Puppy’s school visit

Last Friday, we registered Puppy at the primary school in our neighbourhood. She’ll go in her 7th year.

I described things along the way.

“This is the school office. That’s what the boys and girls wear here. See, the lady over there, she’s the teacher. That’s the canteen where you can get something to eat at snack time, they call it ‘recess’ here. And that’s the playground.”

Puppy loved every minute of it.

While my Sweet Man filled up forms in the school office, Puppy, Lamb and I stood outside a classroom, watching preschoolers reading Malay sentences off a chart. No, not reading. Yelling.

Piglet had fallen asleep on my shoulder.

When we got back to the car, I asked Puppy how she liked it. “Oh, Mama… Can I go to this school? Now? NOW? Tomorrow?” Her face was shining.

It was a special moment and I was excited as she was. Never mind we’ve decided to send her to a government school, not a private or vernacular one. Never mind 90% of the canteen food was fried food. Never mind most of the children there were from a different culture. Never mind the toilets stinked. Never mind the playground looked shabby and the bookshop sold cheap looking pencil-boxes.

It’s school, there are other kids around! Woo hoo!!

We’re over-crazed these days with: Private schools. Vernacular schools. Organic food, only organic food. Hand sanitizers and super dooper ultra clean environments.

Puh-leeeze.

Puppy’s opinion: NOT NECESSARY.

(PS. I value personal hygiene and support organic farming. But we needn’t be frenetic about it.)

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2 Comments

  1. Oh I had the impression you’ll be homeschooling your kids like forever. I’m still undecided between a chinese school and a govt school for my boy. In fact, I’m pretty troubled over it. I don’t want to make a mistake that will affect him at such a young age. I’ve been reading horror stories on other blogs about Chinese schools – smacking kids for petty issues like spelling mistakes. I don’t want to make the wrong choice for him. Just curious, why aren’t you considering homeschooling on a longer term?

  2. I registered Puppy at a government school because Sweet Man and I feel uncomfortable with the educational philosophy of Chinese schools. We really dislike Chinese schools caning students for mistakes in homework.

    The government schooling system is less rigorous, which means our kids will have more time for creative activities outside of schooling hours … including some homeschooling sessions with me at home!

    According to educational theory and research, preschool and primary school education are in many ways more important than secondary school education, because all the fundamental building blocks for learning are put in place at that early stage.

    I know some kids breeze through Chinese schools without minding the caning, but I guess I don’t want to expose mine to that kind of treatment, or risk their love of learning being hampered by a fear of being caned for spelling mistakes!

    And while I like the idea of homeschooling exclusively up to a higher grade (because of all the research that shows how well many homeschoolers do, both academically and socially), I do want our kids to also experience government school because of the unique cultural and racial mix that it offers. I think government school is the only way they will experience this mix. I’m hoping that through government school, they will learn not only to survive – but also to to thrive – in our society with all the challenges we face as a minority.

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