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?