Thursday, 10 April 2008


A couple of weeks back the Mrs asked me totally out of the blue where I intend to send Isaac to for his education. Honestly, that question caught me off guard. I was still enjoying his cooing and did not for one second stop to think about where he will be getting his education.

This would not have been a problem if I had come from a reputable private school where they welcome children of alumni. The public school which I came from was torn down many years back to make way for a highway (I'm not kidding).

If Baby turned out to be Kate instead of Isaac then we will not have to think about this too because she will be simply be sent to MGS where the Mrs studied.

Funny enough shortly after the Mrs posted the question to me, we had dinner with Mike and Kat and this same topic somehow came up again. They are sort of facing the same problem as us but only their child is not born yet. Mike too came from a public primary as well as secondary school. If they end up having a daughter they will be saved from this issue too because she will go to her mum's school which is Cedar Girls.

I have always told the Mrs when she was still pregnant then that she has to remind me not to turn into 1) the Kiasu type of parents and 2) the kind of irritating friends that once they have children of their own will go around urging others to have one too.

Reason for number 1 is pretty obvious I guess. Amid all these competitions I would still like Isaac to have an enjoyable childhood. Plus both the Mrs and I are not myopic so we would prefer for Isaac to continue this good fortune. I'm sure you'll agree with me that myopia is a very serious issue with our children these days.

As for number 2, we had a very hard time trying to conceive Isaac and along the way we get so many people coming up to us and ask "oh how come you guys are not trying?", "don't you want kids?", "you're not getting any younger you know, you should start planning now!". Usually we will brush them off by telling them "Yeah, we're trying" or my personal favourite "You'll be the first to know ok? I promised!" So I will not allow myself to turn into one of them in case this poor couple, like us have been trying unsuccessfully for a while. No need to pile on additional pressure right?

I was a little amazed and wondered why on earth the Mrs would bring up primary school when we were still trying to get Isaac to get off his night feed (oh he is off now by the way). Personally I am still trying to get him to say “Pa Pa” as his first words so how did primary school suddenly get into the picture?

Lately I realised that while I thought the Mrs is being Kiasu for thinking and planning so many years ahead, there are others who are already in the queue to send their kids who are no older that Isaac now, to some prestigious pre-nursery?!?! I’m sorry if you are amongst them and if I had offended you but in the queue?!?!?!?! Seriously?!?!?! I mean what planet am I on or maybe which planet did you come from?!?!?!

Mike summed it up pretty nicely for himself when he said he will try and give his kid a better opportunity within reasonable means of course. He just want to give her (noticed recently that websites always refer to babies as her) a slightly better start and the rest is up to her.

My criteria is actually pretty simple, this school (public or private) should be relatively reputable for the right reasons of course and it should ideally have an affiliated secondary school. An important condition is this school must not be one of those money grabbing ones where parents can simply donate a certain (usually rather obscene) sum and get their kids in. I feel very strongly that a school should at the end of the day be a place where children’s' education takes top priority. I would like to send Isaac to a school with integrity. Having said that I probably cannot afford all the fund raising that these schools usually organise every year anyway so better avoid them altogether.

While we are still studying the schools, I was posted another question. Should we consider sending Isaac to Shichida or Glenn Doman? The verdict is still out on this one. I am seriously not sure if I want Isaac to go through it. I guess we have to do a bit of research on them. Most importantly they have to be fun for Isaac.

By now this whole school issue has gotten much bigger because the Mrs has always wanted to move from our current place so this presents to her the best excuse (er... I mean reason) to move. She was so keen that one morning during the weekend she got up early while Isaac and I were still asleep to work on school selection. The plan is we can work on the condo around the area once we have identified the school that we would like to send Isaac to.

Let’s leave the house issue for another day.


noshidoshi said...

Maybe guys don't think THAT far ahead, because my husband's like you too. I was already telling my husband which school I want my kid to go to, when baby was only around 5 months in my tummy, but he was like, it doesn't matter. He needs a fun time growing up, etc. My husband was from a neighbourhood school, and I was from TKGS, back when it was still quite a good school.. hahah.

Lately I'm wondering when I should start sending my son to school. I didn't (don't?) want to start too early.. I think nursery is a good age to start. But my colleagues are urging me to send my son to classes once he's SIX MONTHS OLD.


Coz one of her sons, who's 2 years old, goes to school 5 days a week, and on Sundays, have classes for motor skills.

I'm like, HUH? He's 2 years old!!

So. My baby is now 3.5mths old, but I'm wondering which school to send him to when he's at the age to go nursery. Which school will best equip with knowledge to make him survive Pri 1? Gawd I can make myself crazy thinking about this.

Your wife is definitely not alone in wanting to move somewhere near a good school. Hehehehe.

(mind you, I don't think I'm a kiasu parent. I just want the best for my child. At the same time, I always tell my husband let's migrate somewhere where our kid won't be so stressed by education. I want him to study for himself, not because we push him.)

(gah! sorry for this loooong comment. Igot carried away! Hehhehee)

Anonymous said...

I'm from RGS; my husband is from Assumption. Most people think we have it made since we have a girl.

We've talked about schools several times, just for fun. Honestly, I didn't have a good time at my school, in terms of having real fun or learning.

The other thing is that I used to think kids from other schools were somewhat inferior, and it was only after I went to poly that I realised a lot of people around me, regardless of where they went to school, were really smart, well-spoken and insightful. Again, I must say it was largely due to my mindset at the time, but I think the school culture had at least a small part to play.

