Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Kindy Stress

Micah will be 4 next June.

Everyone (all the grandparents and grandaunts and granduncles) is saying Micah should go to school already. Only one friend and our paediatricians said it's not necessary yet. I spoke to my older sis who is very familiar with young children and pre-school education, and she said maybe not yet, but 4 is a good age to start. My younger sis: Just do what you want.
Daddy: You decide. I will support your decision..

The complication:
Micah has very serious separation anxiety still. Even when at home and he does not see me for half an hour, he will start calling for me and looking for me. Sometimes, if he gets no response from me, he will start crying. When he has finally found me, like 3 minutes after, he will tell me he had cried looking for me.

The one time we tried him out at a Montessori, he ended up with nightmares. Seriously. He woke up middle of the night and between sobs said to me, " Mommy, I don't want to go to school, ok? I don't want to go anywhere. I just want to learn at home." If he had cried when we left him and had come back happy, or at least don't think about school for the rest of the day, I would have just continued sending him. But a nightmare obviously means it was traumatic for him.

I have dreamed of Micah going for kindy so that I will have more time to nurture and teach Max on a 1-to-1 basis. Yeap, this is my Guilty-Mom syndrome showing. I feel like I have done so much more with Micah than with Max because of the lack of time and the competition for attention between the 2.

But I had also dreamed of picking him from school to hear exciting and interesting stories from him. To hear stories of his class buddies and have them come over to play on Saturdays. To have him take part in school concerts, etc (I think to have to practice and put up a show at such young age does something for discipline and to take pride in what you do) and be there to celebrate his achievements with him.

Aaargh! I feel like I'm cracking my brains on a "small nut". Honestly. We are not even talking about school proper yet. This is just Kindy and I am already so torn. Don't ask about school proper, ok? I still have not figured that one out and not at all keen about losing more sleep over that.

OK. This is my take...

FOR kindy:
You grow as a person in a community that is beyond your comfort zone. The world does not revolve around you.

You learn a lot about give-and-take, and encounter different kinds of people.

You learn to be independent.

You learn to take instructions and advice from other adults apart from those living under the same roof. Others may have approaches that strikes the right chord in them.

You learn to listen and have respect for others. Hearing the same lecture from others sometimes help them hear a message better.

You have friends!

You learn some discipline regarding keeping time and being responsible for your own stuff.

My NOT-For Kindy:

They pick up bad habits and languages from other kids.

They pick up germs and fall sick more frequently.

Boys learn to fight and be violent. Girls learn to be vain and jealous of others.

Parents of the kindy kids are more competitive then the kids are.

PLEASE don't say anything about Homeschooling right now... Not right now, thank you.
Let me sleep on this a little while more... Sigh...

p/s - I loved my kindy days. I loved the lessons, the singing, the crafts, the concerts, the Teachers... everything. As far as I remember, there was just one bad incident which had to do with a fight in the schoolbus which was traumatic, but everything else was great.

p/p/s- This was inspired by Infant's comment asking me to read a certain mom's post about no kindy for her 5 year old.


JLow said...

Incidentally, we are considering the very same thing for our just-turned-3 Caitlin.

Mummee & I are thinking of starting her on pre-school only after CNY 2008, due to other commitments now.

I guess for us, Caitlin herself is speaking of wanting to start schooling. Whether or not she will enjoy it, can handle the separation, remains to be seen.

We are thinking of Beaconhouse. Still working out the logistics as we both work fulltime.

A friend's daughter is about a year older, and has been schooling for a while (a diff school). You are right about the habit-picking. She's displayed them enough that Caitlin herself has picked them up directly from just playing 1-to-1 with her. Personally also, in a lot of ways I feel I will lose "control" of her habits and attitudes / outlook. This other little girl has habits that her parents don't always approve, obviously picked up from school.

I guess I will need to let go a little & see how things go. For me I guess this is what other parents advocate about extending the leash, but still having the leash nonetheless.

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...

Thanks. I guess many parents have these concerns. I wonder if our parents worried as much when we were our kid's age.

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Sigh....

Ann said...

Hmmm...leaving boy with baby sitter - its actually a baby ctr - in Jan when I start work.

Then at 2 (the baby ctr is only until age 2), off to Montessori full day!!!

That is my plan so far...unless my work contract expires and I am jobless! Sigh....don't think my son can afford seperation anxieties...though this Jan eperation will be the FIRST test!

Mummy also anxious about seperation! :)

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...

I think the first test will be tougher for mommy than baby...and even subsequent ones...

Good luck. Haha.