Hello everyone, this is a guest blog post by Samantha’s mummy!
After spending some time doing research about preschools in Singapore, I suddenly have lots of thoughts in my head and I would like to share them with everyone.
Samantha is turning 18 months soon so we were looking for a school for her. This led to some online research on kindergartens in Singapore. The usual names came up:
Pat’s schoolhouse, Eton house, St James, Nanyang etc…
There were also alot of articles on how some parents book their place even before their baby is born, how some parents drive their child to the kindergarten daily from their home across the island. And of course I also read Kiasu parents.sg for the kindergarten reviews. I couldn’t help but notice that most of the posts had things like
“The phonics classes are good, they teach your child to ….”,
“The classes really help to prepare my child for P1. She could do most of the spelling…”,
“What I didn’t like about the school was they did not focus on Chinese reading so when my child got to P1..”
Not too long ago, just before Samantha turned 1, we attended the early childhood education agency (ECDA) conference. There I met Mrs Puspa Sivan, who gave an inspiring talk on bringing up a happy child. She sent out a very important message:
“ Early childhood education prepares your child for life, not for Primary 1”.
It left a deep impression.
All parents are kiasu and we want the best for our children. But letting them play and learn is the best thing that we can do for them.
Its not wrong to say we want our child to be used to going to school with fixed hours etc, but I personally feel that we go to school to learn. So if whatever we learn in P1 is already taught in kindergarten, then what is the point in going to school? We might as well scrap P1 and then have 5 years of primary school…
So after an hour of searching, I have narrowed down my choices to this:
- A nice, friendly, cosy learning environment (because learning climate is crucial) that is not too stressful.
- A large play area – preferably with sand pit, water play area, grassy area etc. I remember playing in the grass and always needing to peel the burrs off my socks
- Somewhere that Samantha feels she is going to play everyday
- Where the people (teachers, cleaners etc) are child focused and not curriculum focused
- Where education is innovative and creative
The best teacher is not someone who teaches you what he/she wants to teach, but teaches you what you want to learn. He/she can also make anything a learning opportunity.