Monday, January 20, 2014

Parenting with Love - Our Primary One Prep Journey

As shared in my New Year resolutions post recently, one of the goals this year is to prep Dumpling for Primary One next year. With most of her friends in K2 this year, I have been seeing almost daily updates during these 2 weeks on spelling lists (both English and Chinese) and concerns about the kiddos going to Primary school I thought to blog about it and share our not so little journey.

Being a newbie where I have an 'only' it will also be my first time sending the kiddo off to Primary school. Frankly, it is a tad daunting for me. Being academically prepared is one thing but I cannot help but fret over other matters like - if she will finish her food in time during recess, will she enjoy school, what if there are 'mean girls' (she has already been experiencing this in her Chinese class over the past few months last year where a few older kids ganged up and picked on her and called her names), if she will be totally lost in the big sea of changes.

:: 1. Losing personal belongings
I am not sure if it is just Dumpling but even at home, she's terrible in keeping track of her personal belongings. Stationery items will be misplaced despite many reminders and we'd usually spend some time the following day looking for her pencil case.

For this year, what I have done is this:

These are the items we bought together at the end of last year and they are kept in her TaoShu pencil case. Every evening, during homeschool, she will use only the pens and items from this pencil case and every evening, she will take 'stock' and pack them back into the case.

So far, she has 'lost' her scissors once and left her princess pen strewn in our homeschool area a few times. Hah! Let's see how she does by the end of next month. :p

:: 2. Hygiene habits
We are very particular on her washing her hands before meals and I certainly hope that she will continue to do so. For bathroom habits, when we are out, I am letting her go into the cubicle on her own with me waiting outside. She needs to learn how to tackle the different locks, what do to if the door gets stuck as well as how to clean up on her own. The thing is that having a helper at home is definitely useful but this also means that the kiddo is reliant on the helper helping with everything. One mummy blogger Hui Ing, a former Primary School teacher, has blogged about the importance of this here.

:: 3. Money Handling
We have been introducing the concept of Money to Dumpling since last year where I made some printables and had a week of fun. She has since been tasked to be the Financial Controller for the family where we basically leave her with small amount of money when we are out - a mix of $2 notes with coins where she helps us to pay the vendor. :)

While I know that at the canteen, the vendors will help the children with the money handling (getting children to place the coins they have in their hands and the vendor takes the needed amount) but I rather she learns it on her own than expecting the vendor to help her every time.

Another mummy blogger, Jiahui, has also shared a really useful post on how to teach your child to plan his / her allowances. This will be a tip I will definitely use when it is Dumpling's turn.

:: 4. Telling the Time 
On the homeschool front, we have been tackling this topic slowly but steadily. I first used these resources with her last July to sort of introduced to her the concept where it is more story based.

We took a break then but because she has learnt how to count in blocks of 5s, we have revisited this topic end of last year. I would like her to be able to tell the time so that she is aware of for e.g. when she has to go for which activities and how much time (during recess) does she have left to eat. I have also shared in an earlier post during Book Talk Tuesday on a pretty useful sticker book which we have used to continue our learning journey on this topic. At the time of this post, we are left with pretty much another week odd of work. :)

:: 5. Nap 
I am pretty anal when it comes to routine and Dumpling still takes daily naps at the moment as I believe a lot in rest. Many well-meaning friends have reminded me that she will need to be weaned off once it is school time so let's see how I can look into this closer to the last quarter of the year. :)

As much as I can prep Dumpling for her entry into formal schooling, I am also aware that there are many instances where life throws us a curved ball and well, it does not quite happen the way we have planned (or hoped) for it to be. Rachel shares with us an interesting post where her son had quite a different experience with his pocket money, with his P5 buddy, that is. I applaud her for her effort in being able to refrain from telling Kyle what to do. Ing in another post shares how her family is helping their younger child adjust to Primary school too and has really good tips on this.

It is also a timely reminder that while we can prep our kiddos as best as we are able to, there are many things that they just have to go through and learn from practical life experiences. *sweat* Let's see how I will be journeying through this last preschooling year and please, wish me the very best of luck. Here's a paranoid mum, signing off!

Edit (4 Jan 2016):
Fellow blogger mum, Elin, has shared about raising an independent child while Angie has shared a list of 7 tips for preparing your child on Primary One. Waiwai also shared a 10 tips on preparing your child for P1. Perhaps you have a second / third born? No worries because Dominique has shared a post on Preparing for Primary One, second time round. Hop on over to learn more!

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  1. Replies
    1. Good luck Joey! Please share any tips you have, I need all the help that I can get! :p

  2. Good tips there. I think besides Jia Hui, Hui Ing also shared some tips for those with kids going to primary school. My turn coming up soon too.

    1. Hi Susan

      Yes she did and yes, I did include links to 2 of her posts above! :) Thanks for checking. Please let me know if you blog about this (though S's turn is not as soon) and I can include the link too!

  3. Hi Alicia, good tips you have here. I actually believe in going with the flow and when the circumstances come, kids will adjust naturally. But with some prep, it's still useful, especially with money. For naps, I know that come P1, they will lose it or have lesser of it forever, so, even up till the last day before P1, I still allow my kids to nap. I have a blog post on Preparing kids for P1, hope it helps :)

    1. Hi Christy, thanks for popping by. Will hop over to have a look at your link too. Thanks for sharing

  4. Interesting, Alicia! I'm doing little bits here and there too. But most days I'm just living in denial. Primary 1 next year! That can't be true! I only just gave birth to her!

    1. LOL, yes I totally get you. You still have Calla so will be double the fun for you! :p

  5. I haven't thought about prepping for p1. I think will be ok lah

    1. Hi Sammi, I hope so! I am a paranoid mum so... lol!


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