Last night, my Joy was angry with me. She had fallen ill and we had her stay home. I couldn’t take leave so the hubs had to but she couldn’t deal with me not being around. He said she kept on telling her that mummy should not work and she refused to talk to me for a good 20 minutes (an eternity) when she first saw me yesterday.
I’ve experienced truckloads of it, especially because we sent Joy to preschool at a time when I still stayed home. The plan was for me to return to work and we had to take time to transition, so we did what we did.
We had it easy and then we had it hard and even harder after that. It took a total of 6 months before I can leave her school compound without feeling like I’m a lousy mother for not being able to handle her feelings and mine. Joy fell sick so often (I even wrote a what to pack to hospital post) and it added to that because one doctor asked me to take her out of school.
Things changed when Joy’s health improved and she attended school more regularly. She waved me goodbye happily and looked happy when I picked her up.
Fortnightly, all parents get a newsletter from the class teacher in charge, on what happened in the last two weeks. I started seeing pictures and updates like these:
This one is about them learning about bubbles and soap. How they are created and them getting to make observations about bubbles then articulating their thoughts. The conversation thread you see at the side of my picture is a record of what the children said to the teachers. They all seem so engaged.
This one is them learning about the various states of water and how water takes the shape of the containers. That week, she would come home and tell me that her soap had “melted” in her hands.
This one is the children presenting their findings (about water, I think) to older children in K2, after group discussion. I feel so proud (that my baby looks confident and calm when presenting) and so sad (that I’m not the one teaching her this and that I’m not around to watch it)
The children also had a mini play performance. Joy was a cat in the zoo and she played the shaker, which she made herself in class. No wonder she kept on going “meow, I’m a cat” when she came home that week.
Whenever there was festival, the children would be asked to dress up and then there would be a lot of activities relating to the festivals. This was for Diwali, where they learnt about the Hindu culture, ate Indian snacks provided by her Indian classmate, had a henna session and even a make shift photo booth (picture above, LOL at her costume!).
For children’s day, the children got to play musical chairs and enjoy a whole host of other activities in school. These were meant for fun and also meant for learning to follow instructions.
I always look forward to receiving the newsletters. Sometimes they come in in the middle of a busy work day or when I’m stressed out at work, the difference the newsletter makes to my day is significant.
Home schooling Joy has always been my preference (it still is!) but looking at how Joy is doing in school, I feel much, much less guilty, because she’s learning through experiences I might not be able to arrange given our current situation and/or because I might not be able to make the effort to.
It’s so easy to feel guilty for not being around but maybe, when you take a step back and look at what is actually the situation, it’s not so bad after all. That’s what I’ll share when I’m next asked about sending a child to school vs keeping a child at home. :)
****** MICE Christmas Giveaway 2014 ******
The MICE Christmas Giveaway 2014 is now on! Ongoing giveaways you can participate in are as follows. You’re welcome!
Giveaway 1: Mabel from AmazingStill.com is giving away 2 x Christmas Doh Vinci Hamper!
Giveaway open until 7 December 2014 | Giveaway link
Giveaway 2: Irene of SingaporeMomBlogs.com is giving away a Fuji Instax Mini 8
Giveaway open until 10 December 2014 | Giveaway link
Giveaway 3: Cherie of CherieLadie.com is giving away 2 prizes including, a Playskool scooter, The Wean Machine and more!
Giveaway open until 12 December 2014 | Giveaway link
My turn in the giveaway will happen on 7 December 2014, 15 December 2015 and 23 December 2014 so check back and stay tuned!