Monday, February 20, 2012

Parenting 202: A Mixed Bag of Tricks

As I'm sure you can tell from the pictures, Jie Jie is growing! As fast as I can get used to one thing, something else comes up. Now I understand that all parents face this, but with the older adopted child, it happens at warp speed. I mean, that within a week, my child matures as fast as a birth child in a normal, happy home would in several months. This is "catching up" and it's happening at a very fast rate right now.

Jie Jie has outgrown my daycare. At first, it was perfect for her to be playing with 2-3 year olds. She fit right in size-wise, too. Now, she is bored and with with that comes mischief, though quite unintentional. For example, she wants to organize the play into games more appropriate for her age, not realizing that the kids are way too young, so she gets impatient with the ones that can't cooperate. She wants to build a lego city, while they want to put just a few pieces together.

She is ready for more school work and loves arts and crafts. But now we are reaching another level of school work that hits another level of knowing English and culture. This means that each little workbook exercise that most preschoolers or kindergardners can do on their own becomes a social studies, culture, or English lesson. This is all good,...but, I this means Jie Jie and I are together all the time. Sounds great, right? What about when the 8 year-old gets tired of mama's teaching and correcting?

I've given a lot of thought to this dilemma and will have a new plan. It starts tomorrow (uh oh, it's midnight, so it starts today!). Jie Jie will only join the daycare for circle time and one or two limited play times during the day. She will do art (mostly cutting and pasting since she needs the practice), workbook pages, reading lesson with mama, and, perhaps, a "recess" of playing alone upstairs with her own things on her own. Remember, her workbook lessons open new avenues for other subjects and daycare circle time offers a lot, too. Then there is Chinese school. Yes, it's definitely time, but finding the right program is tricky. I want more than recreational Chinese, I want Jie Jie to read, write and speak Mandarin, so it looks like real Chinese school, at the kindergarten level might be best. This week will be Research Week!

I'm also thinking that it's time for piano lessons. I never thought I'd go with the Suzuki method, but it might be best because of where Jie Jie is at when it comes to English and reading and writing. Any thoughts from you moms out there?


Catherine said...

I can't help with much other than the piano lessons bit and my experiences don't include Suzuki although it's a fabulous program.

My one thought that will span both schools of piano lessons though is that at this age it's as big a commitment for the parents as it is for the child.

Enjoy! Learning music with your DD will be a great opportunity for both of you to spend more time together...and it's accompanying challenges. Given my DD's personality I can already see she'll give me a run for my money when it comes to daily practice time! :o)

Karen said...

I can only tell you that any Chinese is time consuming, and I dont know of any that are recreational. The places around here are 4-5 hours on Saturday school and they all take it very seriously, and expect the kids to as well.
We did not put Cadence into Chinese school, although she wants to go. But her best friend (Chinese American-and Grandma from China who speaks only Mandarin lives with the family). Her dad took her every Saturday to Chinese school, and after 1 year, he made her drop out because it was too time consuming for him. I don't think they let you just drop the kids off and leave, although that might be school to school differences.
Perhaps you can team up with someone who also has their child in Chinese school and take turns staying in the waiting room every other Saturday.