Regarding early childhood education

Its been so long since I wrote in my blog. It is like my blog has evolved beyond what I intended it to be, a place for me to share my travel experiences. But if you don’t travel that often, then what can you offer?

So I write about books I’ve read and current affairs that interest me. But guilty to report that I haven’t kept up with any reading in the last one month. So what’s new?

It is still work as normal. I feel like despite all the ideas and suggestions I have raised, I haven’t found any of them worthy of my supervisor’s implementation. It is as if all my efforts were for nothing. Or maybe I am just a creative but not very innovative person.

As for matters at home, this month will be pretty exciting. I have enrolled Joel in a Junior Picasso class and he is thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t mean to be ‘atas’ but Joel enjoys drawing and what better way to instill a discipline of focus and concentration doing something he loves? He is going to spend the next 16 years grueling away at mundane and boring academical subjects anyway so let that boy have a childhood.

Speaking of which, I will be registering for his primary school admission end of this month. It is almost like a coming of age for him and as his mother I feel so excited. However I worry like every Singaporean mother that he may not get into the good school I have picked for him.

Initially I wanted him to go to St Hilda’s, reportedly one of the best primary schools in the eastern region. ‘Best’ meaning that it has a history of producing students with the top PSLE results. However after speaking to a parent whose children go there, I found out that the school is run like a corporation. Students must perform or they may end up being labeled or kicked out. I think this puts a lot of stress not only on the children but parents too.

So I changed my mind and decided on Pasir Ris Primary instead. It sounds like a neighbourhood school but is one of the ‘best’ in Pasir Ris. Maybe the stress would be more manageable there. I mean my brother and I came from a no-name school and we turned out fine. Sometimes I wonder if the kiasu-ism of parents make us worry for nothing.

Also I will also be enrolling Benjamin in a playgroup near our home. I went to inspect the premises last week and was really impressed with the setup and the curriculum offered to the children. It is a branded childcare with many franchises but the fees are still pretty affordable at $206 per month for PM session after subsidies.

I checked with another colleague whose children are in Pat’s Schoolhouse which is supposedly one of the premium childcare. She pays $900 per month after subsidies for half-day kindergarten programme!! Will it make a huge difference in developing a child’s intelligence? I do wonder if my principles of giving my children the joys of childhood will be the death of them in our highly competitive society?

Maybe they will end up like their mother who is creative but not very innovative in the Singaporean context.

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