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:
- 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?
- 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!
- 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!
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 😉
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!)
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…..