Hunter, HUNTER, CARTER & CHLOE, Hunter's progress HUNTER GOES TO SCHOOL 22 May 2013

My little big boy, Hunter, at all of 2 years old, has just started Pre-nursery school.

I’ve never been a huge proponent of dumping my kid(s) in school at a young age (to me this is <3 years old) because:

  1. I’m a SAHM now. Different if I’m a working mum and need my kid to be looked after during the day! I didn’t quit a great job, only to sit around twiddling my thumbs whilst my kids are in school. I want to spend their precious young years engaging with them and doing stuff together and learning together. I feel that one’s childhood is so brief before they have to do full-time school.. so why not enjoy it for now? 
  2. There is no scientific proof that a child develops a higher IQ if they enter school at a younger age. I won’t mince my words – Singapore is a competitive society and many people are frantic to send their kids to school to “give them a headstart”. I’m just not convinced that force-feeding a very young child information will make them a brighter adult!
  3. I’m selfish. I want my babies with meeeeeee!!!! NO SHARING!!!

 

That said, we’ve also noticed that Hunter has a slightly different personality to most kids. He is very hesitant, can be extremely reserved at times, and sometimes has trouble with the concept of sharing. The last point is familiar with pretty much every parent of a two-year old, so it’s definitely not unique of Hunter. But I’m just putting it in there because it’s a social skill best learned in school IMHO.

Hunter has almost daily play dates. I’m happy with this and he gets good interaction with kids his age, but I wanted to introduce him to structure and routine, and the concept of a learning environment.

So, he’s starting his pre-nursery school! At a very very low-key 2x a week, for 3 hours. 

I like it because it will be almost like a play date, but in a structured environment. By the end of the year, I may ramp it up to 4 or 5 times a week. We’ll see how he takes it!

He’s been to school four times so far. It’s not much to extrapolate from, but…. unbelievably…. HE LOVES IT.

I actually cannot reconcile this. He is the sort that can have serious meltdowns, and I was expecting lots of ranting and raving and whining and dramatics as I was leaving. But all 4 times, he just went “Mama, you go out”, or “See ya later mama” without blinking an eye.

I’m not sure whether to be proud or miffed.

I’m proud because he seems to be such a big boy when he takes it all in his stride. But miffed because… DUDE WHERE IS THE LOVE???????

But everyone has told me to just wait, the hysterics come LATER. After a few weeks, the novelty wears off and that’s when the kid starts having meltdowns. So I’m bracing myself for the worst. Eeeeek!

So anyway, just before he started school, we took him for his 3rd ever haircut. Considering two years old is the fantastic age known as the EVERYTHING-IS-NO stage, we were super nervous. Turns out, he handled it like a champion. Incredible!! He insisted on sitting on Chris, and BRACED himself and squished his eyes shut like someone was about to maim and torture him…. but at least he sat still and tolerated the cut. Phew!

Forced to wear a bright pink cape whilst getting my hair cut. Oh parents, what have you done to me?!

 

Spiffy! (super cool Milk on the Rocks shark tee from Nottoobig)

 

On his first day, he insisted on wearing his Thomas tee that his Great Nanna bought him, and I paired it with his Elly striped shorts cos they’re super comfy. And he’s wearing his favourite Livie & Luca shoes which are comfy and excellent for Singapore’s weather. He was also over the moon with his new school bag, with rocketships on them! A lovely gift from a friend for his birthday. He’s been proudly showing it off to the teachers and kids 😉

All ready for his first day of school!

 

Having fun at school

 

Learning teamwork – painting a ‘mailbox’ blue

 

And so now my days are starting to get crazy… shuttling Hunter to/from school, then going for lunch and a play date. And squeezing in (lots of) laundry, dishes, cooking etc. Thank God for parents that are nearby! They’re happy to look after one kid whilst I’m busy with the other.. which is really a Godsend because I always descend into a pit of madness whenever I’m looking after both kids 😉

The only downside to school is that, because Hunter naps for 2 hours in the afternoon, he won’t really get to go on playdates with his little friends anymore – since he’ll be napping! But, I guess he’ll get social interaction at school now so it’s not too bad, and we’ll just have to somehow squeeze in play dates with friends afterwards or on weekends… (that said, we went on an epic 7-kid playdate at a gf’s place after school today, without a nap prior, and he was perfectly angelic. Amazing!)

No more speeding around on your motorbike, picking up the chicks

 

Bikerboy!

