One important thing I learned from my 'Creative writing' class is 'chair glue'. To just sit on a chair and write, write something, anything, just write. To set aside time everyday and especially on weekends- to do homework and to study. It is a very good habit to foster among preteens. The time to start is when they are preteens. When one has started this habit with them, continue into their teen years. It is the hardest thing for us to do but we have to do it with them. After a hard day's work and a hard work week, we'd rather go shopping, watch TV and do mindless thing. To sit down and study with our kids? I thought our studying time is over. Wrong! Not is you have kids. Now is the time. It's no use screaming and yelling at them to study on their own. An example must be set and enforced regardless of whether we like it or not, whether we feel like it or not. Once a habit is formed it can be carried on through High school and into college and grad school and into life. A habit of disciplined living will help carry the teenager into adulthood.
As a child and a teenager, somehow I managed to foster a disciplined lifestyle which has seen me successfully through all my life. It is easy for me to do my work well, to save money and resources prodigiously, to fulfill my obligations to myself and others. I don't have to force myself, it's an integral part of me. My parents were lucky, they never needed to push me. I am fortunate that I had the good sense of being this way and not act up. Part of the reason is being Chinese where we value education, filial piety and hard work. Another part is being born poor and knowing that without as education, a good work ethic and a disciplined life, I would spend my life in poverty.
So here am I, giving up all my weekends to tutor 2 teenagers. I'm working harder than they, I'm hitting the math books, struggling to remember what I did 40 years ago. I'm into graphs, slopes, linear equations, quadratic equations and on and on....to the n degree. It's been a hard 2 weeks but I'm getting there. I go to sleep with math dancing in my head. I'm so confident that I'm going to tell the younger one to take up all the math and science classes next year. I'll be there for her.
All kinds of surveys have shown that people with math and science skills do better in life and make more money.
There are 3 professions I know of that pay 6 figures a year from day one are Medicine, Engineering and Pharmacists, all requiring a lot of math and science.