Monday, October 26, 2009

After K2

A friend told me about this site only a few months ago. I guess everyone thinks a Singaporean mother should already know about this famous forum, but I don't. 

I was shocked when I started reading some of the discussion threads about selection of Primary schools. Until then, I wasn't even aware of the details, like the different phases for the primary school registration process. I was one of those parents who used to think that there is still a long way to go before my boy enters primary school, so there is plenty of time to think. Apparently NOT, according to the regulars of that forum. 

Which brings me to the objective of this post - to make a record here about our thoughts on 'After K2'. Up till this February, I was very convinced that our boys will go to local primary schools. I didn't even consider the option of international schools then, though we can apply.

But a few incidents made us reconsider the international schools. We visited a few and talked to educators and parents whose kids are attending them. 

There are many factors I like about the programmes offered by international schools, particularly the International Baccalaureate and the Primary Years Programme offered by some schools. However, the way-too-relaxed culture of these institutions with their lack of annual assessments and "slower" curriculum compared to the standards set by Singapore M.O.E. is a real drawback. Even the best international schools will not have a strong Chinese language curriculum which is another key factor in our decision-making. 

Well, we are also the kind of parents who think that having assessments such as tests and exams is actually good for the child. I am not concerned about the common grouse on too much homework or stress etc... I think that is part of growing up in a competitive world. You either learn to manage it and strive with flying colors, or you just won't do well later on in life. 

So after deliberating for months, I still couldn't decide whether to go local or international schools. It was frustrating! 

Then one day, E uttered some words of wisdom - regardless of the schools we choose, for as long as we continue our attitude and approach with our boys, they will do well. We can and will continue to raise them as inquisitive children with a hunger for knowledge and love for learning. 

And that's it! Bingo! He is so RIGHT! 

What's wrong with me?!  For a while, I was blinded by the greed and desire to want the perfect solution. I want an education that offers the best of everything. But it just doesn't exist! 

Of course, as parents, we have a significant and formidable influence over our children's development. So why fret over school choices? The dilemma that troubled me for months just disappeared into thin air. I sighed a great relief and gained a whole lot of perspectives (again).

This is another classic case of 'still waters run deep'. And I am referring to E. 

Going the local primary schools path means we will have to register under Phase 2C, so no joy in that. But with this clarity bestowed by my darling hubby, I also no longer worry about the 'what if M doesn't get into the preferred primary school' scenario. 

I remain optimistic. One thing doesn't change - we are still the parents. So no worries! :> 


Ivana said...

Huh? I didn't know this existed either, but can I say I'm not suprised? Everyone was already bugging me to put kid down on waiting list for NURSERY!

Anyway, good for you and E! I just love a supportive husband = )

zkcp said...

I'm happy for you! I remembered we had this discussion...."still water runs deep" indeed....

A is For Amanda said...

That is very wise advice from your hubby!
I have read the posts in that forum previously and was also shocked at how much work there is to be done if you want your kids to get into the choice school. I guess as parents we always wanted the best for our children and in the process, like what you said blinded with greed.This post has certainly also given me some comfort that even if my girl end up in an average primary school, she will do well if we parents continue to put in efforts. Thanks!

Domesticgoddess said...

zkcp, good to hear from you! thanks.

A is for Amanda/Ivana, I remember neighbours and friends asked me when my first child was just 9 months old if I had decided which kindergarten to enrol him. A year later, I was asked about our choice of primary school. I guess it is the same abroad if parents want to get their kids in the good private schools. The wait list is crazily long.

Even if I had known about the phases and the existence of Parent Volunteer earlier, I still won't do it. It is against my principle to be a PV in order to increase my child's chances of getting into a school.

That being said, I don't mean being contented with just any school as there are still undeniable advantages for a child to be in a good learning environment, surrounded by self-motivated classmates and passionate teachers. But regardless, parents' effort and attitude will provide the headstart and differentiation in end results.

Astro said...

Hi DG,
Hope that M enters a school that he is happy and looks forward daily to go to.. to me that is most important.

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi Astro, thanks. Agree. Unfortunately, that depends a lot on many external factors which are out of our hands, regardless of what school we choose.

At the end of the day, i think the best we can do is to teach our kids to manage whatever they face and get the best out of everything they are thrown at.


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