Monday, October 18, 2010

Extra Curricula Activities

When I take a look at the extra curricula activities of our children and our grand children, I am amazed at the amount of time involved! Piano, ballet, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, chorus, girl scouts, and basketball were/are included on a weekly basis. Many semesters, they have as many as three or more sessions a week in one activity or another! When one single activity must meet two times a week, it is the parent who has to worry about how to get them there, how to squeeze a meal in the schedule and how to pay for these activities. If these are important parts of growing-up education, they should be included in the education in school. Yes, when we were in school in China and in Taiwan, everything came as a package. There were no extra curricula activities. Our outside school activity was to sneak out to see a movie once in a while on our bicycle, but outside school activity to our parents was mainly home work assignments. Music, soccer (or other sports), and drawing were all taught in the classroom on a scheduled basis, therefore, they were all taught very superficially. In other words, primary and secondary education in China is the "basic" general education. The main purpose was to pass the college entrance examination so that you could finally learn something in a specific subject in college. I do not remember that we ever bothered our parents for school activities. As I told you before, I won the solo singing competition in both junior and senior high schools, but my parents did not participate in any of these activities. Clearly, both systems have their problems.


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