Prelude to Primary 1

Am I nervous about K starting primary 1 next year?

I used to be 1 year ago. But not anymore, and the irony is that he will stop going to formal school for the next 5 months before starting Primary 1 in January 2014. In fact, I am relieved that he is not going to his dad’s alumni primary school, a top Chinese primary school located in Marine Parade, and we will be applying for a ‘regular’ primary school in Bukit Batok neighborhood in less than 3 weeks.

Probably I might get criticized by other parents, who might be feeling a little jittery about their child starting primary school in less than 6 months. Think that I am seriously lacking in the brains department, when I forgo my chance to be secured a place for K in a popular primary school. “And this crazy woman takes the opposite path to go for a regular school? Plus, what about this drastic move of no formal schooling in the next 5 months before starting Primary school”?

Instead of being all nervous about which school to go to and fret about what to do, I took a brief time to make the most logical decision. Taking into account the recent upheavals that our family have experienced, these arrangements could likely last us for the next 6 years of K’s primary school years. I didn’t want to subject K the pain of having to adjust to a new school, getting used to a formal routine and new friends, and then having an all new routine again with primary school. Some things needed to stay consistent amid these changes, and the most consistent and comforting factor in this equation was my presence.

So really primary school is a small issue, when we have so many other more important things to be concerned about. See the big picture! Don’t be paralyzed by the details, I always will tell myself.

Our regular routine now looks something like on a weekday; Breakfast – Watch TV – Learning for 45 mins – Lunch – Play – Nap – Play or Read – Some more TV – Bath – Dinner – Play or Learn (usually he will end up playing again) – Readaloud and Devotion – Bedtime : Talk non-stop to Mommy, then slowly drift to sleep.

Whenever he is doing any of these things; Watch TV, Eat, Play and Learn, Sleep, I will be on my laptop getting my work done. I find it rather strange how I am more efficient and can get my work done effectively during these times. When previously, I used to have at least 8-9 hours to work when he used to be in Child-Care and I was not as efficient or effective getting things done.

I break the monotony of his weekday by attending BrainFit 1 hour sessions twice a week for the next 8-10 weeks, Chinese class for 1.5 hours once a week and Art-class 1 hour a week. and play or outings for the rest of the day on Fridays after art class. K is thrilled anyhow, that he doesn’t have to mug for spelling tests and 听写 twice a week, until he enters primary school next year.

Our routine only includes 45 minutes of learning 4x a week, doing a couple of pages of worksheets for English and Math.

Homeschool 4
He reads chapter books regularly and enjoys the humor and comic genre, some of his favorites include the series of ‘Diary of the Wimpy Kid’ and the ‘Horrible Histories’ series of books, as he is one History buff.

I teach him some Chinese Word Recognition (Hanyu Pinyin later) with more attempts to speak Mandarin at home, and have additional help through external Chinese classes 1.5 hours weekly. Then we revise what he learns from class, at least 3x a week in that 45 minutes of learning at home.

Homeschool 12

Homeschool 1

We are doing well with our new routine for the past two weeks. In case you are wondering, we moved to my mom’s home in the last week of June 2013 and we have just started with 2 weeks of this new routine. K is settling well, generally the both of us have learnt through the last couple of years, to embrace changes as they come.

On a side note, close friends have likely got used to me being a little unconventional the past few years and they will likely not be surprised if they knew what I am up to lately.

I didn’t divulge my trials on this blog to get pity or empathy, although, I truly appreciate the care and encouragement given by many friends. I tend to share quite openly what I experience in life in this space, and I am well aware that there are countless others with worse situations or trials.

I have always been a ‘fighter’ and for this point in life, my unwavering faith in Christ has never been stronger.

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  1. “Talk nonstop to Mommy” << made me laugh! I can imagine it :)

    Glad you're managing. Especially admire K for taking care of Mommy, the best way he knows.
    Regina´s last blog post ..Singapore Maritime Gallery: Welcome aboard!

  2. Your new routine looks great! Now’s the precious 6 months to P1. And I must say we do work better and more efficient with a given time frame (no chance of taking our own sweet time).
    Rachel´s last blog post ..Plug & Yes to a Cleaner Car

  3. I like the logic behind your decision. Still, you are very brave to take him out of school! You seem to have a good routine in place and I’m sure that I’m sure that K will have no lack of learning opportunities. Good luck!
    Adora´s last blog post ..Mama Needs a Drink or “I’ve Got a New Blender, Y’all!”

  4. Dear Rachel,
    Your routine looks great. I admire your courage and ‘never-say-die’ attitude. You’re a fighter, and you always are.

    Kyle will not lose out on learning opportunities from what you’ve arranged for him. No more spelling test, oh how I LOVE to hear that. I’m having meltdowns with Edison every night with his spelling test, which I still think that it’s not necessary for kindergarten.

    If I tell Edison that I will withdraw him from Kindergarten, I’m sure he’ll be jumping with joy. Haha! He’s a lazy bum. He likes to play at home all day.
    Emily´s last blog post ..Interviewed by Parents World Magazine

  5. Children adapt very quickly, it is the adults that usually lacks behind. Your schedule looks great for K. I am sure he’ll be more than prepared when he enters primary school. (hugs)

  6. As long as the child is happy, we should be happy too! There’s no point in forcing a child to study or learn something. Hugs to you guys!
    giddy tigress´s last blog post ..Getting Reacquainted With Penang Food: The First Few Days

  7. I haven’t commented but I’ve been reading, and am just awed by the changes in your life and how you’re handling it. I feel like a total softie in comparison! Hang in there and we’re all rooting for you, and hoping you’ll have many things to celebrate soon enough.
    Evelyn´s last blog post ..Geopuzzles Giveaway

  8. Hi, just wanna say I think u are making a great decision for Kyle! You are a fighter, Kyle is watching and learning to be strong and unwavering in face of challenges like mummy. Keep faith & hope you both will ride through this together stronger!

  9. It is not a matter of whether our ways are conventional or not. We are meeting needs and at different seasons of our lives, certain decisions need to be made. Admire your courage. Fight on! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us :)