me... i sent my eldest niece to different activity classes for different exposures... her task is to pick up different skills to help identify ultimate interests for her future pursuits (maybe to serve her even at retirement), no need to excel (master 70% will do)....cos that's what life's all about, exposures, work hard, play hard so that no regrets ....i dont stress too much on academic excellence as i know academic education is a long journey, no point burning herself out in her first 6 yrs... academically, she's just mediocre (neighbourhood school)... by starting early, she's given many chances to fail, act stupid and practise/perfect her skills...since the people around her will be more helpful and forgiving towards a kid...
personally i think kids are too young to know what they want, as their elders, we should expose them, within own personal financial limits, and coax them into enjoying what they learn.. a lot of parents give up half way when their children start to complain and show signs of waning interest..which i think it's not so good... in everything, there're ups & downs....personal involvement and coaxing are very important to sustain a child's interest in any activities.....but dont do it with the mentality of cultivating a specific talent in your kids...exposure should be your main motivation... plus dont focus on the outcome, more on the process... very good bonding....
in a way, through this, sort of prepare my niece for her transition into secondary school life... to make up 8 subjects, i set her up with 4 "extra ccas"....ballet/swimming/piano/gymnastics till this year sailing/piano/gymnastics.. so that she wont be overwhelmed by the load in future....in case u think i'm ambitious auntie, i'm not... i just want her to be a cook or a photographer in the future...
roughly her progress ...
3yr old - ballet ... quitted at 11, grade 5 (she likes it very much but i think there're other dances like jazz or partner dancing for her to explore)
9yr old - swimming - quitted at 11, gold (swap to sailing)
attended 1-month holiday circus class (initiation into gymnastics class)
picked up cycling
participated in 4-day get kids afloat (GKA) sailing class
attended 4-session skating lessons
10yr old - piano
10yr old - gymnastics - ongoing till today (wana try ice-skating but too far away and costly)
went for holiday horseriding in NZ (not pony)
experienced holiday snorkeling
went for occasional canoeing sessions
12yr old - sailing
presently, after her psle exam, i'm contemplating signing her up for short term regular skating classes and probably finding a jazz/wushu class for her... maybe lead her into guitar and water skiing once i figure out which of her current activities can be replaced....and perhaps some home baking fun during the holidays.....so many things to play and enjoy...but definitely exhausting...unfortunately i started her late at the age of 9...anyway, i'm going to plan for her 2 other siblings (3yr boy and a 2yr gal)... this time, i'm starting early...(12-3, i've 9-10yrs to play with and pace them through)..