Tag Archives: parents

School for My 3 Year-Old?

Lately I’ve been very confused in determining whether or not to send my 2,9 year-old son to a preschool. As a mother who is totally hooked with the internet, I often do some research before making any parenting decisions. Sometimes, I find my answers, but sometimes I became even more confused.

What I need to explain first, is that every child is different, and just because I decide something that is not like most parents/mommies, it doesn’t mean I disrespect other opinions.

After giving some thoughts, and having searched the web for different alternatives, plus those enormous discussions I had with my husband, we have decided that my son will not be going to school this year.

Here’s why:

1. The cost, to send our son, to this Elementary School of our current choice  (which shall be paid 3 years from now) is way above our financial capability.

However, we strongly believe that this is the place where my son can “unleash” his full skills and abilities under its flexible curriculum. The school is also located very near to our house, and it focused on the application of theories in the real world. Therefore, we will do whatever is possible, we will work hard, save our money the best way we can. And by saving money, it means we will also save the money we have prepared for play group fees. 

If he goes to school NOW, we will lose some amount of money which we can SAVE for his elementary school fees.

2. My idea that regular schedule at play groups can increase his self-confidence and social skills is NOT a hundred-percent correct.

My son hates crowd. Especially a bunch of kids and adults staring at him, telling him to do stuffs, or are playing with his toys. I see this respond again last week when we have a party at our house, and my son did nothing but observing others. He also need some time to ‘warm up’ his engine before being able to relate to others, before he can talk friendly to others the way he never stop talking so much to his family.

There are other reasons, such as to give him better options besides TV, to increase the possibility of introducing him to letters, alphabets, art & craft activities, music, paintings, art and other educational stuffs.

However apparently, this great article have given me some thoughts about the mistakes most parents did when it comes to sending their kids to school. It was the idea of, “is my child ready for school?” instead of asking, “is the school ready to accept my child?”

We don’t expect our kids to be friendly to others by sending him to school, we must prepare them to be friendly. As mentioned on the article,

Indicators of “readiness” include possessing a level of composure and the ability to cope when things go wrong, being able to speak clearly and engage with adults so that they can say when they need help, understanding the importance of being able to share and play nicely with other children, and the beginnings of some responsibility so that they can look after their belongings.

Consider not just the importance of an emotional readiness for school and the confidence to make friends, but how well developed a child’s fine motor skills are. Can your child hold a pencil correctly? Draw simple shapes? Write their name? Dress themselves? Use a pair of scissors? Hop, skip and jump and tie their shoelaces?

And I very much agree with one of the comments in the article, that parents tend to force their children to school, which will put the burden to the teachers, instead of teaching their kids by themselves first, to give experiences which they need.

The biggest problem today is that parents are not being expected to ready their children for school and life in general. Teachers are having to spend a great deal of their time teaching children basic skills that should have been taught at home.

Bottom line, I plan to give more experiences child to my son before he starts school, that way he will have better abilities to cope with problems that will arise at school, such as sharing, independence, concentrating, and asking for help. I don’t need play group classes on which its fees will decrease the saving for my son’s elementary school, I can teach him myself.

Here’s what I’m going to do with my son for this year, now that he’s not going to any school yet..

1. Teach him on how to eat, drink, brush teeth, bathe, wear clothes, pants and shoes, by himself.

2. Teach him on how to draw shapes and associate each shape with everyday stuffs. (Or just follow some samples of children activities in this website).

3. Introduction to letters and numbers (will buy posters of letters, numbers and tracing books if necessary).

4. How to sort, match, compare, and perhaps.. count?

5. How to take turns, share toys, and get involved with other kids, maybe I will send him to this robotic course where he can play with these fantastic educational legos and listen to his tutor.

6. Will take him to the swimming pool, playground, animal museum, zoo and parks, more frequently.

Anyway, this is just my personal decision and thoughts, I still respect other parents who choose to send their kids to school as early as 3 years, and wish them and their kids the best.

I just need to save more money and help my son to be more independent, self-confidence and ready to start (and actually enjoy staying at) school. And when he does, I will NOT neglect my parenting responsibility to educate him, and leave it to his school teachers, I will still do everything I can to dig out his true talent, skills, and abilities, and support them the best way I can.

Because in the end, as written by Ms Tiffany Cooper here, children spend less than 20 percent of their waking hours in school, so we can’t expect schools to teach children everything they need to know. It is a shared responsibility between school and parents to create learning environments and opportunities within our homes, to support kids’ curiosity and critical thinking capabilities.

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The False Education

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You’re not educated, unless you go to school.

Oh, yeah?

Lately everyone keeps telling me to enroll my 2,5 year-old son to a preschool. I manage to not give a damn about them, but secretly searched for information from preschools / kindergarten in my neighborhood. I haven’t decide anything, but the more info I get, the less I want my son to go to school.

Especially with the rise of early education centers in my hometown, of which some of them can cost millions of Rupiah, I begin to think that this phenomenon is just a big waste of money. It’s taking advantage of parents who are focusing on pride, esteem, and have nowhere else to spend their money on. But that’s just my opinion that you can always ignore, or think about, your choice, who cares!?

I agree that everyone deserves an education. To pursue knowledge, and to learn about this world and all its wonders. But is school the only source for it?

