On 20th August 2014, our almost 3 years old Alyson started her 1st day in K1 (that is 1st year in preschool). We had registered her name last year after we did the same with her older brother (who is now 5.5 years old) as we understand it is not easy to enrol kiddos into the preschool. In fact, when we registered Benjamin's name in August last year, we were told that the waiting list is very long and for Ben's class (K3), the earliest available slot for him would be 2016 or if we do not mind, we were recommended to enrol him into K4 instead since the number of children in that class is lesser (as some would be going to primary school or international schools) With that in mind, we decided to put in Alyson's name as we were thinking maybe by the time she is offered a spot in the preschool it would be when she is 4 or 5 years old!
Praise to God, Benjamin got in for K3 this year as a few children left the class to go on to private schools. We were very glad and happy that he got in and so far, we can see changes and improvements in him. Sometime in March this year, I found out that to be considered into the preschool, all the children needs to be potty trained first and so I got onto training Alyson so that she could be ready (her brother took about half year to be potty trained)
I was caught by surprise when Alyson took the potty training seriously and she was successfully off diapers within a month! And early August this year, I got a call from the preschool's person in-charge that we can send Alyson in as they have a slot for her. I immediately felt sad as all of a sudden, our girl is ready for preschool.
My MIL told us to reconsider as Alyson was not 3 years old yet and it was a bit too early for her to start preschool considering we only started Ben at almost 5 years old this year. MIL also said we all think Alyson is all grown up just because we are comparing her with Carolyn who is 10 months old now. Which I personally agree too... MIL said that it is better to let her start in beginning of the year instead of August (few months left for the year) as her opinion is everyone in the class already gone through almost the whole syllabus and Alyson is just starting.
Anyway, hubby and I discussed about it and we thought to let her try it out and see how it goes. We thought if Alyson is to start preschool, it is better to do it now when the rest of her classmates are already settled in and the teachers have more time to focus 1 to 1 with Alyson despite her classmates going through whatever syllabus they have for 3 years old.
20th August 2014 - Day 1 of K1 ~ I dropped her off at the preschool entrance. Alyson hesitated for a while but after a gentle talk from the teacher in-charge, she walked in like a trooper, not even looking back to say bye to mummy. I was so sad. My girl is suddenly all grown up! Sob sob sob... I was told to pick her up an hour before her class ends since we are in the trial phase.
So at 11am, I waited for her and realised her class were in the playground nearby, playtime and I walked over quietly and saw her playing happily there. I was told to wait for her in the office to collect some forms for detailed registration. When an assistant walked back to the preschool with her, I noticed she was more talkative and expressive, not shy at all and was told that she did not cry or had any tantrum or whatsoever. She called out 'Oh mummy!' as she ran towards me when she saw me in the office room. As we left the preschool, she excitedly pat her school bag and was excited to go home with me.
21st August 2014 - Day 2 of K1 ~ I dropped Alyson off at the preschool entrance again and she walked in without any fuss. I went to get her at 11am again in the playground and she was excited to see me as well.
The same day, I was praying and asked God for directions. I just felt a nudge and as if my heart is being tugged to reconsider putting Alyson in class. I kept asking hubby whether we should let her continue and hubby asked whether she is crying or anything when I left her, which so far is not at all. What makes it harder was Alyson is not really communicating properly still, sometimes she babbles at us, sometimes her words are clear to us. I asked her 'Do you like class?' she says 'Class'. I asked her 'Do you want to go school?' she says 'No!' then I asked her 'Do you like school?' she says 'School' so it was pretty tough to gauge her feedback on attending K1.
22nd August 2014 - Day 3 of K1 ~ Alyson is having delayed reaction to attending preschool. When I dropped her off at the entrance, she stood at the staircase, not crying, not saying anything, not budging at all until one of the teacher had to carry her in. Hmmm… praying for God’s will, should we continue? This is the first negative reaction from her after 2 half days in K1…
I got home and prayed and prayed and prayed and chatted with a dear sister in Christ (*thanks Darla!) sharing out my concerns and worries and she prayed with me over this. I also discussed with hubby and we decided to pull Alyson out. You know, the moment we both decided to do that, I felt a great sense of peace over me. Burden lifted. No more worries and heart tugging feelings.
When I went to get Alyson in her preschool, I asked to talk to the person in-charge and explained to her our decision. Just to cut story short, I was told that pulling her out will mean her slot will be passed on to the next person in queue. I said we are totally aware of that and will try to enrol her again in 1-2 years time, but in the meantime, we feel that she is better staying home with me and to enjoy her childhood a wee bit more like her brother (who only started preK at almost 5 years old).
After leaving the preschool area, I took Alyson to the playground while babywearing Carolyn.
As I watched Alyson skipping and hopping around enjoying herself, I can't help but to think this is what God intends for us to do... for us to let Alyson still enjoys her much deserved freedom in her childhood years.
I did took a recording in the playground asking her 'Do you want to go class?' this time she says 'no!' then I asked her 'Do you want to go school?' again she says a stern 'no' so it was pretty clear and obvious to me.
For those who might want to comment that children need time to settle in a new environment, yes, truly agree with that. It took our 5.5 years old boy a few weeks to settle into his preschool but the point in our decision to pull out Alyson from her preschool has got nothing to do with her needing time to adjust or settle in, it is more because we feel she should stay on and enjoy her childhood a wee bit more, learning things from me, being home, playing and having fun with her baby sister and us all instead of being rushed through to grow up so fast.
I'm glad we have the privilege to pull her out of preschool and let her enjoy her childhood more.
I trust that our decision is backed by God and I pray and pray for God to give me the strength and courage to teach our kiddos one day, no fears, no doubts, no worries.
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