Trying Not To Be Taken Over By The K1 Madness

Haiz… TJ received his first rejection letter last week. Rejected from Think Intl… bloody hell. Reason given on the letter “Due to overwhelming response from parents…” Blah Blah Blah.

I kinda had this feeling that he will not get in anyway. We had the interview at 9ish in the morning that day, and there were already loads of eager beaver parents and kids. Well, interviews were conducted for all levels, pre-nursery, K1, K2 and maybe K3s, and the interviews went on till 4ish in the afternoon, so I supposed out of the many “thousands” of applications, we were just one of the many.

D asked me if YMCA doesn’t accept TJ, then how? I told him, I don’t know, seriously. I don’t want him to travel too far, and definitely not take the school bus. I get these paranoid thoughts of him alone in the school bus and it just gives me a major headache. So maybe he will not go to school at 3 years old.

Nowadays, I am just spending my time checking out different kindys/preschools websites and see if (1) application for K1 is still opened and (2) what my instinct tells me about the school, and getting stress each time. I am thinking if he doesn’t get a place in K1, it’s not the end of the world, but will I be shortchanging my son?

I want TJ to have a good childhood, and I know they learn best through play at this age. But on the other hand, I do think I need to expose him to some school-like routines to prepare him gradually for primary education.

I am thinking perhaps he would actually say more words if he is in a place where he needs to, unlike at home where we all understand him without him having to say much. And since I am not that consistent with using Mandarin at home (English is TJ’s native language now), perhaps putting him in school will get him to pick up the language much more effectively than from me.

I intend to sign him up for the YMCA “Toddlers World” when the next 11-weeks class start in Jan ’10. Can’t remember if it’s twice or thrice a week, and it’s about 2 hours each morning.

The main reason I am signing him up for the playgroup  is that YMCA Intl Kindergarten gives priority to those who have gone thru’ its Toddlers World programme. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s mainly in English, so no Chinese, which means, I have to maybe put him in Mandarin playgroup on a weekend?!? I think I better force myself to think and speak in Chinese than to have him attend classes on a weekend.

And the second reason  is that I can’t keep TJ at home all the time. As it is, he does watch a far bit of  TV during the day (I’m not that anal about TV prohibition) and there is only so much playing at the park/playground each day. I can’t expect my helper, nice lady that she is, to give him the extra simulation from an educational perspective.

Physically, our place is far away from the choiced kindys/preschools, so it does limit our choices, especially since I don’t want him to spend too much travelling time. Think Intl would have been the best, as TJ would only need to walk to school. He wouldn’t have to wake up too early, and I could take him to school first.

Unlike back home in Sgp, I wouldn’t have that much problems with deciding on a school… a KINDY/Preschool for the matter, this is really crazy. Now, I am becoming one of those stressed out HK parents. Here, it seems more important to get a place in the school of your choice first then move house. Different for Sgp parents, since you wanna move first so that you can be within the 1km radius and have a higher chance of getting into the school of your choice.

And all these kindys/preschools are privately run, even though they are registered with EDB, so different schools have different types of curriculum… British, NZ, French, Montessori or a mixture. So I have to think carefully and ahead to see if the school will be ok for TJ as it sets the foundation for his next stage of education, which will obviously be the S’pore curriculum, even if we aren’t back home by then, he will be attending SISHK.

Perhaps God doesn’t think TJ need to go to school yet, so I shouldn’t push for it. Darn it… I am going to stop being one of those crazy HK parents, and just concentrate on TJ’s toilet training (he’s still only telling us after he has done his pee and poo), transition him from his cot to a bed (major project during the Xmas break) and just making sure TJ has good manners.

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