Back to school

It’s 2018! Happy new year!

Both Sean and Jo headed back to school on 02 Jan 2018 (Ryan has 3 extra days of holiday). I had to chase them to bed early the last few days of holidays so they could adjust to waking up in semi-darkness again.

No pics of Sean because it is always a mad rush to get him to finish his breakfast and get out of the door in the morning. He will be starting P3 this year with new teachers and classmates – I am both nervous and excited for him!

This year, I hope to groom him to be more independent and diligent in keeping up with school work. Few changes in store for him this year: 1) He will be sitting for Grade 3 Piano (both Practical and Theory) which means lots of piano practice everyday; 2) He will continue with his badminton CCA but will stop soccer training on weekdays and 3) He has stopped Berries but will be going to Tien Hsia twice a week. The syllabus is more aligned with what he is doing in school and one of the two days will be dedicated to composition writing and oral (which I have no idea how to help him prepare for at home).

Jo starts N2 this year which shouldn’t be a big change for him as his form teacher and classmates are pretty much the same as last year. Ryan happily tagged along with me and accompanied Jo on his first day.

Jo wasn’t really too happy but the early wake-up call and the fact that Ryan had no school. As the morning went by, Jo grew more and more weary of the crying children around him (mostly from N1). He started to cry on and off and refused to let Ryan or me out of his sight. Aiya why are first days of school so distressing?!He fared a bit better during snack time and when the teachers led the children in songs with a parachute. But the waterworks restarted when it was time to go home so my obliging sacrificial lamb Ryan had to accompany him on the bus ride home.

Jo was very teary and stressed for the rest of the day. His many questions included: Why must I go to school? Why can’t you be there with me tomorrow? Why doesn’t Ryan have to go to school? Why can’t adults go into the classrooms? What if I am scared and you are not there? Poor baby.

He cried and refused to put on his uniform the next morning. I decided that my presence only made things worse so I kissed him goodbye (still howling) and left for work. Ryan reported that he cried and screamed all the way to the bus with my helper. Eeps.

Later that day, I received a video (from the class Whatsapp chat group – there was none for Sean or Ryan in their four years of kindergarten!). There were a small handful of children still crying in class and I saw Jo sniffling and feeling sorry for himself (so cute and sad) but the lovely teachers kept dishing out hugs and looking out for them. He has wonderful teachers this year – he got the same form teacher as last year and his other teacher was Sean’s Chinese teacher in N2. Jo was MUCH better at home that day and even said he is ok to go to school the next day.

No more drama from Day 3 onwards. HURRAY!

I hope Jo will have a good year of learning ahead. Carrying on from N1, Jo is in a ‘special’ Chinese class where everything is conducted in Chinese. The parents fought really hard to keep the class (there were talks of scrapping the morning session at first – which stressed me out so much).  He still refuses to speak Chinese but will surprise me occasionally with big Chinese phrases or a complete Chinese song!

Day 4 – Finally, it’s Ryan’s turn to go to school. Look how happy they are together!

Ryan is in K2 this year so it’s their last year in kindergarten together. He is a smart and confident boy who clearly enjoys school. One thing I hope to do this year is spend more one-on-one time with him (sorry, my neglected second child) and encourage him to do more reading for both English and Chinese (I think Sean was actually more adept than him at this age) as well as do more Math work in preparation for P1.

Have a good school year ahead, boys!