It’s the end of a term soon and we got to decide on the enrichment for the Little Angs in their preschool. As usual, we had our usual discussion but this time, there’s more to discuss with the boys as the school is starting a violin class as well.
Personally, I wasn’t keen to sign them up for the violin class. Back in my mind, I was thinking about the piano that we bought specially for Ian when he said he wanted to learn piano..but due to the lack of daily practice and sustained interest, we stopped the piano class (for the time being..Ian said he will want to learn piano when he’s older..shall see how things go!) Hence I do have my reservations when it comes to music class as we got to purchase the musical equipment for home practice! Nevertheless, I signed them up for the free trial that’s held in their preschool during curriculum time, so they attended the class together with their classmates. No harm, I thought!
It’s actually quite interesting to observe how different my boys are in terms of their interest and character. There were 2 trials on that day, one for phonics and reading and the other for violin. The boys went for both. During the violin lesson, Ian was a quiet participant while Evan volunteered himself to go forth and learn how to use a violin. During phonics and reading, Ian was very responsive and participates actively while Evan became a quiet participant, occasionally fidgeting around. It’s pretty obvious that the boys have different passion and interest, as well as a different preference for learning. And it brings me back to this picture that I encountered in one of the workshops which I have attended in the capacity of a teacher..
This is a picture of things being equal (on the left..where everyone was given a crate to stand on) and things being fair (on the right..where which individual was given what was needed in order to reach the same height). And this picture definitely teaches me about what my parenting should be..
I used to have a mindset that whatever enrichment classes that Ian attends, Evan will have to attend too and vice versa..else it won’t be fair. Little did I realize that I’m just being equal, and not exactly fair. Does Ian likes what Evan likes or does Evan likes what Ian likes? I don’t think so.
Of course, they do have some common interests and likes..there are also some classes which I think is necessary for both..but when it comes to interest-related classes, it’s really about fairness rather than being equal. In this case, to be fair is to provide what the kids want in order to achieve the same sense of fulfillment and achievement (and things must be well within what we can afford!)
Being fair means that I will do my best to give my boys what they need/want to attain the same level of fulfillment and success..and the sense of fulfillment and success comes when they have an interest and liking for the things that they are doing.
So this morning, when Evan asked if he could go for the violin lesson because he likes it very much, I said “Yes, I will sign you up but we need 8 students to start the class” and the little boy was very pleased.
Ian heard and he asked if I will sign him up for violin too (not because he likes violin, but more of checking if I have signed him up for something that he doesn’t like). My answer to him was “Nope, Mummy didn’t sign you up because you said you prefer science classes to violin right?”. He nodded happily and exclaimed “Yeah!”. LOL
So in the end, the boys will each have two enrichment classes in school but they aren’t the same set of classes. But well, if there’s not enough students to sign up for the violin class, then Evan probably can’t learn violin too..and that will be another kind of issue to resolve..(because the kids have pretty good memory of what you have said and promised!)