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. ♡