Sunday, November 7, 2010

DIY or pay others to DIFY (do it for you)?

This question refers to children's school holiday activities. The school holiday's are coming and all the children enrichment centres around town have started peddling their programmes. Some parents sign up their kids for not only one but many various programmes. Some go for one or two while some don't at all. Some parents prefer to plan and conduct the activities for their kids by themselves while some say they don't have the time, are not knowledgeable or skilled enough, or 'just can't teach' their own children.

Paying others to DIFY is convenient but you must consider what you want to expose your child to, what you want them to learn, whether time and money permits, whether the programme you sign up for is suited to your child's ability and interest. We know our kids best so we should have an idea of what is suitable or good for them. A 'good' programme may be effective for one child but not another, even if they are of the same age and go to the same school etc. Don't look at the programme's objectives and contents in isolation but consider it with your child in mind.

Some questions I would ask when evaluating a programme:
Can I draw up a programme that is similar myself, since lots of information and resources are available from the Internet and books nowadays?
What value-added benefits can the instructors and the programme give my child?
What non-tangible side-effect benefits can the programme give my child, such as independence, socialisation, values, character development?
What is my budget?
What are the reasons for signing up my child for the programme?
Is it going to be fun? The last thing you want for your child is to attend yet another 'tuition' class when their minds and bodies need a rest and in their minds, 'holiday' equals 'fun'.
Would my child be interested in it?

Aah, parenting is hard work right? Pregnancy, labour and delivery seem like a breeze now compared to a lifetime of caring, nurturing, guiding and teaching.

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