The start of the year is also the exam season, iza's ever first exam ... I wish we could have extra peace and patience ...
I wish I could safe guard the time for playing, or time for doing nothing, the time on her own for my child EVERYDAY.
I wish I could resist the urge to set parameters to my child and her environment, making her how I think she should be or do. I wish I could let go of control.
I wish we could find our rhythm which allows for imperfections, a rhythm which doesn't make us feel guilty.

I have spent the first 2 months, since iza has started her primary school life, on feeling shame on not fulfilling all tasks, including all instruments' practices ... the third month on learning to forgive ourselves ... the fourth month ( it's already Christmas time) to realize it's NOT possible to finish ALL dedicated tasks everyday ... Once I thought iza should learn to work efficiently ... now I think I need to help her learning what to skip and when to catch up, responding to different schedules on every weekday ... and I can see her imagination blooming again when she has nothing to do on the Holidays ... her sense of humor flourishing again when her mind is free ... my will in choosing this school is to allow her to own her time, her space, her learning ... but 9 hours school time plus at least 1 1/2 hours for homework, academic study overweights her daily life ... but what humiliates me is that two P1 students have withdrawn from iza's school after the Holiday because their parents are looking for more compact syllabus and advance learning materials ... lately, iza has compromised to give up her piano ... the decision is heart breaking and she is sad ...


Anonymous said...

best of luck! kenza

Evelyne said...

Le système scolaire en Asie est terrible pour les enfants. Ils vivent des expériences qui développent la crainte, la soumission et qui engendrent la violence. Tu as raison Aliott de laisser Iza jouer le week end,par le jeu elle se libère.
Bon courage. Evelyne

Yoli said...

This system she is under seems extreme. She needs time for herself, not every minute occupied with an activity. I hope you are able to balance it for her. I know you will make the right decision.

Fei An said...

Alliot, It is a totally different world for Anja here in Norway. I know it is different society, different system. I think Anja would not have exams all through her primary school time. I really think about that Anja should start dancing school again while all her girlfriends are so keen at going skiing. The music school here only accepts children who are 8 years old and then they can start to learn how to play instrument. Anja finishes her schoolhome work in 10 minutes everyday. General speaking, life is quite easy for Anja so far as I can relaxe to some extent. Since it is very cold recently, she spends lots of time drawing and painting at home after school. In the meanwhile, I believe Iza can make things well since she has you...such an excenllent mom. Don't be anxious, she will be fine. Iza is a bright kid:)

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

It's SO hard to manage one's expectations for one's child, to intuit when to let go and when to exert some control. In the end, we do what we can, and part of our beliefs and values will be ingrained in that child for a lifetime. But the other part of the equation, I think, is that that child is becoming his or her own individual already...has been since birth. That individual is also regulating herself and making some of her own life choices even in these early years. We have to realize that it is not 100% about what we do, and that's where we have to let go of that need to control. It's not 100% on us. This person is an individual already in many ways, and will always be. A misstep here and there, on her part or on yours, will not make a difference to the greater whole of her life.
If you decide to switch to another system, this system will remain an influence on her. It will be a valuable experience. No experience is a loss as we go through life, I believe.
As for the piano, it is difficult to make compromises, but life is about compromises and choices made, and it's important to make difficult choices sometimes.
I agree with Fei An, she will be fine! Don't worry too much. You are an intelligent mother with a deep heart in the right place, and Iza is a talented and creative child. You both have room to make some mistakes without doing any harm. Look ahead and be positive.

Jeanne-ming said...

Many wise women have commented here. I think I am the oldest of them and so I will add my two cents...I too have a talented, smart and curious daughter. I pushed and worried and always felt guilty that I had not done enough to maximize her potential. As I watched her marry I suddenly realized that what sets her apart is her good and generous heart. During her wedding celebrations, the one single thing I heard over and over was that she possessed this. She is a good hearted and generous woman. So it is enough.

For we Chinese the pressure on us to survive in our competative world is crushing. But you have a different way and want to both protect Iza from that but also prepare her. The fact you lie awake worrying about this balance means you are aware of its struggle and therefore you will find the right balance.

Anonymous said...

your wishes are so right, aliott... you have a very clever little girl and you offer her a creative, lovefull, cultured background... that's the most important thing, so you can be confident!
and as usual your pictures are amazing :-)

Yanyan said...

It is so touching to see a mum's love to her child. I don't know if it is an Asian thing, the high expectation on ourselves and our children. My husband is flexible in many ways except how we should educate our son later. He told me he doesn't want the Chinese schooling way, he wants to let Landon play, for him the summer vacation is to forget school and homeworks.I remembered when I was young in China, we studied and studied, in the end, I am not sure I enjoyed study. I did because I need to, because I have to, because thats the way my parents want me to. Iza is so special, the experience and life you have brought to her is wonderful. She will be fine and will be great. Don't worry. ( I need to remind myself this also later on, I already got a nickname from my husband- worrier)