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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Update on Erin's kindy progress

*sobs*.   My Erin is not doing well in kindy at all.  Major source of my stress and sadness lately  :(

She was alright on the first day of kindy when I stayed with her throughout the class.  I already took leave for Day 2 as I planned to accompany her.  But since she did so well on Day 1, I decided to just drop her off at the kindy. She happily followed her teacher to class. No tears at all that day and I thought Whooo Hooooo …….. she’ll be fine!  

But as the days went by, we (my parents and I) suspected something amiss as she doesn’t really talk about her school. Then hubby (he sends Erin to kindy) said there were days when she cries in the morning and refuses to get ready to school.  But he thought it could be due to a change in routine cos I have to leave the house much earlier these days to send Elyssa to her school.  

So I decided to send her school teacher/principal a message to ask how Erin was doing. She called me back that same afternoon, saying she was going to call me soon anyway. “Mrs Chong, your daughter is……… SLOW in class”.  My heart sank as I heard the word “slow”. She suggested Erin to stay back until 3pm instead of the current 12pm.  

Basically, the principal said Erin has no pencil control at all.  When the teacher guides her hand, she’s ok but the moment the teacher lets go, she just stops.  Or holds the pencil with 5 fingers but still doesn’t scribble anything. So if there’s no one to guide her then she produces nothing at all on the paper.  

I was sooooooo upset after the phone call. Then digested a bit and thought…. Maybe I over-reacted.  After all, she’s not even four and it’s still the second week of kindy only. But I knew I should set aside some time daily to help her.  

And……… that’s how the STRESS started.   After dinner:

Me : Erin, let’s do some colouring today. Come and choose which picture you want to colour.
Erin : *flip flip* - this one.
Me : ok!  Come, let’s colour.
Erin : takes time to choose colour, looks up, looks down.  
Me :  “guides her hand”
Erin : “looks any anywhere but the picture. When I ask her to look, she lies her whole head on the picture.
 She dots on the picture a bit, and then draws very short and light lines. And she keeps drawing the lines on top of each other instead of next to each other.  (i.e. she scribbles on the same spot).

So I came out with this analogy for her “ oo….look at the worms (lines) dancing on the paper.  They like to dance up and down (to encourage her to draw longer lines).  They like to dance on white paper (to encourage her to scribble new spots)  

Day 1’s progress was minimal but acceptable.  But not much further progress on other days. *sigh*.  I am also tired after work, and it is just so, so , so frustrating to teach her!  Most of the time, she’s not even interested at all.  And she gives up really, really easily.  It it so challenging to get her draw a few lines and just when she does that, she complains her hands are tired.  

Aaaaaarghhhhhh!  It is really a test of patience every single time.  I tried buying new colouring pencils and book but failed.  Used all sorts of stories but still failed. Tried to be all happy and chirpy, still failed.  Tried bribing her with ipad time, still failed. Tried asking hubby to take over -  session ended with him SCREAMING at her, and Erin wailing on the floor.  Mega fail!   Tried different location (Elyssa’s school canteen last Saturday), failed.  

I SOS’ed my mum for help last Saturday afternoon cos she is really good at handling them (but it’s tough with so many kids in the house! Currently,  focus on academics is on the eldest 2). Mum had a short “study time” with Erin on Monday and she said it went rather well!  Yay!  

Then yesterday was a public holiday so I did study time with Erin instead.  Took almost ALL my willpower not to lose my temper last night.  Got me all grouchy tho  :-(

*sobs*  *sobs*.  So many things are going through my mind – did I choose the right kindy? (teacher called me to complain again last week)  Is Erin really slow?   Guilty thoughts too – I definitely spent more time guiding Elyssa when Elyssa was younger!  But it was so much easier cos Elyssa was the only child then.   

I went to bed really, really upset last night.  So just have to pen it all down this morning. Hopefully things will get better soon.  Deep down, I still have faith that Erin is going through a tough phase, but she will eventually catch up.  Oh, just remembered something -  After one session, I held her on my lap and asked her whether she thinks she’s clever or stupid.  Broke my heart when she answered softly “toopid”.  I told her she was a very clever girl indeed.  Just that she forgets to try hard sometimes.  (ok, I also said “of course you’re clever, cos your mummy is clever” after which she grinned.  Gotta give her something to believe in mah)

*sigh*, wish me luck for this journey ahead!


Small Kucing said...

4 is still young lah. Guess needs more practise.

Or could it be something in the kindy that made her doesn't want to write? Why she call herself topid? Heard it mentioned some where by someone?

All this while at home have she scribble on paper and etc? If got scribble or do some coloring with Jie Jie then should be ok la. No learning disability. Only needs mommy encouragement.

J hates coloring . Went for eye test. Found that he is partial color blind. hence his coloring all kantoi one.

Stacy said...

My session couple of days back with JE ended up with her in tears heh. Aiyo this is hard. The last thing I want is to traumatise her into hating school so this obviously isn't the right way to go. Consoling myself that there's still time before starting school. Erin has even more time.

Ai Sakura said...

I think that's it's still early to judge too so don't be too hard on yourself that she doesn't like to colour or write. Maybe do other exercises like cutting, or threading to train her motor skills... then move back to writing and colouring.

The school has a role to play in encouraging her to learn too. Cannot just say "slow" and then complain to you. And doesn't mean spend more hours in school will produce better results. Maybe you should talk to her teachers or observe how they teach in class too.

Unknown said...

I think it's not nice for the principal to use the word SLOW. I know some kindys are really "academic" and harsh on the kids (there's on in BU and a friend says the principal constantly calls up to complain about her son, and compare why slower than the older siblings, etc)... I'd encourage and give Erin time, and if she is really miserable in this kindy then keep Plan B open. Give her magic pens or oil pastels instead of pencils. Tell her she's a big girl now, must learn to write and keep drilling this into her, that eventually she must do it, no choice.

Adrine said...

Kathy - no she has never done any scribbling at home. Never shown any interest so I kinda tot she can learn in kindy. :-(((

Chi2 - sigh, yeah- the last thing I wanna do is to traumatise her.

Ai - i didn't like her choice of words either. But I told myself to focus on the message rather than the messenger for now. Cos I can't deny that the message is actually right. *sigh* I like your idea of motor skills tho. Will google it up. thx!!!

Irene - I didnt even realise this kindy is so "academic" one. Sobs. my Plan B is to go back Elyssa's old kindy. But see how first la. I also dun want to give up so easily.

Leona said...

Do you have those Doodle boards at home?
If you don't, it's a good way for Erin to just scribble with the pen. They have those with it may be fascinating for her.
Ally and Ryan love their doodle boards. From baby time until now.

Adrine said...

Leona - that's a great idea! thx!! she has a small doodle board but never really shown that much interest. I'll go hunt for a colourful one.