parenting

Primary 1 Preparation #1

Registration for Primary 1 is a few months away, but since the start of the year I’ve been becoming increasingly concerned (nervous, maybe?) about being prepared for P1 for my firstborn.

Many mummies have shared great tips and their experiences. I don’t think I’m a kiasu mum, but Ive been trying to keep tabs on what he’s learning in K2 this year, to try and identify the gaps, if any, between this year and what he will need to know in P1. Not so that he knows everything there is to know before going to P1, but just enough so that he can adjust well and enjoy school. We believe the love of learning is very important. I even know a few kids who have been transferred to another kindergarten because they feel the current one we go to is not good “enough”, which is a little worrying.

I can see how people can get caught up and become overly kiasu. I’ve heard that children are actually very resilient and can usually adjust well, and I’m glad to hear that Mittens seems pretty excited to graduate on to primary school, especially after hearing about what his cousin is doing. He’s even asked for a wallet. In fact these days he asks me about secondary school and JC even. One step at a time, boy!

Apart from telling him about the social aspects and as much of primary school that I can remember (recesses, etc), we are also working towards skills such as telling time, using daily allowances, being able to change one’s own clothes, trying not to lose (too many) of one’s belongings, etc. Ing, a former lower primary teacher from Ingspirations has a post with very practical tips on P1 prep here and from Christy of Kids R Simple here.

I’ve been trying to identify weak points such as handwriting, and working on that. I’m relieved that he’s picking up reading pretty fast on his own, but will try to get him to recognize the usual sight words. As for Chinese, I’m told that Berries will prepare them somewhat for HanYuPinYin and the Chinese show and tell. However I have to do a lot more coaching because he seems to be quite forgetful with pretty simple words.

We’ve also been sending him to Thinkersbox to identify strengths and weaknesses and to develop his skills so that he can optimise his time in a classroom of over 30 kids, because with a ratio of 1 teacher to 30 kids, there is no time nor leeway for them to be able to attend to each individually.

When I’m not worrying about which school he will be able to enter, and how he will fare in school, I’m lamenting how fast he’s growing! What happened to my toddler?? I’m sure these pre-P1 jitters will get easier with each subsequent child, but meanwhile it is a necessary rite of passage for every parent, especially so for parents in Singapore.

How are you preparing your child for primary school or what would be your top tips for me? .

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12 thoughts on “Primary 1 Preparation #1

  1. Having a child entering P1 is surely nervous for some of us mummies. Actually if your child doesn’t sense your anxiety or sense that you overprepared him, I think he will adjust really well. I don’t believe in P1 prep class at all. I trust the childcare centre which is not a top cc, that they will prepare them well. I wrote a post on this too about prepping them in things like writing faster as they may need to take down notes, independence like pack bags, count money, follow a time-table and reinforce their academic basics like simple counting 1-20 and simple sentence structures etc.

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  2. Sometimes I wonder am I too bo-chup about this. I think it is time for me to get my daughter prepared on some skills like reading time and counting money (coins).

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    1. Waiwai, thanks for stopping by 🙂 I think the skills you mentioned are good to have anyway right? And I think will help their transition better since it will be a major change for the from K2.

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  3. My son started P1 a few years back. We had to tell him that the teachers in primary school are a lot fierce than those in kindy. I think that helps a lot because the primary school teachers really shout and holler at the top of their voices just to be heard. They can be harsh at times. So, if your kid is a timid, it’s best to prep them in this area, or else there will be lots of tears 🙂

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    1. That is good advice, Agy! He is not timid and is probably used to a fierce mum haha but it’s good to know anyway. I think I will also need to highlight that he cannot always be seeking attention as he likes to look for attention or approval over minor things.

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  4. Thanks for linking, Mummy Ed! Entering P1 is a huge milestone for a child. There are some who breeze through it, while others take a little longer to settle down into the new routine and environment. I guess as much as we try to prepare our kids, ultimately they’ll have to be the ones to face the situation once school starts. If I can give you some assurance, kids DO settle down, sooner or later. They will survive!

    And yes, I agree that it can get quite emotional, especially at the thought of our babies growing up so fast! 🙂

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  5. Hi, my gal was in P1 few years back. Before starting P1, it’s good to let your child practice buying food, handling money, carrying food and eating quickly. Recess time is usually quite short, I remembered my gal didn’t eat proper meal (only snacks) and went hungry because she did not have enough time. After practicing daily, now not only can she finish her meal, queue up to buy a second helping, finish all up, she can also look for her friends to play during recess.

    During the first month of school, it’s quite relax for P1, no homework. As long as your child can read well in English, knows Han Yu Pin Yin, familiar with addition, it’s a breeze. At the end of term 1, I think Show & Tell started & it was kind of challenging. Had to prepare script, rehearse and present. (guess most parents did the scripting). While practicing, my gal cried when she had to memorize one full page and thereafter present. Perhaps you can start slowly preparing your kid for show and tell.

    Hope the above helps. : )

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  6. Thanks for all the helpful links to the prep tips! My turn is a few years away so I’m pretending it will never happen at the moment but when it does I’ll be sure to pull this post out!

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  7. Yes, we’re facing this as well. I’m not too concerned about P’s academic skills – as you say, I think they’re resilient and if they love learning they’ll fill the gaps. I’m mainly hoping to work on his social/classroom skills so he can feel comfortable, make new friends and follow along appropriately.

    I’m glad the Singapore system has them in first grade a little later because for certain active kids, being at school 6hrs a day 5 days a week is a big ask when they’re little! In Australia, he would have been on that timetable since 4yo. And yet I think he would have learned less by now than he has in his 3hrs/day kindergarten!

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