Jan 15 2013

Bold Decision

Published by at 10:28 am under WH

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Last week, I made a bold decision right there and then. It was a quick , prompt and  firm decision. I know I don’t have much time to ponder and have wavering thoughts. I don’t have time to waste. There is no time to be uncertain, no time to have doubt, no time to procrastinate. I pray to my guardian angels to show me the path and i got the answer.

Three days after school started, I knew I have to do something for WH. The matter didn’t occur to me during the school holidays, perhaps because we didn’t touch the school books at all during school holidays. When school started, I was coaching him on his homework (Not many homework actually) and at the same time doing some quick revision, and from there on, I know something need to be changed.

From the day we knew he has features of dyspraxia and dyslexia, we are carefully monitoring how he will cope in the mainstream.  The day he started primary one in the mainstream chinese school, we were (at least I am) already mentality prepared to do the necessary to help him cope. As much as we love him to have exposure to extra language, as much as I love him learning Mandarin and not be a banana like his father, but i know i can’t force it.

For the last two years, he didn’t have much problem coping in school. He is forever the happy go lucky guy.  He has friends, though he result wasn’t the best but he has his own way to cope.  He hasn’t really been punished (for bad hand writing, imperfect scores during ejaan, tingxie etc), he was not pressurized by school or teacher to perform academically, never been humiliated for poor grades on certain subjects (he did very well in english, maths and science) . Each time I speaks to the teacher, they always comment about his good attitude and willingness to learn, ask questions and answer questions. The teachers all believe he can stay on in Chinese school , they kept giving me the assuarance

But as a mum, I think I know my son better than the teachers.  Just three days after school reopens, I know he needs change, we need change.

The thought of change did occur to me over the past two years, but each time there’s this little voice telling me, let him find his own way to cope and sail through the 6 years of schooling, it’s good for him to learn Mandarin. I keep telling myself not to worry, not to let the results bother me. I ask myself to trust him.  Trust, Faith, is what I keep telling myself to have.  I don’t know if i am in denial or was i opting an easy way out by just thinking of having trust and faith in him to find his own way, but i am not putting any effort to help him. At the 2nd half of year 2, we did engage a private tutor to help him with Mandarin and BM. I did very little in drilling him due to lack of time (Excuse??) It does need a lot of time and patient shall i need to coach him and make sure he knows everything. That will be quite stressful on both him and me. So apart from private tutoring, me coaching him on homework when there’s the need, I basically let him unschool and do what he likes after he complete his homework. And since his result was still quite ok  apart from BM and BC penulisan, I kept telling myself not to worry and just let him be.

However, on the third day of the new school terms, it just struck me that I must really do something. I am thinking of long term. How would he survive another 4 years where the syllabus is getting tougher and he needs to write more Chinese characters where he has problem remembering them. (he still gets everything mix up as i see he learns in his own unique way, eg. when I asked him to write 课 he wrote 班,I asked for 鼻he wrote 嗅) I am sure the teachers will have certain expectation from him when he is in the higher grade. I am sure he will find it frustrating that after trying , he is still not advancing. I don’t want to reach a level where I am stuck where we reach no where.

I whatapps hubby telling him that we should discuss further about this matter when he comes home over the weekend. Anyway, we didn’t wait till the weekend when he was home. We were just exchanging text over the phone and the decision were made.  We have decided to switch him from Chinese School to Sekolah Kebangsaan.

Over the years, we had brought this topic out with him. He knew he has this option, but often he said he prefers Chinese school. He wasn’t very ready for the change. We had given him the chance.  I explained to him about our decision, the pros of the change and etc and finally he said he is ready for the change.

On Monday, I drove him to the new school to have a look. More prep talks . Telling him that once decision is made and I put int he application form, there will be no turning back. You can choose to opt out from a Chinese school, there is no way one can turn back.  Can’t remember why I didn’t do the application on transfer on Monday though

On Tuesday, I brought him to the new school again. This time round, we went in, spoke to the HM. A very friendly lady, very assuring. Telling my boy not to worry, he will have friends soon and since he already can speak English, it’s a chance for him to learn Malay. Then we went to the his school to apply for transfer. The Chinese HM on the other hand wasn’t as friendly. She was like interrogating us even to the extend I feel that she is threatening and scaring us. What disappoint me was that when I told her the reason of switch was  because of WH’s learning difficulties. She asked for WH’s result and when she knew WH did well in Science and Maths , she was saying “see, can do so well, where got learning difficulties” It makes me feel that when talking about learning difficulties, she thought I am referring my son as a retard. She is like despising us that a Chinese giving up learning Chinese.  (sigh.. if I have a choice and if my son is capable, i would not have chosen this path)

Anyway, after 1/2 hour of questioning, she finally signed all the form and we went to JPS to put in the application. I was told that it may take up to two weeks for my application to go through. A friend who went to do a transfer (from SJKC to SJKC ) got her application approved on the same day and her daughter was in the new school on the day itself. But my case it was different. It was called tukar aliran. I was given a number to call to check on the status. On Thursday, I called, and the person in charge told me my letter of transfer is ready. I went to collect it on Friday and at the same time collected all the relevant documents from Wh’s class teacher and submitted the doc to the new school on Friday itself. Since the new school is in morning session, WH still went back to the old school on Friday afternoon.

One of the main reason of chance is that he can manage sukukata and phonics better than Chinese characters. With less than one language to focus, he can now work on BM only, where everything will be answered in BM. If he is still in SJKC , he needs to learn all the chinese characters in order to answer even maths and science, on top of that he needs to learn BM.  After two years, he can read and recognize a little chinese characters, he can speak and understand. To me that is good enough. I shall wait for another year to let him try out in Chinese school where I know language is not his forte. With the changes , he didn’t loose much. It’s a new school term, he only missed out 8 days of classes in new school. I am treating this as a gap year for him to pick up the language and he will cope comes next year. Shall I waited another year, and only do the switch when he is in year 4, i believe there will be more more to catch up and it will be more difficult for him.

On the day when I knew this is our choice, I quickly went to the bookshop and bought some SK BM workbooks for him to do. I bought standar 1 and standard 2 workbooks, and to my surprise, he can read, understand and answers the questions. Which in a way, I knew he will be ok with the switch.

 

 

 

 

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One response so far

One Response to “Bold Decision”

  1. Jadeon 18 Jan 2013 at 2:21 pm

    This post make me think and worry alot on my son, but i can’t have a decision yet whether he is more suitable on SKJC or SK. He is only 6 years old, and I have registered him in SKJC because I hope he can learn chinese. He is very weak in his chinese language and no interest in learning also but all the subjects SKJC will need chinese language to understand it. Worry!!

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You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

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