I always said instead of holiday lessons, my children will learn different skills during the holiday period…I am not a fan of extra lessons or after school lessons. I am not saying there are wrong, each to his/her own…
Growing up I wanted to learn dancing (ballet, hip hop… you name them), I wanted to act especially stage plays, bake, sew, learn musical instruments, e.t.c I always had one thing or the other I wanted to do but there was no opportunity to do them…
where I grew up, there were no provisions for children to learn stuffs like that, the only thing my parent could help with was my love for books, whichever bookshop they found they let me know should I be interested in checking it out. My mother came back home with books and my father long-sufferingly took me to the bookshops and bought the books for me.
Having children now, I stay in an area where things like that (where children can learn different extracurricular) is not available…I remember telling some friends that even if it’s carpentry or car repair my daughters want to learn, I will oblige them and they thought I was joking.
I was going through Instagram today and I came across Stephanie Obi’s post celebrating her mother’s birthday and she said some things that pushed me to renew my vow afresh… she said:
“…I grew up believing that I could be anything I set my mind to become even though I am a girl child. My mother encouraged every funky idea I had. She paid for me to take any class I was vaguely interested in. sewing oh, beading oh, anything…is it my writing gift? She used to ask me to write long letters to her. Is it my research skills? She bought me a set of children encyclopedias and asked me to find the answers to the zillion questions I had then. Is it my business? She gave me seed capital when I was starting out. Is it investments, she bought shares for me when I was a child. Is it my Christianity? My mother use to spend time with us every morning discussing bible stories and how we can apply it to our lives…”
If this is not more gold on parenting, I do not know what is… I was planning on using Ben Carson’s experience where his mother tells them to write their thoughts on whatever storybook/novel they read for the week, on my children. This new idea of letter writing will be a nice one too…maybe something like write how your week/day was, your observation e.t.c. to me (email, journaling whichever method they prefer). I am getting excited at the idea already
There is still no avenue for children learning extracurricular where I live, so people automatically register their children for after-school lessons, the schools are capitalizing on this and making the lessons compulsory.
Maybe people have not seen the need for children to do this or even the business opportunity in opening an after school program where children and teenagers can get other skills beside formal education yet, times are changing and there has to be a balance.
My husband and I are saving towards starting ours if that is what it will take for our children and the children around us, to have that opportunity of having their curiosity satiated.
Good parenting I have realized is copy work and guess-work, sieve out the chaff and take the main thing from whatever you read, watch, hear (even if I have to eavesdrop to learn how other parents succeed!) but by all means do not throw the baby out with the bath water.
How do you plan on maintaining balance with your children, children under your care or even your nieces, nephews and cousins if you could contribute?