Has it already been a year since Junior started school?! It didn’t seem too long ago when I wrote about school jitters and how I was heartbroken as Junior cried every single day during drop offs. We have certainly come a long way. I still can’t believe that the bub is now officially in Nursery 2 and how the school has become part of a routine and how familiar he is with school. The start to Nursery 2 was rough as we were all down with a viral fever that caused him to missed out on the first week of school. From time to time, he still cries at drop-off especially if it was a long time away from school. So you could imagine drop-off in school yesterday certainly wasn’t easy.
Before I know it, he is going to progress onto Kindergarten and big boy school. Before that happens, I thought it might be meaningful to document his first year in Nursery 1.
Many mums have warned me that by sending our bubs to school, they tend to fall ill a lot more frequently as compared to being at home. Frustrating and heart-pain as it is, I’ll like to think that our little one shouldn’t be living in a bubble and this helps boost their immune system. It also made me ensure that he gets his daily dosage of Vitamin C etc to help combat these viruses that goes around in a school environment. The illnesses are usually pretty mild, like the common flu and cold. But it does gets frustrating when it affects Junior’s sleep and/or appetite. We saw an improvement towards the end of the year as we saw that he was less susceptible to the viruses.
We waited till Junior was 2 and when he has a good grasp of language before we sent him off to school. We thought that by doing so, should anything happen in school, he will be able to relate them to us. So to begin with, we didn’t have much of an issue with Junior’s speech. And perhaps because of that, he learns much quicker in school and is able to connect with the teachers by communicating with them more. He has also been singing a lot more at home, from learning songs in school and able to tell us what went on in school.
The only thing that troubles me a little is Mandarin. Despite having a Chinese form teacher who only speaks Mandarin to him, he is still kind of averse to it. Having said that, we’ve seen some improvements in that he has started to sing some Chinese songs, reference to things and animals in mandarin and have also stopped telling us to stop speaking mandarin to him.
The thing I like most about the school is the curriculum and plenty of opportunities for the kids to be engaged through crafts. Because I personally thinks that craft work is fun and as much as I would like to do more craft work with Junior at home, it’s quite impossible churning these things out when you are a full time working mum. He is often proud to show us what he did in school, and almost always the craft work are based on the theme they are learning about in that term. Through these craft work, I’ve seen how Junior has improved in his motor skills, he is able to string things, colour within lines etc.
Just the other day he asked me what does it means to have a best friend because Peppa Pig says that her best friend is Suzie Sheep. While the concept is not something he can grasp at this age, I think he is happy to know that he has friends. He did make a couple of friends in school and while I think he is still aloof most of the time, he does come home and share about things that his friends did and said. Sometimes they are really trivial stuff like how he and his friend has the same water bottle. But I think trivial stuff like that helps form memories and make going to school a lot more fun.
Ahhh.. this is still a work in progress for us. Junior really doesn’t take well to the initial drop off. He was fine for months but when his previous form teacher resigned, he regressed and it was teary drop-off every morning again. Frankly, the tears only last as long as he needs to take to walk into class and after that he’s all good. I would like to think of it as being a phase he needs to go through because changes are bound to happen in all our lives. So I’m consoling myself that it will get better and he will have to learn to take to changes abit better. We have been doing our part by encouraging him in every little way we can and to give him that assurance that he will be fine and that grandma will be there at pickup. We even got a book titled Daddy long legs – it’s a story about how a boy was so afraid that his dad would not be there at pick-up and how his dad assured him through all the what-ifs.
Well, this is me is most important in any school. Because when you have dedicated and passionate teachers, you have happy students. We were really pleased with the initial 2 teachers that we started with and considered a blessing that they were there seeing through Junior for most part of the year. They were also a great help in transiting new students to their classes, friends and curriculum. They were truly interested in the well-being of the kids. Unfortunately, the 2 teachers we really appreciated have resigned and while the new teachers are engaging, they do pale in comparison (just slightly). Now we are hoping that his N2 teachers are going to be just as nurturing as his previous teachers.
We hope that the school year will be kinder to Junior and he’ll like school more, make more friends and definitely learn more.