“The honeymoon is over, now let’s get down to real business……!!!”
That is how probably I will describe his school activities lately. In P1 and P2, there were not lots of homework and mini tests. My son seemed to learn not too fast and will wait until almost everyone understood the problem, then the teacher would go on with the lessons. He still had much free time, played a lot, and only studied hard during his final exams, although he also did some revisions along the way.
In Primary 3, there seems to be lots of homework and he (almost) always comes home with new things to learn. The speed of learning is increasing and he has very little time to play nowadays. He even now has 2 extra classes after school (Conversational Chinese and English Story Telling) and plus 2 days for his private Chinese tuition at home, and of course he has his swimming lesson (but this one he loves very much, so I have no issue on this). In days to come, there will be some other extra things to do after school (I already received the schedule for March and April) like tee-ball and his Public Speaking and Presentation Skill Training plus 3 hours Chinese Cultural Activity after school. Other kids even must attend extra classes too based on their academic results. Luckily, his Co Curricular Activities is still within curriculum hour.
I actually encourage that he’s having extra lessons at school because it will help him to develop not just academically, but also other skills. Tomorrow he’s going to have inline skating lesson at school and he can not wait for tomorrow to come, he’s so excited……………and also his friends showed the same excited symptoms according to their mums. It is good because I actually already asked him to learn how to skate in the skating club, but he doesn’t want to sacrifice his weekends just to learn skating, so hopefully if he shows great interest after the lesson at school he will willingly join the skating club.
Since he’s quite shy and quiet too if he’s in the crowd, I also
forced encouraged him to join the Storytelling activity after school. Although he refused at first (because he doesn’t like to stay back after school), but he finally agreed, and hopefully he will enjoy all the lessons. It is good that he is selected to join the Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Training too because I think he needs this badly. I even plan to put him in 3 days evangelism class at church during the holiday to make him more outspoken and able to express himself much better in front of other people (but I’m still thinking about this…………..).
So I think it is good that he joins non academical activities in and outside the school, and although I want him to learn something else like music or choose another sport to learn, I know that he will refuse simply because he doesn’t want to sacrifice his me time that is getting more limited nowadays.
When I talked to other fellow mums, they also feel the same. It seems like there are unending things to do after school, and the children barely have time to play. I think this condition is also the same to Primary Students in Jakarta, and probably tougher for them because they have more subjects to learn. My cousin’s daughter who lives in one of the country in South East Asia also faces the same condition, wakes up early in the morning, goes to school, has extra lessons, comes home very tired with lots of homework to do and tests to face the next day.
I told to my friends that I used to have lots of time playing outside the house when I was in Primary School (which they agreed), and yet we still manage to have a decent life without having to work so hard when we were smaller. But the time has changed now, competition is tougher, requirements are higher, and the kids must face a really different kind of world than ours when we were small or when they finally grow up. So we have no choice than to adapt to this changing world.
So you see, I can not complain much of the situation but to adapt quickly. Although he sometimes complains about his unending works and how he’s so tired and needs to rest, about how little time he gets to play, and sometimes he seems so desperate and almost cries when the clock shows that it’s already late at night and he hasn’t finished this and that, but I still consider those as minor meltdown. Right now, I am doing my best to keep his stress under control so that he will not have a major meltdown (and I know some kids who already had major meltdown because of stress).
Unlike in P2 when I didn’t let him go out during the school days to play (because he was already happy being at home and read books or played with his toys, and he had lots of time doing this), this year I really encourage him to go out (once a week in school day when there is no extra lesson and a non exam day) and play in the playground. I do think he really needs to release the stress by running, jumping, shouting, and chasing whoever he meets in the playground that wants to play with him. Now this has become one of his routine during weekdays and he always can not wait for this day to come, because as he said: “It’s my only free day in weekdays………….” hahaha……………..
He even goes to the playground on Saturday or Sunday when we do not go out. He doesn’t like to go to the playground when there aren’t many kids there, because for him…………the more the merrier. It’s good for him actually to help improving his social skills………………..and I think it has improved a lot………………he knows how to make new friends wherever he goes. although the friendship ends when everybody goes home, hahaha……………
Before the school got very busy, we also managed to do some playdates at the beginning of term 2, too bad we don’t have much time to do this anymore these days, and we can’t do on school holidays because many of our friends go on holiday or going back to their countries.
It was either our friends came to visit us, or we came to their houses, or we just met to play at the park. He was very happy whenever he got the chance to go out and play in his friends’ house. Sometimes our friends invited us to swim in their places, and the boy kept asking me if we could move to a condo so he could swim everyday. I said no unless there is a condo located within 5 minutes walking distance to the school, then we are not moving…………..One of our biggest advantage of staying here is how close it is to the school, especially with many activities after school hours, it is now very fast to arrive home (save time and energy). From my balcony, I can even see him cross the street after school and spot him in the school field during PE. It is easier too for me to attend school activities or pick him up in the evening when there are extra lessons. So I refuse to move even though he said he could swim everyday (which of course will not happen), because I know he’ll be complaining during the journey to and from school, waiting for the bus under the scorching sun or heavy rain, feeling hungry on the way home to the condo, feeling tired and exhausted to walk to and from the bus stop, etc, etc………………nope, they’re not even worth to try.
Look who’s enjoying life so much…..hahaha……….the float was not his but he was the one who really enjoyed it………….life is good, isn’t it?
We also went out to town park with his friend. It’s so sad that they’re now moving from the neighborhood. Although it’s only 4 bus stops from where we live, but it’s more difficult now to make plans to play together (plus it’s been very busy with school works and activities too).
Then, before they moved out to their new place, my friend invited us for lunch after school. We were served with Indian food which surprisingly good for my taste (they’re vegetarian and since I’m a vegetable lover, I had no problem at all). The boys played together until evening.
Besides the “already planned” playdate, we also tried to play outside whenever it was possible. Playing outside is very good especially because he can meet new friends and increase his social skill (children are easy to make new friends, unlike parents who choose to get busy with their gadgets……….).
Hopefully the adjusting process will be as smooth as his previous years. Now let’s welcome the term 1 holiday in two days…………..