About Edison

Starting Primary One: First Week of School

The first week of school was over (even though it’s just two days), I’ve been getting messages from family and friends asking how Edison is coping with Primary One. Thankfully, he’s adapting well, much better than I’ve originally expected.

Truth be told, I never expect that starting Primary One can be so exciting. Not just for the boy, but for me as well. On the evening of New Year, my Facebook news feed had a sudden influx of status updates with doubts and excitements from my friends whose kids are also starting P1 this year.

From what-to-pack to weight of school bag, how much money to give for recess time, what time the kids have to wake up, and what time the school bus is coming, the discussions went on for hours. It was definitely one of the most exciting days in my life!

We reached home from dinner at 8:15pm. I quickly showered the boy, gave him the first motivational talk, and tugged him to bed at 9pm. Initially, he was reluctant to sleep at this hour and kept questioning “Why I have to sleep so early now?” But after seeing the ‘no negotiation’ look on my face, he accepted it and then fell asleep at 9:20pm.

That night, I went to sleep close to midnight. I woke up at 4:15am and hardly got back to sleep after that. So, I woke up early to check his schoolbag all over again to make sure he had all he needs for first day at school. The bag weighs about 5kg – including a full bottle of water.


The First Day

I woke him up at 6am, and he was very grumpy and sleepy. He went to the bathroom to clean-up but his face was all ‘black’. When I served him breakfast, his eyes were soaking with tears. “Why I have to eat so early? I’m not hungry.” He went on and on.

After some coaxing, he finally ate half of what I’ve prepared for him. We quickly changed and head to school. We reached the school vicinity at 7am and queued for 18mins to enter the foyer. We were not allowed to park in the school. So, V dropped us there and he drove off.


The kids were lined up outside the general office according to their classes. The school doesn’t allow parents to be in, even on the first day of school. So, I didn’t have to apply leave to be a ‘paparazzi mama’ to spy on him that day.

After assuring him that he’ll be well taken care of by his teachers, I left the school. Suddenly, I felt separation anxiety – the same kind of feeling four years ago when he just started pre-school. Loving is to let go, I reminded myself as I walked out of the school.

The school dismissed at 1:45pm that day. I took time-off to pick him up from school. The teachers will bring the children to the respective pick-up points, depending on their mode of transportation. For those who will be walking home, they will be dismissed at the MRT gate.


At 1:30pm, I spotted a huge crowd at the MRT gate. Anxious parents and grandparents have been waiting for their kids and grandkids. The moment I spotted Edison, I was all relieved. He was all smiles as he was walking out to the gate.

So, how is Edison’s verdict of first day of school?

He said GOOD! He proudly told me that he bought fishball noodles and grape juice during recess time. For the first two weeks of school, a befriender (boy from P5) will guide him during recess time. So, I’m not that worried.

His wallet was intact, but his water bottle was missing! I thought he must have forgotten to bring it back to class after recess. And V suggested that we should buy disposable water bottles for him. Yikes!


His white uniform turned out to be quite dirty too, as if he just came back from BMT training. This explains why I have a love-hate relationship with white uniform. It looks ultra cool but the washing part is no fun!

Thank God, his first day of school turned out to be fairly well.

The Second Day

The second day was smooth-sailing too. He woke up and ate his breakfast without fussing. I dropped him off at school and went to work. My parents-in-law picked him up from school; he was in a good shape and nothing was missing from his bag. At the end of the day, I asked him: “How’s school?” and his answer was “It’s good!”

For this term, we’ll take it slowly – one step at a time so as not to overwhelm him. After school, he will spend the rest of the day playing, or napping if he wants (but he seldom naps now). I’ll give him minimum homework (only 1 to 2 pages). After dinner, we’ll spend about 15mins going through his communication book and homework (if any). Then, he’ll go to bed by 8:30pm.

On Saturday and Sunday, he’ll attend 1.5 hours of enrichment class for English and Chinese in the morning. We’ll go for our outings after that.

That’s what I’ve planned for him this term. Will re-visit again after the term break.


Click HERE to read all my posts on Starting Primary One series.


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Cecilia February 4, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Hi Emily
Thanks for the info on your blog. Very useful!
I am planning to send my son to Maris Stella when he’s Pr1 in 2015. Can I check with you what time is the assembly time in the am? You said you reached school at 7pm & it took you 18mins to reach the foyer. Is that standard everyday??

Emily February 4, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Hi Cecilia,
Thanks for your compliment. The assembly time is 7:25am but it’s advisable to reach the school by 7:20am as the boys need to leave their bags in the classroom and gather at the hall for assembly.

The good news is the traffic does get better after the first few days. The 18 mins was merely on first day. Now, it averages about 10 minutes. I usually park at the church opposite and take a slow walk to school (5 mins) because I’m lazy to queue and making a U-turn after the school is a CHALLENGE.

All the best to your boy’s registration this year. After a month of observation, I’m 90% confident that I’ve found the right primary school for my boy. The teachers and staffs are very helpful.

Cecilia February 4, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Hi Emily, that’s great to hear. Now I just hope my son gets in! Thanks. – Cecilia


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