Home-school vs Kindergarten

I’ve been home-schooling Ethan since young until early this year. I planned to home-school him all the way until he goes to Primary 1 next year. That is until his friends in the playground asked him why isn’t he going to school. Ethan then started questioning me about school, about Kindergarten.

We started talking to Ethan about Kindergarten and the possibility of him attending one. The thought of having friends to study (and play) together excites him. He pleaded with us to send him to Kindy.

I was afraid to send him to Kindy. I was afraid we won’t have enough time. When I home-school Ethan, we spent maximum one hour a day studying/writing. The rest of the day are utilized for play, music and anything not directly academic related. We had all the time in the world to do stuffs that we like but now that he is in K2, he spends 4 hours in school.

kindergarten homework

He comes home with more homework and that will take another 30-60 minutes of his time. Life was not as relaxing as before anymore but I still make it a point to let him go to the playground in the evening for some playtime with friends.

It has been a week now Ethan attends pre-school. Academically he is coping well as when I was home-schooling him, he was already doing Primary 1 and 2 syllabus because he joins my home tuition class for the Std 1 and 2 students. He is happy having new friends and having different teachers for different subjects. Simple things like having a uniform to wear gives him so much pleasure as these are all the little things that he has never experienced before.

But there is one obstacle that he is facing and needs to go through. There is this boy, let’s just name him Boy A who on Ethan’s first day of school took Ethan’s pencils, erasers, colour pencils and even disturbs Ethan when he went to pee. The other day, he took Ethan’s packet milk and drank it! @_@ Ethan came home complaining he was ambushed in the toilet while peeing that resulted in him getting soaked in his own urine! I was shocked. Being a former preschool teacher, I’ve already expected something like this to happen when he goes to school but never did I imagine he can get ambushed in the toilet on his first day of school! Ethan’s father then taught him to lock the door whenever he is in the toilet but guess what? That boy will come knocking like mad until Ethan comes out!

Last Friday they were doing coloring before going for their snack break. By the time they returned to class, Ethan noticed that his colour pencils are half missing. He reported to his teacher and the teacher got everyone to help Ethan find his colour pencils. Guess where they found them? Yes, Boy A took them!

If that is not troubling enough, there is another boy, Boy B. Boy B will use his sandals to hit Ethan’s back EVERYDAY! Ethan has warned him to stop doing it but he still kept repeating but this Ethan did not tell me anything about it until last Wednesday when he came home saying, “Mummy, I punched my friend today”. I nearly fainted when I heard that! With eyes wide open I asked him, “WHY?!” He then told me about this boy who has been hitting him in school and even though he told him to stop, that boy did not. So out of frustration, Ethan gave him a punch, ONE punch, last Wednesday but that boy still wouldn’t stop until the teacher reprimanded that boy. I was speechless. Never in my life can I visualize Ethan punching another kid but he did. I did not know what to say. I wanted to scold him but he insisted that it was self-defense.

Darling spoke to the teacher the next day and the teacher admitted that these two boys are notorious in school.  The rest of the students are already keeping their distance from these two so when they saw a new boy in school, Ethan is easily their next target.

I really don’t know what to do. From the very first day until today, I let Ethan handle this himself. I want to see how he defends himself as these are the things I am not able to teach him during home-school. These are vital survival skills that he’ll need to learn on his own.

I had a talk with Ethan a couple of days ago. I asked him how was school, if he is enjoying it. With a sparkle in his eyes, he answered me, “It is great! I have lots of friends and they are all very nice to me” but just as quickly the shine in his eyes turned to a hollow stare and he continued, “but I just can’t stand these two boys. I don’t mind if I have to handle only ONE but when I have to guard myself and my belongings from these two, it is just too tiring”.

You tell me, what will YOU do if you are in my position? Changing school is not an option just yet as I do not want to give him the impression that it is okay to run away from our troubles instead of solving them.

I asked Ethan instead, “what do YOU want to do about this?” After giving it a minute to think he answered, “let’s just go to school again on Monday. I’ll tell the teachers if they keep disturbing me. Things can’t be THAT bad”.  I heaved a sigh of relieve. I’m so thankful for his positive attitude and his strong determination. I pray tonight that tomorrow will be a better day for him. I promised myself that I’ll stay away and let him ‘grow’ and that I’ll do but I’m telling you, it ain’t easy. It’s always easier to just step in and make a fuss in his school but I’m writing this down as a reminder to myself that I will not interfere unless it really gets out of hand…

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About the Author: Merryn Tan

19 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Wow.. ganas nyer .. nowdays those kids. I can’t image what their parents doing? Perhaps working parents did not care about their kids? I agreed changing a school it’s not a good solution, Ethan must know how handle and survive himself. Being over protective it’s not good in away to protect Ethan. Sorry I have no offense over here. I understand your pain as mother, do not wish all this things happen in school. Life is more challenging out there, perhaps you should try to relax a bit, I believe Ethan can handle well, worry it’s pointless but you must always talk with Ethan more like understand him more and the current situation that he’s facing. Give him some more moral support or guidance at the moment. If going worst, the last choice only change school.

