Monday, 21 May 2012

Kah Yen goes to Sunday school

Kah Yen is officially 18-month old and we have signed her up for Sunday school. Finally! This has to be one of the biggest milestones in her life, at least for now.

Of course again Mummy is the one who is way more excited than Kah Yen. Mummy has never been to a Sunday school before. So it is first time for both Mummy and Kah Yen.

Knowing that the new environment will be too overwhelming for Kah Yen, we arrived early to give her plenty time to warm up. After signing in, we were directed to a room specially for 18-month to 3-year old - David's club. The teachers/volunteers were already there, toys were grouped and arranged at different corners of the room for early comers to play. Daddy was carrying Kah Yen, and as we have expected, she clung to him tightly and looked cautiously at the place and the people she had never met.

We managed to sit her down in front of the toys later. She was still very nervous and refused to play. I thought maybe it would be better to bring her walk around the room, but she just stood on the same spot without moving her legs. Such is our little girl! She usually needs more time to warm up in a new place, she is also more cautious of strangers than some other children. After all she is only 18-month old and this is her first time in a classroom. We knew we should not force her, instead we decided we would respect the fear she has and lovingly guide her through with patience and support.

Husband managed to take a photo at the start of the program.

Teacher showing kids how to sit properly

The one-hour program started 10 minutes later and it was filled with activities. And I am so amazed to see how Kah Yen started to participate from the initial withdrawal and how much she had progressed!

(1) Singing and Dancing

The first activity in a Sunday school started of course with children praising and worshipping the Lord. The music was playing and the kids were told to follow the teacher to dance and do hand gestures. This was a bit difficult for most kids, only some older kids were following and the rest were guided by their parents. I did not expect Kah Yen to follow immediately. In fact she was still holding my hand tightly, and each time I tried to let go of her hand, she would grab my leg and asked to be carried. But a while later I managed to "skip" and she did not ask to be carried anymore. And when each of the kids was given a head scarf to wave and dance, she was following! She was waving and turning her body. She was dancing! 

I was also very glad to see that Kah Yen knows how to listen to instruction and obey, to someone who is neither her Daddy nor her Mummy. When the dance was over and the teacher asked them to return the scarf, she was a bit reluctant at first but when the teacher gentlely repeated again, she went ahead to put the scarf into the basket. Good girl!

(2) Offering time

I absolutely loved the way they taught kids about offering. The teacher gave each of them two pieces of biscuit, one on each hand, and the kids were supposed to hold the biscuits in their palms without putting into their mouth. Later the teacher would tell them that one is for Jesus, one is for themselves, so they have to offer one to Jesus by putting it back to the basket. Some older kids had done this before so they knew what to do, but Kah Yen had no idea. When she received the two biscuits, she immediately brought one of it to her mouth. I held her hand and told her to wait. Being a 18-month old, she naturally brought it to her mouth again and I stopped her a few more times. When the basket arrived in front of her, I asked her to put one biscuit inside and she did! Good job!

(3) Story telling and individual activity

I was very happy to see that Kah Yen can sit through the whole story time. This is one of her strengths. At home I would read to her story books every night and she can sit still and let me finish the book. She used to insist on flipping the books back and forth herself and would crawl away if she was not interested, but as she grew older, she became much more attentive. Even some older kids were running around during the story time but Kah Yen didn't. 

After the story, each kid was given the activity sheet, it is a family tree of Joseph, there is a sticker for every family member of Joseph and the kids were to stick them in the boxes. This is more to train their fine motor skills than to learn the names of Joseph's brothers, so the parents were told to guide the kids to the right box and let them put the sticker. Kah Yen was much more relaxed by now and I was even able to get away from her to take my phone, and I managed to get a few photos of her.

Kah Yen engrossed in her work
Kah Yen finished her work with Mummy's help
(Opps, where did Issachar go?)
Kah Yen disturbing LeLe Jiejie's work

(4) Free play time

The program ended after the story and individual activity. It was free play time before dismissal. Kah Yen joined the other kids crawling through the tunnel. Again even through this game, I could observe how she learnt to follow and obey rules. She was asked to stand in the queue and wait for other kids to go through first, she did. And when she went through, she turned back and wanted to crawl right in again, but she was told by the teacher that she had to go back to the other end to wait for her turn again, and off she went. All these happened while I was standing by the side trying to snap some photos!

It is play time finally!

And that's it! She made it through her first Sunday school. It does not matter how much she actually participated and how much she learnt, no whining and no meltdown for a first school experience at 18-month old already deserve a big hug from Daddy and Mummy! She had never attended a play date or a structured play group before. She never was told to surrender a toy in the middle of playing. And she never had to give away food which is already in her hand and halfway to her mouth. But she did them all today.

Daddy and Mummy are so proud of her!


  1. Wow, Kah Yen is such a good girl! Sophia has been going to school since she was 6 months old and still doesn't follow instructions the way Kah Yen does.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      You mean Sophia stays at Sunday school on her own while you attend service? Our church only allows 18-month and above to attend Sunday school, and for 18-month - 2yrs, one parent is encouraged to be there.

      For Kah Yen, it is because I am with her and I will repeat the teacher's instruction to her and show her what to do, hence she can follow. If she is all on her own, I don't think she can understand and follow the teacher's instructions yet

      Also Sophia is younger, Kah Yen also only starts to understand more when she is past 16-month old