Tag Archives: school

The tongue

Originally posted 2009-08-05 19:01:46. Being the youngest I grew up with books and some comics already in the house (as well as contemporary music like The Carpenters, some Beatles, Glen Campbell, John Denver… Oh my I’m scaring myself while I … Continue reading

McDonald’s McValue McParty!

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted 2009-05-21 23:12:33. Caitlin’s classmate Chloe had her birthday party at Centrepoint’s McDonald’s over the weekend. I had organized Caitlin’s 4 year old birthday party before, and one of my criteria was that all the kids should enjoy the … Continue reading

I don’t wanna go to school (again), and cries.

Originally posted 2009-02-04 17:44:35.

I didn’t think it would escalate to this point.

I thought I had addressed it with her properly; case closed.

But alas.

Yesterday was the first day back in school after the Chinese New Year week-long break. When Grandpa went to pick her up, apparently he was told by Teacher Rachel something about Caitlin crying earlier.

This morning about halfway during the journey to school, Caitlin started protesting that she didn’t want to go to school. Ever. After realising that the protests was not going anywhere, she “suggested” that she didn’t want to go to school “only today”.

We arrive at the school, and she is starting to get teary eyed. Okay; I am a sook. She is the apple of my eye. I admit for a brief moment the thought of giving in flashed through my mind.

We sat in the car for a few minutes. Me twisting in the front seat straining my bloated mid-section from all the CNY feasts, to rationalise with her in the backseat.

She said something about disliking the teachers walking in and out. Gotta admit I didn’t quite get what she was saying.

She only relented when I promised I’d have a word with Teacher Rachel upstairs.

Up we went, and since we were a little late, Teacher was already starting her lessson. The other kids were already seated. I gestured Caitlin to enter, and motioned for Teacher to come over for a quick chat. Caitlin was of course still very hesitant.

I said in Mandarin that Caitlin had started to “fear” coming to school. Teacher shared that, perhaps from yesterday or the days before the week off, that Caitlin finds comfort in having her (Teacher Rachel) around when Teacher Ann comes in, and when she is teaching. Yes, Teacher Rachel was sitting at the back of the class. She even shared that Caitlin had come/run over to hug her when Teacher Ann came around / came in. She also did say that there were times when she had to go out of the classroom sometimes / visit the admin office etc. I think Caitlin starts getting edgy as soon as she steps out of the classroom.

Teacher Rachel reassured that she’d be present in the classes, for Caitlin’s sake.

I wanted to then leave. Caitlin starts crying, not wanting to let me leave. It was quite hard detaching her off me without really creating a scene; which would only make matters / emotionally worse for her.

It was quite heart wrenching- I know now what parents really feel on first days of school. This, coming from Caitlin who has been going to school all last year without an incident.

Two things I learned.

  • Caitlin doesn’t really communicate well at times.
  • She doesn’t handle stress very well.

More to come.


Update Thursday 5 Feb

That was yesterday. Caitlin was again distressed this morning.

The “incident” wasn’t as long though, mainly because, well, I didn’t hang around.

We reached the door and Teacher Rachel came out, seemingly already had something in mind to tell me. What she managed to tell me was that Caitlin is (also?) unhappy with the amount of homework she is given; something about Caitlin saying “.. but I have already done this homework- why am I doing / writing this again…?”

Managed, because Caitlin started crying and wanting to hug me again at the door. Teacher Rachel then started ushering her into the class, and I wanted to get out of Caitlin’s sight. Waited for 20 seconds or so, decidedly not to wait anymore if Teacher Rachel was gonna come back out to complete her “analysis” of Caitlin’s frame of mind.

Last night I did ask Caitlin how her school day went, seeing as that was the same morning as the first incident / post. She did offer that school day was okay, no incidents.

She also offered something about “I was paying attention” (and thus I wasn’t scolded, or reprimanded, which seems to be the crux of her issue).

Apparently that may have been the issue- that she wasn’t paying (enough?) attention in class, getting told off for it. I am only guessing this.

That, and perhaps that she (therefore?) did not know how to answer something / do her homework, that she was “scolded” for it.

Maybe in future I will just walk her to the stairs, and refuse her request to walk her to the classroom door… What do you think?


Update 2 – after school today

Teacher Rachel called me out of courtesy. Very nice of her.