 

Best feedback from his teachers? When they asked me to clarify how old he was, exactly, because they thought his speech (sentence structure and vocab) exceeded his age group. I personally think he just takes after me, because I’m a chatterbox! Or, maybe all his friends are female so he’s used to a lot of talking 😉

Worst feedback? That he’s really tentative when it comes to touching stuff that he finds ‘dirty’.. which includes any form of painting, playing with sand, etc etc. It’s a shame because they do a lot of hands-on play, so he’ll refuse and just stand aside and watch! I hope that, with time, he’ll get over it…..

 

12 Comments

  • Mel posted on May 23, 2013 at 12:23 am

    I wish more moms would look at things like you have. A lot of kids are shaky socially. Some moms try to shelter their kids.

    As far as his concern about touching things that are “dirty”…He may have a few sensory “quirks”. I work with a lot of kids with those quirks. 🙂 The best thing you can do is start doing some “sensory” activities at home. He may not be receptive at first but it’s helpful to offer those things. If you need any ideas, let me know! (I’m an occupational therapist — I work with kids who have moderate to severe sensory issues, along with fine motor stuff. I have a whole arsenal of ideas!)

    Reply
    • Beverly! posted on May 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      I do think that, for many people, social skills are developed when they’re young. Not everyone is born with them. And even key fundamentals like sharing is so EPIC to try and teach young toddlers – argh!

      It is soo interesting that you work with kids with sensory issues! I do think that he is extra-sensitive.. he is particularly alarmed if he spots any bruises/cuts on other people, and is VERY careful about his own well-being and being ‘dirty’.

      I found out today he likes playing with dry pasta (scooping it up etc). Does that count as a sensory activity??

      Reply
      • Mel posted on May 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm

        Yep, dry pasta counts! Try rice and dry beans, too. Put little beads or toys in there for him to find. Also try a bowl of shaving cream or whipped cream, with small items for him to play with and retrieve.

        Since we won’t touch finger paint, do you think he would touch pudding or custard with his fingers?? Or any food with his fingers? It’s seems counter productive but encourage him to play with his food! 🙂

        I love the work I do. Love. The kids I work with mostly have issues that interfere with life overall. Some kids I work with are super sensitive to sound and light, as well as touch.

        Reply
        • Beverly! posted on May 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm

          Ahh those are good ideas – thak you! I’m thinking school would do this sort of stuff though? I do hope he tries to follow the other kids as well.

          I like your idea about food. He actually is OK to touch his food (even if it’s ‘wet’ or ‘messy’) but I actually tell him not to and spoon-feed him instead. Might get him to do finger/self-feeding!

          Reply
          • Mel posted on May 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm

            Yeah school will probably do the other stuff, but definitely he’s old enough to work on self-feeding. I think that will help immensely!

  • Trina posted on May 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Have you ever made play dough with Hunter? The kids at Kindy love making play dough – and playing with it after. They’d be happy to make play dough EVERYDAY if they could have it their way.

    See if you could work that into one of your days with Hunter and once he gets used to the texture – and potential mess – I’m sure he’ll love getting hands on at school 🙂

    Making your own paints and getting him to finger paint after might be an idea too?

    We have kids who used to HATE even having a drop of water on their shirt/shorts/skirt etc but after telling them repeatedly that they’ll dry, most of them don’t bat an eyelid anymore. Not even if they’re drenched.

    xx

    Reply
    • Beverly! posted on May 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      Oooooo I haven’t! And he actually doesn’t mind touching playdoh, though he’s not very interested in it and will only do so for about 5 mins before he goes back to his trains.

      Do you think playing it with him will help, or making it from scratch is the important part??

      Man… I can’t figure out how to get Hunter to finger paint. He flatly refuses to touch the paint!! And if I try to drag his hand over he has a fit :X

      Reply
      • Trina posted on May 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

        If playing with the dough doesn’t hold his attention for long, then definitely get him involved with the process because it can get messy, what with the flour and all. Also there’s kneading involved.

        He’ll come around to these “messy” activities in time 🙂 there’s no point getting him AND you frustrated in the process. That’s why school’s great! Monkey see, monkey do – none of them like being the odd one out all the time.

        You’re a great mum and remember, every child is different! *hugs*

        Reply
        • Beverly! posted on May 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm

          Yeah i do think he’ll get over it.. cos he doesn’t want to be the odd one out right? Especially as they all get older and understand the concept of ’embarrassment’. Seems like so far he does try to join in on most stuff, so I’m glad! 🙂

          Reply
          • Trina posted on May 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm

            Hunter sounds like he’d be a lovely boy to have in Kindy 🙂 I would LOVE to have him in my class! Some of the kids we have…. *shudder*

  • JJ posted on October 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Keke… Bev, hunter’s bike is cool! Where buy?!

    Reply
    • Beverly! posted on October 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Ybike from MOthercare!

      Reply

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