We made a visit to Tadika Juara Cerdik yesterday morning. This is where we plan to send Joe next year when he will be 4 years old. The principal, Cynthia spent over an hour talking to us and taking us on a tour of the premises.
The place is new and purpose-built for the children. So you've got child-height sinks and toilets, brightly-painted walls, a science lab, a computer room with 10 computers (with flat screen LCDs), multi-media room, playground and a garden besides the classrooms. This is part of DUMC's mega-church complex known as Dream Center.
I find comfort in the fact that they expect parents to be around for the first 3 days to help children settle into a new environment. They also have very experienced teachers and helpers.
Joe had a traumatic experience when we tried to send him to another school when he was younger. The teachers there have a cold-turkey style where parents drop the kid and leave from Day 1. Joe found himself in a strange place with total strangers. He cried and screamed. Refused to eat or drink. Not even a drop of water. On top of that he vomitted. He finally fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion. After that day, he turned and ran the other way when he saw the school from afar.
We have been slowly trying to change his mindset. Thus far, we have managed to explain to him that school is for big boys ad girls, not for adults. Barney and Elmo have also helped to give him a positive perception about school. In theory, he can now tell me that he wants to go to school and we should go to work, and come fetch him when school is over.
I feel he will be adapting to Juara Cerdik with more ease because the principal and 2 other teachers are people he has seen in church. There are also a few other children from Children's Church who are in Juara Cerdik. Plus, he will have Nathaniel for a classmate. Nat's mother and I used to go to school together so it's cool that our sons are going to be classmates.
Nat is quite a drama king. Even more of a drama king than Joseph. I just hope that together, they don't terrorize the other children and their teacher.