I guess she had wanted to finish what she started telling me this morning; possible adding new insights into the situation…

  • Indeed, Caitlin (also) thinks that she has too much homework; you will recall that our arrangement for Caitlin this year is that she will be getting extra attention;
  • That Teacher Ann does speak / scold loudly, and even though it may not be directed at Caitlin, she seems to take it “personally”;
  • That Daddee matters a lot in her life

“Our strategy” now is to re-gain or re-instill Caitlin’s confidence and interest in school, using that last point: Daddee has to show (greater) interest in her schoolwork, justifying the amount that she (complains) has to do, to kinda give praise (positive reinforcement) to her work done.

We will start this tomorrow morning.

It’s going to be interesting this Saturday, given she has replacement school-days because of the week-long Chinese New Year break. Interesting because I will be dropping her off in my non-work clothes, and she is going to complain she still has to go to school!

How to nurture a preschooler’s creativity?

Originally posted 2009-07-16 23:27:51. I am in kinda stressed frame of mind at the moment I have mentioned before about Caitlin’s creative streak. When we are at home just chilling and the kids are watching the idiot box, Caitlin would … Continue reading

Downside of being popular?

Originally posted 2010-06-27 17:39:11.

Yesterday was (also) Caitlin’s school’s parent-teacher meeting.

Chief among the things that Teacher Rachel told me was that Caitlin is among the popular kids in her only-15-student class.

It’s not surprising really. Caitlin makes friends very easily. She approaches humans her height, greets them with her smile/grin, engages them in what they may be up to. She does also almost follow them around, which I have seen kinda freaks the new-stranger kids out. But as with kids her age (at least last year anyway), they talk to each other and go from there (becoming friends). One time we were out and she was already galavanting with these stranger-kids, and when I told her that we had to leave, she shouted “BYE FRIEND!” Obviously didn’t know their names!

Teacher Rachel, whom have had Caitlin in her class since 2009, has kinda watched her grow. She’s also shared with me that Caitlin likes to have friends, likes to be around people, does not like to be alone.

Therefore it is no surprise that Caitlin likes going to school. Her report card from yesterday showed that she had only missed one day in the total of 96 days so far this year.

The downside, however (I won’t say is typical but not surprising to me) is that she cannot be shamed or be put on the spot.

Because she is (or has to be) popular, she finds it very difficult when she is reprimanded when she is at fault- either forgetting her homework, doing the wrong thing, etc. Teacher Rachel also said that Caitlin is (therefore?) somewhat competitive. There is a particular girl that Caitlin is quite friendly with, with whom lately I hear stories about how they are competing. Whatever the friend is doing or has achieved, Caitlin seems to need to be one better.

… Sounds like she has obviously inherited these traits from Hot Mummee! But jokes aside, looks like I have my guiding-work cut out: To guide her on the positive side of being popular and competitive, but coach her on the negative aspects of these, such as negative influence / peer pressure, what “healthy competition” means, etc…..

Counting in Mandarin..

Originally posted 2009-03-19 23:08:29.

Caitlin knows her Mandarin counting from 1 – 10, audibly. As in, she can cite it. But give her a break, thus far it’s only in ascending order :)

She also knows her roman numbers already (or do I mean gregorian?? You know- the numbers on your keyboard); proved herself repeatedly in the lift and (since then) any other places now.

Come time to teach her the Chinese calligraphy of 1 – 10, we stumble.

She can point from 1 – 10 and cite them. Jump in randomly pointing at any calligraphy-number with “What’s this?” and she stumbles.

If they are written in ascending order, and if she knows that they are, she can sometimes get by.

How? She cheats.

It’s quite funny watching a 4 year old citing something in their head, and visually counting without fingers, matching the citing and jump/skipping eye-counting!

At least she thought of that herself!

Do you listen to the teachers or the parents?

Originally posted 2009-08-22 17:06:44.

School kids nationwide are on holidays from this weekend on.

Caitlin has some holiday homework to do for the week off school, from (as far as I can see- gotta check her bag/books) 3 subjects of English, Malay and Chinese. Each of them have a date on the homework pages for respective dates of the week- yes, the teachers are pacing the kids so that they have homework each of the holidays.

Hot Mummee and I are of the opinion that Caitlin, whilst it’s a lazy-ish Saturday afternoon, that she can do as much of them as she can, even to have them all completed. Caitlin on the other hand, quite vehemently objects, saying that she should follow the pace that the teachers have set, to listen to what the teachers have told the class.

HM herself thinks that Caitlin is just being lazy, whereas I was seated beside her surfing whilst she was quite happily completing the homework that was set for the first few days- so I know she isn’t lazy per se.

What would you do? I kinda respect Caitlin’s respect for what the teachers have said, despite also somewhat agreeing with HM’s rationale to complete her homework early in the holidays.

Holiday homework