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August 29, 2011

Class Meeting

We went to Monkey's class meeting today. Boy aren't we glad we got Monkey a piano teacher.

Because of the budget, the school got rid of music lessons (among other things). It is very distressful.

MonkeyMama noticed that Monkey has been coloring in her artbook. Maybe we should just pony up for the art lessons. Sigh.

Posted by Mike at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2011

Chinese School

Monkey asked to go to Chinese school. I think she said she wanted to be able to speak secrets to her mom.

Anyway, we told her that because she had no knowledge of Chinese, she would have to start at the kindergarten level. She was okay with it.

We went to the first day of class today. People welcomed her and was happy she asked to learn Chinese, not the other way around.

The class structure was play-based. Monkey loved it. She played games saying children's songs in Mandarin, and she scribbled some words on paper. She really enjoyed her class. When we got home, she would practice and listen to the CD.

I guess it helps when a child expresses interests rather than being forced to.

Posted by Mike at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2011

Extracurricular Activities

We told Monkey that we were not able to send her to kung fu classes any more. At first she was happy, because she got tired of going to some class in the evening every day. Now that the school starts, she said she would really like to keep kung fu but not dance.

It was a struggle. kung fu lessons are very demanding. There are three lessons each week, so it is difficult to find time for anything else. And we always have to rush off work to get her to classes on time. In addition, the cost is very prohibitive. MonkeyMama felt guilty that she had to make budget cuts by eliminating education expenses.

MonkeyMama also told Monkey that she wouldn't be able to take her favorite art lessons this coming school year. Monkey was disappointed, but she is taking piano lessons and Chinese school, so that should make up for it.

MonkeyMama read on Sacbee about hard-working Hmong families in Sacramento. About how the parents had five or six jobs between them, working day and night, just so they could send their kids to piano lessons and other enrichment activities. And the hard-working Hmong children appreciated what their parents did for them, they studied hard (in the library to save electricity) and all went to Harvard, becoming medical doctors and alike.

In the meanwhile, the only reason MonkeyMama wouldn't pay for lessons for Monkey was she wanted to save some money for the rainy day. It sounds quite selfish compared to the nice Hmong families. She told Monkey that if she really wanted to go to kung fu classes, Monkey can stop dance lessons and pay for the difference between Kung Fu and dance classes. The difference came out to be equivalent to her monthly allowance.

Monkey decided to keep dance and forget kung fu.

As a footnote, the cost of Monkey's enrichment activities has surpassed her daycare expenses, just like we predicted five years ago.

Posted by Mike at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2011


We signed her up for the volleyball camp. Since we are not able to take her to soccer, we choose volleyball.

The first day went pretty well. She learned how to serve. They worked the kids hard. She seemed to have fun. We didn't stay because we noticed that our presence distracted her.

On the last day, we were hiding in the car to watch her play. MonkeyMama was furious. Same problems we had last year in dance lessons. Monkey was not paying attention. She was being mouthy on top of that. And she couldn't catch a ball!

It came as a shock to both MonkeyDaddy and MonkeyMama. We thought catching a ball was a very natural skill to have, but Monkey couldn't do it.

The concerned parent talked to her coworker (a tennis pro) about it and got reassured that it was a skill to be learned. Monkey just need to have more practice. So instead of catching a ball for fun, she is doing it as a daily homework.

Maybe she doesn't need dance lessons; she needs sports lessons.

Posted by Mike at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)