18 March 2014

I'm convinced, we're not in a hurry.


Pia's turning 6 this year, on September. She's in preschool and I knew she'll still be since I thought that the K to 12 program of DepEd requires first graders to be 6 years old by June. Her school had the graduating students' photo session last week so that made it official. However, today, I saw Kim's post on Instagram regarding Assumption Antipolo's age and grade requirements and like what my friend's hashtag says: #panicmode. It signified to me that a kid can go into 1st grade if she's 6 by October. Therefore, Pia can be a gradeschooler next school year 'cause she's already 6 by then! My heart pumped fast 'cause I was really confused at my child's school situation. I turned to my friends on Facebook and they said that DepEd orders schools, public and private, to adhere to the official K to 12 Basic Education Program of our country. And that is, to allow kids age 6 to enter first grade. My momma heart was broken. I felt like my child will be left behind, I talked to her teacher after school.

I told him all about what I found out without batting an eyelash, in the hope that Pia will be considered to graduate. His eyes lit up and in a matter of factly said, "the question is, is she emotionally ready?" I gulped, I sank. Though I said that in a slight push, she is; in the deepest corner of my momma heart, I know she's not. You see, incoming first-graders in the school was in a transition period this year ― they used different workbooks and they spend more time writing, reading and doing their Math. As for the rest of the preschoolers ― they sing, dance, draw, read, do art stuff and play. So if Pia was considered to graduate, she was not prepared for 9 books, almost a whole day of structured classes and 30 minutes of writing. I can imagine her every day saying, "Nanay, I'm so tired!" That'll be surely frustrating. And when her teacher voiced out my thoughts, I realized, "why rush the kid?"

While some moms wish they could turn back time to when their children were babies, there I was, overwhelmed by the new school program, panicked and wanted to make my girl take a plunge into a pool of uncertainties and anxieties. I only thought of myself: To not spend another year of paying for preschool tuition and to stop hearing other people say that my daughter's not learning enough in her school. I didn't think of her ― her needs and readiness. Good thing I have finally come to my senses.

Like what I read from this article entitled "Starting ‘big school’ is a big deal – and so is the timing", it says that "many parents feel that the legal date is arbitrary, and that each child should be judged according to their level of readiness." Although I have strongly stated in this blog that I celebrate my child's uniqueness and individuality, I still got swayed by the dictates of the society that she should be in 1st grade because every 6-year old is. I'm glad her teacher, my daughter's parent in school, convinced me to not hurry; after all, Pia will not forever be a baby. One day, she'll be in College and will say, "I can manage, 'Nay, don't worry." And that, my dear royalties, just made me weep. ♡

*If you're a parent to a toddler and you need help to assess if your child is ready for school, you may want to read some pointers here and here

12 comments:

  1. Ang cute ng uniform nila :) parang mga little miss career women :D anyway, i agree about waiting for her to be ready...if she was able to go to higher level class at the start of the school year, ok sana pero since she's in the younger class, the schedule for grade 1 classes would be a big leap for her...she might be able to cope, of course, pero it is still nice to allow her to transition to the grade school schedule gradually :)

    as for me, my son is still 2 and was born on january so it is not difficult to decide in what year/level he would be placed in :P i still have 1 entire year of having him in the house before he goes to school next year :)

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    1. What do you mean by 'little miss career women'?

      Yes, you have one more year to be his sole teacher! When we used to be in that situation, feeling ko ang galing-galing ng anak ko sa lahat ng bagay and all. Kasi nga siya lang ang nakikita kong batamadalas. But when she started school, dun ko mas nakita yung strengths and weaknesses niya. :)

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  2. You're fortunate to have found a considerate school for Pia. Ours have left us with no choice but to move up to Grade 1. :(

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    1. Awww. Yeah, it's only now that I have appreciated that, actually, when you told me na ganyan yung school ng daughters mo. Double mommy duty na nga lang talaga para maka-cope sila! You can do it, Marianne! :)

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  3. I know what you feel. Though technically hindi ko sya talaga nafi-feel pa kasi Eli just started school pero before when I was in an educational institution, problems din ng mommies yan. And you're right nasa readiness talaga ng kids yan. Usually first graders are required to read at least CVC words and write a lot. Tapos ang dami dami nang mga assignments at tasks so don't worry Pia has her own pace. Comparison will not help kasi you know what your daughter is capableof doing. :)

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    1. Exactly, Camille! Nung time kasi na tayo yung first-grader, we were turning 7 na, advanced na lang yung mga magsi-six pa lang. But now kasi, parang mapipilitan kang umayon sa dikta ng nakakarami just to avoid disagreements. I'm still blessed that Pia's teacher enlightened me about it. :)

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  4. I had that same predicament muther when my daughter was in preschool. I felt she wasn't prepared enough to be in Grade 1 since she still was having difficulty with reading. And even though she would be late for a year than her classmates, we still went back to prep. That extra year helped her a lot.

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    1. That's what my daughter's teacher said, too! The extra year will really help her a lot. He even said that most of the kids who are really ready for school usually get the highest academic awards. :)

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  5. My daughter is 5 na this May, and she's going to be in Kinder pa lang. Unlike other schools kasi, they do not accept a kid into a certain preschool level based on age lang. If the child does not have prior schooling, Nursery talaga ang start, kahit pa 4 na sya and did wonderful in her assessment (other schools would have placed her in Kinder na siguro). I totally understand why naman. :) They have Prep pa sa school nya, so she'll also still be in preschool by the time she turns 6. When people asked me noon or tell me na "Ay dapat ganitong level na sya dahil ganito na edad nya", ganyang-ganyan din pakiramdam ko, parang feeling ko, "behind" ang anak ko.

    Pero nung orientation, the admin of the school enlightened the parents na the levels in preschool are there for a reason, and why they are very important na wag ma-skip - hindi dahil para kumita yung school ng isa pang taon, kundi dahil kailangan talaga maprepare ang mga bata mentally and emotionally for the 'demands' of being in Grade School. Dun ko naisip na I would rather my child go through the normal, not rushed, transition to the next levels. Deadma na sa sasabihin ng iba why she is not yet in a certain level (just based on her age). Basta alam kong natututo ang anak ko, and she's thriving where she is, at nag-eenjoy sya sa pinagdadaanan nya, keribells na. :)

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    1. I remember your inhibitions noon nung papasok pa lang si Keisha! Ngayon, you're very confident na sa school niya. Ganyan din ako ngayon with Pia's school. Anyway, pareho tayo: "Basta alam kong natututo ang anak ko, and she's thriving where she is, at nag-eenjoy sya sa pinagdadaanan nya, keribells na." Korek na korek yan! :)

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  6. I am a Grade 1 teacher and I totally agree with you not to hurry the child. I have a few kids in my class who are of the "right" age but are not emotionally ready and I can see them struggle everyday. But I also have some kids who were "not ready" the first months in first grader but eventually caught up with the rest of the class after a few months.
    In the end, I would say trust your mommy instinct and go with it. And yeah, no need to hurry.

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    1. Wow, Kristine! At least meron dito sa comments na parang spokesperson ng mga teachers 'di ba. Hihi. Yun nga ang concern ko, hindi naman sa wala akong tiwala sa kanya, kasi sobra-sobra nga na iniisip ko kakayanin naman niya. Pero paano kung hindi at mahirapan lang siya? I have to blame myself, of course. Wala namang iba. Kaya yes, I'm convinced. We're not in a hurry. I'm sure by the time that she'll be in first grade, kakayanin na niya ng bongga! :)

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