January 8, 2010

Me ‘Kiasu’?

I never thought I will be thinking of this so soon...but today, I finally succumbed to the common syndrome that plague lots of Singaporean parents; planning ahead for their child's primary education.

Just a few days ago, I loudly exclaimed to Dh that it is ok to stay where we are at now and then find a nearby primary school to register K in when time comes. I was thinking that it really did not matter and it was alright to drop our privileges (to be in one of the top 10 most popular primary schools in Singapore) to get into Phase 2A1 (if he joins the alumni) or Phase 2A2 for being a 'old-boy' of the school. So I thought to myself, "I wonder what is the big deal about getting into a good primary school, I should not be so ‘kiasu’ since K hasn’t even started kindergarten..."

I realised that I have put a foot to my mouth after I spent this morning with my neighbour downstairs; Lay Keng, a SAHM with 4 kids. Her oldest being 15 years old and Seth, her youngest child, is the same age as K. We talked about her children’s experience in primary school, 3 separate experiences and how each varied from the other depending on the type of school the child attends.

We talked about the parent volunteer system, how we can get into Phase 2B of a fairly good Christian primary school near our home (unfortunately distance of school is > than 1km), if the school have any vacancies for parent volunteers. Parent volunteers need to accumulate 40 hours of service (that’s akin to starting volunteering when the child turns 4). Anyhow I am not even certain that I will be accepted as parent volunteer, since I don’t even know what ‘service’ I can offer to the school.

Key take-outs from our conversation? It does make a difference which school the child attends. It will differ from the kind of support teachers/school can give to the other areas of development for the child (apart from academic development). Dh and I came from good primary schools (due to the effort on the part of our parents), so shouldn’t I give my child a chance to be in a better primary school as well?

It dawned on me that I am a kiasu parent, to be even thinking about this even before K turns 3. Just when I told myself from the start of the new year that I will need to learn to be contented, learn to live a day at a time and trust God for my future, I find myself thinking of things that are more than 4 years away. I find it such a irony when I don’t even know what will happen from a year from here, yet I am thinking of something 4 years from now?

It’s bizarre how having a child can make you conceive traits that you previously hope you will never have.


Merryn said...

We all want the best for our kid that sometimes, we forget to stop and breathe... Chill mommy. It's a long way to go :D

Mama Bliss said...

The Lord will definitely provide... pray and ask Him for wisdom and discernment, He will surely open the right door for you and K... :)

By the way, hubby and I have also talked about which pri sch to send Little Missy to before she turned 2... :P so you aren't alone being the KS parent... we all have such instincts within us... it's called the herd instinct...

Karen said...

As a parent, we all want the best for our children. When it comes to education, we want them to do well too. Hubby and I both came from neighbourhood schools. We survived and did pretty well. But Ethan will not have the luxury of priority into good schools. We thought and discuss about it alot. We also spoke to parents and all gave different opinions. Some say must get into good schools and mix with good children so they will be motivated to study. Some think otherwise. We have decided we aren't going to go all out (like moving and doing grassroot work etc) to get him in. Just try to get him into the best possible school near our neighbourhood and do our part as parents to help him along. The good news is I have so far met two parents whose children are from neighbourhood schools but they are now both in Dunman High doing 6 year programs all thanks to the extra efforts put in by parents right from the start. :)

Rachel said...

Merryn - I have to admit that I am KS :P...can't help it when as a parent I do get overly-concerned for our children's well being.

Pauline - That's what Keith told me as well. "Let not my heart be troubled." God always have the best planned for us, and all I have to do is to trust.

Karen - Thanks for sharing your experience. It's true that many parents get so worried and distressed n try all their efforts to get their child into the elite schools. Nurturing do play a huge part in the child's development, but I do agree that it is largely due to the parents + upbringing, and not only the school.

Zhen said...

haha...never say never ah?
go for the Phase 2A privilege if distance is not an issue.
if not, church affiliations route may be suitable for you should you be interested in mission schools.

Rachel said...

Hi Zhen,
Thanks for dropping by :) Well I have decided at least for now...that we will just go with what is the best for Kyle and us when the time comes.