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Wednesday, January 14, 2009



Why She doesn't Like School

"Mummy, I don't like this school until Standard 6"

Thats what my girl told me. When I asked her why last week, she said it was because she didn't like the teachers (because they were all so fierce) and because she has no friends (because she doesn't know how to converse in Mandarin like they do). Most of her friends can speak Mandarin.

This week when I asked her why, she said...

"Because school is so long."

Haha. In fact, during school orientation, they had informed us that this is a big transition for the kids from kindy to primary school. School hours are very much longer, school premise is very much bigger etc. So they asked us to prepare the kid by bringing them to the school to show them around, talking to them about the longer hours and informing them where exactly to wait for us when picking them home. They also informed us to let the child know that you will sometimes be late so they won't get upset if you are. They also encouraged us to talk to the kids about school. I must add that for some kids, there is also the language transition or barrier to overcome. (Parents who have children going to primary school next year or in the coming years can take note of this).

Extra school activities for my girl's school started this week. I am glad I didn't sign the girl up for any. If she thinks school is long now, it would be even worse if she has to stay back till after 3pm.
We have however arranged for her kindy teacher to come in to speak to her in Mandarin a few times a week to help her during this transition. We don't have anyone to speak to her in Mandarin at home so we are getting outside help for just one or two months. So far its been good. She likes to practise speaking with her kindy teacher and she is comfortable to ask the kindy teacher about phrases in school which she heard and does not understand.

The kindy teacher gave her an assignment to ask her friend for her name and taught her how to ask in Mandarin. She came home with the name yesterday. Her next assignment is to make more friends. Her kindy teacher also teaches her how to ask the school teacher when she wants to go toilet and other simple terms etc.

We are a bit late in teaching her conversational chinese but hopefully with her kindy teacher's guide she can become more confident speaking and start to understand the school teachers' instructions. Quite often she comes home and tells me, "teacher say must do this and this and ..... but I don't know already." She doesn't quite know what she is supposed to do. Even the Malay and English teachers give instructions in Chinese! So it is important that she can understand it otherwise she will continue to feel lost in school.

I think that if you are sending your child to Chinese school, you should prepare them by making sure they understand conversational Chinese and not only written Chinese. My girl is fine in reading and writing but she can't understand spoken Chinese. This is something we had overlooked due to our own indecision on whether to send her to Chinese school right till the very last minute.

So far, all my girl did in school is sing songs, do coloring and origami (no books or timetable yet at this point) whereas her little brother in kindy has started on homework. Very strange. She showed me some worksheets they did in class and it was really simple. Sort of like a revision to guage the kids level of knowledge. It had simple ABCs, plus drawing curves and lines. However, occassionally they had to copy some things the teacher wrote on the board. That involved a good knowledge of chinese writing, otherwise you cannot write as the words are quite difficult so I guess they expect you to have a good grasp of the Chinese language but not other things?

Speaking of boards, my girl was really excited about the overhead projector that the teacher used to teach them in class. "My teacher stood on the table, then she pulled down this long paper and then she taught us from the computer!" she said excitedly and then added "The computer told us a story in Chinese but then I don't understand it." lol.

9 comments:

  1. oh, this must be a 'hard' job for you and her to adapt with her new school. Good luck! I'm also in the middle preparing the little boy to enter an English speaking elementary school (next July), he can speak well but 'poor' in writing and reading. gee....
    moms never feel relax for a long time, eh?!

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  2. Dun worry, sooner and later she can adjust herself in the school.

    Me too did not sign up any extra class for my girl for time being coz i see her so tire after class dismiss at 1pm++. She need a nap. But may let her join once she can adjust/adapt herself later.

    btw, her extra class end at 4.30pm. It's too long for a primary 1 student like them, don't u think so?

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  3. Ha! Ha! My boy too complained abt the long hours and teacher with cane who talks too loud!!! Of course, he still doesn't understand some of the things being said but he said he could 'guess guess'!! At least this year his BM teacher is a Malay. Previously for No1, they all use Chinese to teach BM. So I am no longer 'shocked' abt this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. henny,
    They will all adjust eventually but we are worry warts. Haha.

    Jess,
    Yes, I think its too long. At my girl's school, it ends at 3.10 for the younger ones and 3.40 for the older ones but if you take school bus, then sorry lah, you still have to wait for the older ones to dismiss.

    magictree,
    I thought my girl's class teacher looked fierce but then I saw her English teacher and boy was his voice loud! I oso sked. Hahaha. The other day my girl said, she saw a teacher walking around with rotan already and she was afraid. She rotan also sked adi if kena rotan lagi teruk. lol.

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  5. Damien came home with some Chinese homework and he told me: "Mummy, can you call my teacher and asked her what should I do with these?" *faintz* I told him he must listen to teacher's instructions and ask question if he don't understand. I guess all kids go thru this passing phase of getting used to longer hours and more homework...hopefully our kids will be more settled soon...which I'm sure they will! :)

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  6. when my girl was in K1, her chinese teacher feedbacked that we must speak more Mandarin to her. We had done it during the school holidays and slowly she can understand it now.

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  7. blurblur,
    Luckily my girl has no homework yet but everyday she comes home telling me that her teacher ask to do this and that but she don't understand.

    Ling,
    Problem is we both don't speak Mandarin so how to speak to the girl?

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  8. My girl also no homework, she says she likes her teacher except one. She also tell tales of who and who been punished but not her. :P

    My girl got no homework, but little brother in kindy already got tonnes. :(

    ReplyDelete
  9. Elaine,
    My terbalik. Don't like all her teachers, scared of them and scared of making mistakes and being punished every day.

    ReplyDelete

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