One more week, JS will start her new school term at a new school and I have also made up my mind to stop her extra night classes for Maths and Mandarin that she has attended few months ago.
I enrolled her to these classes during my “school hunt expediture” and after I have pulled her out from her former pre-school (due to the dissastifaction I have with that school and how much she hated to go school and didnt enjoy much). When I pulled her out from school, I did home school with her but I know that homeschooling itself is not that healthy for her social growth, she still needs to learn to work in group and interact with others and be less dependent on me. Another reason for sending her to the Mandarin class is to build the foundation for her so that when she goes to a Chinese medium K1 next year, she won’t feel lost at not understanding bits of the language. Third reason being that she’s still acustomed to being away from me a couple of hours a day, three times a week, hopefully when the new school term starts she won’t find it hard to readjust to being away from me again. There’s no quarantee though..as she’s still very attached and clingy to me, but at least I made it not too long a gap for her to be solely with me during this period of time and the next school term. She left school in Oct, if she would to stay home with me for 3 months , I know by Jan she will find it hard to cope leaving me behind and go to school. Just want to make the transition less traumatized to her.
Now that my purpose has been served, I’m happy that she learns to speak some basic Mandarin and can understand the language, I see no reason for her to take extra classes at this young age anymore. I think the normal school hour will be just sufficient for her.
I wont say there’s no struggle for me to made up my mind. I never denied that I’m a kiasu mum. Inside my heart I tend to compare her with other kids and feel proud if she’s better than others (which mum doesn’t do that anyway?? Every mum does that!!) and I do have expectation from her. Of course I know it’s wrong for me to have this kind of expectation and comparison…especially I see her progress in Maths and Mandarin in this short period of time, I can’t help to feel a pity to let go instead of continuing. Even when enrolled her for these classes, I didn’t had a clear thought of how long to go on. It’s 50/50. 50 said that I will not continue after the new school term start, another 50 was thinking to see how thing goes and will decide later and maybe will carry on with these classes on top of her normal schooling.
Anyhow I have made up my mind. It’s too high a price to pay, not in monetary term but her childhood. I know I’m kiasu… I know I want her to excel. At the same time I’m also been intoxified by the comment that if one let your child have a relaxing early childhood and pre-school years, it would be hard for the kids to adapt when they enter primary 1 especially to a Chinese medium primary school. (There’s really such non sense). I’m also one super worried mother…worry that she would feel left out because we are going to enrol her to a very competitive Chinese school in the urban area where most her peer will be attenting many of these enrichment classes. (It’s so wrong for me to have worry like this, I shall be the one to encourage her and motivate her and support her instead of pushing her in the rat race like other kiasu parents)
Anyhow despite all my worries and kiasu-ness, I still get my senses back that these extra classes is really unnecessary and it’s putting a lot of stress on the young child. Though children have an absorbent mind and constantly thriving to learn, but the learning process shouldn’t be carried out in such way. It should be fun filled and stress free. It shouldnt just be school , tuition classes and home work and no time for other leisure.
I was reading Sunday NST on “Fun and books? Pre-schoolers just don’t have the time” , it’s such awakening article that pull me out from making such a big mistake of taking my kids childhood away with endless classes and homework. I really dont want to be part of the kiasu mum circle. I reminded myself that since the birth of JS, I had made a promise that I wont sent her for any tuition classes, at least not during the primary school years and I told myself that I want to coach and teach her myself. (there are people who said that it’s hard to teach your own kids, I wont deny that, sometimes JS do really drive me up the wall, but overall she’s still very good, but if my mum can tutor us herself, I strongly believe I can do so too). I had never gone for any tuiton classes during my primary school years, I had a stress free childhood, which is what I want my kids to have too. I almost broke my own promise due to the influence of the environment. During Xmas dinner while SILs, JS’s godmother and me were having a casual chat, SILs related how stress free it was during their school time that MIL would say “no need to study so hard…go sleep early…bla bla bla” and yet both SILs are very successful now. With these I’m taking a step aback, to a more relaxing approach to JS’s learning pace.
To really think about it, it really make no sense and not worth to attend these classes besides it intellectual and academic benefits. Her normal school hour will be from 8am to 11.30am where we have to leave home by 7.30am in order to make it to school on time and by the time she comes home it would be likely 12pm already. I want her to have proper lunch and sufficient nap and also time to play outside in the evening. If I were to continue with these extra classes 3 times per week, I will be rushing like mad to cook early dinner and rush her to take her early dinner which she will definately miss out play time during the evening and family time with daddy. I personally feel that it’s important to have family meal together for dinner as bonding time. And not forgetting there will sure be endless homework to be completed from school and extra classes, which will left her with no more play time. It will be too hectic for her if I keep sending her to these classes as she will not be able to have enough rest, spending more time on the road, rushing through her meals and having endless homework to complete. On top of that , if I keep sending her to extra classes, it will defeat the purpose of me doing my diploma course in Montessori, which my aim was for her to learn through play.
With these extra time free from extra classes, she will be able to learn through play which I’m going to apply what I’ve learn in Montessori on her. That will be more meaningful.
The music class will remain. Music is an extra skill and also it helps to develop posture and style.
Will reserve one more day for physical activity either self defense class, dance or swimming lesson. These are the activities that I’m not able to coach her and not equipped to do so. Physical activity is important, not only for fitness and health, it will also make the young mind more alert, improve dexterity, posture, self esteem and concentration. Will look for a suitable class and location for physical activity for her, might not start next year, it might be later when the timing is appropriate.