Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Going to School

"When do you think we should send Yiyi to pre-school?, Mami asked me.

"I think still early lar" I objected.

"No lar, they accept kids of 2 years old already."

"2 years old? Too young to go to school leh"

"The earlier the better. Later she couldn't catch up ler"

"I don't know lar, 2 years old is a bit young lar."

Actually I sympathised with the kids nowadays. They start going to school/pre-school/kindergarten at a very young age. Most take on more than 2 classes to further their knowledge. Morning: mandarin class, afternoon: piano. Morning: taekwando, night: public speaking. Morning: computer programing, evening: ballet.

This is a dilemma every parents will be facing. I am actually against sending Yiyi to pre-school at a young age. I mean, she's only 2 years old (by year). Let her have some fun first at home, let her 'manja' Papi and Mami first. And let Papi and Mami 'manja' her a bit.

But what Mami told me is also true. "Actually going to pre-school, doesn't mean she's going to school, and comes back with tonnes of homework.", she explained to me. "She goes there, just to have fun also. Meeting new friends, playing, and they teach her how to sing, to read, to write, to speak."

Hmm...that doesn't sound too bad.

"Also, Yiyi's currently in the learning stage, age between 2 to 6 years old, where her learning capability is max. She can go there and learn new skills, rather than playing at home."

Mami's got a point there. I began to soften a bit. Then there was a story of my colleague. GM.

GM used to have the same thought as mine. "Why do we need to send our kid to this class and that class. During our time, we don't have all these, and still we turned out OK."

"The kid will be able to adapt when the time comes, and he will be able to catch up.", he argued, before his kid went to primary school.

But everything changes after his kid got into primary school. Apparently, the school nowadays no longer teaches the basic. You know, ABC and 123. A for Apple, B for Buaya.. They dive straight into the real thing, big words, forming sentences, calculations etc. So his kid was having trouble keeping up. While other pre-school-going kids are doing big numbers multiplication and exponentiation, his kid is still struggling with addition. Now, he's scratching his head trying to send his kid to additional classes after school.

So, am I sending Yiyi to a pre-school when she's two years old? No. I still think 2 years old is too young an age. Maybe when she's bigger. But at the same time, I do acknowledged that it's essential to equip herself at an early age. The standard is getting higher and higher. I guess I have to consider what's best for Yiyi and to find a balance. Isn't that what parenting is all about. :)

What say you?