Thursday, 12 March 2009

Off day

I took the day off (oh no, not again!) to accompany YK for school registration. Initially I didn't want to tag along like a motherhen but when I found out that his friends are all going with their parents, I changed my mind. He may need my signature or even if he doesn't, I'll be there to provide moral support.

I know some people may already be shaking her head and clucking her tongue, "But he's turning 17. My son did everything himself, I didn't even have to lift a finger."

Well, let's just say not all kids are made equal. Not all parents are created equal too. I like to be involved and hands-on. Thank you very much.

So, we've heard the registration process can take up to 4 hours. With the help of technology, it shouldn't take that long. Then again, it is precisely technology that screw things up. I've been delayed at airports for hours all because the computer system was down. Two days ago, we had a blackout at our office and everything came to a standstill. My laptop was powered but without internet connection, I was helpless.

This brings me back to the pre-internet days when YK was still a toddler when I registered him at the childcare centre. He was only 20 months old but he adapted very quickly and loved going to school. That year, he celebrated his birthday with a cake as big as him. I have a photo of him with a shy smile on his face and eager kids crowding around, waiting to munch on the Mickey Mouse chocolate cake.

SK was different. He cried so much during his first week at school, we took him out soon after. He's the introvert and the signs were already showing from young.

When it came to registration for primary school, I was quite the clueless parent. Other parents were so well prepared with a clear intention of which schools are best for their kids. Some relocate their homes or start volunteering their time in the preferred school years ahead.

It turned out to be quite a traumatic experience for me. I was turned down by several schools in our neighbourhood and ended up before the principal of a boys school. He said the chances were bleak and I should apply for a place in the 'mediocre' school nearby. That was when I found the courage to tell him off. I was really quite pissed off with the system, so I had to stand up for myself and my son.

"Why are you pushing me off to yet another school? You don't think we deserve to apply for a place in your school? If we don't get a place here, we will be sent to that school anyway. But at least I am not giving up right?"

So, I went ahead and put that school as our first choice. We got a place. It's not a prestigious school by any means but I like the values and the school tradition. Both my sons studied there for 6 years.

By the time they were ready for secondary school, they had an idea where they wanted to go. So it was easier for me. And now, YK has reached another milestone. This time, the choice of school and course were completely his. He knows what he wants and I'm here to give moral support.


Anonymous said...

Hey you do what you have to do for your kids. We are the same too.. clueless about the "prestigious" schools and why would you bother to get up at 3 in the morning just to line up for the top daycare in the area???? Beats me....

k@Ye_ said...

Haha, u re the boss leh... What oh no again! :P

So he is going to JC or elsewhere? I wish my parents will there for me for Pri sch at least. Imagine my 1st day of sch n all alone... whereas the rest of the kids got parents to give them moral support!

Me also freaking out the mere thought of pri sch.. I already freaked out when i knew abt the long waiting list for childcare... Now, some even tot me abt pri sch when the kid is not even born!

Blur Ting said...

JY - I think alot depends on the child rather than the school.I've seen how some parents try so hard to get their kids into good schools but they don't seem to fare any better than the rest of kids who went to normal school.

That said, if the child has lots of potential, then sending him/her to the school with the right environment can really help to bring out the child's talent and give a good foundation.

Blur Ting said...

K@ye - Still... cannot always take off mah.

He chose Bioscience in S'pore Poly. That's why registration so late. Ended up I drove him there but he went in himself while I went for coffee. Registration was over in an hour. The other 3 hours is for computer configuration but his is scheduled for another day.

Yah, I think parents make the education system way too competitive and stressful. Everyone is so afraid of losing out but to be honest, I don't see how the kids can lose out if they don't study in the best schools. What is most important is our own child's personality and potential. We can't push them beyond what they can achieve or they will go mad.

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

i'm so glad tat i was borne in '78 and stuff then were waaayyy more innocent and simple! me folks tutored us to save money and gave us cash rewards when we scored well.

$10 for 100 marks, $9 for 90 i guess......LOL

petunialee said...

Good gracious!

Teenager children + run your own business + love of good food + love to cook + like to clean + like to garden + like the simple life. That sounds a lot like me!

I love reading you.

Blur Ting said...

Fry - Yah, during those days, our folks tutored us. My mum used to get so mad cos my math was so bad, it drove her crazy! No rewards for me. I not stupid.

Blur Ting said...

I mean I not clever..

Blur Ting said...

Petunia - haha, we're soul sisters!