Friday, January 22, 2016

P1 Parenting: The First 3 Weeks of School

And just like that, the first 3 weeks of Lil Pumpkin as a Primary 1 kid flew by!! (★^O^★)

For the first 3 days, we were lucky that her primary school allowed parents into the school to help their kids transition into their new environment with totally new faces and culture. We could go up to their classrooms before class started and see them eat/ buy food at the canteen.

During lesson time, we had to stay at the dedicated parents' corners or could attend some of the free parent education seminars {e.g. Structuring Your Child's Time} to support & encourage us in our new journey with our kids.

I heard that for some schools, parents were not allowed in at all! #toughlove

Lil Pumpkin was really looking forward to primary school starting so even though we had to wake up much earlier than usual, she was not grumpy at all... just kinda confused why we had to wake up in the middle of the night while the sky was still dark haha.

The first week she would jump excitedly out of bed to get ready for school {so different from when she first started preschool haha} but come the second week, I think the excitement kinda died down and she began to have trouble getting out of bed.

There were no tears, just lots of blur, sleepy faces #thestruggleisreal

For me, it was hard adjusting to waking up so early again too but I'd to put on a brave face for Lil Pumpkin and show her that yes!! It can be done!! (◕‿◕✿) After dropping her off in school, I'd usually take a quick nap at the back of the car while the boy sends me to work though haha...

In case you're wondering, so far she hasn't had any homework or tests yet. The school has just been focusing on getting the kids accustomed to their new lifestyle and school rules. Last Friday we were given their English & Chinese spellings lists though and both will start next week {Week 4}.  

I think being in preschool for the past 4 years definitely helped teach Lil Pumpkin to be more independent and attuned to formal school structure. She adjusted much quicker than I expected and has no problem listening to her teachers, following a timetable or staying in school for 6 hours straight.

Actually on the second day of school when she saw me at recess, she told me to go home!! Pffftt... must have thought this mamarazzi was "embarrassing" her #wheredidmybabygo

For the first 2 weeks, P5 pupils were assigned as buddies to the P1 kids. They taught and guided them on how to buy food during recess and brought them around the different parts of the school like the library, teacher staff-room, dental clinic, indoor halls etc.

Lil Pumpkin told me that the best part of her school day was actually to go to recess with her P5 buddies {not sure why but apparently she had 3??!} Aww! I saw her buddies while I was in school for the first few days and they were really sweet to her too.

At first, she wasn't keen on buying food from the canteen and wanted me to prepare obentos for her. However, with the the encouragement from her buddies, she now likes to buy recess food from the canteen {always sushi!!}, even on her own this week, so I just prepare mid-day snacks and lunch obentos for her daily.

She usually eats lunch on the way home in the car since she ends school almost 2pm.

Last Friday we prepared some notes and treats for her buddies to thank them for taking care of her and giving her such a warm welcome to her new school.

After the first weeks of adjustments, this is roughly her weekday school routine:

6.10am Wake Up + Morning Milk
6.15 Get Ready for School
6.35am Leave Home + Breakfast
7.10am Reach School
2pm School Pick-up + Lunch
2.30pm Reach Home
2.45pm Afternoon Nap
4pm Wake Up
4.10pm Afternoon Tea
4.30 - 8pm Revision / Play / Visit daddy's clinic / Enrichment classes etc.
8.10pm Dinner
9pm Shower + Get Ready for School
9.30pm Bedtime Ritual i.e. prep bed, muck around, bed-time story
10pm Sleep

I know Lil Pumpkin sleeps later than a lot of school kids her age but as working parents, we get home late most days {especially the boy} but still want that interaction time with her.

Anyway she still gets her afternoon nap and around 8 hours of sleep at night so should be fully rested each day, even if it's a struggle in the morning. I think it's mainly because we are not morning people, not because she doesn't have enough sleep since she has around 9-10 hours a day! (ヘ。ヘ)

For me as a new P1 parent, I was so glad that I was going back to my alma mater so I wasn't really a noob in the school and could guide Lil Pumpkin and the boy on school tradition, culture and expectations. There were some changes since the time I left school, of course, but a lot of things have remained the same and the familiarity definitely lessened my anxiety on this new journey for all of us.

After 3 weeks, Lil Pumpkin is still very happy to go to school and I can see that her love for school is growing stronger, and stronger each day. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I hear her try to sing our school song!

I hope that at the end when she leaves, she will remember lovingly all the friends she made, crazy fun times at school events, valuable life {not just academic!} lessons and all that she did to lift high the banner of the school

For more of  Lil Pumpkin's Primary School journey:
For tips on P1 preparation:
Good deal to share:


Sweetday said...

Thanks for sharing! Looks like LIttle Pumpkin is settling down in school well. :)

Debra said...

Good job pumpkin! Good that she takes an afternoon nap. Sean doesn't nap but goes to bed at 830 (usually falls asleep by 9-915). I should write an update soon too (but urgh no time for myself since P1 started)! Yay for a good start!

An Apel a Day said...

That's great that she is transitioning well.

Mica at that age needed a lot of sleep. I know when he started school he'd run into walls at the end of the day. I'm not even kidding. He was that tired.

Schools work different here. Kids only start school in August. Unless they change schools.

Everything looks so neat at little pumpkin's school. She's going to love it!

Stacy said...

Good job to Pumpkin and Pumpkin mama! Finally the starting part is over. Yeah such a pain having to wake up so early.

mail4rosey said...

If she's comfortable and happy there I know it does your heart good. Her telling you to go home (ouch mama, my heart, and I can relate my son didn't want a kiss goodbye at school recently, lol!!) that's a very good sign, and def. worth smiling about. :) Love the pics!

Denyse Whelan. said...

What an interesting insight into education at this age in your country. She does seem to be well-settled. The timetable is 'full-on' for her but as you say she is going well. Congratulations! Its the start of school here in Australia this coming week so there'll be lots of nervous little kids and parents here I imagine. Cheers, Denyse

Masshole Mommy said...

I find it interesting that your school years don't run the same times as our so in the US. We start a new school year in August/September depending on the state.

Delphine said...

Love this post! Have been wanting to write down my thoughts too but keep putting it off.

Edmond G. Belanger said...

ha ha ha

Madeline Heng said...

So high tech sia hahaha. You guys looks fresh in the morning. I think I will look damn cui if it were me lol

Theresa Mahoney said...

My oldest has always been a morning person. My youngest is like Lil Pumpkin and drags feet every morning, not wanting to get the day going that early. I'm not a morning person either, so I know all about that struggle.

An Apel a Day said...

I hope she's less sleepy this week. Kids seem to get used to their schedules fairly fast.

Susan said...

Gosh, I can't believe that the first 3 weeks just flew by like this. Sounds like Lil Pumpkin is coping well in school and enjoying herself. Must be special for you that she's in your alma mater. At least you got to be mamarazzi, I didn't even get the chance to *sob sob*

~Summer~ said...

Awww I feel everything you say! So happy that Lil Pumpkin is settling down well and loving school! It's been challenging for me to make Angel sleep and wake on time cos the Daddy returns late too and I do appreciate the precious family time, thus a later bedtime for everyone. And guess what? My girl loves to buy sushi for her break too. Haha. Doesn't time really pass by soooo quickly? Our girls are in P1 already and that's such a huge milestone. Hope Lil Pumpkin will continue to enjoy the journey and make more beautiful memories!