It’s ok when it doesn’t work out

Recently,we threw in the towel on Shichida Method classes.

I’m not going to say whether this is a good programme or not, because frankly, I think half a year wasn’t quite long enough for us to judge.

We just decided it wasn’t quite so suitable for Little Foot and we called it quits in Dec. Much to the relief of Papa Long, who usually attends the classes with her.

Why? We think it wasn’t the best programme for her, despite some of the rave reviews. She was simply not interested and hardly participated willingly unless there were songs involved. We think she needs more time and space to enjoy life, and well, frankly, the real reason? We too were getting burntout from waking up on a Saturday to run to class with her.

Some time ago, my colleagues gave me the “you kiasu mama!” look when I told them Little Foot has classes 7 days a week. So I explained, myself. She’s in childcare during weekdays, and we have a 1-hour Shichida lesson on Saturday mornings (signed up when she was 3 months old, but only enrolled when she was about 19 months after several admin hiccups on their end). And she has her favourite Kindermusik lessons on Sundays, which we actually stopped for awhile, but brought her back when we saw how her face would light up whenever she heard the music from those classes. She still enjoys them as much as she enjoys going to the playgrounds.

Eventually, Mummy and Papa burnt-out before the little lady did.

She had boundless energy, but she didn’t enjoy the way learning was conducted in the Shichida programme. We also didn’t like that while one parent went in and tried to learn the methods to replicate at home (which we hardly had time to, since she’s in school for a full day), the other (usually Mummy) was loitering at Toa Payoh Hub eating roti prata or kaya toast or ran around trying to do some errands to kill time in that hour.

On hindsight, as first time parents, we (mainly Mummy actually) was rather a tad too ambitious.

I wanted to give my daughter the gift of a photographic memory, a gift of being able to grasp things easily. Which should make learning a breeze. And I thought I got it right. Wrong.

The end came when I almost hyperventilated watching the flashcards when I sat in for one of the later classes (because there was a change of teacher). In my mind, I was asking myself, “what in the world am I doing to my 20+mth old baby?!”

There’s a full road ahead for learning. Why make a toddler sit in a class and get bombarded by flashcards and velcro-ed activities? If it created anxiety for me, what does it do for a toddler? No wonder she was always exhausted after that hour and would crash out, with a frown on her face in her sleep.

And so finally, I admitted, it was time to leave the stress to another time, I’ve had enough. Let’s go get some fresh air, go learn to live like a human being, look at the clouds and watch the planes fly by. Breath the air, and marvel at the stars. Visit a farm, feed some animals and plant some plants. 

No hard feelings to other Shichida parents. It works for you, it didn’t for us. And I think as adults, we should just admit it and cut losses when we realise something doesn’t quite seem to be a good fit.

For now, we will let the world be the weekend tutor, and just retain the fun music sessions for her.

Ice cream anyone?

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