Despite my recent laments about the workload and bagload for the kids, I do not regret sending my child to a Chinese School. I know some parents who do though. When my child was about to enter Std 1 in the school last year, I ran into a friend who was planning to take his Std 2 kid out.
If you had read my earlier posts, you would know about how hard I struggled over the decision on which type of school to send my child. I think many other parents struggle over this decision too.
My girl is in Std 2 in a Chinese School now and we are overall happy with the school.
- My girl loves to study Chinese. She tells me it is very interesting. She likes the way there is a story behind each Chinese Character. She likes to make words and sentences in Chinese. Of all the 3 languages she studies, she likes Chinese best, English second and Malay third. She has a good command of English since we have been reading lots of books in English from young. Perhaps that is why she does not find it that challenging. Her library at home is more extensive than mine so her English vocabulary and spelling comes naturally. She likes to challenge herself and when I praise her for her sentence making in Chinese or Malay, she is delighted. She is happy that her Chinese is improving and getting better than mummy’s each day.
- We find the teachers at the school motivated and hardworking. It is not their fault that they dish out a lot of homework etc. They too are under pressure to complete the syllabus. It is the whole system that needs to be reviewed. More work from more workbooks does not necessarily create smarter children. Children need play and rest too. Quite often physical education classes and art classes are taken away and replaced by more academic lessons. That is not the way. They are equally important.
- Discipline in school is good, not excessive as we had initially feared. She grumbles about school like any kid would and not anymore than that. She does not hate or fear school that much, only enough to get things done. We were initially afraid that punishment in a Chinese School would be excessive and she would fear and hate school but so far it has not been the case. My girl does all her work and likes to study for her spelling etc diligently so in that area she is fine, she gets scolded by the teacher for talking in class which she likes to do. That is very normal. Also, from my conversations with her, I have not heard of any excessive punishments even for the very naughty boys in class.
- The school’s facilities are very good and it is progressive. Every now and then there are new developments and improvements. New walkways, new shelters, new plants etc. We do our part and donate to the school to keep these improvements coming.
That is it. So far we are happy. I don’t know about later on when the pressure heats up for UPSR. 🙂 From next year she may have to stay back in school till up to 4pm for most days for extra UPSR lessons as well as extra curricular activities. At the moment we do not attend any.
My only wish is that there will be a little less homework. My children are very disciplined. They have homework time and they do it without complain although like most children they play, chat, day dream etc if left unsupervised. I find that even with their correct attitude towards homework, there is often not enough time for them to rest and play.
Their day mostly consist entirely of school, meals, sleep (not enough of it, we struggle to find the time) and homework (which takes up sleep time not to mention play time). That is it. It is not a very healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, not all days are like this. We have taught our girl to try to do her work in school. (This is a “trick” a friend taught us). She does this at times, competing with her friends to see who finishes first. On those days, her load is lighter, then she has more time for sleep, but still not enough time to play.
What about you? Are you happy with the decision you made about your child’s school so far? Will you share please?
I’m sending my girl to a national school. I feel that she should have options other than just studying and endless homework. Meanwhile she’s taking chinese classes after school (no homework given here, just learn thru’ play 5X a week), ballet, art and piano. If she were to decide what sport to pick up as she grows older, she’ll have time to do that too. I feel that if she were to go to a chinese school, she wouldn’t be able to do all these.
I want my kids to have an enjoyable, healthy, wellrounded, full and complete childhood. We were kids once and we know how boring some subjects can be. All these out-of-school activities will help your child to relax and enjoy life better. But then I guess it all depends on how well your child copes.
Hello Angie, thank you for sharing. I think that at the end of the day, whichever school we send our child to, it is up to us as parents to balance up the unequal scale. Also every child is different so we should remember to listen to our children. 🙂
I’m sending my kids to chinese school as well,and yes i do not regret it.All I wanted was for them to be able to speak more languages.It should help them during their adulthood when they go into working life.As for homework,well,my kidz are all superfast in doing their homework. The main reason was , so I can have enough time to play what…. hahahah. And yes,they do some of the homework in school.I don’t mind, it’s all in growing up + learning process,and they do scared of the teachers in school ended up by carrying big suitcases to school *sigh* I do too believe let children be children, don’t let their once in a lifetime chance to enjoy without worrying slip through the time just like that. But i do noticed they are losing their sleeping time.They’re almost like an adult, sleeping at 10.30 pm or 11.00 pm the latest then waking up at 8.00 am or by *luck* would be 8.30 am.Or all other kids are like this as well ??
