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.
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.
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.