Friday 14 February 2020

My Boy's Graduation Concert & 1st Month at Primary School

It has become somewhat of a tradition to write about my kid's graduation from preschool and their first time at formal primary school education in the same post as I had done the same for my eldest girl.

Last year, we celebrated the boy's graduation from his childcare in the usual way at his childcare's annual concert. It felt like just yesterday that I was blogging about his first day at pre-school and now he's about to graduate!

Excited sisters in attendance
My boy with his graduating class

Although my boy does not particularly like dancing, we signed him up anyway so that he can learn perseverance and confidence.

One of the dance performances that my boy was involved in

I'm very proud of my boy for doing his best even though performing is not one of his strengths. He has come a long way since his first year in pre-school where he refused to take instructions from anyone. My boy has always been fiercely independent and has his own unique way of thinking. However, he has really improved a lot after going to pre-school and learning to follow rules and routines.

Our family photo to celebrate this milestone!

The boy took a break from school for the whole of December as we were overseas for most of December. I was so afraid that he will find it hard to transit to Primary 1 when the time came.

Although this was not my first time transitioning a child to Primary 1, it is still just as anxiety-provoking as every child is different. The concerns I had for my girl were very different from that of my boy.

For my girl, I was concerned with the fit of the school for her needs and her ability to wake up every morning for school because she is a night owl like I am. After 3 years in this primary school that I've chosen, I am very sure that we had made the right choice.

For my boy, I was concerned that he is literally 1 full year behind his peers, being born 4 days before the end of the year on 27 Dec. I was also concerned about his proficiency in the Chinese language. Even though he grew up with a Mandarin-speaking grandmother, he does not seem to have acquired the ability nor the interest in the language. We decided to enroll him in Chinese tuition even though I'm usually against sending my kids to tuition unnecessarily. In this case, it was absolutely necessary as he was really behind.

Prepared my boy's bag for school a week in advance

The boy wakes up together with his sister every morning at about 5.45-6am in order to catch the school bus at 6.20am. So far the boy is doing great, sometimes even better than his sister, who has a lot more trouble opening her eyes in the morning. I think it really helps to have a big sister to orientate you to taking the school bus and getting around in school. She taught him how to buy food and where to wait for the bus to go home at the end of school (she is a really great big sister!).

Later that morning, we joined all the excited parents to observe the very first morning assembly of our little Primary 1 kids. I can tell that my boy is still finding it hard to follow the structure of the school system as he is a free-spirit and generally goes 'where ever the wind takes him'! 😂

I'm really grateful to his form teacher, who has had to nudge him in the right direction, help him find his missing library books and patiently correct his misbehaviours.

He is such a free spirit that we almost couldn't find him during recess despite spotting my girl being a P4 buddy to a very cute Primary 1 girl right away. She was right in her element, being a good big sister to her junior. I'm so proud of her!

As for my boy, it turned out that his buddy had brought him around the school to introduce him to the school compound and we only saw him when recess was about to end. He seemed to be doing ok so far and we were happy with his transition.

I observed that my boy does better when he is given a lot of time in advance to learn something. Hence, I made it a point to teach him his spelling (both Chinese and English) at least one week in advance. That really helped him to learn a little by little, with a lot of repetitions to commit them to memory.

Nowadays our routine after dinner on weekdays (and sometimes Sundays) consists of me giving tuition to my 2 kids for at least an hour before they got ready for bed. If you've taught your own kids before, you'd know exactly how challenging that can be!

I usually focus on their weakest subject, which more often than not, starts with A LOT of tears and grumbling. Then it goes into negotiation, more grumbling and then dropping of their pencils repeatedly on the floor. This totally brings out the Tiger Mum in me and I would dish out demands and various consequences until they do what I say. It's tough, but I know eventually it will benefit them at the end.

Bear in mind that I do all this while handling a very active, sometimes cranky, baby and dealing with sleep deprivation due to disrupted sleep at night! I think I only survive everyday relying on God's strength!

It also explains why it took me so long to write my blog posts, including this one! 😩

It's only the first half of the first term of the year. I've still got a long year ahead... Wish me luck! 😐


Our memories of past concerts:
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