23 February 2018, by Mandy Loh
I tell Cristan often: “No matter how old you get, you will ALWAYS be my baby.”
Although I sometimes wish that time would just stand still, and my babies could stay little forever, there is also joy in celebrating each new milestone.
And now, I’ve come to that massive milestone where every Momma realises (sometimes with an ache in her heart and tears in her eyes) that her baby has really grown up!
Yes, Cristan has started Primary 1!
Overall, I feel that the Ministry of Education and the Primary Schools in Singapore have done a great job in planning a series of activities to ease our children into formal education.
First of all, an orientation was held at the school last November. Parents were given a briefing in the hall, while the kiddos were brought to their assigned classrooms to do some activities.
It’s fantastic that the children got a chance to know their classmates and make some friends so that they won’t feel completely lost and alone on the first day of school.
Every child was also given a cute handbook to get them mentally prepared to start Primary School.
Cristan was happily reading through it on his own, and sticking stickers on various pages!
We were advised to begin a routine that would allow Cristan to get used to waking up early in the mornings.
However, we were away for half of December last year, as Tim’s youngest brother got married and we attended the wedding celebrations over 2 weekends.
When we got back, the New Year festivities were upon us, and we were up late for the countdown!
So we didn’t have much time to get adjusted to the schedule, but thank goodness for adrenaline that got all of us up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, for the first day of school!
Parents were allowed into the school compound for the first 2 days of school, so we could walk him to his class and take a peek inside his classroom.
We were also allowed to observe their recess time (from afar).
For Cristan’s school, a free parent seminar was organised in between the start of school and recess time, which was a very nice touch by the school leaders indeed!
(Perhaps from experience, this was a good way to keep parents from loitering outside the classrooms all morning!)
Although I wasn’t there in time to witness it, I was so proud of my boy for buying his chicken rice all by himself!
He has really grown up! Unfortunately, Cristan was seated facing AWAY from where I was standing!
But oh well, this momma here was content to watch my boy eating his chicken rice with gusto!
Another wonderful initiative by the schools is the buddy system, where each Primary 1 child is paired up with a Primary 4 child for the first 3 weeks of school.
This buddy follows the Primary 1 child around during recess, and helps with anything and everything!
Why didn’t they have this when I was in Primary 1?!?
I still recall my very first recess when I was in Primary 1: I struggled to open my tetra pak milk, and started crying because I felt so alone and helpless.
Thankfully, an older student saw me crying, and kindly helped me out.
There was also an extended recess timing for the first few days of school, so Cristan had time to explore the school compound and play at the playground.
After recess, the parents were ushered back to the second part of the parent seminar which lasted till dismissal time.
I’m so thankful and glad that Cristan found a best friend in his class so quickly.
It so happened that this boy stays in a neighbouring block and Cristan had played with him before at the estate playground! This definitely helps him look forward to school every day!
We’re now into the second month of school, and I’m relieved that Cristan has adjusted quite well to Primary School.
I’m just praying for things to continue going smoothly for the rest of the year and beyond!
Fellow mommas with Primary 1 children, how was your child’s first day in school?