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I wrote this to my daughter’s class teacher this morning.

Dear _______,

I appreciate all the effort you put in to update us on the expectations of the school and the progress of our children.

May I offer some feedback as a parent. Both my child and I have found the year particularly burdensome in terms of expectation and amount of homework and assignments. There is hardly time left for us to relax and just be, and to have some good fun together without the burden of homework, assignments, spelling, oral and various class assessments and exams hovering over us constantly. When I come home from work, I really want to be able to enjoy my child but find it very difficult because there are bound to be some school related task to complete, be it to guide her in certain class assignments or helping her with her spelling, or preparation for oral assessment and various class assessments etc etc. Even art projects have become a chore. The list goes on and never ends. All of these have killed the joy in learning to a very large extent. Both of us get frustrated with each other when we realize we could not keep up with the demands and expectations of the school. I do not know how my child is internalizing all of these. Sometimes she seem to be able to shrug them off, sometimes she just accepts them as the way things are, sometimes she is able to rise above them but sometimes, more often than we like, both of us are exasperated to tears. I feel like an incompetent parent a lot of the time and I am not even the sort of parent who compares herself or her child with others. Neither does my child has any enrichment or tuition classes to further compete for time. This is just trying to keep up with the expectations and demands of the school alone and already we are both worn out. I really do not want my both of our lives to revolve around school. There is so much more in life that we want to enjoy but we are finding it increasingly difficult.

Please do not take this personally. I understand the school wants to provide the best education for the children and I appreciate that. Teachers have their own share of goals and demands to meet and a lot of you have the children’s interest at heart and I appreciate that too.

I don’t even know why I am saying all these. I just know I need to say them.



(This is an email exchange between me and a friend. After all my ranting, I thought it was quite funny. Please forgive my language. It is written in typical Singaporean-speak. Don’t report me to the Singapore Speak Good English Committee hor.)

how are you my friend? have not been able to catch up for a long time. now school reopens liao, very sian. have to watch over their studies again. when will it ever end… how are you and family?

hello my dear friend, talking about SIAN… mine still a long long way to go man. Ya, when will this ever end??? dealing with no.1 is already stressful. plus another 18 mths old no.2, I am like a crazy woman everyday. No.1 is in K1 now and I can feel the study stress and demands already. can’t imagine when she gets to primary school. how are your kids doing? work is ok for me and family is ok too. i am going for a break with hubby to Bangkok on 28/1 to 1/2. I need this badly. luckily I have very supportive sisters to help to take care of the gals during our absence. I really miss those carefree days when I can travel as I like…. why nobody warn me about loosing FREEDOM + Financial Burden + STRESS + WORRIES = kidS!!!

My dear, i feel the same way too. sometimes i fantasize about “running away from home” for a while just to see how they will manage on their own. <evil grin>

i am having a hard time with my teenager. hai…talking about it will only upset me more, so i won’t share. he is in Sec 3 now. no. 2 is in P3. watching over their studies makes me hate studies all over again. with this type of mind-set how to be positive and encourage them? last Friday i attended the parent-teacher meeting at no.2’s school. lagi sian. one parent commented (after the teacher’s presentation) that the curriculum and expectation is too tough for p3 but the teacher said, bo bian, nowadays it’s ike that. if they don’t push up the standard, we will loose out. i think they meant, the kids + SG. it’s like every school is training their kids to be geniuses in every field. this trend is not only in SG hor. my nephew in KL has to take exams for certain papers in 2 languages! mind you, it’s the same paper and same questions but in 2 languages (english + chinese) to show that they are proficient in both because he is in a chinese school. she sends her 1yr old boy to brian-training classes every week! at 1 year old, i could only eat and shit. looks like my countrymen has caught the singapore kiasu bug. makes me just want to be a farmer lah!

these days schools always talk about parent’s involvement in a lot of the school-based programs. i know it is supposed to be a good thing and i know it is probably true that it is better for the kid’s learning journey BUT poor parents! we have to do school all over again! just when i thought i am finally done with school, projects and exams! sigh… can somebody just kill me!!

this trend looks set to continue or get worse. you think the current situation is bad? wait till you hear this. our dear MM feels that we are getting complacent and distracted and falling behind children of immigrants. said something about us having too many CCAs and not focused enough in our academics. so you see my friend, it is survival of the fittest all the way.

looking at the way things are going, my kids may well end up as farmers.



May 2018
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