It's official! Yes, Little One is officially schooling! Did tears well up my eyes on her first day of school? Well, nope. This was for the 1st 3 days, Primary 1 (P1) parents were allowed to visit the school with their kid/s and the P1 students in her school were allowed to return home 2 hours earlier. (I am not sure about other schools though). Hence, in a way, it was more or less similar to timing of a kindergarten.
So, here goes...
On the first day, Little One started the day bright and early, complete with smile. She was so exciting about going to school. I am not sure this mentality would stay on till the end of Primary 6 but I do hope so!
Unlike the the school I attended in the past, the teachers conducted talks for parents to get us familiar with school system and how we could help our child/ children with their work. There were talks for the 1st 2 days. I intended only to stay for that. When all the talks ended, it would be time to bring Little One home.
I sent Little One to her class, got her to be familiarized with the route from the gate to the class. We had already met her form teacher on Orientation Day. During that time, Little One was already brought around the school so the school was not that unfamiliar to her. She was pretty excited to start the new school term.
Together with other parents, I stood outside the classroom taking photos of her first moment in class, witnessing their first class assembly singing the National Anthem and reciting the pledge. I was pretty amazed to see Little One moving her lips when the school's song was played. Later I found out from her, she does not know the lyrics of the school song. So, she was just lip-syncing.
Time table was given on day 1. Her bag was pretty heavy as we were required to hand up most of the workbooks and activity books to the teacher. This was something that was different from the past too. In the past, we were to carry every textbook, workbook and exercise book so long that there was a lesson conducted on that particular subject that day. And on the first day then, we would carried everything to school because we did not which lessons would be conducted.
The P1 students in her school were allowed to return home 2 hours earlier these 3 days. I am not sure about other schools. So, that means I did not need to pack her any lunch boxes for the 1st 3 days. I visited her only during recess time and watched her buy her food from afar. She had a buddy with her who guided her along. After recess, I managed to talk to her at the assembly area. One of her classmates also returned early from the canteen. When he saw me talking to Little One, his eyes started to water. I panicked but still I comforted him. Fortunately, he calmed down and sat quietly after that.
For the first 3 days, P1 would be released from the hall. After the talks, I waited for her to be release from the hall. After which I would guide her back to the gate which I believe the teachers would continue to do after the 3 days of orientation.
I guided Little One to pack her bag the day before. Little One told me that there were some more books teacher collected on Day 1 but were not listed in the book list. I had to assure her that we will be packing those and submit on Day 2 together with other required items..
During the talks, I got to know P1 will be subjected to screening test to decide whether additional help is required to provide to the students. Little One told me that they had to do some school work for Chinese. I believe that was the screening test since they would be distributed according to their abilities.
Little One bought too much food for recess. A plate of bee hoon and a slice of water melon. Comparing to the day before, this time she ate too slowly and she could not finish her water melon and passed it to me. I wonder what would happen the next time she can't finished her food.
Things did not seemed to settle down one Day 2. Little One brought home a set of colour pencils that belong to one of her classmates. It was not labeled so we do not know whose it belong to. Luckily, we have a wadsapp group for most of the parents. We found the owner and the pencils were returned the next day,
I noted the class has their own library corner and children were to take off their shoes prior entry. Oops! I had yet to label her shoes!
There was no talk on this day, so I sent Little One to school and waited through class assembly before returning home. There were still quite a plenty of parents around. Someone in her class got sick and vomited. The parent of the child happened to be there and brought him home.
When I went to school hall to fetch Little One. I was surprised to see yogurt in her bag. She told me that she borrowed money from her buddy to buy the extra yogurt! She said chicken rice cost $1 and the yogurt $1,10. Guess what? She still has 10 cents in her pocket. I was pretty upset because I gave her $2 as pocket money which in my opinion is not very little money. From then on, I banned her from borrowing money. I do not want her growing up to think that she can borrow money to get stuff she could not afford. She must learn to spend within her means.
Nevertheless, I still walk on the grounds with her and showed her where I would be picking her up in future.
This day onwards, she would be having full day class. Parents are no longer allowed into school vicinity. I sent her off at the gate. For the first time, I thought she was growing too fast! I started to worry. What if she forgets instructions which I think she would. What if she lost her way? What if she day dreams in class? That was when I took the above picture. That was when I felt teeny weeny bit of emotions.
Picking her up was pretty exciting too as I did not know what to expect. I just wait outside as per many parents or caretakers did. Soon I spotted her coming near the gate with her class teacher and friends.
I asked whether she had problems going to her class. She replied no. At that moment, I felt pretty proud. Nevertheless, I reminded her in case she was lost and did not know where her class went, she can always go to the General Office to seek help.
Again, I had problem with her pocket money and how she "spends" it. This time she bought a sandwich for 70 cents but returned with 20 cents. I am not sure whether she dropped the coins or had handed the wrong amount of money to the vendor.
Her teachers gave them some forms to bring back. Some of them already became as "kiam chye" (crumpled). This was despite the fact that I had show her to put her forms into the folder which I supplied. Sigh!
The first time she brought home homework from school. Her spelling list came back as "kiam chye" =_=
She said her Chinese textbook was being kept in school. So was her Character and Citizenship textbook. I wondered whether was it because some parents complained that the school bag was too heavy?
I asked her what she ate for recess. She said she only ate the stuff I packed for her lunchbox as she could not finish during her tea break time. So did she managed to save the money I provided for that particular day? No. She spent 30 cents on a pencil because she thought she was running out of pencils. So, she had discover the fun of stationery shop.
So, that was the 1st week. Pretty exciting and confusing, isn't it?
If your child is attending school for the 1st time, how was the week for you?