Thursday, February 05, 2009

Choices and school updates

School-wise, everything seems to be settling down into a rhythm again.

Gillian was selected to be in the school bowling team. She's so chuffed about it and we can't be more pleased for her. I'm proud that she made it and very glad that she did - what a great boost to her self-esteem! She's now got training 3 times a week, including Saturday mornings so that puts an end to our lovely couple-time lazy brekkie at Casa Verde at the Botanics. KH says we'll just have to look for another quiet nook somewhere on the east coast. But its worth it.

Isaac is also finally settling down. He tried out for the Vocal Ensemble and floorball, dabbled in some karate sessions but was finally given his first choice of floorball. KH and I were disappointed. Being the ever-practical, kiasu mother, I was looking at sound CCA choices that would make it easy for him to score an A1 or A2 grade for CCA. This would come in very useful when he gets his'O' level scores because and A grade means slicing off 2 points from his overall score - the lower it is, the better of course. To give you an idea, the best junior colleges take in kids whose scores are 6 and lower.

But I digress. We strongly believed that the vocal ensemble would give him a better chance at an A grade thanks to the many competitions, performances that the group has to go through. CCA grade aside, I thought singing and the training would also help build his lungs, give him confidence in facing a crowd, force him to face his fears and overcome them thereby building resilience and courage. Plus lets not forget the overseas trips to Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia etc. sigh. As his mom, heh heh, I would be first in line to volunteer to go with him as 'chaperon'. Sooo many incentives!

But alas, the boy decided otherwise.

Then last week he was told that the Vocal Ensemble wanted him in. Yay - went KH and I!! A second chance. No more floorball! But for Isaac it was just one more dilemma he hated to solve. The thrill of being in a tug of war with vocal ensemble and the floorball group made him preen for the better part of the day. But after that, he was in a real fix!

On one hand, he liked floorball. Enjoyed it greatly. His hockey experience made it easy to grasp. On the other hand, there are so many uncertainties with floorball and CCA grades. If you're in the school team and compete nationally, it would be more likely that you could get an A grade. But how likely is this that Isaac will play for school? As KH bluntly put it, he's so small-sized!

I knew he was more into floorball and Isaac said that while his audition went okay, it was not as bad as he feared and there were 'worse' singers, he still could not enjoy performing on stage.

As a mom, I felt so exasperated! So many times I really felt like shaking him, and bulldozing him to my choice. But I also knew I had to do the PC thing and tell him its okay, we support you no matter what. So I did that. But I also let him know that personally, I was disappointed at his choice and thought he was making a mistake to go with floorball. But now that he has chosen floorball, we'd just look forward and move on and do the best we can for him.

I know some moms reading this will be horrified that I've told him this. But I think at 13, he's old enough to handle it that other people have thoughts, feelings and opinions and sometimes they would clash with his. He would have to learn how to deal with it. He told me that I 'made' him feel bad because I was so disappointed. But I pointed out to him that (as with the usual guilt issue in all formula vs breast debates) "no one can make you feel anything you don't want to feel." My disappointment with his choice, would be up to me to work it out. I would get over it sooner or later. But if he wanted floorball so badly and he'd weighed the pros and cons, then no matter how we felt, his own personal conviction would carry him through.

So floorball it is. Whatever my feelings or misgivings, nothing I can do. The kids are getting older and flexing their muscles in their own autonomy in making choices. All this just comes with the territory of letting go.

Caitlin is busy with school too. At P2, she's staying back 3x a week for ballet, supplementary classes in Chinese and for gym training. We tried out the public transport option for the first month, giving her a handphone, walking her through it, but due to public outrage (largely from her indignant mama), we decided to put her back on the school bus. Its still a one-way journey because we give her a lift to school in the mornings but 3 days out of 5, she would take the CCA bus home. This costs us $100 a month. Sometimes I feel like we are really at the mercy of the bus association! We'll give the public transport thing a try again next year.

Owain has started school too and its K2 so there is - horror of horrors! - weekly spelling! When we work on it, he has no problem. But the one week we didn't - thanks to Chinese New Year - he broke down in class after being unable to spell any word the teacher gave. So we've just got to be diligent about working on it. For Owain, his main difficulty is in reading. Phonics bores him to tears and is really uninspiring. So we do the whole word method. But even then, I find Trin gets it faster than he does. Its become sort of a mini competition between them to be the first to sound the word when I flash the card. His Math is fine - we're working on number bonds now and he seems to understand it, just a bit stumped with subtraction.

And finally, as for Trin, we're cutting back on speech therapy since the therapist thinks Trin is okay for now. But I have decided to put her into full-time school when the new term starts in March. Not in the montessori where she attends just one day a week now but in the PCF kindy near mama's place. I foresee lots of adjustment and stormy days ahead. But its just for a year and we'll shift her back to the Montessori next year. Why the big shift here and there? Simply because I can't afford to send two kids to a Montessori place. Its just too costly.

While I buy the whole Montessori concept, for practical reasons, this is not do-able right now. Maybe next year. Maybe if I work full-time. But no, not quite ready for full-time. Yet. Love my freedom too much!


The Chengs said...

You seriously think your boy is going to be happy if you "chaperone" him for overseas trips now that he's in Sec school? *hehe*

I used to PV lots (help put on makeup and dress the girls and chaperone) when Sarah was in pri sch choir so that I could be involved and watch their performance and be in the know.

But well, there seems to be no PVs in sec sch since the girls all do everything on their own.

No parents went along when the choir went for overseas competitions. Certainly not when Sarah went last year when in sec 2 to Austria. They had like 4 teachers, 1 conductor, and 1 tour guide, that's all. The girls were taught to be responsible for each other in each of their small groups.

So...yeah, it's all the process of growing up, lah.

Great that everyone is finding their footing!

Momto5 said...

Not chaperone but a great excuse to travel! heh... anyway moot point since the boy has decided on floorball. sigh.