While I packed Z’s schedule with a lot of swimming, soccer and fun, I really did not bother with academic enrichment classes. It was not because I did not care about his studies. I cared very much.
I cared so much that I made sure both Mr H and I tutored him, and that I customized his learning plan. I taught him model drawing ahead of schedule, I timed his Chinese assessment work according to his Ting Xie schedule. I tried not to over teach so that class would still be interesting for him but I trained his foundation. I drilled his grammar, promoted the love of reading, challenged his speed of reading, boosted a passion for math and and cultivated an interest in mandarin.
I also did not think there was a need to overinvest in “enriching” school knowledge. I would rather spend on experience than tuition, especially after seeing this breakdown.
Above all, I cared about his attitude towards learning. I also cared about how I portrayed myself towards him in terms of his results.
In a recent math test which Z scored 36/40, he felt bad. He misread a question and did not take the time to observe the second question, so with 2 questions down, it was 4 marks off. He was upset because he expected to score full marks, some friends did better and teased him, and he thought I was going to scold him. After I checked the paper, I told him the mistakes were reasonable and he had to recognize the exposure of questions, and haste could make waste. Then I had to comfort him that the term 1 test was not everything and road was still long ahead. His math was still very good and one evaluation wasn’t going to change that.
Since then, I saw him paying more attention to the quality of his work. Well, I hoped this could last more than a week!