Veronica, my kids sleep at around 10.30pm too and my girl has to get up at 6am! The boy can sleep later till 8am since his kindy starts later. Whenever possible I try to get them to nap at least an hour during the day.
It depends on the child and not the parents. If the child like your gal enjoys it, then she should stay. If the child find it hard to cope, maybe parents need to think of alternatives or go to another school.
Sometimes parents overlook that the child cannot cope and end up going no where. I have a friend whose child has so much difficulty in Chinese school and drag into it year after year.
You are right there. We must always “listen” to our children by observing them even in non-verbal communication to see if they are coping and happy.
I’m Happy that u r happy………
continue to get friends for ur daughter who can become buddies…
I still don’t know if I’ll regret or not sending Alycia to a chinese school. Right now, her homework is quite heavy and she has not much time to rest and relax on school-going days. I am worried that Alycia would not catch up in her Mandarin as that’s her weakest subject.
I don’t remember my girl’s homework as being that heavy for Std 1. Is her Mandarin that weak? I saw from your postings that the Mandarin at the kindy she attended was rather tough.
An interesting read. My eldest daughter (who is in Yr 6) is in school from 8:30am to 3pm, so she must be in bed by 8:30pm or latest 9pm to ensure she has enough sleep. I agree with your point that we shld ‘listen’ to our children, something I don’t think parents do. We are happy with her school, it’s small and there many support teachers to help the students with their work. They do get homework, but I don’t think as much as the ones in Malaysia. Sometimes, the homework is research based, where they have to find info, read and write about a specific topic, e.g. natural disasters and pick one of the natural disasters to write about and present later to her class.
Researched based homework sounds much more interesting than straight out of the workbook type of work.
i regret bitterly
And too late to change now…but you don’t have to worry that much. Beng Hui is a good boy.
Why is it ever too late to correct a decision? Decades ago, a few of my siblings attended chinese primary school, then switched to english for secondary school. And that was actually planned, as my parents wanted them to be bilingual. Sure they had to attend additional year in “Remove Class” to help the language transition. But they are all the better for it. Wish my parents had done the same for me!
In those days, everyone switched in secondary school. Switching midway through primary school is harder but you are right it is not too late. I know many people who have done it. It is not easy though. You worry about your child’s ability to readapt and question whether you are doing the right thing. My sister has 3 kids whom she wanted to pull out of chinese school from std 3 onwards for each and every one of them. She never did. They are all doing well secondary school now. 🙂
Good read. Thanks for sharing. IN fact read all the comments as well.
I also believe it depends on the child and it is the parent’s ‘duty’ to balance his lifestyle up.
But wah….your little girl really has very little sleep during the weekday. Never mind….catch up during the weekend ya!
Going to send my kids to Chinese School too. Apparently learning Chinese is getting more crucial these days, I wish to build a strong foundation in Chinese for my kids, which I foresee China is going to “stand out” in the near future!
We should raise the voice we don’t want so much home work in chinese school, let them enjoy their childhood. Govt shd include more handwrk – wooden handwrk, sewing may be cooking , gardening which is more hands on rather than so much teory need to read.I still think that UPSR shd be removed as this create so many tuisyen and teacher also not teach well in the class but they will teach well in their tuisyen centre. if upsr can remove, teacher will more focus on child behaviour, attitude, moral like last time old time teacher. nowaday kids cannot excel in exam is consider as terrible . But my opinion is the kids have more exploration, hands on , they will know what they will be in future.please share your opinion
Good to know your girl is doing well! I was rather apprehensive too esp as my boy STOPPED talking Chinese or watching his Chinese VCDs when we came back. It’s because the preschool was all English here.
Now that he’s 4, they have included Chinese sessions 3 times a week. And I’m really happy because he can recognize the Chinese characters like big, small, mountain, parts of the boy and even read combined characters e.g. small mountain.
Because he’s got an excellent memory, his Chinese teacher says he can remember many characters. He also finds writing the “heng”, “pie”, “shu” etc fun!
And he’s telling me in a reassuring voice (when I said I don’t know how to read Chinese), “I teach you Chinese, ok, Mummy?” LOL Keeping fingers crossed!