progress towards being such a mum… getting there slowly but surely!

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