What Was it Like for you as a Six Year Old in School?

I wrote one of my more personal posts, about what it was like for me as a child in Primary School. To be honest it was one of those posts I felt a bit self conscious writing. A teeny bit exposed.

Just a slice of the Singapore childhood in the 70’s. Would love to hear about your own experiences too. Whether it was similar or vastly different.

It’s my fourth post on Guillaume’s White as Milk Project. Because I am not a parent, I decided to tap into my own childhood experiences instead. I truly hope you don’t find it too boring because it turned out to be a longer post than usual. It dawned on me how hard it was to stuff so many memories into one post and all those memories (good, bad and traumatic) came flooding back when I was writing.

Happy April Fool’s Day: Just wanted to add this to my post since it’s April 1st. No matter how strict our teachers were, we somehow always got away with playing April Fool’s Jokes on them (usually when we were a bit older – around 10 or 11). What we always did (not very imaginative) was to soak all the chalks in water, so that the teacher was unable to write on the board. She was probably just playing along but we always felt like she had been genuinely tricked. Yeah I still don’t know why we got away with it considering how strict they were about other minor discretions.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis
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10 Responses to What Was it Like for you as a Six Year Old in School?

  1. mf says:

    You just inspired me to think about my primary school days – I think I rather enjoyed it 🙂 Will dig further into my wee brain for details to write about it soon!

  2. fligt says:

    It was a terrifying experience for me. Coming from a lower middle class family, I was hardly exposed to English by my parents-through no fault of theirs and encountered great difficulties understanding my teachers. Kinder was completely in Mandarin and P1 in Enlglish. I remember being terrified of school and not being able to understand a thing. There were several occasions when the chalk was thrown at me.It was a stultifying experience. I promised myself that my child should never go through such a revolting and petrifying experience. He is 6 now an can speak impeccable English and Tamil. He has been going fo phonics class being taught by native English speakers from the age of 3.

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Really appreciate it.

      It’s wonderful that your child is being exposed to native English.

      I too made the same promises to myself. All the things that traumatized me that I wouldn’t want children of the next generation to go through…can totally relate.

      But I am glad that there were moments that I cherish too…that could only have been experienced in the old days and simpler times where play was more carefree.

  3. Guillaume says:

    I have the feeling that the old days were really traumatizing. I don t know how is the school nowadays in Singapore. I’ve heard that some students were committing suicide because of bad grades.

    I don’t know if it comes from the education system or high parents expectation, or both. I found, as parent that it is not easy at all to balance between strict rules and relative freedom when raising up our kids…

    • bookjunkie says:

      I think kids don’t really respond to a too strict environment or high pressure like it is in Singapore. For me at least. We tend to disappear into our shells.

      I think the pressure is getting worse these days and that’s sad. In my time we were hardly expected to speak unless called upon and even then we were discouraged to really express our opinions. The unspoken law was to never argue with the teacher and that the teacher was always right. It’s the reason why we are so bad at expressing ourselves. I think ‘Show and Tell’ is a great way for kids to learn communication at a young age. We never had things like that. Just spelling dictation and mental sums. The emphasis was on Math and Science and the Arts/ Music was not valued.

  4. Crystal says:

    absolutely still working on this post!

    • bookjunkie says:

      no worries….understand how busy you must be. But I am really looking forward to reading your story 🙂

  5. June says:

    Hi. I stumbled across this blog by accident through a series of links, and I just want to say I really enjoyed this. I realise this is quite a late reply, but you’ve got me thinking about my primary school days, so here goes 🙂 I’m a bit younger — I started primary school in Singapore in 1991, but I didn’t stay for long. We left for NZ when I was 8. (I am now almost 27). I don’t remember a whole lot about school in Singapore, but I do remember having loads of homework and hating exams. I did enjoy lunchtimes, though. We played badminton, I remember, and just walked around and talked.

    As much as I’ve forgotten about primary days in Singapore, I have heaps of memories of primary school here in Auckland — easily the best days of my life. School started at 8.40 and finished at 3.30. There were no exams, no real tests (a game of mental maths once a week doesn’t count!), a homework sheet for the whole week (fun homework like scavenger hunts, creative writing, current affairs etc) PE, where we played softball and dodgeball and touch rugby, hockey, netball etc, an awesome playground (my friends and I spent most of our time swinging on the jungle gym) and a huge field (we’d rent balls and other gear from the sports shed at lunchtime). Primary school in 1990s Auckland was fun, stress-free and we just had the best time ever. And we didn’t have exams till we got to high school! Obviously I didn’t stay in Singapore long enough to have the same memories, but from visiting family in Singapore over the years and talking to my cousins, I think it’s safe to say that school in NZ and Singapore are vastly different experiences!

    Sorry this is so long. It’s just been so much fun to reminisce! 🙂

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you so much for sharing June. I now wish I had an Auckland childhood. Sounds lovely 🙂 I too think there is too much emphasis on tests and exams here. And coincidentally my favourtie teacher of all time was from New Zealand 🙂

      And don’t be sorry….I enjoyed every line you wrote as I’m sure other readers will too.

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