One year ago I posted this picture on Ellie’s first day of Nursery 2.
Yesterday she began K1, and I took this picture
When I first moved here, I was bent on homeschooling Elanor. I even wrote about it in October of 2010. That post says far more about how I felt six months into living in Singapore than it does about education. It shows how many stereotypes I still bought into. It shows how homesick I was. It shows how scared I still was. And it shows how little I’d engaged in Singaporean life.
In March 2011, after I got pregnant I was forced to re-asses how realistic homeschooling was, given that I was already feeling sick and that a daily break from parenting (much less parenting two children when I thought about the future) sounded really good. At the time I was also pursuing online education to become a sex therapist (something I’m still very interested in, but which I’ve put on hold as I was not able to give it the full measure of time and attention that was required). I wrote about eating crow on the topic of homeschooling once I’d enrolled Ellie at Growing up Gifted in the Tots Program.
The final nail in the coffin for me on the subject of homeschooling was our experiences with violin. Ellie had asked to learn violin because Elmo plays the violin. So last year we tried violin. However, it quickly became clear that the suzuki method wasn’t going to work for us, at least not at this point in time. Suzuki requires that parents play along with the kids, and that we act as their teachers at home as well as overseeing practice. I’d thought it would be a great way to spend dedicated time with Ellie each day/week to help make her feel special as Rhi was still a newborn and getting what she could perceive as more of my individualized attention. This was a giant disaster as we learned that while I am a good teacher, I am not a good teacher for Ellie–we ended up in yelling matches (something I’m not proud of) and eventually we let Ellie quit violin. it may be that it will work better in a year or two, but it is a common story that parents are the worst teachers for their own children–the parent/child dynamic can interfere with the teacher/student one.
I’m still very opposed to spending the kind of tuition charged by the private schools here in Singapore. But I’ve really come around on the idea of public schools here in Singapore. I’ve been really impressed by GUG, and my relationship with the teachers and parents there have me planning to send E to a local P1. But this is also driven by the fact that Ellie is thriving and I think she’ll be happier at a local school than she would at an international one.
But leaving aside the question of where Ellie will be on this day in 2015, can I just take a moment and tell you how gobsmacked I feel to be the mother of a Kindergartener? And proud. I’m feeling very proud of Elanor.