Her six-year-old had three hours of homework, and no friends everyone was too busy doing homework. Much of the learning was rote, including when it came to writing essays her son was encouraged to copy other essays to learn the art. She sometimes wondered how many kids understood the math versus knowing the answer from memorizing it.
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But at least for primary school, she said she would do it all again. An experienced teacher knows more about what a 7-year-old needs to know, how he learns, and how to teach him than a parent, she said. Teachers in China believe every child can succeed, regardless of income or background. They believe—and teach—that achievement requires hard work, and is not predicated on innate ability.
Research from Carol Dweck , a Stanford psychologist, shows that kids who believe it is effort and not ability that matters, do better. Chu cites research showing that ethnic Asian kids outperform whites because of effort, not ability, and their belief that the effort matters.
Three hours of homework is three hours that child is not playing with others, exploring a playground or playroom, and setting his imagination free. Childhood is short, and many think it should be protected from high-stakes testing, rankings, and stress. The question, then, is whether all the rigor of the Chinese system is worth the cost. Many kids are only children, and the devotion to them is absolute.
The reality is there are some benefits to both individuality and community, academic results and personal development. When offered only extreme options, either path can feel like a gamble. Chu says her kids got the best of both. None of these qualities has slipped away, and I now share the Chinese belief that even very young kids are capable of developing a range of demanding talents. Skip to navigation Skip to content. And yet, Chu did not respond with condemnation, but instead praise. Get the baby—and the rest of the family—involved in the fun by letting everyone color or paint on an unbreakable, homemade ornament and hang them towards the bottom of the tree.
And sure, your infant may not create any masterpieces at this age, but not only will the precious family heirlooms stay higher up read: away from tiny hands , you'll also be creating keepsakes to build on for years to come. Connecting your children to the spirit of the season is an important part of teaching them what it's all about, but it's not always so easy to do through books and stories alone. Instead, offer them the chance to live it out!
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or another significant holiday, playing pretend is the ideal way to teach and have fun along the way for everyone in the family. Use a kid-friendly nativity book as a guide or make your own menorah as you explore the story of the oil that burned for 8 nights—whatever your religion, there's an important tale to tell. There is joy in receiving physical mail and holiday cards are a wonderful way to make your loved ones feel special. But don't stop there! Record a video greeting to send to your nearest and dearest to keep even the most far-away relatives feel like they're right there with you.
Everyone will love seeing the baby's latest milestones in live-action, and it's a great way to spread the season's warmest greetings. Making and maintaining a baby book is a fabulous idea, but sometimes keeping it up-to-date gets lost in the shuffle of parenthood. Use the holiday season as a time to reconnect with all those beloved memories for your kiddo by starting an annual time capsule box: Each year, have all members of the family add one item of their choosing or your choosing, depending on age to the box and label it with a little note.
Things can range from a favorite holiday-themed blanket or toy to something they no longer need but aren't ready to throw away. Nothing says "cozy" like a yummy-smelling kitchen filled with laughter. While your tot may still be too small to really help in the kitchen, it's never too early to kickstart their love of cooking. Pick a recipe you'll make every year and get them "involved" with a spoon and an empty mixing bowl. You'll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor together and it'll help encourage them to cook with you more year-round, too. We all know that as babies grow up—independence is a priority, no matter how ready for it we really are.
This year, give them the gift of being in charge.
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By allowing your little one to eat what they want, wear what they pick a sparkly tutu? No problem. An adorable Christmas cape? Looking back now, 11 years later, falling in love was so easy. We were attracted to each other, we were both single, we didn't have many serious responsibilities yet, and we had plenty of time. Time to get to know one another and how to care for each other.
Time to adventure together and learn who we were both as a couple and as individuals, too. We now have seven years of marriage under our belts and six years of parenthood. Every day we're learning how to be a stronger team throughout the curveballs life and our kids throw at us. Like a toddler who could most likely climb to the top of the Empire State Building without ropes, Free Solo style.
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Or the bed wetting. Or the crib escaping. Or all the childcare puzzle pieces. Or the beauty and pain of watching our kids need us less as they become more independent. Or the daily doses of attitudes, whining fits, and meltdowns—all from three children who we created ourselves. These curveballs can feel like a lot. Some days are so exhausting, I could fall asleep the second you walk through the door. And some days are so trying, I could drive off into the sunset the second you walk through the door.
I would come back, I promise. These years that we've been raising young children together have felt heavy because they're full.
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Full of twists and turns, of guilt and exhaustion, of happiness and growth. They've felt heavy because of the weight. The weight of the worries on our minds, the anxiety in our hearts, the stress on our bodies. Like making a cup of my favorite tea and delivering it to me on the couch. Giving me a back rub when I complain about my aches. Watching the movies I pick out over and over again without complaining.
Listening to me vent without looking at your phone or brushing my worries off to move onto something else. Sitting with me when I need to cry. Reassuring me when I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. The mornings that start with you delivering me a cup of coffee in bed before you head to work are the BEST. It may seem like a small act of love, but it feels like a big, giant hug from you.
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And I love getting those from you, too. You're the sole weekend diaper changer because you're at work during most of the weekday changes. You're the laundry master, the middle-of-the-night potty helper, the toy assembler, the hair washer and consequently, the soap-getter-out-of-the-eyer. All the little things that you do for me, for us, add up to a huge pile of gratefulness, respect, validation and appreciation. They show me—like I aim to show you by the way I care for you—that you see me as a human. Not just the mother of your children.
Not just the family chef. Not just the breastfeeder. Not just the chauffeur. Not just the magic maker, boo-boo healer, or errand-runner. You see that woman you fell in love with 11 years ago. The woman I've grown into. The woman I'm aspiring to be; always aiming to better myself.
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