What to do when your child asks for enrichment classes?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

What to do when your child asks for enrichment classes?

Postby red_ryder » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:56 am

I try to limit to 2 enrichment classes, so as not to tire out the kid and leave time for free play.

My girl started with ballet at 4. Then swimming as well. She loves swimming very much, often staying back another hour after lessons just to swim some more. Then because she enjoyed the singing and dancing practice for her school concert so much, we sent her for a jazz performance class. But we cancelled the ballet.

Now she is 5 yrs old, and she is asking to learn piano because she sees me playing the piano at home. I told her that she will have to give up her jazz performance class for that, and it breaks your heart when your girl has to give up something she likes. Till now she still asks to go back to ballet, and she also asks to go for cooking classes. Furthermore, there's the looming question of chinese enrichment class since she barely speaks it at home and she is entering P1 in 2010.

Anyone else in such a dilemna?

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Re: What to do when your child asks for enrichment classes?

Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 pm

Since your child is still in pre-school, why limit her to only 2 enrichments classes, given that SHE is asking for more, and assuming you have both the time and resources to make it happen? You won't have the same kind of freedom to choose once she reaches Primary school level. It is a good idea to expose her to more things from an early age so that she can experience and decide on which she wants to grow deep specialization in.

That said, it is also not a good idea to give the child everything she wants just because she asks. It is very prudent of you to talk to her to explain the concept of opportunity cost, that she may have to sacrifice certain things in order to do others. As adults, we make such decisions on a daily basis.

Also, she must learn to take the fun things with a dose of reality. There should be a balance of enrichment - some focusing on the child's own interests, others to build foundation for Primary school education - but all should be administered in a fun way.

But you have already done well so far in grooming such an independent and self-aware child who knows what she wants!

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Postby EN » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:22 am

Hi. I'm in sync with ChiefKiasu. I remember when I was young, my schedule was packed tight too but never will I say I feel pressurized. Now as a parent I have the same thinking as you are if my kids will be overwhelm by all the enrichment programs. Since she is interested, by all means go ahead. She will definitely give you some indications or will tell you that she no longer has interest in attending the enrichment programs if she feels overwhelm.

As for cooking class, I have the same request from my kids. Instead of enrolling them for classes, I invited their favourite cousin for tea time & we all had fun preparing for tea. Simple recipe like fruits fondue (they can help cut banana with plastic knife, break the chocolate into pieces etc), baking cookies, pizza etc. Do take plenty of photographs when they are in action & create a scrap book or a blog together to immortalize the happy moments.

You can also teach your daughter basic piano lessons. Wait for a few months and see if her interest is still strong. It will then be up to you to enrol her for serious learning.

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Postby shuting28 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:40 pm

Hi, think you are not alone :wink:

I have a girl same age as yours and she too will ask for enrichment lessons! Hmm I have the same mentality as the other 2, if it is managable then why not.

She is currently in a 3 hourly pre-school and so when the school started a series of extra lessons, she was over-joyed! Since it just 1 hour after her normal lessons, I enrolled her for those that she asked for. (after we had discuss what is suitable :) ) She doesn’t feel pressurized but seems to be enjoying herself! However, I would tend to reserve weekends free for family day (for the dad and family gatherings)

But I do agreed on the point that they can't be given everything that is asked for and there needs to do compromising sometimes. Nothing in this world comes free :lol:

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Postby breguet » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:07 pm

Hi All, my son hates all classes, including school :cry: . He just wants to learn and do things by himself. He's cheap to upkeep I suppose, but Mummy over here wants some personal time. Before I read this thread, I thought all kids didn't like classes, but this has opened my eyes. What to do? :lol: A case of too bad lah!

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Postby nicsmom » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:20 am

mine is asking for art classes but we really dont have the time.
now looking ard to look for those that will fit.

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Postby tamarind » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:16 pm

I think it is good that the child shows interest in learning so many things. If the parents have enough financial resources to pay for all those classes, then why not ?

But for parents like me, who have limited financial resources, and no time to bring the kids around, I prefer to DIY.

I saw a baking class which teach kids to bake cupcakes or cookies. One session of 2 hours cost $80 ! I bought my own baking equipment like oven, electric mixer, weighing scale, etc. Total less than $250. I have been teaching my kids to bake cupcakes and cookies since they were 3 years old. We have baked about 10 - 20 times now. Check out my blog.

http://tamarindvillage.blogspot.com/200 ... cakes.html

Earlier this year I also saw a class which teach older kids to be entrepreneurs, it costs over $100 for a half day course. I decided to teach my girl the process of making, selling. Check this out.

http://tamarindvillage.blogspot.com/200 ... eneur.html

My hubby is giving them elementary Maths & Science lessons, from maths (Pascal's triangle, concept of infinity), astronomy (e.g. the earth is a big globe, land looks flat only because it's a BIG globe; planets of the solar system: their names in sequence, whether rocky or gas giants, whether cold/hot depending on distance from the sun), to biology (e.g. observe and draw parts of a flower's boy- and girl-parts, flower -> fruits -> dissemination of seeds) and even chemistry (e.g. concept of atoms & molecules, 3 states of water: ice, liquid, steam/vapour).

We really save a lot of money !

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Re: What to do when your child asks for enrichment classes?

Postby poohcutie » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:38 am

red_ryder wrote:I try to limit to 2 enrichment classes, so as not to tire out the kid and leave time for free play.

Anyone else in such a dilemna?

same situation as u.
My gal is 5 this yr. Currently doing her dancing class on sat and 3 other enrichment classes over the weekends.
jst few days ago, she requests for fencing lesson
Others may think that im the one forcing her for all these!


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Postby mom2boys » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:16 am

suddenly has this question - does boys and gals reacts differently with regards to enrichments courses? need some feedback on this.

does gals usually will request parents to bring them to class like drawing, swimming etc?

i was asking my 4yr old boy 'would he like to learn tekwando?' he responded ' ok lor'...then 'hmmm...dun wan lah'....
then I pop another question ' would you like to go for drawing class or music lesson?' he responded ' i want both...' in a cheeky way...so make me wonder should i or should i not send him to these classes...worried in the end, he doesn't like it. waste the $$ and time...

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Postby jedamum » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:32 am

mom2boys wrote:suddenly has this question - does boys and gals reacts differently with regards to enrichments courses? need some feedback on this.

My elder son never requested for any enrichment.
I have to be the one to initiate and ensure that he goes through it before deciding if it is appropriate and if he truly enjoys the lesson.

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