The other day I was complaining to my friends about a student I taught last week (filling in for Janet). The student is a boy in Grade 5, has been learning the flute for 1 term, and seems to have a fair bit of potential, based on the range of notes he can read and play (albeit slowly). He told me, though, that he hadn't really done any practice that week. His reason? "I have sport more than 7 days a week!". He does soccer, football and swimming (? I think). Three sports, anyway. kathryne_deannasent me her reply via text, so I don't have it verbaitm, but it basically said that different kids can handle different amounts of stuff (and also asked if I'd read Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother).
So I was thinking, either this is an example of a massively overscheduled kid, in which case, what were his parents thinking signing him up for flute, which requires regular practice, or maybe he really is gifted and talented and passionate, in which case why can't he fit in 4 x 15 minutes practice of flute into a week that manages to fit heaps of sport and sport practice into it? Priorities (his and/or his parents/ obviously). Frustrating.
Anyway, this got me thinking about all the activities I did when I was a kid in late primary and high school. I was thinking along the lines of, "I did lots of different activities but still always practiced Piano, so that shows it can be done if the student is motivated and the parents make it a priority" (although I don't think I made that overly clear when I sent the message and listed my acitivites. I got two very different responses from my two closest friends:
(I have, and I have strong feelings about it. Also, while my mother may show some elements of a destructive narcissistic pattern, is overly identified with me and strongly achievement-oriented, she is totally not a Tiger Mother. And when I was a kid I was happy doing all ym activities, begged my parents to do more, and still had time left over to read for fun, etc. I think it helped that I lived 12 minutes' walk from school, and most of my activiities were either at school, so I took myself to and from them, or were in the later evenings or Saturdays. So I had much more time in my week than kids who travel an hour or more a day just to get to and from school!)
Um, [shehasathree], that's an insane schedule and you were an abnormal child. I understand more about your drive to get many things done/woe when you only accomplish five things in a day now.
It is undoubtedly true that I was an abnormal child (and am an atypical adult?). I'm not sure about my childhood/high school schedule, though... I was happy doing all those things, generally I was the one wanting to do them, and my parents had a Thing about not doing too many sessions/hours of any one activity;( Read more...Collapse )</user>
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