Friday, November 28, 2014

Parenting with Love: P1 Journey!

2015 marks the start of a new journey - somewhat unsettling yet exciting. It marks the journey of formal public schooling for Dumpling. It was a pretty hard decision to make as given a choice I would pretty much want to continue to homeschool her but that is not to be the case.

On the homeschool end, I have been working with her on things such as money, time telling, etc., so that she will be able to manage those in school. But truthfully, nothing beats receiving the enrolment letter for reality to finally sink in that my baby is ‘no more’. L

Having said that, the hubs and I are quite pleased with the school that she will be attending based on our interaction with them so far. The school seems to be well organised which made our registration a breeze. Unlike some of my friends, we needed only to go to the school once and that was for both Orientation and administrative stuff.

I received our Orientation letter quite early on and items such as book list, dental form, students' data form and an itinerary of the Orientation were all included in the same letter. The letter shared the class which Dumpling has been allocated to.

The morning finally arrived. I like that the process was systematic and clear. Upon arrival at the foyer area, all we had to do was to look for the class names and pick up our folder from there.

Dumpling was a tad unsure and nervous (not unlike moi!) but we had to leave her seated at the hall with her classmates. The Principal greeted us and shared some basic information before the children were led away to their classrooms for next year. (Frankly, this is where I had separation anxiety and I swear that the hubs was rolling his eyes at me at one point!)

After the various reps (CCA Dept, PSG section, etc.) have presented on their slides, the parents were led to the children's respective classrooms. This is where it was useful that we had the 2 of us at the orientation. I was in charge of filling up a Giro Form while the hubs went to the bookstore to purchase the school books.

Once I was done filling up the form, we went to the respective "stations" (according to the child's serial number) set up at the front of the classroom and a designated staff did the checking of our details on the form.

When that was done, the hubs was back and the parents were led to an AV room which was used as a holding area. I could see that Dumpling had settled down well and made two new friends too.

What I was really pleased about is that there was no 'tests' / 'informal assessments' done for the kids. During the entire month of November, quite a lot of my mummy friends also attended Orientation days too. I heard from some of them that their kiddos were led through a somewhat informal 'assessment' where they had to reach a list of Dolch words out loud to the teachers as well as attempt some Chinese activities.

Dumpling had none of those and was in fact watching Tom and Jerry in the AV room. When I asked her how the morning went and what they did, she shared that they were brought their classroom and told that it was to be their room for the next 2 years. Thereafter, they were shown where the bathrooms were and they were also brought around to tour the library (she was especially thrilled to know that there is a library in the school) before being led to the AV holding room.

After we picked her up, we went over to the last 'station' of that morning - to purchase school uniforms and for mummy here, to hand in my PSG form. :)

The queues moved pretty quickly and we were done in about 30 minutes. For uniforms, my suggestion would be to try on sizes which are for your child's age. Unless your child is much taller / petite in size, usually the recommended sizes by the vendor would be quite spot on.

And yup, Dumpling will be starting her new journey in a convent. :)

If I can share 5 tips, it would be the below:

- Prepping the bank details for GIRO Deduction (account name, account branch, account number)
- Bringing along a pen / pencil (shading is needed for the Giro form so pencils would be more suitable)
- Attending the session with your spouse / another adult (so that each of you can queue for different items)
- Bring cash (an approximate amount to be brought for books, badges, online learning portal subscription, etc. for us came up to about $300-350.)
- Water bottle & Cardigan for the kiddo

As this blog is to share my parenting thoughts and journey, this also marks the start of sharing on Dumpling's Primary School journey. I will still be supporting her from home on topics that she is keen on so there will still be posts on home learning and sharing of resources. For the coming year, I aim to share a bit more on my parenting thoughts and I will do so with the next post on something that has been on my mind a bit - one on money management and how to avoid raising a kid with the 'entitlement' mindset. Till the next post, please pray for us that her Primary school years will be fun and enjoyable. :)

Edit (4 Jan 2016):
Looking for more tips? Veron, a fellow mum blogger, has also shared her experience on the P1 Orientation experience which you can read about here!

During the course of Dumpling's Primary 1, I have written a few more posts on various areas (academics, bento, etc.) which is collated below:
What to and how to prep for Primary One Prep
6 things that I learnt about Primary One!
What to expect for and tips on Primary One Show and Tell!
Learning about the Primary 1 English Curriculum (Stellar Programme)
5 tips (after surviving 2 terms in Primary 1!)
Primary 1 Bento Tips and FAQs!

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