Monday, June 4, 2012

"school"

Couple of Saturday ago, we attended the regular bi-term Parent-Teacher Meeting (PTM) at Nada’s school.
I guess, I do owe a write up la about Kindicare Montessori & Pre-school. In case, someone google to find out about it, at least my experience herein could be made as guidance. Like la this blog gonna appear at all in google search…, I’ll write anyway.

When I was looking for a school for Nada to attend last year, I had in my mind something like NO FRANCHISE!. I am not sure of my own reason, but I am also not saying SMART READER, Q-DEES or the like are not good. It’s just the matter of choices we have. I just don’t fancy the sort of chain for pre-school.

Kindicare was introduced to me by a friend. I visited the school before enrolling Nada and it just fit into my wants and needs. It is a modest, small scale school with homely environment. Each class contains small numbers of children. The big part of me actually, I don’t really want to send Nada to ‘school’ as yet. That’s why I was avoiding those with daily uniform schools.

I remember myself being a free kampong kiddo, unschooling until primary. It was a fun childhood I had, tagging along my big brother everywhere he goes. I played a lot. Underneath our on-stilt-home, climbing trees, running in the meadow full of ‘kemuncup’, sometimes in the woods collecting rubber trees seeds, when monsoon season came – we played in the stagnant flood water! My brother would catch fish (read : tadpole and worms) or even did some stunt, doing summersault into man groove. I was his most trusted and loyal spectator. Dangerous it may seem, but it was F.U.N.

I enjoyed myself playing back then - I wanted the same for Nada because PLAY is a child’s job.

Would I been a SAHM or a WAHM, she would most probably be a homeschool or an unschool child. The fact that I am a typical 9-5 (read 10-9, sometimes 10-10) office working mom, I just don’t have the opportunity of providing the luxury of homeschooling. Quitting my job is an option but not really possible, I have my mami that is my responsibility all my life.

The fact that Nada is sent to an Indon Nanny while I’m at work added more points for her to be in a place where she could play, interacts, make friends, exploring creative minds and develops or else she’ll just watch Indon soaps on tele all day long. She needs to be at least in a more conducive environment, I hope so.

During my visit to Kindicare earlier, these were my questions :

  1. Would there be homework ? Answer : NO
  2. Would there be ‘examinations’? Answer : NO
  3. Would there be grading of children, like No 1, 2, 3, 4….. in class? Answer : NO
All the NO answers makes me happy. I really don’t get it as to what is the need of homework, examinations and grading pre-school children? They are “babies”. It’s intimidating for me to hear parents telling me : “Ooo, my child got number ONE in his/her 3year old kindi”.

At this point, it’s not my objective to know if Nada is the smartest in class or less smart or least smart and I do hope it will never be my objective.

For now, all I want for her is to play like I used to. The difference would be the sorts of playing I had with her sorts and my play was free but hers is at cost! .. O, well…

I did ask a lot of questions and this one really got into me :

“ What happen if my daughter feels like taking a nap? ”
Aunty Jeane (the principal) gave me the most diplomatic answer : “Awwww… you’re not ready to let her go yet, don’t you? Not to worry, we have all the fun activities,  Nada won’t get sleepy.. trust me. Besides, a child shouldn’t be sleepy from 8am to noon. If she’s sleepy, that means her sleep routine is not right, mom! ” 

So, Kindicare offers the needs of what I was looking for in terms of it’s “syllabus”. But what actually captured my heart was the warmth of the teachers or all being called as Aunties. They are lovely, humble people, and they enjoy being around children, I can see. There’re a lot of hugs and kisses, dear and darling in their words.   

They also treat us parents with kindness no matter what car we are driving. J It so happen, every other kids’ parents drive or being driven in monsters the like Porshe, Beemers, Merce, Volvo, Audi, Vellfire bla-bla-bla. I am the cheapoket one, not wearing Christian Louboutin or Hermes… still very nicely treated.

Kindicare is also well-organized, Nada thus far never mistakenly brought back other children’s stuff or other way round such as bag, containers or water bottle. I don’t know how they manage it as no names written on any of the stuff being brought to school. What I do realize, they make it a habit to scrutinize every and each child every day. Example, when I hand Nada to them in the morning, there’ll be greetings like :
“Hi Nada.. Good morning darling.. hey look at you…..Today you are wearing plaid smocked dress. Did Mommy make this dress also? Is that new Barbie snack container you bring ?”…. Things like these, give me confidence.

I’ve experienced other nursery for a short period that I sent Nada when her Nanny returned to Medan, the very first day she came back home, all her stuffs were name written. Towel, milk bottle, milk dispenser, food container… yet they still got mixed up!

Nothing is perfect I would say. So far, there’s no big blunder that could make me angry except couple of small encounters at Kindicare. I didn’t receive school newsletter which in the later I checked, I was told it had been distributed. I couldn’t blame the school also, because it might had been given and dropped in the chartered car that ferries Nada after school or it could be at her Nanny’s. I don’t really know. It’s no big deal, anyway. Other than that, Aunty Jeanne is very-very careful and meticulous.

So, for this time PTM, we were briefed of Nada’s progress and what-not, which was fine.  

Until towards the end, Aunty Marie (the class teacher) told us, again in a very diplomatic way..

“Nada is an independent child, confident, she knows what she wants but……….. she’s rather BOSSY.” Toing! Tu… dia.

Apparently according to Aunty Marie, my girl has the tendency and very much successful in directing and ordering her friends around. She would get agitated if they don’t listen to her. OMG! whose DNA does she inherits here? I look at Harris…. Harris look at me.

OK-OK-OK –OK.. that would be Mommy.!

Aunty Marie also told us, despite her bossiness… she does have close friends (that she also directs around).  Three of them are clique. They play and learn together but they can never agree with each other. All have their own opinions. OOOOOhhhh.. This,……..Mommy like. Good!



My Saturday morning routine this couple of months. Inspecting my cousin, Mentibang Paku’s house renovation. I’ve been ordering the contractor, here and there, practically treating this house like mine. Mesti Cik Ripin berbulu dengan Mek.

Well, we have no money to renovate ours.. at least this feels like ours!.. hehehehe..

Harris sure can be awarded as Bapa Mithali. He let his daughter step on his foot not wanting her bare foot on the ground whilst little miss uses her slipper to play sand.
Could it be me, I would just shout : “ It’s OK !.. You sit on the sand, later wash your feet ! ”

No comments: