Goodbye, Kindergarten

Rockstar, wearing his new "Big Brothers Rock" tee to his end of year school party today

I spent the last couple of days online going through the umpteen albums off the password-protected portion of the school website and downloading Rockstar's pictures, before they kill my password. (I know, they're probably not gonna terminate it immediately, but may as well, while I'm expressing milk.) So we have lotsa pictures, but... the File. The record of my son's full two years.

Rockstar, K1 (left) and K2. Yes I tried to be "cool" and let him have long hair. But his fine, stick-straight hair totally falls in his eyes. Nixed the idea after seeing him keep rubbing his eyes with his fingers. Just asking to catch every bug around. I still remind him not to touch his face with dirty fingers - it really cuts down how often he gets sick

When I see The Shopping Bag with Rockstar's laminated picture on the front, I know what's inside. Two years, just like that. Where did the time go? We get this huge box file of Rockstar's work during his time with the Kindy when he leaves.

Rockstar's first weeks with THAT hair... Wow he looks so different now!

Rockstar started K1 at 32.5 months. I'm thinking fortunately I didn't miss that much more, I'd recently quit my job...

And here's where we started, when I first filled the "About Me" so the Kindy would get to know him better...

"When I grow up, I want to be a..." I'd written "person who drives any large vehicle!"

In "I need something very special to settle me when I'm upset" - I'd included a big list of bugs with pictures and written "I have no special attachment to any one toy, but can be sufficiently distracted by cars, trucks etc..." and something like "I like spiders." Also "I don't like soft toys." Wow, he really was like that even then.

Pictures, sayings, outings, paintings... I knew the school would send it back, and each term I've leafed through the work-in-progress before parent-teacher meetings, but still... I'm a little misty-eyed when I get it.

OMG. THAT'S how he felt about his long hair??? (There's some faint blue pencil which I guess is what he was referring to)

Two years is a long time if you've only been a mum for just under four-and-a-half. All neatly recorded down - just in case I missed something. Two years is a long time if you are just under four-and-a-half. Rockstar gravely goes through the entire thing twice, impressing the socks off my parents. My dad is, "Now I know why you pay that much." I'm "We pay much meh? Quite standard in HK right..." The girlfriends I checked with had all spent more, cos of supplementary activities as well as the Kindy.

Anyway, as I flicked happily through Rockstar's "portfolio" I took down some excerpts - obviously nowhere near comprehensive, the thing is two inches thick.

Lots and lots of different celebrations...

There are so many races and religions, I liked that Rockstar got to make friends with these kids because I believe childhood to be the best time to learn tolerance and respect for our differences - I believe children are born "colorblind." Like when the fox and the hound grew up friends together - I always loved that story. Prejudices and hatreds I like to think are nurture, not nature.

Also some things Rockstar said during school work, which they record in "Child's Voice" (which <sheepish> also records grammatical mistakes)

"When I grow up I want to be (a) fireman. Fire officers (are) for helping people with anything on fire."

Getting better... (This was June 2011 towards the end of K1)... "Some" hair indeed, he had his hair cut short and- and- does he REALLY have to be THAT smiley-face about it? The long hair so bad meh?

One of the school trips...

Kings joined us on his lunch hour...

Oh this was funny, the kids made up alternative endings to the stories they read in school: 1) 3 Billy Goats Gruff:  "The troll (fell) into the water and changed into a fish and then he (could) swim. He (swam) to Africa and saw camels." 2) Room On The Broom: "The policeman shot the Dragon because it almost (ate) the Witch." 3) The Tortoise And The Hare "The tortoise flies and the hare takes a taxi. The tortoise wins and the hare feels sad." Oh hang on, I like this one:

There were some really interesting monsters...

"My monster can eat plate(s) and can go out somewhere like Ocean Park without getting lost." Let's see, what else...

Oh wow they made moon cakes! (Also bread, actually...)

I don't give the Putonghua lessons in school enough credit, actually some mums told me they could see real progress in their kids' Putonghua too, but truth is I have a personal mental learning block re Putonghua <sheepish> There's a Putonghua newsletter and notice board with notes too... But most telling is probably that Rockstar will happily greet his Putonghua teacher in Putonghua, which is something because he often won't speak in Putonghua, especially not in front of me 😛

He hated his long hair THAT MUCH?? His self-portraits with short hair look so happy??

