Friday, January 15, 2010 ;
11:26 PM
Something went wrong with the background of the blog, and I checked the html in the template. When this blog was set up, HM helped me with the html. So I know nothing about it, but I saw the offending section and just tried deleting it. Now it looks ok again, at least to me. Let me know if there are problems again! Thanks to all those who alerted me to it.

Ok, an update after 2 weeks of school.

The boys seems to like school pretty much.

ds2 had a minor upset on Wed the first week, saying his friends did not want to play with him in school, which made him very sad. He cried and asked for his friends from nursery at IST! I think he just misses the old friends and realised it is not that easy breaking into the existing cliques at his current school, where the rest of the kids all moved up from Nursery together. (In fact, when one of the moms talked to me on the phone when I RSVPed to a bday invite, I learnt from her that all the parents know each other very well too. She said they always meet up, either in school or at kids' parties. So I had that "must break into the clique" feeling too. But of course, I didn't cry, haha.)

Anyway, I thought I should acknowledge his feelings and I talked about his 2 close friends from the school in Tianjin and the things they used to do together. He seemed cheered up by those memories and drifted off into his afternoon nap.

After that, I did write in the comm book to his teacher, asking if he had problems in class regarding making friends. She replied to say no. She said he was initially shy and quiet the first 2 days but had begun to speak up and play with the rest. In the 2nd week, she wrote that he often sat with one particular friend and would often hold her hand. hmmm... The teacher didn't mention names, and I didn't feel like asking, but I have some idea cos ds2 usually mention the same few names when talking about school. Will verify when I get to go to his school for any celebration. They say parents are invited for CNY celebrations (but I may be doing confinement then, will see how).

Apart from that, ds2 also talks non stop about what they learn in school, what his different teachers say, and even what the bus aunty does. Sometimes I have no idea if it really happened or he made it up, but the stuff about what he learns are all verified when the weekly report comes home with the comm book each Friday. It's the other accounts that I wouldn't know if they are true.

It is amusing to hear him speak in Mandarin too. I think his Chinese teacher really talks a lot to him, otherwise how come her influence is so great. Whatever it is, I am really happy that he is finally "opening up" in terms of Chinese. His pronunciation is still way off (sounds like ang moh) but at least he is using Chinese words in daily communication. Very interesting.

Does this system really work then? (They have a Chinese teacher follow the kids in the class throughout the day, and she comments, interacts and talks to the kids solely in Mandarin regarding the lessons and activities. She is not restricted to one "Chinese period" that kind of thing, but her interaction with them is integrated throughout the day.)

For ds1, he announced on the 2nd day of school that he was made monitor of the class and group leader for English and Math. But he said teacher said she will change monitor every day to give everyone a chance. So we felt it is no big deal and did not ask him about it much.

Then everyday after that, he would return from school to say he was still the monitor. My sis (who used to be P1 form teacher for several years) said probably he always finishes his work first so the teacher will ask him to collect stuff, keep classmates quiet etc, to occupy him. Indeed, ds1 said he would be asked to walk around the classroom, read his own book or put his head on the table to rest when he finished his work the first few days, then after that, teacher will give him duties to do as well.

So I told him to remember to listen to teacher's instructions, because I worry sometimes he is always in his own world.
I have friends who have kids in P1 this year too, as well as some parents on a parenting forum who commented on their kids having letters from teachers, or homework from school. ds1 always tell me there is no homework. Sometimes I wonder is it because he lost all the letters or forms and did not hear instructions about homework.

He did bring back a hanyu pinyin Tingxie list from school. It only had the hypy words on it to be tested. No date. So I asked him, when his Tingxie would be. He had no idea. Ok, so just learn it first then, I told him. He did. So ok, that's his homework that day.

So far then, everyday after school, he's been playing and playing the whole time after school till bedtime. Looks like P1 so far is still cushy for him.

Then this week, he said the Chinese teacher made him group leader also. Really? That is surprising. I asked him why, he said because his voice is very loud. I said, how does teacher know? He said teacher told the class to recite hanyu pinyin "ya1, ya2, ya3, ya4" and he recited the loudest, so teacher said he would make a good leader. Ok, that's funny.

Downside is, he keeps eating the same food in the canteen cos he's familiar with that stall now. And even though his buddy stopped eating with him, he still likes to do the familiar thing. I asked him to try other food and he is reluctant to. He eats alone now. The other Malay classmate in his class who ate with him the whole of the 1st week refuses to eat now, because the Malay buddy from P4 stopped eating with them. Maybe he doesn't want to buy food now that the buddy stopped buying with them.

I am glad ds1 is not like me in this aspect. Friends who know me know that I hate eating alone. I am more like his Malay classmate in that I'd rather not eat, if my friends are not eating with me. At least ds1 has no qualms buying his food and eating it alone. He said "I am hungry, so I eat lor". And oh yes, his Singlish is very very good now, inevitable result of living in Singapore.

He hasn't lost important things like money and his bag or spectacles but he has lost his water bottle twice. He did find it again the next day cos someone would find it and see the name on it and keep it for him. But I still feel concerned enough to let him use cheapo freebie bottles so far, just in case he loses them for good.

He is making many friends from the school bus, so he has a wide range of "friends", from other P1 classes as well as older ones. The upside is that he has people to talk to while waiting for the bus, and there are these 2 older girls who have guided him back to our block when I was either late or the bus dropped him off at the wrong block (yes it did happen). The downside is that he has been observing and has started to hear words that we don't use at home.

He will return home and ask me about words like "kick my a**" and so on other Hokkien or Chinese terms. Or hand signs. Or asking me a lot more about Animal Kaiser cards and other current craze that the older kids go for. He also started doing stuff like folding dollar notes and then flapping them out, saying the other kids did these things while waiting for the bus.

He seems to grow up much faster when he mixes with older kids. I don't know whether I am prepared for that or whether he himself is prepared for that. He sometimes reads his Horrible Science series books which he brings to school while waiting for the bus also, and he says the older kids will come and read together with him and share their comments on the books with him too.

I know there will be many other things that happen in school that he won't possibly be able to relate in entirety to me. I just hope I had taught him enough in his 6 years, and that he is mature enough to handle all the things in his stride.

With the growing intensity and frequency of the Braxton-Hicks contractions I experience now, I also increasingly feel that the impending arrival of the baby will cause me to have even less time and influence over their everyday life in school. I really hope and pray that they will still be happy, healthy and enjoy school and be able to cope with all the changes in school and at home.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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