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Thursday, January 15, 2009



"I don't want to go to school"

Today my girl cried for the first time about going to school. Previously there may have been tears but she usually fights back the tears so she is just teary eyed that is all.

She has never cried about going to school before. From the first day of kindy right till the very last, she always had a smile and was happy.

This morning she woke up and told me that she did not want to go to school. While dressing up and throughout breakfast she kept on talking about how she did not like the school. She said that she was afraid she will have her ears pulled for being naughty accidentally. I told her there is no such thing as being naughty accidentally. If you are naughty, you are naughty purposely, not accidentally.

She related to me an incident where the teachers asked them to sit straight up with arms on the table. Those who did so were rewarded with presents. The rest were asked to pull their own ears. She said that she sat straight up but the teacher did not see her and so she had to pull her own ears.

She kept on saying that she is afraid that she will be beaten by the teachers. I reassured her that the teachers will not beat for no reason and that she should not be afraid about something that has not even happened.

She seemed to be ok but then I made a mistake. We were early and not rushed. So I thought I could give her a hug before she and her daddy left for school. Normally we are so rushed, we don't have time for a hug just a quick bye bye.

The hug burst the dam and tears flowed non stop. I quickly distracted her by talking about her new roller bag and said a quick bye bye but according to her daddy she continued to cry all the way to the school right up to the classroom. Oh dear.

Hopefully, she will settle down soon, make some friends and get over her fear of the school teachers. She has always enjoyed a close rapport with her teachers and is talkative in class but now she can't anymore because of the language barrier.

Another thing, I spoke too soon about homework. Haha. They still have not distributed the books but yesterday she brought home a few pieces of paper that was supposed to have been finished in class. It was English homework. It was very simple really. Just simple matching and labelling. However, the teacher had asked them to color each and every picture on each and every sheet of paper. That was quite a lot. I wonder what was the point of that. My girl who wanted to make each and every picture beautiful took ages to color the pictures.

Then worse still, yesterday her piano teacher dropped a bomb on us. She told us that my girl had to sit for her scales trial exam on Sunday! My girl is far from prepared as she has just been taught the scales recently very quickly one after the another. She has no time to practise and besides we have things to do on Sunday. In addition, on Saturday my girl has to attend replacement classes for the CNY holiday and we have only two weekends before the CNY. Too bad. I told the teacher we can't make it for the trial exam. Its too short notice. Her Grade 1 exam isn't until June or July. Why do they have to have the trial exam now? Hmmm...

I do not send my girl for any extra activities accept piano. I do not believe that ballet, swimming, taekwando, arts and crafts, speech and drama etc is necessary. Not at this point anyway. So we have just piano. Even then, we are so bogged down. Its crazy.

18 comments:

  1. Oh poor girl...try to talk to her more on how fun to learn in big school (my girl likes to say big school)...keep assure her that no worry or fear over the teachers...I always reminded my girl to put up her hand if she can't get/understand what teacher(s) is saying in the class (although I know that she'll be shy to do it)...anyway I think its still early for them to get comfortable in the school as this week only the 2nd week...talk to her more each time she comes back fr school!

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  2. Yes, give her some time to settle down.. esp in a total different environment..(ie chinese school right)..

    Chinese school teachers are known to be strict. ..

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  3. Yes, we refer to it as big school too. And we chat and chat about it but its just 2nd week like you say, so hopefully she will get over her fear soon. She was quite ok the first week. And she's a brave and good girl. She seldom ever cries unless she really hates it. During the first week she was teary eyed but she did not cling or cry. When her eyes turn red she would blink back the tears or pretend to yawn. :) But this morning, it was a flood of tears!

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  4. LittleLamb,
    Perhaps its partly our fault for having discussed the merits and dismerits of Chinese school in front of her previously.

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  5. Don't be too alarmed! Once the work sets in, she'll just go with the flow. For those from 'non Chinese speaking homes' beginning is always tough. Now you know, why I wish my kids are forever in pre-school/kindergarten!

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  6. Magictree,
    No, I think you mean you wish your kids are forever in an environment that is more like in a pre-school environment. Haha. Now, why can't they make big school environment more like preschool environment?

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  7. I always think that competition from Chinese sch come from the parent. Parents nowadays are kiasu-type, they are the one indirectly force the kids to challenge the stress and pressure. Sad?

    Ask your girl to close with one of the classmate, then she got partner to talk and walk with while recess time. It's help to ease her fear.

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  8. Jesslyn,
    Ya lor. I asked her to make friends but she say she dunno how to talk Mandarin. She was so looking forward to "big school" and so excited, now I can see her excitement being replaced by fear. A bit kesian. She loves to learn and is a fast learner and a joy to teach. I just hope that she won't start to learn out of fear rather than out of love. Anyway its still early days. :)

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  9. hmm..none of her friends from kindy went to same school as her? if there is probably this will help to ease as well. we are also from banana background and i can foresee i'll have same prob as u when faythe goes P1 in 3 yrs time. thanks for the post and the tips i've just read thru in your few post before this one.

    hey mind telling me which school u send her to? I havent' quite decide which school. In case u are same area as me lah LOL

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  10. Oh dear....I hope she settles down soon and makes some friends.

    ooohhh....the teacher was very strict.

    Really don't know what to say....I was not from chinese school so...

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  11. jazzmint,
    If you are still in BU, then I am far from you. But if you have moved, give me an email and I will let you know. Hehe.

    Ann,
    Chinese School teachers are known to be strict. :P

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  12. Oh dear, oh dear. I hope she will settle down soon. My girl also the same, if my hug and kisses is longer than it should be, that makes her feel more anxious.


