I’ve noticed Hunter go through a bit of a mental development leap in the past few months. Hard to put it precisely into words, but there was a marked change in the way he logically processed information, understood instructions, and increased independence.
Basically, he was ready for Primary school.
The difference in Singaporean schools (vs Australia), is that they start at a staggeringly early time.. 7:30am. It means that kids are travelling to school at sunrise, which is actually pretty insane.
My kids normally go to bed at 7:30pm, so we’ve had to shift it earlier to a 7:00am bedtime and up at 6:15am (!!!!!). Carter can sleep in as he’s still in pre-school, but both Chloe and Carter have serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) so, yep, all 3 kids are up that early.
Initially Chris was supposed to continue sleeping, since he works super-late often and needs the rest, but with all 3 kids awake, the noise and activity levels wake him up too.
So, it’s a total family lifestyle change for us!
Hunter has the luxury of a 12-15 min walk by the river to school.. so he gets to enjoy the river breeze and spaciousness (and no traffic). It’s why we chose our location and school, because most kids will have to walk on roads or take the bus, whether it be Australia or Singapore. I hope that, one day, he will realise how fortunate and blessed he is to have this opportunity!
Like I said, the first day of school was a total family affair 😉
Hunter being Hunter, had no trepidation on his first day of school. He was quieter as usual, since he was overwhelmed by the large classes and sheer madness of the atmosphere.. but he was eager to go in and make some friends.
I asked him later “What’s ONE word you would use to describe how you felt on your first day?”
His answer – “Excited.”
We actually rocked up early, so Hunter was seated in his class line. The teacher came to lead them off into the class, but then Hunter spotted one of the kids he knew crying. He promptly got out of the line to try and hold the kid’s hand and make him feel better.
And just like that, his teacher and classmates walked off and he was left behind.
Another teacher came by and said he would have to sit in the queue again. The ‘late queue’.
But he didn’t get into trouble, because presumably teachers are kinder on the first day, and that teacher saw that he was only in the ‘late queue’ as he had stepped out of the line to console a classmate.
And it made me feel proud.
Anxious, yes, because rules and rules and he should still be careful to follow them. But, proud, because he felt that he should help a classmate out, and did so without hesitation.
Finally trooping off with one of his female classmates. Looking so serious!
There are approx 35 kids in each class in Singapore schools.. and 7 classes in each grade. So that’s almost 250 kids just in Primary One in Hunter’s school! Compare that to the 15 kids in Hunter’s pre-school class and, well, you can imagine why formal school is such a big deal here.
Oh this little face looking at me during Recess break! Parents were allowed in just for the first day, and it was much like a zoo viewing 😉
I asked him what he was most proud/happy about after his first day, and he told me that he volunteered first when the teacher asked for introductions. I asked him ”How did you feel about that?” and he responded, “like, so nervous at first, but then it felt really good.”
Then he told me he tricked everyone into thinking his “daddy is a soldier”.. so now I have two teachers and a whole bunch of classmates that think Chris shoots at people, ahem.
I’m surprised how nonplussed he’s been with this huge milestone in his life, at least so far. Today is his second day and he told me tonight he was really happy making new friends and checking out his new school. His trick? He told me he memorised a few jokes and tells them to his new classmates, “then they laugh and they become my friend.” That’s actually a pretty wise trick!
I just thank God he is a confident kid, and I truly hope he radiates positivity and friendliness with his classmates, so they all feel confident too!