    • //

      Sigh, sorry to say that this scenario happens in almost every school. My girl still faces bullies in her Primary 2. Luckily her classmates aren’t that violence – they are merely over talkative and sometimes hurl hurtful words to each other.

      It doesn’t have to do with working parents or stay-at-home parents. Kids nowadays are smarter and bolder. Parents may not even know their children behaviour in school, so communication with teachers is very important.

      I’m glad Ethan can handle the situation well. Not to worry much, Merryn. You have raise a mature son.

      • //

        I seldom see girls being bullied by other people in school (when I was kid), until my girl – friends confess and say that they bullied by teach by simply accusing them / being talked back at other people and stuffs.

        Things will happen like that, and also it happen to us at the same time. It is life. But try to tell Ethan not to punch people lol . . .

  • //

    For all I know, they may end up as buddies @@ if it resolves well.

  • //

    I like his positive attitude. Change school for Ethan is no no, it is not hm that create the problem. So he actually has got a very good solution that is tell the teacher, let teacher settle the two boys.

  • //

    Poor Ethan but that is in the process of growing up and Ethan will overcome it…

  • //

    You’ve only just begun. Long, long way to go… Good luck!

  • //

    Oh Ethan is so matured! My cousin brother eventually wanted us to report the teacher and even his friends’ parents when they did something bad to him (when he was at Ethan’s age), he likes to revenge *faints*

  • //

    This is just part of a growing process. Let him try to solve his own problem. I believe he will become an independent boy one day.

  • //

    I think Ethan handles the situation very well. He is able to defend himself which I think it’s a good start. You know what, I had a similar experience with Gwen.
    This boy in her class has been bullying her. It came to a point that i have to step in and call the teacher about this. Her class teacher warned the boy already, if he does it again he will be caned. Ever since that day, the boy didn’t kacau Gwen. I also taught Gwen to fight back if anyone bullies her.

  • //

    This is something he can’t learn via home-schooling: how to deal with this kind of situation. He’s handling well….

    Sean used to have one classmate like that, but he not only bully him… but everyone in the whole class… he scratches Sean on his face, near the eyes there, the day before my brother’s wedding… The scars is still there until today…… he punched another kid in his class, he slapped another girl’s face, he bite another boy’s hand until bleeding etc..The school teacher is aware of his behaviour and always take extra precaution in him hurting other kids, but sometimes, when kids are together, it’s unavoidable… The teacher already try their best to minimize this kind of violence…. I can see all other children don’t really like to hang around with him. Wondering why he acted like that, one day, during their school function…. I overheard his dad said to him: If you do this again, I’ll hang you in the tree and beat you.. Then I know why….Can’t blame the boy…

  • //

    bravo to ethan. i m glad he is coping very well…especially coming from a 1-child family. P on the otherhand is very demanding cos at home, he is the only one, and all attention is on him. He dont hv to share his toys and when he wants me or somebody, he gets it. THen in school, he keep wanting attention but I told the teacher to discipline all child the same way and to ignore P demands!

  • //

    have you considered talking to boy A’s and boy B’s parents?

  • //

    Oh dear! Two bullies in school? Poor Ethan. Glad that he is coping well in school and I must say that he is handling the situation very well. He’s really mature. Can he change class instead?

  • //

    I don’t think there’s any need to stop schooling or changes school. He seemed to handle it well and mature enough for his age. Sometimes, these experience counts and I personally think these experience would shape him better. Speaking from experience. What I would recommend the thing to do is not only go talk to the teacher and instead of asking the teacher to warn/scold/beat Boy A or Boy B…ask the teacher to set up a meeting between their parents and you and William. Confront them about it. Sometimes, it is not the teacher to be blamed. My mom was a preschool teacher (a pretty darn good one based on her reputation I often heard about in the streets) and so I know.

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    It’s just the beginning. Sometimes I feel it hard to let go my hands off my daughter. But letting go means I allow space for her to grow, make mistake and learn “life lessons”.

  • //

    During Ethel’s final year in kindy, she also came across the same problem. I was pretty depressed also when she came back home and started to complain about it.

    I did not see the teacher or the kids. I just want her to learn self -protect unless the girl really try to step on her head, then she will have to tell the teacher. Glad that she was able to go through it.

  • //

    So young already a bullier, not one but poor Ethan need to handle two. If it continue again I guess I’ll stand at the school gate and wait for their parent. Just wanna to have a talk with them, maybe in front of the kids too telling him “Aunty is really angry about what you did to Ethan”.

  • //

    Poor Ethan. He probably should keep a distance from those kids (i.e. don’t sit too near them or something) and probably something like Eric mentioned – set up a meeting.

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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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