Tuesday 6 November 2012

Preschool Search

Yes, from the title of my post, you can pretty much guess that I'm at it again. I kinda stopped halfway in my search for Kaitlin's preschool cos it got so draining and I honestly couldn't decide what I wanted for her. I'm so annoyed with myself and I wonder why I give myself a headache when the problem could be quite easily solved if I just chose one that's near where I live and which fits within my budget.

I think I'm asking for trouble when I'm looking into programmes of schools which I know would be pushing our limits in terms of our finances, but I've reasoned with myself that I wouldn't mind eating just veggies for my meals and, possibly doing without extra help and settling all the chores and looking after Kaitlin myself. That way I save money and I busy myself so I have no time or energy to shop which means I hopefully save more money.

With that being said, the ever throbbing question in mind is that "Do these pricier schools necessarily  mean that they are better in terms of curriculum, safety, attention and care to our kids, the meals they provide?". It feels like in our society today, standard and quality is based on how much something costs. 

I mean a school that charges an average school term fee could have teachers who occasionally ignore children and use their handphones, and a school that charges higher fees could have the same problem too. It really depends on the teachers and the individual. Also, that the one particular teacher that impressed you during your visit and was the deciding factor, could have put on a show or if she was really that fantastic, it wouldn't be a surprise if she switched schools and went somewhere else to teach, and only to be replaced by a not so dedicated or lacking in experience one.

I know I'm being difficult and it really seems like I'm asking for the sky and the ocean, but how can I not?! It's my babygirl. Every parent would want the best for their children and education is so important. Sure, she's a kid now and really young but what if I sent her to one that causes her to have nightmares about going to school and she never ever wants to go to school in the future and would make up excuses like she's sick. Or what if she attended one where she ends up speaking with a weird foreign slang to it or is given food with so little meat? I am not being psychotic or anal okay, I have really read a blog by a mother whose daughter attended a school where she was give measly amounts of meat and it was more of just rice and gravy. HELLO?! Where is the nutrition? They are after all growing children. Don't forget the hygiene. I would not want to enrol her into a school which has frequent outbreaks and in the end I find myself back to square where I'm basically looking after at home instead of attending school like she should be.

In all honesty, till now I don't know what I want for her. It's like the hardest decision one could ever make and it's only preschool. I think I would be pulling my hair when it comes to choosing her kindy and primary school. It's amazing how your priorities change when you become a mother. It's no longer choosing between hot pink or baby pink for your next bag purchase and whether to get a shimmer glitter or sheer lipgloss.

Right now, I'm having difficulty deciding what I kind of learning environment I want for her. I definitely want her to have fun while learning and learn through exploration and dig deeper into what she finds interesting like the Reggio Emilia approach. Yet, I would be lying if I said that it didn't matter if she was ready for Primary One and if she lagging behind. YES. I'm a somewhat kiasu parent. Are we all not? I honestly think we are all kiasu, the only difference is by how much. I'm fine if she is lagging behind when she first starts primary school, cos I can always help her and tutor her together with Daddy Li. What I'm not fine with is how it is gonna affect her. Surely you would not want to feel like you are not as smart as your peers, and forever at the bottom of the class. You would feel like you are lousy and possibly have low self esteem. That's just the start. What if your classmates started jeering at you and putting you down or even bullying you? How would that affect your child emotionally? I have even come across teachers who put students down. Totally experienced it before. I just don't want her to feel like she is dumb and has not talent or ability to do better. I don't want her to be school bully's victim and one day commit suicide or anything. I want her to feel like she has the potential and the freedom to do whatever she wants and that she can excel as long as she puts her mind to it and of course that hard work pays off. So that has got me into thinking if I should also let her learn in a more structured environment, something like Shichida. 

Then I ponder and wonder, why not have both? Let her experience both and she would naturally learn at whatever pace and mixed style suits her best or that she likes. But would that be like a confusion to her or in the end it's just a complete waste of money cos she is not totally immersed into one style of learning? Can someone out there please tell me if it is possible to do both and get effective results or it's one or the other?

I'm seriously killing myself with this. I really do not want to settle on one school and be all happy that I've finally decided on "THE ONE" and then a month or two later end up searching for another school cos it didn't seem like what it was or Kaitlin didn't like it.

Okay, I am done with ranting. Okay, it's not so much a rant cos I am really trying to find the school and learning style that suits Kaitlin best and I'm not frustrated by it. I'm just annoyed with myself for wanting everything to be perfect and being nit picky and all, and being so fickle. It's like I'm wasting my time thinking back and forth and by the time I'm done, she would probably be like 2 years old already and some places have like waiting lists -.- By now, you all probably think I'm a psycho parent or something.  I am not :(( I really just want the best for her..and I know I need to chill on this and I shall..

With that being said, if you readers have had any good experiences with any preschool or know of friends or relatives who have raved about any preschools in Singapore please do let me know. Don't worry I am not going to kidnap your children or anything. It just would certainly help me in narrowing down my options since we have like so many schools in Singapore. Location is not a big issue, cos I am prepared to possibly even move just so that we could be nearer to a school that suits Kaitlin, but of course not to the extreme ends of Singapore cos I still need my sanity of not having to take more than a hour to travel to town. I would be eternally grateful  for all your help <3

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