Category Archives: School

New school for X

With the turn of a new year, X was officially 3 years old and we switched him to a new school. This school only accepted children from 3 years and onwards. He was with his old school from the point when he was 6 months’ old till almost 36 months’ old.

He spent 2.5 years with this school. They had taken such good care of him from infancy till now. It would always be a special place in our hearts. X probably would not remember this school when he grew up because he was so young.

He had spent many hours learning to crawl, to walk, to sing and dance and cared for by sweet, caring and responsible teachers.

Not many schools boasted of such an awesome infantcare. When we first sent him in, we noted that he was attending infantcare with a few younger siblings of Z’s ex-infantcare mates. That was a representative testimony of how good the infantcare teachers were. The school really ran a good program on this. There were minor hiccups but really very insignificant compared to the good work and tender loving care showered by the teachers.

X’s playgroup teachers expressed how sad they were with his leaving. We were touched by how much love and care they had shown X during this period. There were falls, knocks, bruises and what’s not but that was totally expected of active toddlers.

Soon, X would start on a new chapter in his preschool life and we hoped this boy would be able to adapt and be lovingly cared for in the new school too.

X at his old school 

  

On the second last day of school, he received this farewell present from his teacher. So much heart and warmth from his teacher!

What a lucky boy he was to be so loved  

X’s last PTM with Agape Little Uni

The thing that struck me the most was the height record. As of mid-Nov, he was 90cm tall. It meant he was 2cm shy of taking some of the Universal Studios’ rides.

On one hand, I was glad he was going to be tall enough. On the other hand, the usual mommy’s regrets stuck on. Regretful that he was growing up so fast, regretful that time had flown so fast, regretful and probably even resentful about time.

This preschool had been my top favorite for Infantcare. X had gone in at 6 months’ old and leaving just before turning 3 years’ old. He had been with the school for 30 months. It felt shorter than that. 

It was time for X to join the school Z was at and had just graduated from.

Nonetheless, his teachers still sang praises about him and how much they would miss him. X was the only January baby in class and the teachers loved how he always helped them such as asking the other children to keep quiet, to participate in the lessons actively and to play well with other children.

They cited that he was creative and was good at naming Lego blocks built and coming up with ideas. I was surprised because that was definitely one trait which Z did not have and it was mentioned by the geomancer who gave him the name.

He was also a big brother figure, despite his built, in the class. He was mostly chatty in class but always a good boy.

As a January born child, he was able to accomplish many items listed in the checklist except for some academic related stuffs such as counting or recognizing letters.

The teachers said they would miss X very much because he was such a delightful boy in class.

Pocket money box

I saw a few parenting blogs sharing this concept and decided to make my own.

There were a few versions but I decided 5 compartments should be sufficient for us. 

“Beautified” with my decoration    
We had to make 2, one for each boy 

 
Coins galore! 

Most blogs cited that this helped the parents as we only needed to pack the money once a week.

It also promoted transparency of usage. I told Z that he should take the money on a daily basis and returned the balance to the corresponding compartment. At the end of the week, we would tabulate to see the total savings. He could use the savings to buy anything that he wanted*.

I would probably get a notebook for him to record the expenditure and sign off the weekly savings.

Z was quite excited with the system. We shall see how that worked out for us.

* denoted that he required approval from us.

A brand new day in 2016

For the very first time for the family, we are spending the New Year Day overseas. When I asked Z what he thought of 2015 and moving onto 2016, he said he could not bear to leave 2015. It had been such a great year for him!

I thought my boy had grown up significantly.

As for X, the moment he heard it was a new year, he said it was his birthday and told us to celebrate for him with a song. When asked what he would like to do on the actual day, he said he wanted to go to a hotel. Such a funny toddler to be asking for a staycation!

We would still continue to enjoy our last 2 days in Tokyo before a new adventure, a new year began. 

Z’s Graduation Concert

We received the tickets to the concert a week prior to the concert. I had been most curious to know our allocated seats. 
  

The day before the concert – Z gave me a full run down on the dialogue in the musical from all roles. He knew what everyone’s lines were. It turned out that the whole class knew the lines too.

The morning of the concert – Z told me about what each of them was wearing, discussed with me if he would cry at the concert, if friendship was really like water and would keep flowing, if friendship presisted through death and he continued to talk about what they would be doing in the night. I bought him a Forever Friends’ Graduation Bear. He was mightily pleased with it but was very confused by the association with “Forever Friends” on his program sheet. Me too!

Preparing & heading out for the concert

  

  

The kids had to report by 6pm. We were 10 minutes’ late. I walked Z up to his makeup room and hanged out at the reception area. I discovered we had photos to buy. 5R cost $4 per piece and 8R onwards was $10 per piece.

At the reception

The wall of photos to choose

I was very impressed with the graduation kit which included a  graduation ring!!

There were also studio shots which we didn’t even know was part of the package. What a pleasant surprise!

