One more week and it’s the end of Standard One for Zara, I’d also moved from one who was seeking advice last year this time to one who can tell others on what to prepare for Standard One (based on my own experience).
School Bags – Buy a good bag, but not too expensive
I’m not sure about Kebangsaan school, but for Chinese school, with the amount of books they have, it’s best to get a trolley bag. The school will put the Standard One kids on the ground floor anyway.
Unless your child is big size, it’s going to be difficult for them to manage a backpack no matter how back friendly it is. The books probably weigh 5~7Kg if not more, I think for a 7yr old, that’s too much weight to carry.
(My neighbour paid a lot for a good backpack, but after seeing how her daughter struggled on the first day with the big bag filled with books, she went shopping that same night to get her a trolley bag)
Think (at least) 400 children
racing hurrying through corridors, halls, a couple of steps;
Think kids unzipping their bags, reaching for things in one shout of instruction (and when there’s any delay, they may get a stroke of cane).
Try out the zip, the retractable handle, see if they are easy to operate. Target for the bag to last the child for 1 year at least. Unless your child is the extremely careful, not too active kind, the bag will probably get very ‘charn’ (Chinese : worn out) come year end.
For Zara, who’s quite careful, but rather active (always racing her friends to get to the hall the fastest) this is how her bag looks like after a year (we gave it a wash during school holidays, or over long weekends). She’s already asked for a new bag for next year.
School Shoes – At least 2 pairs to interchange.
I got Zara 2 pairs of cloth Kikilala shoes which is washable. She alternate between the 2 pairs. We wash them weekly, and apply those white shoe polish to whiten them.
I don’t think an expensive pair is required, as they will be running in fields, dusty basketball courts, and their feet grows so quickly.
We had to buy a new pair for Zara a month back because one of her pairs just ‘disintegrated’. This is what the surviving pair looks like. Definitely need new ones next year.
Unless you are on a tight budget, buy something which fits the child (oversize uniforms and very faded uniforms make the child look sloppy). We bought ours from Kamdar, nice cutting, and didn’t cost a lot. If I remember correctly, it was ~RM20 for the pinnafore, and ~RM10 for the blouse, we got Zara 3 sets to interchange.
By end of the year, the blue has faded a bit, the skirt has reached the knee (was slightly below the knees starting this year). Still presentable, but I think Daddy will want to get new ones for her to make her look smart.
She had 20 mechanical pencils given to her for Christmas last year. None she could use because the teachers only allowed normal pencils for her Standard. We got her lots of 2B pencils instead.
We got her a nice pencil case, but after a while, she started using her reward points or sweet talks (Daddy) to get other pencil cases, and when she was given allowance, started buying them from pasar malam or the school bookshop. So I guess, they don’t need a fancy one to start the year. (Now, she has one for school, one for music class, one for English class, one for ….. I lost track).
Drinking bottles, food containers
We just get the Bros ones. Don’t want them to get something too expensive and when she looses it we get heartache.
We got Zara a small wallet to put some coins and her allowance. She leaves it in her bag, and sometimes money goes missing. Not sure she miscalculated her spending or someone has been pinching from her wallet.
When I asked her to put the wallet in her pocket and bring it every where, she said she’s afraid it may fall off from her pocket. Her next wallet will be one which comes with a strap and hook which she can hook on to her belt.
Don’t be like me, cutting up big sheets of PVC to wrap her books (took me 20mins to wrap 1 book), unless you enjoy wrapping book. They have book sleeves available which you can buy and then just slot the books in. The books come in similar sizes anyway.
There….. Hope you find this useful to get all the things ready for Standard One.