Thursday, 2 May 2013

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J Summary (4Y1M28D) - Homework On Vacation



We started the tradition of doing homework when we were on vacation last year when J was 3 years old, so I was excited to see if it was still possible to continue with this tradition this year. Today was our first evening and without exception, we started the routine of doing homework before retiring to dreamland. For the next few days would be more challenging, with his cousins joining us (as Danish kids don't do homework even on normal days, so doing so during vacation would be totally inconceivable in their mind)!!!

I wasn't ambitious and aimed at just one page. J was very happy to do his homework and we completed 2.5 more pages.

My aim wasn't to teach anything, but to cultivate discipline - and yes, also during vacation, for how can we slacken to nothingness just because we are on vacation?

However, I went a step further and tested coloring work. That was when J had enough, and that was the last page of our homework. That was also fine.

I continued wherever possible during the next few days, when we were with our family. To my pleasant surprise, J was very happy to do his homework. So he did  his homework early in the morning for 10 minutes before the start of day (breakfast, sight-seeing, playing with his cousins, etc.) and for 10 minutes at night just before bed time. Having said that, it was not every single morning and night, and there were days when we did not do so, which was also fine.

One evening I gave slip for homework, but J reminded me that I have forgotten homework and that he should do his homework, before he goes to bed. I asked why. He said that he preferred to be able to  stay up a little later than to have to go to bed. And doing homework allowed him to stay up later :-)

I think secretly, J was proud that he was doing homework and even wanted to inspire his Danish cousins (he did not succeed of course). 

The others may think that I have forced J to do homework, but seeing that he wanted to do homework on his own initiative, someone commented how I managed to sit J down to do homework without whining and complaining (not that they wanted to do the same).

So far, my secret is to go slow on iPad, Nintendo, TV, videos, etc... but I did not forbid it. The rule is that he can play with iPad and Nintendo with others and watch videos with others, just not at home (similar to social drinking that we practice - we drink when we are with others, but we just don't drink at home). That created a natural break or a natural routine that compartmentalize these activities. During this whole vacation, J had watched enough videos with his cousins than the entire summation of the video he watched for a full year last year, but we were on vacation, and so it was fine.

Going against the cultural norm of the society, I am realistic enough to know that I will not succeed for too long, but until that day comes, I will continue on. Hopefully, when that day comes, J would have reached a maturity that he would choose for himself, and it would be a wise balanced choice.







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