Actually, the term “education” have a far more, broader meaning, compared to the term “school” which is just one form of structured education. I understand too, that lately there have been another way of transferring knowledge to educate our children, such as homeschooling, unschooling, and flexi-schooling. But each have their own disadvantages such as socialization problems, diploma problem, and so on.

So.. I still don’t know and haven’t decide anything, yet.

I am still planning to search for more information regarding other alternatives such as music course, art lesson, etc. But I have my reasons now, for whatever it is my decision will be, my son will have to love it, having fun doing it, and can light his own fire, instead of having his bucket poured with water (on which he doesn’t have a clue on how to use the water for.)

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Poor Stressful Kids

When I was young, I just went with the flow when it comes to going to school. But by the time I arrived home, I occupied myself doing fun and simple things. Drawing pictures for Pak Tino Sidin, learned to whistle and how to play guitar with Guns N Roses. School was never a source of stress for me, at least not until I was stuck in college. We didn’t have a telephone, cell-phones were not invented yet (I guess), and my TV only have 10 channels, with just one to watch: TVRI. But I was far from what they call “A stressful kid.” Although (until now, sadly), I’m still pretty stressed with getting up too early in the morning.

Today, kids can watch different cartoons on more than 5 children-dedicated channels from a satellite TV. With various communication gadgets, they can entertain themselves by launching a bird to shoot a bunch of caged birds, pigs, and monkeys, and laugh like a devil..

No, wait. That sounds a lot like my son.

Anyway, I was planning to write about kids today and who are their role model. But apparently, kids today are too busy to think about having one. They might be spoiled, that is, if you compare them to me, 20-30 years ago, but somehow, they are also more stressful than I was. The below tweet by Bincang Edukasi proves it.

a good question

Well, seems like we need to stop pointing our fingers to anyone, because it only makes us feel better, but it does NOT solve anything. In reality, kids today are the victim of a f*cked-up education system. So in this case, anyone who follows a questionable system is unquestionably stupid. Including schools, teachers, and even parents. You know it leads you nowhere, but you’re forcing your children to go with it.

On the other hand, I personally always believe intense communication between parents and children is always the ultimate key to success. Anyone might think that school grades are most important, but for me, as long as children don’t stay in the same class for years, we all should focus on finding our children’s talents and support it as much as possible. And one way to find these hidden talents is to maintain a healthy communication habit within the family. Children needs to know that parents are available anytime and are always supportive with solutions, AS LONG AS they are willing to speak up, share their problems.

Hopefully, when kids are doing something they love, chances for being stressful can be put to the minimum. And we need to shift our thinking from the old habit of memorizing a lesson, to actually make something. Create, create, create. Even if it’s only a picture of 5 eggs, in a plate, above a table.

No, wait. That sounds like my son, again!

So I guess we all can see that time has surely changes. But the unique relationship between parents and children remains. Educators, school system, gadgets, TV shows, video games, or even the internet, are inevitably present today. But the decision on whether we’re going to make them destroy our kids’ future, or to support it, will entirely (and always) depends on us.

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Guiltless Parents, And Children Violence

There is an urgent need for parents to stop blaming the government, our nation’s education system, or even teachers, for not giving sufficient moral education to their children.

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Last weekend, I took my nephews to a public swimming pool. Two hours later, I saw them yelling to (and prepared to hit) another kid. The cause was simple, the other kid felt annoyed by the splashes of water that my nephews made when they jump from the pool side. It’s a swimming pool, and he was annoyed by splashes of water?! Come on..

But another thing caught my attention, and it was the anger that my nephews exhibited. To my observation, they were both angry but also -happy- to encounter such opportunity where they can make other kids afraid of them. They enjoyed the dispute, and they were proud of themselves. It almost felt like they have so many negative energy inside, which can finally be unleashed.

Yesterday was the announcement day of UN (national examination) result for high school students in Surabaya. And just like previous years, it was a tradition for them to paint names on each others’ uniforms, continued with a motorbike ride around the city. It was a celebration of freedom which, to most older people, were considered as useless. But what happened yesterday was worse. Some students brought our nation’s red-and-white flag, filled with scratches of paint on it. And a wave of protests from people both old and young, was published through Twitter.

suarasurabaya.net

Most of them demand those students to be arrested, while others, like always, blame the education system and its institution for not teaching appropriate behavior toward our sacred symbol: the red and white flag.

Can we blame the students for not ‘treating’ our flag with respect?

Things that happened to my nephew, or to Surabaya’s “Bonek” (fanatic supporters of Persebaya soccer club) who often ends in violence raise a question to guiltless parents who can only blame others but themselves. Unleashed emotions can turn to negative actions if parents didn’t respond to what their children need. Kids are always full of energy and curiosity, and it is their parents’ responsibility to help them determine the correct actions.

As for the flag incident, I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal out of it or even punish them to court. I know our flag is supposed to be treated with respect, but does anyone ever bother to explain to their children “Why?”

Maybe to the student who scratched it, our ‘sacred’ flag was just a symbol. A fabric which can absorbs paints, a spontaneous act without further thinking about destroying something that supposed to be loved. And when it comes to love, who can blame anyone for not loving something? Maybe they were guilty of being disrespectful to the flag, but whose fault is it for not giving them a country to love?

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