Today, we met Ryan's teachers for this term's Parent Teacher Conference. As usual, we collected his portfolio from his teachers at the meeting. They told us that they had Ryan's strict instructions not to open his portfolio and they had not, so Richard and I did the same and chose to wait until Ryan was with us to go through it together.

We spent about 30 minutes talking about Ryan and Ryan's teachers had nothing but praise for him. They said that he is doing so well! Last term we talked about how they were working on getting him to be more assertive and to speak up more. His teacher said that, that could have been because, at the time we discussed this last term, we were only six weeks into the term and he was still adjusting and building relationships with the teachers and his classmates. This term, he is so different - he is super confident, he is socially driven, and he doesn't stop talking! Hahaha! He still speaks quite softly though, to the point that his teacher sometimes wishes he would just shout it out!

Last term, his teacher would ask him, "What would you like to do today, Ryan?" and he would say something like, "What do you think I should do?" This term, his response is. "I want to do painting, I want to play with the clay, I want to build with the blocks, ..." and his teacher goes, "You can't do them all at once!" Ryan goes, "Ok, I'll do painting first, then I'll do this and then I'll do that." His confidence really shines through.

This term, Ryan is very socially driven. In any activity, he will invite one or more of his friends to do it with him. For example, if he's going to work on his portfolio, he will ask one of his friends to sit down with him - "Let's do our portfolios together!" His teacher said that this is a very good thing. He has a group of friends that he loves to hang out with. Apparently, they are always chatting away, making up games to play and they really enjoy each other's company. They have been banned from sitting next to each other during circle time, because they won't stop talking to each other! Hahaha!

Ryan's teacher mentioned that, at this age (3-5 years), the children are ego-centric and, as an example of this, Ryan loves to do presentations, he loves to bring items to show his friends and he loves "showing off" - apparently, he demonstrated his catwalk to everyone in class the other day! (This ego-centric stage is a natural stage of development and it is highly encouraged. It is an important stage because the child learns to feel secure about himself, which in turn enables him, when he is a little older, to feel empathy towards others.)

So that part was about Ryan's social development. We also talked about more "academic" stuff and in this area, his teachers were thoroughly impressed, calling him a "genius". They said that he really thinks things through and considers them well before voicing his opinion in an "almost poetic" way. They said that his thinking is of a "higher order" and he is so in tune with everything. They were quite amused that they would find Ryan imploring his friends, "Look guys, that isn't going to work, just listen to me, do it this way..." - and he is always right. He just knows.

His teachers also told us that, when they conduct purposeful discussions with the class on a topic, Ryan is able to speak in context and also to think in context. They told us that most of the children can speak in context but it is really hard for them to think in context, but Ryan can. They also said that he has an amazing photographic memory. He can look at something once, or watch you do something once, and reproduce it faithfully.

For reading skills, Ryan's teacher said that his reading skills are amazing for his age (she was amazed that he could read the word "sketches"). She is working more on comprehension now - asking him questions about what he just read, asking him about his opinion on the story, etc. They use level books and she is using two different levels for his reading and comprehension (the higher level for his reading). She thinks he should be able to level up his comprehension next term. They are also working on punctuation. Writing is progressing really well. His pencil grip has improved, although still a little "soft". He enjoys writing quite a lot, actually.

Ryan's Mandarin teacher continues to be impressed by his Chinese language reading skills - both characters and Hanyu Pinyin. She said that he is able to read the Hanyu Pinyin accurately (it is still a mystery to us how he is able to do this, as we never taught him). He is able to read the characters without the Hanyu Pinyin, and he is also able to match the correct character to the Hanyu Pinyin. Ryan is also confident enough to read his Chinese storybooks to his friends and do presentations based on those storybooks. All this is a mystery to Richard and I because Ryan doesn't speak a word of Mandarin at home.

His teachers said that he also understands Malay - one of the teachers spoke to him in Malay and he responded. This was interesting news because Richard and I have never spoke to Ryan in Malay; we only use it to speak to each other sometimes. Ryan must have picked it up from listening to our conversations. Richard has taught Ryan some Cantonese and his teachers told us that he was speaking Cantonese with one of his Chinese friends the other day in school - they were counting in Cantonese - and they invited their Mandarin teacher to speak her dialect (Hokkien) with them!

In other news, Ryan continues to be picky about his food, although he has made a significant step forward - he has accepted the suggestion that he should at least give everything a try, so the teachers are happy with that. Small steps, small steps.

So, everything is really good, everyone is really happy with him and he is really happy in school.


Anonymous said...

Wow! That sound like a A* grade for Ryan all the way! U have a amazing boy! I think his confident level is build on his exposure on filming. Can I know how u get him into this? I'm keen to let my girl try out. Thanks Jolene

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Jolene, the easiest way is to sign him with an agency. There are quite a number of modelling agencies in Singapore. Check out a few and sign with the one that you are most comfortable with. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

hi there..have u decided on any primary schools yet? your blog is so interesting and U have beautiful kids! fara

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Fara! Primary school is still some time away for us, so we have not made any decisions yet. Thanks for popping by!

Anonymous said...

Can you advise what kind of questions/concerns a parent should ask during the PTC to make it a more effective session?

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi, the questions I usually ask are whether he is making good friendships, whether he is faring well socially, and whether there is anything we can do at home to support the school curriculum. The teachers will also bring up the usual topics - observations, academic matters, progress, etc. - and update us on any praiseworthy things that happened. We are allocated 15 mins for PTC, and there are five people in the discussion, so it's not a lot of time actually.

Anonymous said...

May I know if he is in NAFA kindergarten as you mentioned in an earlier post about this school. I'm considering this school for my kids. Thanks.

Pinkie Pirate said...

hello, my advice is that you should go and visit NAFA. I'm guessing you haven't, otherwise you would have been able to tell from the pictures on my blog whether he is/is not enrolled at the school. :) Go and have a visit and good luck!

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