Eastern Parenting, Western Parenting, and the Chemistry Tutor

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In a recent LA Times Article, staff writer Teresa Watanabe highlights the parenting styles of two families, a Chinese family and a Mexican/Jewish family, both living in San Marino, CA. The youngest son of the Chinese Family, Derek Lee, gets straight A's, is in many honors and A.P. Classes, and sees a chemistry tutor and a math tutor at least 24 hours a week. Even in the summer. Jade Larriva-Latt, the youngest daughter of the Mexican/Jewish family gets mostly A's with only one B and also takes honors classes. The difference is that she spends most of her summers and off time reading and enjoying hobbies and activities.

How can it be that two different parenting styles produce similar results in these teens? And how can tutoring play a role in their success?

The article makes its point clearly in favor of Eastern parenting. It cites tutoring as a valuable source of assistance for students getting ahead, and concludes that with more and more competition from students with consistently added pressure to succeed in school and later in the real world, it makes sense to push students to a focused, year round academic routine, which may include periodic visits from the chemistry tutor.

Derek Lee is quoted as saying "The way to get to a better college is to get good grades. And the way to get good grades is to go to a tutor...if you work hard, you can improve on anything." Thanks Derek! We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Yet, Jade coasts through summer without added pressure from her parents. She strives to get good grades not for her parents, but for herself. Lacking a chemistry tutor or any other tutor, she is her own motivator. For Jade, Western parenting pays off because it allows her to pursue academic interests outside of the classroom, like reading, playing a musical instruments, and trips to museums, without force.

So which method is the best? Balance is the key. While there may not be a need for constant ballistic pressure on your student to learn, learn, learn, that also doesn't mean your student should get completely lazy. Let your student enjoy their time off with activities that can help them academically, like reading, educational video games, or field trips. Balance that out with periodic visits from a chemistry tutor, math tutor, or English tutor, and you can expect your student to maximize their learning all year long.

Original article: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-tiger-20110502,0,3390356.story

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