Grace Chia, mom of a PSLE child, mulls over on how to stay grounded and calm as she accompanies her daughter in planning her next step.
The PSLE results were released last Thursday, 21 November 2019. The next step: to choose the school my child will spend her next 4 to 6 years. From choosing with limited info to having too many options, here’s what I learnt in the days since my child has officially graduated from primary school.
There will be tears
No matter the outcome, there will be tears. When my daughter got a glimpse of her PSLE score, she was shell-shocked. Her tears came later when her BFF, overjoyed and relieved, started crying and, soon, all of us were in a weep fest. Joy, disappointment, relief, empathy – we’d earned the right to let our floodgates open! One milestone checked, it’s time to gear up for the next.
Too many differing opinions
Everyone has an (expert) opinion. From forummers to friends to colleagues, I’ve read and listened to differing opinions about the best pathway for my daughter. Yet, none of us, not even this mother, is going to walk down this road we think is best for her, even if our views are based on data, research, trends and experience. Let’s face it: our time in secondary school was too long ago to be truly relevant to a millennial child of this generation.
Which choice will spark joy for her?
Will my child like a co-ed or single-sex school? Is proximity to the school, language or elective centres important? We’ve gone to open houses, compared notes on school prospectuses and talked to students, staff and teachers, and come back with more questions! All schools are good schools, in their own unique ways, which makes choosing even harder. At the end of the day, our choice will depend on one unquantifiable factor: how my child feels towards her dream school.
Cut the clutter
There’s either not enough info out there or too huge an info dump. Clear the mental clutter. As a parent who likes to deep dive into research, I realise I’m hoarding more info than I need to fill in a one-page form – we don’t need all the resources advertised by the schools, just like we don’t visit every landmark on a map when we travel. More offerings or facilities from a school doesn’t mean it’s better for the child.
We can’t control the unknowable
Stress comes from not being able to predict the future. Let it go. No matter which route my child takes, whether it’s a 4-, 5- or 6-year programme, as long as she is happy, benefits from and enjoys her learning experience, I know she will turn out alright. In the event the school we picked is not the right one, she can always shift gear and change directions in her next stage of life. Education is a lifelong journey, with many twists and turns. It’s not a one-way street. It doesn’t and shouldn’t end after this.