As I write it as 'mid term', I can't believe that it is indeed almost 6 months since my son started Primary 1. It is exam time now. And oh, what stress!
It's not so much the stress of expecting him to excel. Although I wish for him to do well. But the stress of teaching him, at least, what he is expected to know. I reckon it is the language that is the greatest barrier. When I compare the expectation from his BM teacher to that of his English, I am appalled at the discrepancy in the standard.
Whereas in BM, he has to learn nouns, proper nouns, adjectives and verbs, in English there is little emphasis on such grammar.
Thinking about my current predicament with Christopher, I think the entire education system is a total mess.
First there is this emphasis on Mandarin so we send our kids to good kindergartens that teach them relatively well in Mandarin. Then if we send them to SJK schools, we have to equip them better in their mandarin and continue the process through their primary years to keep up with the language.
If we send them to SK schools, then BM becomes a whole new language to them. We think we can help them since we are BM literate. However, the standard of BM in Primary 1 is rather high. Coupled with the lack of emphasis in kindy years.
We end up in a situation like mine. Keeping up with his mandarin basics outside of school. Struggling with learning BM which has been far neglected earlier. And yet continuing to correct his English so that it is grammatically correct.
I never would have considered AT ALL a kid being sent to tuition in primary years. But even if your kid is in SK schools, it looks like 90% of parents are sending their kids since Std 1 for tuition. As of now, I am still doing it myself with the help of my parents. It will not get impossible for me to teach him, at least. Since I am able to understand the mode of instruction. I will mark the day I send him for school work tuition in his primary years!