It is hard to believe but my son has already completed his first term of school. It only feels like a couple of weeks since we dropped him off for his first day. I hope that all the terms don’t pass so quickly because otherwise his graduation will soon be upon us. As I shared in my post Why I Don’t Want My Son to Start School in Thailand, I felt reluctant about sending him at first. I worried that he was still young, and that the school day was too long. I’m now pleased to report back that I think we made the right decision by sending him.
Taking Control Thai Style
One of my main concerns was that they expected Timmy to attend shcool from 08:00 to 15:00. This seemed like a long a day for a child who still hadn’t hit his 4th birthday. In the end I reached a compromise; we would send him from 08:00 to 12:00. This worked well for a couple of weeks until the teacher suggested that we allow Timmy to stay for his nap; that way we wouldn’t have to wake him up. It seemed reasonably enough. A couple of weeks later and my wife wanted to leave him until two – apparently Timmy had been missing out on dancing in the afternoons. By the time the term had finished Timmy was attending school until 14:30. I stubbornly hold onto this last half hour because it gives me the illusion of control. It also means that I don’t have to fight to get a parking space with all the other parents.
I’m surprised at how well Timmy has settled into school. He did have a week where he didn’t want to go, but he can’t get enough of it now. His confidence around other children has risen dramatically, and he always talks about his new friends. The one thing that concerned me was that he stopped speaking English for a couple of weeks (read here), but he is now speaking my language again. The high point of the term was when he got up on stage to sing the Spice Girls song “Momma I Love You” – this was for Mother’s Day. I was so impressed with his performance – he was just so natural up there.
Disappointed That My Son Might Not Be a Genius
Before the end of term my wife and I had to attend a meeting with his teachers. They gave him a glowing report, but I must admit feeling a tiny bit disappointed. I suspect like most parents I secretly hope that my child is some type of prodigy. I was sort of expecting that one of the teachers would proclaim my son to be the most gifted youngster they have ever had the pleasure of instructing. It never happened. In fact he even failed at swimming. This came as a bit of a surprise to me; during my seven years teaching in Thailand I never saw a child be given a failing mark in anything- especially in a private school. This failing mark boosted my confidence in the school quite a bit.
We will have Timmy back at home all day for the next six weeks. He is already driving my wife demented with his constant demands for entertainment. It is nice having him here all day, but school certainly has its advantages.