Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Surviving Adam's Primary One orientation: the start of a new chapter in his schooling life journey.

Our first-born going to official school is a BIGGIE for me.
I've cried huge tears for this, and no matter how I console myself, I cannot reconcile with the fact that my baby is so grown up.
I know it is important for his psychosocial development, for him to learn independence, his role in society blah blah blah, but I love all my babies and can't bear for them to grow away from me.
When I told Adam that Mama feels like crying, he comforted me by telling me to have another baby and name it "Adam". ZOMG #facepalmmoment
Anyway, back to the topic of Adam's primary one journey.
We registered him under Phase 2C at a neighbourhood school because Andy's alma mater is no longer around, and mine is in Woodlands which is another end of the island for us.
Since we both went to neighbourhood schools, as did our siblings, any school didn't matter.
Initially, I had wanted to register Adam in a Catholic all-boys school, but hubby wouldn't approve as he felt that boy schools are notorious for bullying and gangsterism, and also he wanted our children to go to co-ed school.
So in the end, we chose a neighbourhood school for Adam. Whether or not we made the right or wrong choice, we can only find out in 6 years' time. It's too late for what-ifs and regrets now.

Watching my baby for the last time getting off his kindergarten school bus and shouting out "Good morning's" and "Good bye's" to his friends. *dabs eyes*
Or the last time watching him go on stage from these pews which has grown so familiar to us over the past 3 years.
Watching him develop from a shy, quiet boy into a confident child performing on stage.
This is the last bit of memory we will hang on to, of our pre-schooler being pre-schooler no more.

Adam's got mail! Received the mailer one week before the orientation.

Uniform list - most schools adopt the PAL system now, so they wear PE shirts for 4 out of 5 school days.

Primary 1 booklist.

By the way, if your child is a Singaporean attending primary school in Singapore, the school fees are only $13.00 per month.
That's a far cry from the $300+/ month kindergarten fees I pay for one child only (Ashton goes to a fullday childcare at $800+/mth *gasp*), not forgetting the full payment during the gazetted school holidays too!

On Orientation day...
Hubby & I peeping at our kid from the outside. There he was, just by the window, seated in a class of strangers he will soon call friends.

The number of books needed for Primary One is enough to induce a seizure.
FYI, I have already withdrawn Adam from his enrichment classes - CMA abacus & mental arithmetic, and LCentral English.
I shall just let him be overwhelmed by his primary school curriculum and CCA alone. #sweat

But good thing is, nowadays the books are already pre-packed into boxes by the book vendor (for us is Pacific Bookstore) according to levels of the Primary (P1-P6) and Mother tongue language.
For eg. P1-Chinese = 1 box.

Tips for parents of primary school-going kids:
- Drive your child past his new primary school and better still, to the new school, if allowed.
Let him recognize this new place and what to expect.
- Talk to your child way before he's ready for primary school. We started beginning of his K2 year.

- Things we prep him include asking him whether any of his friends from Kindergarten are also going to the same primary school?
If Yes, then who?
If No, then it's Ok, he can make new friends.
- Tell him that he will meet new friends, new teachers, and learn how to buy food and drinks from the canteen. During the orientation, show him his new classroom, and introduce him to new friends. Make friends with the other mums and teachers.

- Tell your child what were your fondest memories of Primary school and what you did in Primary School.
Was it playing Catching at recess, the coloured ice sticks selling at 20cents, etc?

- Teach him the concept of money using coins (10c, 20c, 50c and $1) and play with empty yogurt cups, Yakult bottles etc.

Soon, my son, you will come to know that the best parts of childhood are getting an allowance and not paying any bills.

- For you Kiasu parents, go to Popular Textbook Online Ordering for a list of your child's required books and materials.
There is a drop-down list on your right-hand column, where you can select the school your child is going to, and the appropriate list of books will appear. 
This was shared by one of my Mummy friends, Raising Our Successful Children (Adam's friend's Mummy =)

- When buying books at the primary one orientation, purchase more exercise books than the book list suggests because most parents share they need more exercise books than recommended, for spelling, Chinese writing etc.

- Go with your spouse or if he/she is not available on the orientation day, bring along your next best person. You will need all the help you can get to combat the long queues and crowds. One person can queue while the other brings the child to try on uniform, shoe sizes, fill in and pass up forms etc.

- Bring at least $300 in cash. You can never be too prepared, unless you don't mind returning another time to purchase the items you missed out.
- Purchase more PE sets than the uniforms because with the Programme for Active Learning (PAL) implemented in most to all primary schools since 2011, the students will have 4 days of PE days and only 1 full uniform day.
Hence I would say, the bare minimum would be to buy 3 PE sets and 1 uniform.

To all Mums whose 2009 Ox babies are going to Primary school next year, cheers to you!
May you survive the kiasuism of our education system :P

Sigh... Every stage of my children's growth is a new milestone for me. I can't be there enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi~! Thanks for dropping by my blog :)