Friday, February 13, 2015

One Month School Report

its been a month since school reopened. 5 weeks to be exact. 5 weeks of new schedules, of new plans. 5 weeks just flew by and not uneventful in the least. we had flu and fever, we had hospital visits, we had timetables and schedules, we had (and will have) new experiences, we had readings and arithmetic and spelling and ejaan, we had projects, we had runs to the stationery shop (a few times in the last 5 days!).

its been good so far, alhamdulillah. less screaming, less throwing books out of the window, hoping that would last longer.

amir's schedule changed the most this year. but he's taken it all in a stride. he's been really good. he wakes up early, showers and performs subuh prayers, goes down for breakfast and gets ready for school. we've gotten his school drop-off rounds just nice - not too early, not too late - traffic's not too bad and amir zooms out of the car and quickly walk into school. smooth and nice, that's amir.

coming home from school requires a bit of patience. the time between dropping asyraf & ariff and picking up amir so far have been spent in the car. just me and akmal. sometimes we get a good waiting spot, sometimes we make do with any spot we can get. we spend the time looking through akmal's communication book, do some light reading, test his spelling and ejaan (which he has on a weekly basis) or just spend a quiet time with akmal doing some colouring and drawing and writing at the back and i'll be scribbling in my diary in front.

on mondays and tuesdays, amir rushes around after we get home. rushes to shower and perform zohor prayers then he'll come down and have a light lunch. usually bread or soup or sandwiches. he buys quite a lot of bread and eats them for lunch and take some to school. he's been really good at that - taking food to school. i'm so glad that we have cut down lunch money tremendously. from spending $12 a day, we now only spend $4 a day, that's for asyraf & ariff in agama school. sometimes a bit more when i don't have time to prepare snacks but we don't spend as much as we used to.

coming home from agama school, amir have some time to spare before we embark on another school round. he spends it either doing homework (sometimes having to break and continue while i prepare dinner) or playing outside with akmal. i try to get him to stay indoors on days he has tuition class as i don't want him to get all tired and not do work in class. but so far, morning session in primary school and afternoon in agama school is looking better than the other way round. main difference is there's no more late night spent rushing to settle homework.

asyraf & ariff's time in school doesn't change this year. i think the only difference i can spot in them being in both schools way early. other than that its basically status quo. a couple of spot checks on their school bags show the beginning of the 'terrible standard two' phase. i faced that with amir & asyraf, i'm worried about facing it with ariff. in this phase, they lose that nervousness they felt as first years in primary school and realize, oh so its not so daunting after all, and start to let go. they would misplace books, they would show drop in exam marks, they would forget about homework, they generally disappoint because they are used to primary school. i'm hoping to stop ariff from entering this phase as he would be difficult to get back on track. i'm still pulling asyraf out of this stage, cursing and swearing.

amir and ariff have started tuition late last year. that was only to get them tested, it was only a once a week class. this year amir's doing twice weekly, ariff still a class a week. amir's doing for all core subjects while ariff is only for BM and maths (because he failed maths last year). next year asyraf will join them and they will have more classes per week.

akmal, in school, in kindy, is doing pretty well (that's an understatement, actually). we're trying to balance between complimenting him and not letting things go to his head like it did with asyraf. asyraf had an extremely steep learning curve initially. in many areas - studies, football, generally. he could grasp things quickly, he would churn out everything he learned word per word but once all the praises got to his head he let go, he got lazy, he got arrogant, he felt things came to him easy and just fell off the curve. i keep repeating 'the tortoise and the hare' story to him - him being the hare who took things lightly once he was in front and let people overtake him. sometimes he got it and stepped up a bit, sometimes it seems like the want to do better but falls down again, laziness is his biggest enemy. and he uses the word 'malas' too many times.

anyway, back to akmal. he now has a new routine. he wakes up early with his brothers, takes his time to eat cereal for breakfast - sometimes two bowls - while i make his snack - he usually ask for bread with nutella or peanut butter and some cookies - then once all his brothers are in school, he would ask for more breakfast - this time roti canai - before i drop him off in school. once i pick him up from school, he would open his lunchbox and eat the sandwich i made for his snack - he would ask for 2 sandwiches, eat 1 in school and save another to be eaten while he waits for abang long.

once we get home, he would shower and change his uniform and quickly begs for his iPod. sometimes he get it, sometimes he doesn't, depends on my mood. if he doesn't he would take out his book and draw or play with thomas or watch barney on telly. no matter what he does, nap time is nap time is nap time. i don't compromise. he needs at least 2 hours of nap time if not he'll be moody & cranky by maghrib.

study wise, he's there. he can read and spell. he knows how to relay messages that his teacher gives. he knows which uniform to wear on which day. his arithmetic is good. he gets on well with his teacher and friends. he eats in school. he's doing good. i want to fully enjoy this one-less-child-to-worry-about while i can. next year there'll be 4 in primary and agama schools, i'll stress out next year. this year, i want to be 25% calm(er).

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the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
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