One very busy girl

This time I would like to write a few words about my 15 year-old daughter.
After we got back to Taiwan from Poland I've realized what a busy teenager she is. It's really hard to believe in how many different things/activities she is involved.

This semester she doesn't have many classes outside home, only art class and ice-skating. After 10 years of dancing in Cloud Gate Dance Studio, Zosia decided to quit, not because she doesn't like dancing anymore, but because of conflicting schedule. She chose to take part in the production of a first Taiwanese musical "Dancing Diva" 台灣舞孃. One night a week she spends 4 hours observing the rehearsals and helping with little tasks. This way she is learning how a big theater production takes shape. She can see the work of director, producer, music director, choreographer and of course dancers and actors.

Last week TEDx Youth@Taida took place in Taipei. Also in this event Zosia had a small part to play - she was one of the announcers.  Zosia and her 20 year-old partner had only two evenings to prepare for this event. It was a bit of a rush. Zosia thinks that if only they had more time to rehearse the presentation would be much better, much more smooth. In my opinion, Zosia has done a wonderful job, I am really proud of her that despite having so little time to prepare she managed to performed this well.

Last week one of the TV news programs came to our house to film a short interview with Tim and kids about Khan Academy. Lately this form of teaching/learning is gaining more and more interest in Taiwan. The math part of Khan Academy is being translated into Chinese and some more remote schools have started using it as an additional math material for students. We've been using Khan for the past two years and the TV news was interested how the kids like it and how they actually use it - as a main introduction to new math concepts or as a review tool.

The "book tour" is still underway. Tim and Zosia went all the way to Kaohsiung (in the south of Taiwan) to meet with the readers of our book. About 100 people came to the event, that is a very large turnout!

Few days ago Zosia was asked to prepare two short movies about herself for a movie festival called "Change Makers" and organized by a very popular Taiwanese writer and radio personality Tom Wang 王文華. One of the movies shows her as an ice-skater and the other is a compilation of 3 interviews talking about her. Quite interesting.

In the coming weeks she will be just as busy:
  • TV is coming to film how we homeschool at home
  • another book presentation event (this time in Taoyuan)
  • 2012 Youngvoice Super Festival 不簡單生活節
  • presentation of Zosia's (and other homeschoolers') animation film and their "graduation photo" project
  • filming of a new TV program
There were even more things planned, but Zosia can not be in two places at the same time, so she had to choose.

I keep asking myself - isn't that too much? Shouldn't  she be doing more 'real school' work? Shouldn't she be doing more physics, chemistry, Chinese? Why are we letting her do all those extracurricular activities and not really teaching her the 'boring stuff' sitting at a desk?
I don't have a short, straight forward answer...
Maybe because we want her to persue her interests, to be happy?


  1. The importance of traditional subjects has been over-weighted by the examinations regime.
    Zosia gained the experience of speaking in front of hundreds of people and camera. She learned the vital skills of hosting an event and networking. I don't consider her activities are extracurricular. It's just our curriculum is different.
    Besides, if STEM subjects are so useful, how come all those STEM graduates can't find jobs?


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