An Education is Gold

Feeling: like a Kiasu Parent

Gosh. I spend the last week contemplating and poring over possible schools for my kid.

I think I’m going to go mad.

I don’t know whether I’ve been influenced by my group of Mamas but I swear, some of them are preparing their kids for university by the rate of the way things are going.

And here I am just thinking (thinking ONLY), about whether I should send him somewhere for some playgroup or something, before he goes to Nursery since if I keep him at home, I probably would go mad with trying to figure things out for him to do and stay out of trouble.

It’s not that I don’t want to. I mean I see the importance of placing your child in a nurturing environment where they can learn and be exposed to things.

wide open mind

I mean, haven’t we already put him into Genius League Academy?

That’s taken care of my parental responsibility to give him a good education right? HAHA!

Okay, in all honesty, I don’t quite believe in this whole right brain training mumbo jumbo. There is some bit of it which resonates with my mind’s logic and there’s some that doesn’t.

Basically right brain training  involves activities and pictures and things to “awaken” and “activate” your child’s brain while it’s in its tender growing stages. While the synapses of the brains are getting all set up, you wanna make sure that it gets wired up properly for everything else that life presents you.

There’s a fair bit of flash card presentations too. But not like going through them one by one and explaining the pictures that are on the cards, oh no. It’s more like a flash-flash-flash-flash-flash kind of thing while reading out loud what you’re looking at.

*epilepsy warning*

flashing

Some believe that you’ll be able to retain the memories of the pictures in your brain since kids are more able to recognize and associate words and pictures better than when they concepts and theories now.

I don’t know how true that big of it is, but I get that if you basically bombard your face with a thousand and one ideas, you should be able to retain like. TWO. At least right? :X

The bit the hubs and I don’t get though, is this weird supposed psychic awakening… Because in class we exercise this magic brain awakening “power” that helps them to SEE with their minds eye.

Like it’s something like a “guess what’s behind door #1!” kind of game for the kids.

There’s an alternative game where the teacher flashes a picture and asks the class to remember what was shown. That’s different. It trains memories. But this guessing game hocus pocus. I don’t think you need to be a skeptic to be skeptical about all of this.

It’s still important to take the whole idea of it with a pinch of salt though. And for that, there’s this gem of a quote that I pulled out.

Other parents are unconvinced. A mother in her 40s whose two sons, aged five and seven, went for brain training, said: “They enjoyed the classes and it gave them some confidence. But there are so many variables. Children grow in maturity and are exposed to more things as they get older. To attribute progress to a programme is like saying you ate a miracle pill and you’re cured.”

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/parents-jump-on-brain-training-wagon-in-bid-to-boost-concentration-and-memory-of

But hey, it’s still a good form of exposure for the bub innit? Better than having the bub sit at the TV or the computer all day or playing computer games and all….

Although, of course there’s the crazy prices.

Genius League in itself is part of the whole enrichment and supplementary education industry that has suckered parents into blowing a gajillion dollars on the premise that your kids young mind will be grown and loved and will blossom because you’ve fed it the right brain food.

fish is brain food

But the types of different education, right brain training not withstanding will COST you.

I mean, can you see yourself spending a thousand dollars on PRE school education for your kid? Well, apparently half of all Singaporean parents can. Because these schools are almost always maxed out.

Mindchamps, Eton, Montessori schools.. I can’t stop shaking my head as I write this.

And it’s not enough to be an accredited teaching method. There’s a whole bunch of school visits to do. Questions to ask about teacher to student ratios, whether your precious is going to get the attention and supervision that he or she needs in class. What are the variety and suitability of the toys and interactive “stations” within each centre. Is it healthy? Are the activities engaging? Educational? Is there a good mix of teaching mediums and stimuli? What about indoor and outdoor exposure?

Kill me now.

take me away

Okay, but I guess the reason why I’m ranting about all of this probably 2 yearas too early, is because I just found out that the one nearest to us is totally full.

I felt so invigoured by all the talks that I went to see whether there were any playgroups in the area to send our bub to and was pleasantly surprised that there was a pretty decent school located just a few blocks away from us.

Then of course, the government website is entirely unhelpful in telling you whether there are vacancies, and the school (run by NTUC) were not able to reassure me about curriculum and all above questions when I called into their website either, so the hubs and I took a little neighbourhood walk down to the centre to speak to someone who could possible help.

And guess what.

guess

The principal tells us that there are only EIGHT students in the class for the toddler category. And while this might not be a lot when you think about how big primary school classes are, but 25 kids on the wait list for a classroom of 8….

SIGH.

And someone told me that the school might not even have the kind of curriculum you would be excited for your kid to be a part of either.

If that’s the choice that I’m left with, then HOW….

Die la.

I mean, I don’t think our parents ever sent us to schools that were that well put together right? Lots of kids grew up in government preschools. And they all turned out ok.

The nation still survives.

Right?

Obviously I hope that the hubs and I will be able to send our bub(s) to the best schools available – what parent doesn’t want the best for their child – but if I can’t afford something crazy like that, I’m not going to spend myself out of house and home.

budget

If push comes to shove, we’ll have to take him out of the supplementary classes and figure out how to get his grades up some other way.

And above all, in God we trust.

After all, as long as we are doing out best for our kids right? We can, with prayer and petition ask for providence and leave things in God’s hands. He can give and He can take away.

So we will endeavour to do what we can in the meantime 🙂

Life is an education,
Jess

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