One of King’s buddies started doing SAT 2 years ago, when they were in the 6th grade. The father operates a tutor school near by with few partners whom mostly are neighbors. I know most Asians kids are going to one of those tutor schools or have a tutor come in. I get their after school/weekend school mailings at least twice a year. I never considered of going – last year’s summer camp was the only time I sent them. My reasoning is simple: kid should be able to handle the school work on their own. If they could get into a great school only because of parental help, can he honestly handle the four years of work by himself? What kind of experience would he have, toil at the bottom?
I got another mailing today and took it with me to Barb’s house, our little monthly drinking night. Barb is Jewish. We discussed this tutor thing before, and she won’t do it either. Her hubby was adamant about it and ire over the topic. Apparently Barb’s a co-worker who’s obsessed over tutor school, due to the pressure from other Asian kids at his child’s school.
“Only the Asians are doing it.” Barb said with a sigh.
The observation is not far off. And I wondered why. Are we the Asians dumber so we need extra help to be on the equal footing? People often comment on the similarities Chinese and Jewish share. But have they been missing on the most fundamental differences between the two: Jewish kids grow more organically while Chinese artificial. By injecting extra help like after school tutoring, are they really helping or hurting their kids? Jewish send their kids to sleep away camp since 2nd grade, give them room to grow. I don’t see many Chinese are doing it. Mine didn’t want to do it. I managed to send them only once in Beijing with cajoling and sheer force.
Look at music, it has become a standard that Chinese kid would learn at least one instrument. But my gut feeling says (i.e. from conversations with them) most those parents have very little appreciation and knowledge for music. Going to a b’way show is a big deal, they would wear it on their sleeves for months. Rote learning doesn’t breed leaders nor innovators.