23 July 2009

Children's school days

If you are a parent, you would be in the thick of education issues. My eldest is just in primary two. Chief among the issues were/ are choosing the right kindy, choosing the right primary school, the right type of primary school (government, private, international, and in Malaysia - if government, whether the main stream or the mother-tongue schools), the right tutors, extra-curricular activities. For me, at the moment, that's about it.

And the competition these days is tough. Just a one mark difference makes a huge difference. Before my son went to school, I told myself that I would let him develop his academic prowess at his own pace, that I wouldn't force or make him study hard to get the "A" grades, that I would accept his strengths or limitations (of course every parent would rather deal with the former), that I would not compare him to his friends and that I would not expect him to be like I was when I was a student. For the record (and humbly saying this, too) I was a straight A student. My parents never had to worry about my grades and they did not ever sit down with me to study.

I am disappointed to say that I have fallen short of what I intended to do - I have found myself pushing my son to do better, sitting down with him for homework and revision and yelling at him whenever he makes a mistake in mathematics or does not comprehend a principle, expecting more when he improves, and of course giving him long lectures when he disappoints me. Am I caught up in the system of grades? Am I not seeing the big picture, that childhood is to be enjoyed and cherished, and that education while essential, should not eclipse the wonderful years of growing up and being loved unconditionally by parents?

My good friend told me that she too examines herself and asks herself how she would like her children to remember her as. I guess that's a good question to take stock of - a loving, supportive yet firm mother; or a mother who loves but demands performance and results in return.

I see the hurt on my son's face when my words to him are harsh and cutting, and I want him to know that I love him so much, but I worry that in this unrelenting world, will he get by fine if he isn't one of the "top" performers? My hubby tells me it is no guarantee that academic performance equates to success later in life. I guess that's true. We have many famous personalities who are living proof of that.

So, I need to get my balance. The right amount of encouragement, of push, yet enough slack so the child doesn't feel stifled and pressured. I need to work on that.


  1. Hi,
    Can you recommend me good pre-school in Ipoh? I am currently living in Subang and will be moving to Ipoh early next year.

  2. Hi there. you're coming to Ipoh? We could meet up. For kindies, my daughter goes to Kinderland near Heritage Hotel. I have checked out Kinderjoy, Mariaville, and Canning Garden Methodist Church Kindergarten. They're alright. How old is your child?

  3. Hi,
    Sorry for the late reply, just read your comment today. By the way I am now in Ipoh. I went to Tadika Leow today, they are using Fungates system, interesting but I am still looking for the right one :) My girl will be 6 next year. Do you know a good art class and dance class here in Ipoh?

  4. Art class, I don't know. As for dance, you can try the Dance Centre in Ipoh Garden South near the Pizza Hut and Mobil petrol station.
    Still looking for a kindy? Not much time left. Happy searching. Write me if you need to know anything else. I know from experience how tough it can be to settle into a new town.

  5. Hello there, I was searching for a good kindergarten/ pre school for my son and stumble upon ur blog. Read from ur blog that ur child goes to kinderland. May I know whats the fees like? Or can u recommend any other kindie? Thanks.

  6. Hi Mimi! My child was in Kinderland for 2 years from 2010-2011. The fees are approx. RM280 a month for the 4 hr kindy session, which includes one morning tea break.

    Kinderland has other day care options such as kids staying back for lunch and shower, or staying back all the way until 6pm (includes another evening tea break and homework supervision) when working parents bring them home. The prices vary with each arrangement.

  7. HI there, i will move to Ipoh on next month. May i know which kindergarten has a good teacher which use heart to take care children and not so commercial. I like playing while learning. I look for school which focus on behavior rather than educational. i wish my 5 yr old son enjoy learning.

  8. Hi there. I will move to Ipoh on OCt. I would like to ask your opinion on choosing a kindergarten for my 5 yr old son. I would like to look for teacher which use their heart to take care children rather than too commercial. I want find a school which focus on behavior rather then just educational. I wish my son can enjoy learning, and playing while leaning.

  9. Hello Joysca, welcome to Ipoh!

    I hope you are settling in well and enjoying the slower pace of life in Ipoh, the non existent traffic jams, no toll, shorter distances, and friendly Ipoh people. Oh, and good food!

    Non commercial private kindergarten? Hmmm...that's really hard to find, isn't it? Everybody who runs a kinder is doing it to make money these days.

    I can't really comment.