Thursday 14 February 2013


Happy Valentine's Day

Yesterday, I was busy preparing J's breakfast. When I went upstairs, to my pleasant surprise, Daddy was sitting down and supervising J iwith his morning homework in tracing "I" on his own initiative and without me requesting. That is a sure sign that he now truly believes in the value of it.
What touches me the most is when Daddy is taking an interest and being involved in our common project. That’s the best Valentine’s Day gift :-)

As a Dane, he was initially skeptical about the merits of homework – Will it kill the joy of learning? Is it worth the power struggle? Will it make J less creative? It made me doubt my belief in homework as well…
But as I analyzed through back from historical experience… all through 5000 years of Chinese history, Chinese scholars had been biting through years of hard work to memorize a heavy load of ancient Chinese classic literature… what modern day calls “rote learning” at its most primitive form… yet ancient China was one of the civilizations that made the one of the most number of inventions in their days. Seen from that perspective, I do not think that doing homework can kill the development of creativity.

And so what if it does. Daddy and I have seen so many people who are “creative”, but do not have the self-discipline and determination to bring to fruition their ideas, without the ability to put in hard work. In this sense, I would rather that J develops the character of hard work, self-discipline and self-control than creativity – if we have to choose only one.

So with that, I continue to implement homework in our child’s daily life. I believe in striking a balance – too much homework is no good, but no homework is equally detrimental. And no, I do not believe in rote learning.

For Daddy, as he sees the progress of J from last year when we first introduced homework – the discipline that J has developed, the sense of achievement that J felt, the development in his concentration and focus… Daddy is slowly being converted. And me too – I am less doubtful now about my decision in introducing homework into J’s life at an early age of 3 years old.

Okie dokie, I got side-tracked. This post should be about Valentine’s Day. And for that matter, I got also a Valentine’s Day present from J today. I was rushing to work this morning. After finishing tracing his letter “J”, he went down for breakfast and we had a pre-agreement that he would finish his coloring after breakfast. After breakfast, I had to leave for work. Before I left, I briefly mentioned to J about his coloring, not at all have any expectation that he would follow-through with it, since I was not around.

This evening as Daddy and I sat down after J had gone to bed, Daddy told me that this morning after I left, J sat down and told him that he wanted to color a very colorful Jaguar, and J went on to complete it – all without my nor Daddy’s supervision.

I am touched by J’s sensibility, maturity and discipline for he is barely close to 4 years old. (In fact, as I reflect sometimes, I feel that he is more sensible and mature than his Mommy. It inspires me to be better, so that I am fit to be his Mom.) I hope he will continue that way, but I just want to remember my two very precious Valentine’s Day presents, they could not be bought with money.

Hmmm... next Valentine's Day, I need to be better at sharing Daddy's projects... handball, home-improvement, cars - what is that call again? Golf, Touran, Audi...

That's our Valentine's Day... simple but real.

I am relieved from making dinner. Daddy ordered sushi from Stick 'n' Sushi for dinner at home instead :-)

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