    My girl has been having music lesson for 3 years already, but I don't intend to put her through the exam (not yet). I want her to enjoy music, learn to play by ear, sing solfege. Because i have been through the ABRSM system myself, it's boring playing scales and exam pieces and there's hardly anytime to enjoy playing other wonderful pieces.

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  13. Poor girl. I really hope that she will like her new environment soon. It must be so heart wrenching for you as a parent to see her like that. I fear of it myself too when my time comes next year.

    +Thanks for the sharing as it now preparing me pscyhologically on how to help my boy next year.

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  14. Hi there, I can foresee that coming. I am in the same boat as you but my gal only goes to std 1 chinese school next year. It was a hard deciison to make but in the end i had to be cruel to be kind. So This year for K2, i sent her to kindy - her usual english based kindy in the morning and scoot off to chinese kindy in the afternoon. However, I told the teachers that it's basically for her to mix and socialise cos we don't speak chinese at home. Today she bravely told me that she can understand what teacher is saying but can'tspeak. Ask her about friends and she said don't have any friends cos she can't speak the language. fortunately, she is still brave about it and finds it a bt exciiting. She has yet to come crying to me. I told her that it's a play school for the bigger school. cross fingers that by year end she can start to converse. A lesson to learn for me... definitely will send my son to all-chinese kindy from N2 onwards since we speak english at home. For your gal, all i can say to you is just hang in there for a while. My cousin's son totally refused to speak the language for almost 1 whole year in Std 1 but she said fortunately by mid 2nd year, he was rattling on like there was no tomorrow. Will read your reviews closely. Thanks for sharing.

    Mei Shi

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  15. Elaine,
    My girl has been learning for only less than a year and the teacher suggested it, I bodoh bodoh dunno, just sign her up for it. Anyway, she is only sitting for the practical. We split up the theory from the practical so it won't be so boring. She is happy and eager to learn and practise so its no pressure on her. Its just bad timing with starting of school etc, that is all.

    wmd,
    My girl is the shy, timid type, so she needs more encouragement. I see that most of the kids in her class come from English speaking environments and they all seem to be doing fine, especially the boys. I think boys adapt more easily.

    Mei Shi,
    Though we have this lesson, I am still not eager to send my son to a chinese kindy because I want him to learn English first before Chinese. I prefer it if the kids are stronger in English and learn Chinese as a second language. If I send them too young then they get confused. Sigh. Too many considerations! However, hopefully, by his time, he has his sister to guide and practise speaking with him.

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  16. Hi MG,

    You got me thinking on that... about mastering English first before chinese and them being confused. Well, initially i wanted that too...but my experience revealed otherwise...
    As my daughter was growing up, she was only exposed to speaking English and sad but true she learnt quite a bit from wathcing Disney channel ie...barney, dora (yup, she could say few spanish words too) etc and her english language was reasonably good and decent..until she started kindy and lo behold, it became manglish and later worsed cos the grammer was all wrong and horrible. Why? the Teachers were no better cos English was obviously not their first language but they were forced to communicate in english to the kids who were mostly from Chinese speaking family. they say sentences like "i got go...." oh goodness,

    anyway, we obviously weren't worried about her mastering english cos i thought we and the tv did a good job until she started the kindy..As i was obviously worried about her socialising in chinese, i asked the teachers from the kindy to speak to her in Mandarin instead but they told me they can't do that. Why? cos majority of the kids are from chinese speaking family background and that is why they had to help them "master" the english language before they go to chinese school in year 1. sadly, i can shamefully say that most of the average pg kindy teachers' speak manglish- like language.

    So in terms of mastering hte language, i think the banana parents would have done a much better job at home.

    i guess this helps me conclude that banana kids planning to go to chinese school in year 1 should start chinese kindy as i feel that they are better off learning proper decent english than manglish...trust me... its so difficult to correct once infected.

    And chinese speaking kids going to chinese school in year 1 should go to english speaking kindy to help them master the language.

    I had similar thoughts as you but i guess, unless i am willing to spend and sent them to international kindy (where the teachers likely speak the queens english) then it would be worth while. I don't know the 'quali' level of teachers in KL but generally, in Pg, they are mostly manglish speaking.

    Recently, i met a friend who is a banana as well but sent her 2 kids to chinese school. She said that they went to chinese kindy from nursey onwards and they only speak englsih at home. she said there is no problem in understanding the language from both sides cos, at school they only speak chinese and at home, they only speak english. At least, they learnt the chinese language well and speak decent english, so the best of both worlds.

    I think we do have the advantage if we were to sent them to learn the language earler on rather than much later when they will be more embarassed and sensitive.

    i don't think that your daughter will speak to her brother in chinese even when she has grasped the language. It's jus natural that if you all speak englsih at home, then that is the language that they will be communicating throughout.

    Give it a thought. sorry for ht long post. Just sharing cos i think that's brain storming. Maybe you can blog about this issue and see what others hav to say...After all there is still kid no 2 still yet to enter into the system.

    Cheers and have a prosperous new year. MS

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  17. I love long posts.... It is food for thought.

    Fortunately the English level at my kid's kindy is not that bad! Thats horrendous! As for teaching them at home, I find that I no longer have the same time I used to have as before they start attending kindy. My so called homeschooling stopped the moment they start formal education (and I include kindy as formal education away from home). Theres not enough time. Once they start kindy and school, all I have time for is to guide them through their homework, there is no time to teach. So if they learn in a Chinese kindy, I am afraid their English will not good as a result. I can't have everything. Have to choose. I think I'd rather they learn to adjust when they start entering school, altho as you mentioned they may feel more embarrassed then but I think by then they are older and also have better skills to deal with it... hopefully.

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  18. Oh, I almost forgot. Happy New Year to you too!

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