Blogging has taken a back seat this week. I’m up to my neck at work, seriously overwhelmed with issues and project deadlines. After work, I’m busy coaching Little Edison in his study. In the second half of this year, I’m working doubly hard to prepare him for Primary One.
Let’s face it. In less than 3 weeks, we will be registering him for Primary One. I hope that we’ll be able to secure a place for him as our new apartment is just within 1km from our primary school of choice – something that we’ve planned for him since two years ago.
I try not to give ourselves unnecessary stress about Primary One. Every year, there are thousands of six-year-olds in Singapore who will start their Primary One. It’s not only him. I always paint a beautiful picture about Primary School in front of him. I mean, going for P1 should be FUN. New school bag, new uniform, new shoes, new pencil case, new friends, new environment and new everything. What’s there not to like about P1?
Whenever we talked about P1, his question would be: “Am I going to buy my own food when I go to Primary 1?” And I answered, “Yes, boy. That’s why I’m teaching you about money now.”
I’m really concerned about recess time and food now. I seriously doubt that he is capable of counting money, buying his own food, bringing the food back to his table and eat quickly within the recess time (he’s a slow eater, by the way). But he just have to do it when the time comes.
My friend once told me, the transition is not so difficult, and children adapt easily and more quickly that we thought. There is really nothing to worry about. In fact, that makes me think of how I went to P1 almost 30 years ago. And hey, that was easy peasy! Now, I should be excited because it’s my son’s turn next year.
At home, I try my best to coach him in his study and prepare him in various aspects for the great Primary One adventure next year.
Every night, I spend about 45 minutes coaching him in his study. Our routine looks like this:
- Learn his spelling: 10 mins
- Do a few pages of worksheets (English /Chinese): 10 mins
- Do a few pages of worksheets (Maths, learning time, counting money, etc): 10 mins
- Do a revision on lessons learnt from his enrichment classes (Phonics / HanYuPinYin): 5 mins
- Read a book: 10 – 15 mins
On item # 1, 2, 4 and 5, we will focus on English and Chinese Language on alternate days. On Saturday, he attends his Advanced Phonics at Jan & Elly (one hour per week). On Sunday, he attends his Chinese Enrichment class at Han Language Centre (1.5 hours per week).
Learning about time and money
Phonics Worksheets from Jan & Elly
This is the study area that we set-up for him at a corner in our living hall. I pasted some Chinese characters wall charts that I bought from Popular book store. He reads them occasionally.
This white board from IKEA is the most useful furniture at home now. I separate it into four quadrants, and I write his Chinese and English spelling tests from school, HanYuPinYin from his Chinese enrichment class and letter sounds from his Phonics class for easy revision every day.
These are some of the books that we’re reading now. We also attempt to read and speak more Mandarin at home, especially when our primary school of choice is an SAP school.
On the non-academic side, I’ve been teaching him to put on his school uniform by himself, and how to handle buttons and zips when he needs to change in and out of his PE attire. I’m also teaching him about money and how to take care of his belongings.
The transition from kindergarten to primary school is a major milestone for a child. Besides learning subjects at a deeper level, they need to adjust to a new environment and routine, as well as to exercise greater independence.
I’m doing all that I can to equip him with the necessary skills and knowledge so that he can enter the next stage of his education with confidence and ease.