Friday, 19 July 2013

Preparing for Primary school

The transition from Kindergarten to Primary one is a huge leap. The environment and expectations from the former is far different from the latter. Most parents would inevitably feel anxious and worried about how their children cope with the drastic changeover. Typically, most parents would be scurrying to make preparations to help ease the cross over.

I have done my own share of preparing Sonshine for Primary one. Some of which, I've prepared him earlier, some I am just starting. Here are some of the things in no particular order:
Some of which are:
1) Teaching him to clean up after a visit to the loo.

This was a useful tip I took away while reading one of Ingspiration's blog post (sorry I lost the exact page). She is a former primary school teacher & was sharing from a teacher's perspective. She shared on some of the things most parents would overlook.  I would have completely miss this point if I hadn't read her blog!
2) Telling time.

Sonshine could tell the time at earlier  age even the analog clocks. Lately, he has been over reliant on the digital clock and became rusty in reading non-digital ones. So, I gave him a quick refresher revision & bought him an analog watch. He's to put on the watch when we go out & I'd randomly get him to tell me the time. This is to get him used to telling time & wearing a watch (he's not used to it yet). Fortunately, Sonshine reads both type of clocks with ease, right down to the minutes. I am very strict with him, as in, he has to tell me the exact minutes ie. 3:19 vs giving me an estimate of 3:20. Hence, he takes a longer time to tell me the time because he is busy reading the minutes! LOL!

3) Carrying wallet.

I also bought him a cheap $2 wallet from Daiso and like the watch, he's to carry it out with him. I'd stuff $2 into the wallet and he's at liberty to buy anything he wishes with that money. This is to build he's independence. At the same time, I want him to take ownership of his belongings.

4) Counting money.

Like telling time, i started this way earlier. Sonshine was able to count money and calculate the change when he was 4- i think? He's able to calculate the change right down to the cents! Frankly, I am not worried about this aspect at all. I am sure he will do just fine in this department. I am just concern that he doesn't have the guts to tell the vendor when he gets the wrong change. Sonshine is introverted and sometimes too timid to speak up. Abit like me, actually. I'd rather walk away then to confront- if the amount is small. :P

5) Using a pay phone to call home

Sonshine remembers both our mobile phone numbers. However, he's not used to using the phone to dial out, much less a public phone. I have plans to teach him how to use those public phones in case he wants to contact us while at school. I am also planning to teach him to describe his exact location; I mean what is the point if he knows to call us but he doesn't know how to tell us where he is (if he is lost)?

6) Saying no to strangers & staying in the school premise

One of my concerns about primary school is security. I don't know, I may be paranoid but i think it is rather easy for any kid to run out of the school compound without anyone's knowledge. I have visited the primary school during recess and man, it is CHAOTIC. It is rather easy for any kid to simply run out of the school gate. Moreover, any strangers can walk into the school. Sure, there are security guards but uh, it does not guarantee full proof security still. So, I am going to nag at Sonshine at no end about the dangers of following strangers and leaving the school compound. I may even use fear tactics- yes I am desperate.

7) Taking public transport home

This is the least urgent on my list but one of the MUST do. I feel secure knowing that Sonshine knows how to make his way home on his own i.e take which bus number to where, take MRT to which station, which bus stop to go. My mom leaves nearby the school, so I'll, at the very least, teach him how to take the public bus to her house.

8) Seek God for help

I cannot be with him 24/7. So I am inculcating in him that whenever he feels sad or  troubled, one of the things he can do is cry out for help to Jesus. I've been reading bible stories and pointing out to him how those characters fell deep into trouble only to be rescued & protected by God. I told him God can do the same for him. Well, I really don't know how much went in his head- but at least i tried *shrug*.

I could go on and make myself even more paraniod than ever. I don't know how some moms can breeze through this phase! I have so many worries, questions and the 'what-ifs' and probably scaring myself silly. But, I know that this is the time to let him go. This is where he will truly gain his independence and take a step further away from mummy. :( I can only take a step back and leave the rest to God.


  1. Are the parents allowed to go in to fetch them when it's time to go home? Over here, the children have to come out by themselves. the parents must wait outside the gate. I am rather worried about this for my daughter.... have to have an eagle's eye to find her amongst children which are same size and wearing same uniforms... sigh.... I wish I can make her wear a hat or something when it's time to go home, so I can detect her fast...

    1. For this school, the farthest we can enter is the foyer which is right at the gate. Yah that's my worry too. The school is so huge- what if he isn't at the foyer waiting for me? Where & how shall I look for him? O_O

  2. Some schools actually allow the students to make calls in the general office. So not to worry if he needs to call you. All the best Sonshine in your new chapter. God bless.

    1. That's assuring! Thank you for your kind words; much appreciated :)

  3. My boy is going P1 next yr too, i have done none of above to prepare him :( My boy cant read the clock and he has no time sense.. after reading yr post makes me kinda worried... :(

  4. Aiyo oops! Sorry, wasn't meant to make anyone feel uneasy. But I spoke to other moms, reading watch isnt very important (they listen more to the bell rings). So don't worry too much about reading time. Hugs! All the above isn't a must I guess; even without I'm sure a child should adapt well too. Honest.

  5. Transition to the primary level is indeed a big leap. My elder son is only K1. I start to worry already.

    He's not able to adapt to changes very quickly. He takes 6 mths to 1 year to settle in. When he first joined the child care, he cried for 1 whole year before he settled in. Likewise for Sunday school. Up to now, he still clings to his father when we drop him off in his Sunday school class. Sigh!

    1. Yah some children are more reserve than the others. I can understand your concerns. Actually, I was also very sticky to mom even throughout lower primary school. In fact, I recall crying on my 1st day of school because I had to leave my mom & was thrown in a new environment. It was quite terrifying for me, I wish something was done to help me though. Give your son a lot of assurance & love. Never make him feel that you are pushing him away from you; never play down his emotions. He just needs
      A lot of love & patience. Wow! I wish someone could have told that to my mom lor, who swept my emotions under the carpet & impatiently expect me to get over it (not that she had known any better)!

  6. Oops, so sorry that post was in my previous blog! But you have compiled a great list here yourself too. Very useful tips for parents, I would say. Regarding making phone calls home, if it's an emergency (eg. He's sick, forgot to bring something etc), he can always go to the general office and ask to use the phone. Most schools allow students to do that. My eldest is extremely introverted too, and he took a long time to settle into new schools during preschool. Would cry for weeks. So, I was worried about him entering P1. Surprisingly, he adjusted well and didn't cry at all. Now he's in P2 and has friends and is taking school bus independently. Kids are more resilient than we give them credit for. Oh, another point which I think is important, is note-taking. It's good for them to learn how to copy announcements / homework / instructions written on the board by teachers. Better stop now, sorry for such a long comment. You're doing great with your kids! And you still amaze me with the things you do with your kids whenever I hop over to visit read your blog. And now, your girl can READ!!! At 2 years old!!! Wow! :)

  7. Thanks for the list1 I need to brush up my eldest on some of these points before he goes to primary school next year! :)

    1. I'll be honest and say I haven't been consistent! But your comments has me back to my own list & now I'm reminded to start my engine again! :D