Rat race

Recently, it dawned upon me that perhaps, I should be starting to think of little man “future”, specifically the Primary School we hope for him to be in. If I decided to do parent volunteer (PV), grassroots volunteer or join a clan association, I should be embarking on this route soon so that I can be in time for little man’s registration.

I spoke to a few colleagues to enquire about some schools that I am interested in. One colleague has children in a particularly famous all-boys school around my neighbourhood. She told me about how the level of Mathematics goes way beyond the national level, and how stress her son is. The Primary 5 child actually requested to go for more Mathematics tuition, fearing that he will not be able to catch up with his peers from China. She also told me how most of her children’s weekends are spent studying and revising school work.

Somehow, the whole idea of putting little man through this, puts me off.

I was from “branded” schools, all the way from Primary to University. I remember feeling really upset about the whole studying situation that I was in, a rat who couldn’t refuse to run the race. I felt that life is so much more than studying, yet because I have been in such a system for so long, I have no idea how to get out of it, or rather how can I survive if I ever get out of it.

Looking back, I think I have benefited much from being in a more competitive and all-rounded school environment. That is why I wanted little man to go into a “better” school. Yes, every school is a good school. But there is a limit to how good a school can become given its existing students. The kind of peers little man get to know in his schooling years are very important. Peers can shape young little minds and development more than parents would like them to.

However, as much as I believe in the merits of a “good” school, I do not want little man to turn into the rat which I very much hated when I was younger. We must be very careful in finding the balance for him. Like I’ve said before, I do not need little man to be the best, he just needs to do his best.

I was telling a friend earlier about this. It is my responsibility to try to get little man into a school that can benefit him most, allowing him to grow not just academically but also mentally and emotionally. As long as he completes his tertiary education and gets a recognised degree, I am satisfied. I do not need him to be a doctor or a lawyer, or whichever earns more money. If in the future, he decides to take the journey less travelled, I will still support his decision. My bottom line is, he must be able to support himself financially, not having to worry about daily expenses.

I think, instead of turning little man into a rat, we will all be better off enjoying this learning journey with him.

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