We've considered international schools, because I've tutored several kids from SG American Sch, etc, and I like the materials and activities, e.g. students learning about the Reformation for history class were told to write a song about it and perform it on stage. I'm now teaching a 15-year-old who's very passionate and driven -- again this may be more due to his mindset rather than the school.

Anyhow, int'l schools are priced out of our reach, unless we make that our top priority, which is unlikely.

Guess we'll sit on this for a coupla years and see what happens. I may check out some not-so-prestigious schools that have innovative learning programmes; hopefully there are many such schools around.

Trina said...

Is the lesson not to go Govt schs? I've seen many being relocated and closed, and they just don't seem to hang around long enough to last 2 generations. Me n my hb are from Govt-aided schs, i.e. missonary/clan schools. I like them well enough cos they have a say over the culture of the schools, discipline, etc. I also have pre-conceived notions about the type of school i want my boy to be in, and i'm glad that they can be found in both alma maters that me n my hb were from. That leaves only 1 last consideration, to move close enough to the school. Not so much for inching up the selection phase, but to preserve the sanity of both kid and parents to get him to sch on time. :p

Anonymous said...

I know most will probably say "wait till it is your turn" but I feel pretty strongly about this issue. Whilst I understand a shove to the right school may help by giving the kid a good start, I still feel strongly about my kid being able to have fun and a good childhood. I have no qualms about sending the kid to a neighbourhood school and monitor if he/she has a special talent or interest in a certain area. From there, fun enrichment classes may be an option to provide better exposure?

And I thank Evelyn for her honest sharing about somehow the envt she was in gave her an impression that students from other schools were somewhat inferior. Added to that, I do feel that neighbourhood schools equip the kids with the right kinda mix of people and reinforces humility.

I do not know if you recall but one of the minister's daughters made a major boo-boo last year in her blogs with some not very well-received comments on a particular gentleman who wrote into Forum to air his views on the society. The lady in question was merely in her late teens but held such high esteem of her priviledged education and scoffed at the guy for his limited views. I was shocked, appalled and disappointed that such arrogant views were being held so strongly by such a yound girl, additionally one with such good education and one who may in the future help in shaping Singapore. Whatever happened to social skills, empathy and humility?

But of course, hubby has a stand on this too and his point? "A la salle brother school if it is a boy please!"

nana said...

Hi Dylan,

It's never too early to start thinking... but i guess there are juz too many factors to consider... you know, I've been thinking abt this for the past 6 years or so, & I've changed my mind soooooo many times... haha... Hvg said that, i shld be getting anxious - my girl is going to P1 next year... oops!

F A I T H said...

You and your Mrs are not alone. My twins just turned 18 months and I've already registered them at the nearby Nursery I'd like them to go to next year. Its not the best Nursey I know of but its within walking distance and decent looking. For me, distance is most important as I can't imagine braving wet weather to ferry 2 toddlers to/from school. I would have waited till year end before proceeding to register them. The one day, I happened to pass by the Nursery and was looking at their craft work on the window when a teacher asked if I needed help. All I ask was how many kids do you take in per batch. The answer was 12 for Nursery and 5 were already taken up. Gosh, there are parents who register their infants more than one year ahead! So you see, even if you're not the kiasu type, you'll be forced to act like one. If I waited any longer, my kiddos may have to travel miles to get to a nursery class. So don't be too hard on yourself at times. Kiasu or not, we just want things to work out to the best interest of our kids, and at times, to the convenience of us parents. :)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Shida,

Ya I agree maybe guys do not think that far ahead.

You are pretty far ahead huh?! 5 months in your tummy?!

Honestly I am not for the idea of sending the kids to school at such a young age. 6 months?!?!

So Isaac is about the same age as your baby which means we still have some time to go.

Oh, and don't worry about the long comment. It just shows that you feel rather strongly about this topic.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi evelyn,

Interesting to know (actually more like confirm) that the children from good schools find the rest from the other schools inferior. I honestly believe that it exists even today and it is spread across all levels from Primary to Secondary to Colleges.

Maybe I am wrong here but I do not think the learning programmes differ too drastically amongst the schools right? After all the MOE oversees the syllabus and teaching materials.

Hmmm…. Maybe Isaac can go to the Sports School. Our place is not far from it. Hahaha

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Trina,

Well at least you sounded like you have sort of a plan already. Good for you.

We are only scratching the surface here but thankfully we still have time (I think).

Relocation is another matter on our mind right now but we have to identify the school before we look into that.

Like you said it is also important to preserve the sanity of both parents and kids to try and get them to school on time.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Sis,

I think it is important to teach our kids not to feel inferior in case they do not get into the "good" schools.

We both came from Govt school and we turn out okay and I do not believe we felt inferior for a sec towards those other children.

Think the hard part is to find the school with the right mixture of fun and learning.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi nana,

You have been thinking for the past 6 years so I'm sure you already know which school your girl will be going to next year right?

I have a feeling we will be changing our minds over the next few years too.

Maybe these schools will be relocated too, who knows?

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Monozygotic Mom,

Wow! Long time no hear from you. I have been following your blog in case you are not aware.

Actually I believe most parents are driven to sign up early for the same reason you faced. Naturally we would like to have the kids attend to nurseries and schools near our home so fearing that there will be no more vacancy, parents have to sign up early.

Come to think of it, once we have identified the school that we want Isaac to go to, I may just go ahead and register him so that I have one more thing off my mind. The last thing I want is to identify the school only to miss out on it due to not registering early enough. I do not think I want to go through the studying and selection again.