Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good things come to those who wait.

It took 3 years to get the twins into their current kindergarten. It is the living in the west curse where the good schools have waitlists that could snake round SIngapore twice over. I tried to call when they were 9 months old to find out a little more about the school only to be told that they would be number 66 and 67 on the wait list.

So, while we waited, I put them in other schools that were less than desirable.

The first was a childcare playschool that had great and caring teachers but failed to meet the exacting grammar standards of a parent who is also an English teacher. It took all my restraint to not whip out a red pen and circle a poster that announced proudly that "SHEEPS eat grass". The only thing that stopped me was that my children were looked after by these teachers and I didn't want them poisoning my kids or anything.

The second was a highly desirable school by local standards but once again failed me, the parent who desired a creative and experiential learning experience for my children. So the school we were on wait list for rang to say they were ready for the twins, I grabbed them, turned tailed and ran away from the cloistered classrooms plastered with worksheets, dark corridors and severe lack of playground space.

So was the wait worth it?

In a nutshell, yes. No school is perfect and this school isn't either. But it's great by most standards and most clearly shown last Friday.

Friday was their project open house. For most of this term, they've been busy with projects, Jordan on flowers and Evan on sand. This meant field trips to the Botanic Gardens, planting sunflowers, eating sunflower seed sandwiches and craft, poetry and song about flowers for Jordan and a trip to the beach, a mega art project of a sandcastle in the sandpit and sand plaster craft also coupled with song and poetry.

Friday was their showcase. And Evan, my usually reticent in crowds Evan was flushed with excitement as he pointed out very knowledgeably all the different pieces that he had done. He told me about different sand textures and and showed me the plant he was growing. He was most proud of the mega sand castle that they had built in their sandpit and it was complete with moats and all.

Jordan, on the other hand, was a little bit distraught because I didn't make it in time to her class for her big show. The little show star was put right smack in the middle because she sang the loudest and was the most animated. But because her main audience wasn't around, she decided it wasn't worth performing. But even with her, I was floored by the chalk art that she had done, the little laundry bags with flower print and puff paint. And she was so obviously proud of what she had done and she could tell me exactly what she was doing in every photo that was put up on the wall.

All in, it was great and I was happy to see that they were having so much fun learning. And because they are in different classes, they end up having more to talk about and tell with one another.

I do hear that some of the children from the kinder find it a problem when they get to primary one because it is so regimented and so different from spending time walking round visiting the rabbit hutch and vegetable plots. On one hand, I want to worry about that but on the other hand, I wouldn't trade it for another different programme. More open house photos are on the JED Facebook page.

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