You mean January has ended?
That was my thought recently. I am in shock that we're already in mid-February!
In the past 6 weeks, Husband has already travelled overseas twice. Then, there has been the Chinese New Year festivities and of course, adjusting to Primary One--the routine of waking up at 6.40am, of receiving and doing homework, of Parent-Teachers meetings, of evening bag-packing, and so on.
Daniel is having a very good time in school so far. He is full of funny stories about his day--they seem quite strict in school so far. Daniel has described his teacher as "strict, but kind", which I find a very astute and nuanced answer. When I asked him, "Do you prefer your P1 form teacher or your K2 form teacher?" He said without a blink, "P1 form teacher." And the reason? "Because she cares more about our behaviour and she wants us to have good conduct."
Wow. I guess he likes it that the adults in school punish bad behaviour & reward good behaviour. It seems fairer to him than just ignoring disconsolate behaviour. Reminds him of home, perhaps? HAHA. Students get scolded for all sorts of things, like pulling the OHP screen string or reading storybooks during class time. Punishment is having your name written on the board by the monitors or worse, having to stay back in class with the teacher during recess. Apparently, there are some kids in Daniel's class who stay back regularly during recess! It's a boys school--so there's also a bit of "mock" kungfu fighting during recess, trading of country erasers and discovering of secret rooms in strange corners of the school. There's a kid who likes throwing his bag on Daniel's table, or kicking Daniel's bag when it's on the floor. I told Daniel to just ignore him, and Daniel's not too upset about it. "He does it to everyone," explains Dan nonchalantly, shrugging.
Daniel really likes the school library. Despite his bag being quite bulky, he happily carts home one extra library book, practically every day. Within the first 2 weeks, we were beleaguered by 5 dinosaur books! The library is pretty awesome--they are allowed to borrow 2 English books a day, and AS MANY CHINESE BOOKS AS THEY WANT. HAHA. In more recent times, Dan has been carting home encyclopaedic-thickness books on World War One, tanks and weapons.
I am very proud of my son--he walks home from school 3 times a week, and he carries his own school bag. It's about a 25 minute walk home, and he is very cheerful about it, though he does complain sometimes. As you know we live on the 4th storey of a walk-up apartment, so by the time we get to our block, if he does ask me to carry his bag for him, I of course say yes.
Many people have noted that Daniel has shot up and put on some weight. I attribute this to the number of chocolate chip cookies I was giving him for recess in the first few weeks of school. I admit, I got carried away a bit. For a few days, I was giving him up to 6 cookies a day! What was I thinking? Right now, the ratio of cookie-to-healthy sandwiches is MUCH more decent. Typically, Dan gets a tuna sandwich, a packet of seaweed (his favourite!), a packet of milk, 1 cookie and some grapes--this amount of food is spread across 2 breaks: 1 recess and a shorter break called "elevenses" which is only 15 minutes and taken in the classroom around noon.
Nevertheless, having 4 meals before 2pm each day (breakfast, recess, elevenses and lunch when he gets home) has definitely meant an increase in calorie intake and it IS showing! Lots of people have commented that he has "filled out" nicely. He's certainly not fat, but he's definitely not as skinny as he used to be.
So who is Daniel's best friend, now that Andrew, Caelan, William, Alvadamar, his K2 buddies, are "gone"? Well, there are a few names that keep popping up in conversation. And it is also good that his cousin, Samuel, is in P2 in the same school. I think overall, Daniel has adjusted very well to P1. I have heard stories of kids crying in the first week, or even crying past the first week and refusing the step foot in their school, and not being able to explain why. So I do thank God that we have had a different experience so far. I like the school so far--as one parent commented to me, all the teachers we have interacted with have really come across very kind, caring and nurturing. Even if some are more business-like than others, you can still sense a caring spirit in them. I also get the sense that they understand what boys are like, and they let boys be boys, while still having clear rules and regulations.
Next blog entry, I shall write about Ben & Esther.
This is a pic of the 3 kids at West Coast Park. =)