Allearn Education held the “Micro Study Abroad” themed salons on December 22 and 23 in Hangzhou to share the practical information and experienced stories with parents who are interested in the international education.
All parents expect that their children would receive “best” education at every schooling period. However, what kind of education deserves the title of “best”? Does the “best” education really exist? Or the would-be best education is suitable for every child? In what ways can children always recognise the learning journey positively? We discussed these topics with Ailsa Zuo, who has abundant experiences as a mother and an educator.
Ailsa Zuo, General Manager of Allearn Education Shenzhen, a tutor of NLP Parents’ Training, and the mother of a straight A student of the Affiliated High School of Peking University, shared wonderful stories of the changes and growth from children and parents who participated Micro Study Abroad program.
Don’t put any tag on children
Due to the extremely busy daily work, Ailsa could spend only three hours a day with her ten-year old daughter, Claire.
Like most Asian parents, Ailsa were expecting highly on Claire’s academic achievements. Claire’s academic test’s results had been required to no less than 98 points (100 points as full credit). The girl reached these strict requirements and had been set as an excellent academic example for her peers.
However, Ailsa found that Claire was gradually losing her self-confidence, afraid of setbacks, and not good at social skills. It seems like Claire was trapped by the “tag” of “good girl” in academic field and “poor girl” in any other field.
In order to tear off the tag, Ailsa made many efforts to help Claire including launching a benefit sale, setting up a reading club together. But it didn’t work.
Later, a psychologist friend told her that children’s “problems” always stem from the parents. They only feel “push” mode when parents want to change them but without self-improvement. When a child is fully prepared, they will reach a level beyond any imagination. That preparation needs the collaboration from parents.
Welcome “challenges” with children
When Ailsa worried to find ways to help Claire and herself, she learned about Micro Study Abroad program by chance. She realised that this might be an opportunity to bring about changes for her family. She decided to accompany Claire to Australia to try a short-term living and studies experience in a total unfamiliar environment.
They began this journey with great challenges: language barrier, different environment and cultures. The Micro Study Abroad program seemed like an adventure to Claire. When a child is exposed to a new educational environment, unfamiliar classmates and teachers, she needs to solve problems by themselves without any push.
In this “adventure”, Claire observed and learned about the local culture on her own. At the local primary school, she experienced the different teaching methods and continuous help and kindness from teachers and classmates. Through the daily “free” atmosphere, she gradually built self-confidence again.
Ailsa tried to release her anxiety as well. She was not a strict mother any more. Instead, she just waited Claire to share her school life actively which made their parent-child relationship closer.
New world to be waited
How long is a suitable period for joining the Micro Study Abroad program? According to Ailsa, two- or three-weeks’ program are too short to obtain enough local experience so that she chose four weeks.
Claire has made lots of international friends through the program every year. In the process, she gets to know what she wants to do and explores her own ideas. Now She is willing to express her ideas and share her growth stories openly both in Mandarin and English.
In the summer holiday of 2020, Claire and Ailsa will attend the Australian Micro Study Abroad program for the fourth time. What new “challenges” will they face? What “great adventure” will this time be? They are looking forward to this new journey.
Ailsa mentioned that Chinese parents are used to working hard to provide “best” education for their children. But when more opportunities appear, we do think about this issue from a more international perspective. Going out to meet with a new world, to know different people and cultures, to embrace possibilities of learning, might be an open way of education. No one can definite it as the best, but it should offer the families a suitable opportunity of considering what kind of education they need.