Friday, May 30, 2014

We Dropped Kumon!

Right after Chiara turned 4, I signed her up at a Kumon center. I think it was around the time when I finished reading Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Believe it or not, she loved it. She's always been great with her fine motor skills, so tracing was really fun to her. Then came the writting and I --- being tiger mother no.2 --- made sure that she produced some really nice numbers. We sat and practiced together. Over and over.

I truly believed she had a future in numbers. For a 4-year-old to do sums between 1-100 easily, I thought it was marvellous. Kumon has a time limit, and considering her age, the teacher would suggest her finish a 10-page book in 20 minutes. All I can say is we had some bad days and some good days. I remember one time she had tummy bug so we stayed at home togther the whole week. I went to the Kumon center twice to get new homework and those were the only 2 times I left the house, if I remember correctly. She delivered all of her homework that week between 7-10 minutes. That was an awesome week, Kumon wise.

Side note --- Yes I did feel bad to have brought up homework when she's sick, but I swear not the first 2 days when she was just hit with the bug and energy-less.

She's been doing subtraction lately and oh boy, homework table is like a battle field, with me being a nag and her writing and playing at the same time. I've tried all sorts of strategies, one being "inviting" some of her stuffed animal friends to "help", but it became more and more of a game, and less and less writing ---- there's a time limit if you remember.

Poor child.... she spents more and more time every afternoon doing homework and it's really getting ridiculous now. It seems the more she does it the more confused she's getting. Today.Is.The.Day! We're taking a big break from those Kumon drills.

What have I leant from Kumon? It's a perfect drilling programme for those who have already learnt some maths at school, the real/funway, and are looking for supplementary practice. NOT for anyone starting fresh not having a clue of what all those numbers represent. All Chiara knows is numbers and they don't mean anything to her. Maths isn't just numbers!

I'm really glad that she showed signs of frustration and we've put a stop to it before I turn her into a number drilling robot. Go play my girl. Well you still have to practice piano, you know?

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