Today is my older one’s last day in pre-primary. His holidays start tomorrow, and when school reopens in June, he will be in Grade One!
He is excited, and so am I. I don’t yet know what he would be expected to know at the start of the year in the new school, but I do know that he is ready for whatever challenge the school throws at him.
What a change from last year, when I greeted the start of the holidays with dread – however hard I tried to kid myself, I knew he was far behind the rest of the class, and hated the very thought of studies. I’d then given myself two months –two months to bring him on par with the rest of the class, two months to catch up on all the stuff he was falling behind on, two months to learn all that the other kids had been taught over the year. If he could do it in two months, well and good. If he couldn’t, I knew he could bid goodbye to ever aspiring to being anything more than a very mediocre student.
Two months of sheer hell for both of us. And for my mother who could never stop blaming herself for not being able to do for her own grandson what she had done for so many other kids. But when he joined Senior KG, I knew that he could, with effort, stay abreast with the rest of the class.
And then, a miracle! A teacher who believed in him, and who he adored. My reticent son started blooming. He was learning a skill a day, and was proud of himself. By the second parent teacher meeting, I knew that he was up there with the average in his class. By the third meeting, I realized, with a shock, that he was almost up there with the best in his class.
Next year, he goes to a new school – he may not know many of the things that the other kids have been taught. But one thing that I do know for sure – he is now sufficiently sure of himself to catch up pretty soon.
Not that I am going to leave that to chance. I already have a plan chalked out – there are skills that I think he needs to pick up before he joins the new class, and there are techniques that I know need reinforcing. This year too, I am going to ensure that a part of his holidays are spent constructively. But the difference between last year and this year is that this year it is because I want him to shine, not merely for him to survive.