On the Graduation concert – It was as professional as what you would expect of a musical. They started with the children filing into the hall. They sang a song, received their graduation rings and had to get ready for their performances. It comprised of 6 classes of K2, so there were 90+ kids.

The first half was a musical called Annie & Oliver. It was split over 6 acts. Z’s class was Act 3. There was a 15min intermission where we had tea reception. The second half was a Chinese musical called “Forever Friends”.

I thought the entire performance was executed really well. I liked how Z’s teachers tried to split one lead role to a few persons so that more people can have exposure. Z played a supporting role but he was so good at it that I felt proud of him. It seemed that his teachers balanced out by giving him a bigger role for the Chinese musical. I guessed it must have been quite tough for the teachers to plan. Whatever it was, I told Z that I liked how well he articulated his lines. He had several moments of ‘exclusive’ attention on stage and I asked if he was nervous. He said he was pretty scared but he sure did not show an ounce of it on stage.

The preliminary studio recording complemented the musicals very well.  The efforts and elaborateness of the show were hallmarks of the school’s concert style. It took the Jubilee hall by storm.

Waiting for the show to begin 

Boys having fun

My little policeman 

The awesome finale   

Post-performance photo taking 

Loot of the day

After the concert – Z was so overwhelmed by the conclusion of the concert that he cried. He cried because he knew he would miss his friends and he would miss the times they spent rehearsing.

His Graduation Night would always be a night for nostalgia, a night for remembering his finest moments in preschool and a night where his friends and him were captured in their confident, animated ways. It was a night when the best of childhood memories were consolidated and presented in a beautiful musical.

I was glad that Z had loved his preschool days so much, that he had the best childhood memories made possible by his friends, teachers & school. 4 years of preschool had gone by and it was just the beginning of a new chapter.

I wished Z would grow up and continue to be confident and happy, just as he was on his K2 Graduation night.

 

 

Z’s Graduation Party – Time to Fly

We celebrated Z’s class farewell party on 20th November. It coincided with the last day of school for MOE schools but it was not the last day of school at this preschool. After the graduation concert (scheduled on 27 Nov), some of the classmates would be away, so this was the best day amidst their hectic rehearsal schedules to hold the party.

My first thought in the morning was to compare how Z looked when he first started school and now that he was going to leave the school.

Always my baby, my sweetheart
We had 2-3 working days to put together a farewell party program for the kids.

I prepared a simple program booklet outlining what they were supposed to do for the day, blank pages for them to paste instax prints, a farewell song and a contact list.

The parents met at 9am to set up the party room (the school’s music room). To facilitate one of the games, we actually folded the paper aeroplanes in advance for the kids.

When the kids were done with their music practice, they came to the music room at 10am. I started them on a treasure hunt with pictorial clues. It started from the music room, to their cycling track, to the sand pit, to the school fence, to their new playground and eventually Z found the treasure loot under their grand staircase.

Getting a clue from treasure hunt 

 
Amongst the loot were the nicely folded paper planes. They got to compete on who flew the plane the furthest. Z came in second for his session.

Plane flying contest   

 Thereafter, they stayed in their teams and had a trivia session. 

  
Before we knew it, it was 11am and they got to their ‘food bazaar’. Each kid had to bring food to sell and $2 to spend. It was very cute to see them dress up in their handmade aprons & chef’s hats.

Z & his merchandise  

 
Making a sale

 
After that, they got to play more games, took instax, more photos & sang some songs. Memories were made of special moments like these. The past 4 years had been special and it was thanks to his nice teachers, awesome classmates and equally wonderful parents.

Gift exchange  

Instax memories  

 
Preschool was a great beginning, I hope these kids would grow up to remember each other and stay as friends through the test of time. May they always looked back on their preschool years and friends with great fondness.

Stay friends forever, kiddos!  

On a side note, Z told me that he had such a fun time and he loved every part of the party. He thanked me for helping at the party. Awww… 

Getting ready for school 

Both Z & X would be starting new school on the same day. 

For Z, the learning curve of primary school was mitigated by his independence such as using toilets (since 2.5 years’ old), his awareness on managing money, his ability to read both English & Chinese comfortably and to have friends in the class. P1 was introduced in such a gradual manner that I did not think he would suffer culture shock.

I was only concerned by his eating speed. Seriously concerned. 

For X, the learning curve of preschool was made easier since it was a transition from one playgroup to another playgroup. Though it was to a different school, it was after all Z’s preschool and X was familiar with the environment. The teachers were also familiar with X. Furthermore, X was a Jan baby and that meant he was 3 when he joined the school. 

He was able to talk and would be able to communicate with his new teachers, as compared to Z who had been only 2 years and 1 week old, and was unable to communicate his needs.

If I had a concern, it would be if he missed his diaper friend in the old school or missed Z. I was not sure if he expected to see Z at the preschool though we had been telling him Kor kor was going to primary school.