And Rockstar realizes he has long(ish) eyelashes.

His favorite year is the Ox

But later on in his school work could see his sentences getting more grammatically correct through the two years...

Ok, if anyone ever stops my son looking for directions on how to read signs they will receive a grammatical explanation

HANG ON. "Old people only" like his and someone else's Mummy?! Oh I remember when he brought the taugeh home! I used to grow some as a little girl too! Rockstar showed me a week later when it got all disgustingly moldy next to the tv! Mine did too! <wistful>

Bean plant (he had a little booklet diary too) and... SOME writing...

The writing was a little scary - one day I didn't think he could write (only type on the laptop) and then one day it seemed like "suddenly" he could. (His most recent samples when he wrote Kings' Father's Day card, also leaps and bounds from his earlier scrawlings...)

At some point we had this drawing too...

The kids had chalks to scribble on areas in the playground too - I especially liked that because I think some kids keep going back to the same areas (Rockstar certainly did) so those that didn't do the extra writing/ craft practice indoors would find the mountain moved to Mohammed outdoors.

In case anyone ever needed a map to get around his little kindy...

This map is not to scale. And Rockstar has left out the cars that whizz by at breakneck speed, oblivious to the fact this is a school zone, and the drivers who lean on their horns at parents trying to drop their kids off. I am surprised he did not draw any angry drivers. If you are an angry driver may you someday have a school your child loves which is also very short on parking. It's called Karma.

I don't know why Rockstar thinks there's a Mc Donald's nearby though. Is there? Maybe one of his classmates told him there was... He doesn't eat the stuff very often, mainly because we hardly ever find ourselves near a chain, but he doesn't get hooked on food much so I'm not as strict as some mums here who are all wholesome, all organic... I am against soft drinks and juice though - it's an amazing amount of liquid sugary calories to swallow, and the one time Rockstar had a really rounded puffy face was when I was at work and the helper stocked the fridge with juice.

Crumpled booklet after Kings brought Rockstar on an excursion to the Peak just after Baby Rockstar and I came home

Kings was really cursing and swearing about the heat - he'd come from work, complete with Boss shirt and Hermes tie, to follow Rockstar on board a double decker bus, prance about in front of Peak Galleria, and end at the playground near the Mc Donald's. Hey. Now I know where Rockstar got that from.

Chim siah! Spot the mistake!

There were quite a few of these towards the end, I actually think Rockstar likes doing these quite a bit cos he used to often come home from school and quiz me... Now I finally know where he got it from. He says he and some Partners in Crime quiz each other too...

Oops <buzz> ok not perfect. Darn, they're real sticklers for accurate portrayals in his portfolio - I see a grammatical mistake!

But seriously, it's what makes all this real. So real, it's what my son has been saying and doing in school, mistakes and all. Before he went here we'd had teachers/ sitters who emailed us glowing (and rather "perfect") reports and we would be either "he can meh?" or "he could do that before you started"...

So I really love how real this is. I love that they shows us the mistakes, and the horrific scribblings, the progress. All neatly in a nice thick binder.

Says it all.

Goodbye, Kindergarten. Hopefully, see you again in a few years.

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • Gasha

    I loved looking through the portfolio. What a great memory.

  • Kbmok

    Dear Aileen, love to read your blogs. All the topics are interesting.

  • CA

    What a lovey bundle of (sweet) memories. And Rockstar absolutely rocks in his Big Brother T-shirt! 

    • Aileen

      Thanks CA, I m Sooo glad it is for a 4yr old, I bought it from the States, and it fits him!!!

  • rock star pictures

    interesting topic.thanks for posting.

    • Aileen

      Erm ok, thanks for saying… Something 🙂

  • DoRaPrisCiLLa

    I wish later when I had my own baby I can quit my job too, it is really great to be able to watch his progress 

    • Aileen

      Yeah, they grow SO FAST really!

  • zmun2

    Ah, so nice to have this portfolio to look through when Rockstar goes off to college. 🙂

    • Aileen

      Yeah must break it out for his college application! On an aside, I heard the going rate for consultation on college applications is HKD 20,000! And the top amount I heard an actual friend of a good friend paid for the pri school application a 6year old girl made is HKD 80,000!