Tuesday, 5 June 2012

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J Summary (3Y3M) - Let Joshua be Joshua


Somehow I am surrounded by gifted and outstanding kids, whose moms do not have to do much, not least Montessori. These mommies relax and enjoy life, while I work like crazy to prepare lessons and do Montessori with J after work every day (if I have the energy for it):

- My neighbour's 2.5 year old Lttile D could recognize 40 Chinese characters, and 80 by the time he is 3.

- My neigbhour's Little S could recite Tang dynasty poem at 2 years old.

- My friend's Little D could recite Tang dynasty poem at 2 years old.

- My friend's less than 2.5 year old Little N could read more than half of 50 pages of English story book.

- My nephew could walk at 8 months, talk in sentences by 1 year old and play with advanced Lego at 4 years old.

- My neighbour's daughter, Little A, could do jigsaw puzzles meant for 5 years old, when she was 3 years old.

- Florian's friend's son, Little V, could read advanced Danish books at 2 years old and speak like a walking encyclopedia, truly amazing! He is truly a genius. (Unforunately, he also suffers from some genius' side effects, and is seeing a doctor and getting treatment.)

It is no surprise, I guess. We are living in an univerity town, where I am surrounded by parents who are PhD holders and post doc researchers.

And J? At 3 years and 3 months old, J still doesn't show much interest in playing with jigsaw puzzles. He doesn't play much with Lego either, but he does like to stack them high up into the highest tower that he could build. Wooden blocks don't interest him. He would only touch them for 5 seconds and move on to other things. When he plays with wooden train set, he doesn't have the patience nor the interest to build the tracks, preferring us to build it for him. He is not one who would sit and do colouring on his own initiative, although there has been good times and not so good times, but it is improving, which is a good thing.  He is happy to practise pencil grip and tracing letters or numbers only for a short while. He is not too keen to learn the letters. He enjoys playing football, but only if we take the initiative to suggest to him. Florian thinks that as a boy, it is important for him to develop some ball sense, so that he would not be teased, when he is in school. It is also good for him to train his gross motor skills and get physically active.

Well, J did beat all the rest for being the first to accept Jesus Christ into his life. I once told God, that my greatest wish is to see J accepting Christ and walking with God all his life. To me, this is the most important. I always say that I think character development is more important than intellectual achievement. It is the secret to living a fulfilled and purpose-driven life. God has graciously answered what I have wished and prayed for. I could not have asked for more. When Florian and I have arguments now and then, I will ask J to pray for us. He would do so immediately (with my guidance). It will go better and bring back the love and harmony of the family.

Am I comparing? No, I am just bench-marking (tongue-in-cheeks :-)

Do I envy these mothers who do not need to do anything to ensure their children's academic progress?

No... oh well, a little. I must admit.

Does that make me discouraged and stop putting in efforts?

No.

Those Montessori and other activities provide a meaningful way for us to spend time with J. I will continue, because I love doing it. I just need to remember not to overdo it and maintain balance in the family life - Not an easy attempt. Moreover, it is not the gifted who need "brain fertilizer". They are blessed with it from birth. It is the ordinary children, who need "brain fertilizer". Montessori activities is an important form of brain fertilizer, in my opinion.

Florian always tell me that I should be happy for all the things that J can do and likes to do. I don't always see them, but Florian is good at helping me to see them:

- J loves books and could sit through long reading sessions since 2 years old. He loves being read to, and can sit for hours listening to stories, if I let him to. Books are his number one favourite toy.

- J likes Montessori-style activities, and would ask for them almost every morning and evening, more than I can keep up with, as a working-mom.

- J loves to sing. I am not doing enough here.

- J can sit through rather long Bible stories.

- J especially loves activities with water. Yesterday, he took the iniative to play with pouring water. We had such a great time at the swimming pool last weekend. His laughter was just so infectious.

- J loves to count and takes iniative to count things.

- J loves to joke with us and I am amazed that he could understand quite advanced jokes.

- J loves to play hide and seek under the comforter.

- J loves tending to his plants, giving them water every morning and watching them grow.

- Joshua loves to play with his teddy bears and is very kind. He is happy sharing his toys with any child. He is always smiling and has a big heart. His child-like ability to over-look offences, forgive and forget teaches me and inspires me to learn from him. 

- J recites one Tang dynasty poem well at 3 years 3 months old.

- J switches between Danish and Mandarin Chinese like a flip of a button. He begins also to try to answer in English on Sundays, when spoken to in English. J doesn't mix his languages.

- J loves to do his homework (in Chinese so far. I have not introduced any English workbook to him yet as I could not find any good ones from Singapore). He not only takes initiative to ask to do them, but ask to do more. He could do 5-6 pages at a go. The only thing that limit us is time. I have to stop. To me, sleep is more important, over learning. I would not let J sleep past 8pm. In fact, 7.30pm is the norm. 8pm is exception.


J is a pretty ordinary boy. It is a joy and blessing to lead a normal quiet life. I will be thankful for that and not take it for granted. And I pray that we will always have the chance to lead this simple and peaceful life as a family. Let J be J. Let me cut down on my kiasuism. Oh God, please help me NOT to be a tiger mom. Please help me to curb my natural tendencies toward this area. Please help me to be a wise, gracious and well-balanced mom.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you." - Matthew 6:33

I pray that I will walk the talk. I pray that I will have my priority right. God first, character building first. Everything else is secondary.

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