Academics or Play – What should a preschool focus on?

How does one educate a preschool child? We know that these little ones are naturally inclined to explore their surroundings and are very imaginative. Despite their high levels of curiosity, children below the age of five are incapable of knowing the consequences of their actions. They need the guidance of adults when their actions lead to negative results. At the same time, their attention span is very short and they can get upset very easily. It is absolutely essential that all these factors are taken into account while deciding which preschool to enrol your child.

Before trying to find the best type of preschool for your children, it is important to decide the purpose of preschool education. Should a child who completes preschool know all the letters of the alphabet and count up to a particular number or should a child be placed in an environment where learning processes take place by stimulating the imagination and curiosity of the child? A preschool with the former purpose is called an academic preschool while a preschool with the latter purpose is called a play-oriented preschool.

To compare the two, let us first see how an academic and play-oriented preschool operates. In an academic playschool, the teacher tries to make the children learn the alphabet, a certain number of words and some basic arithmetic. The teacher decides how the class will function and the aim is to enable the children to learn a few of the skills they will learn in kindergarten. On the other hand, a play-oriented preschool is based on the philosophy that a preschool child has a wonderful curiosity and imagination that is stifled in a structured environment where the focus is on academic achievements.

The argument in favour of a preschool that focuses on children learning academic skills states that developing a mastery of academic skills like writing, reading and arithmetic is vital to success in the modern workplace. An added benefit is that the ability to read and write well enables a person to understand how the law works, an essential life skill. However, many people including educational pioneers like Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner believe that children below the age of six have a unique ability to learn by exploring their surroundings and that this ability disappears by the age of six. According to them, providing an environment in preschool that enables children to learn through activity and exploration instils a keen desire to learn in children. They claim that the long term benefits of this thirst for knowledge are tremendous.

From day care in the United States of America to Singapore child care centres , both academic and play-oriented child care centres have their fair share of supporters and detractors.

How to Ease Separation Anxiety in your Child

When young children are away from their parents, it’s normal for them to start feeling anxious. This is called separation anxiety, and it affects almost every child, especially when they’re starting school. Separation anxiety is often combined with crying, kicking, and screaming. It can result in a complete meltdown, leaving your little one scared and apprehensive while they are at class in their preschool in Singapore.

Why do children feel separation anxiety?

The most basic reason for children experiencing separation anxiety is because they believe that they need a caregiver, such as a parent, close by to survive. They are also too young to understand time, so even a few minutes alone or with another person can seem like hours to them.

Almost every child goes through this, and it truly is a part of your little’s one developmental stages. But it can be very uncomfortable, both for your child and you. You must take an active role in relieving your child’s anxiety and fears and make them feel safe.

Here are some steps you can take to ease their separation anxiety.

Practice brief periods of separation with your child. Leave them with a relative or caregiver for a couple of hours.

Make sure your little one is well fed and rested before you go separate ways. When they are hungry or tired, children show higher possibilities of experiencing separation anxiety.

Make them more familiar with new surroundings by explaining things to them. Similarly, familiarize your child with new people too.

Make sure your caregiver or babysitter is consistent. Once your child has become familiar with a person and learns to trust them, it can be difficult if you have to introduce them to a different person.

Develop a personal goodbye ritual while separating. This will help them feel more safe and reassured.

Reassuring your child is the biggest step to easing separation anxiety. When you’re leaving, tell them that you will definitely return. Make your goodbyes short and simple. Stalling will only make them feel worse about the separation.

Although it can make you very unhappy to hear your little one cry, remember that this only means that your child has developed a healthy attachment to you. Treat your little one with love and kindness and never make them feel unsafe. A secret handshake or few loving words can go a long way in making sure they don’t feel anxious through their day at their Singapore preschool.

Things parents should keep in mind while admitting children to preschools

Singapore playgroups play an important role in child development and parents should be careful when they choose preschools. There are many private and government run preschools in Singapore and the basic difference is price. Private schools tend to be more expensive and the facilities might also differ.

Safety is another thing that concerns most parents. Preschools are the first place where children will stay away from their parents. Security naturally becomes an important factor for parents. Are preschools properly equipped to act promptly in case of any emergency?

Apart from that there are many other factors parents should consider before selecting the right preschool.

Points to keep in mind while selecting a preschool

For one, parents should start searching at least 4-5 months prior to admission. This will give them ample amount of time to compare the different preschools based on their reputation. Let’s look at some more important reasons.

1. The preschool should be located near to the parents’ house. That way, parents don’t have to travel much and so do the children. In case of an emergency, parents can be communicated easily and they can be available for their children.

2. When parents look for a preschool, one of the most important reasons is the quality of teachers. Parents should make sure that the teachers are qualified and experienced enough to handle children. One of the important qualifications of preschool teachers is to have a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. The teachers should also know about CPR and other first aid techniques.

3. An important characteristic of any preschool is the amount of time they provide to the children for active play. Learning through physical activity is the reason why parents admit their children in preschools and if that is missing, then it’s a waste of time.

4. Children need enough time to sleep and preschools should be able to take care of that. Parents should be aware of the nap timings and the duration of it.

Along with sleeping, food is also important. If the preschools provide food, parents should enquire the hygiene standards these preschools follow. Preschool teachers should also teach children proper eating etiquettes and habits.

Potty training is another thing many preschools teach.

5. Parents should enquire about the classroom rules followed by each preschool. The children should be aware of the rules and regulations.

Social development activities for kids in kindergarten

If kids are made to undertake purposeful and creative activities with other children, their ability to acquire social skills will improve. That is the reason teachers in kindergarten schools in Singapore involve kids in activities related to art, drama, dance and music. When teachers help children get involved in these activities along with their peers, the best benefit is that children will become aware of their own value. Since children cooperate with other kids and prove their value in those activities, they may start feeling their self-worth also. This gives them confidence to spend more time with others including strangers which means there will be significant improvement in their social skills. Let us look at some of the activities.

1. Art-related activities

When children are made to involve themselves in activities like producing an art product, their originality, creativity, and their eagerness to experiment get displayed. For example, kids can be asked to make paper plates using the required materials. Parents and teachers must encourage the children with appreciative words. They should not set any limitation for their creativity also. By doing so, they can improve their self-confidence that may go a long way in developing their social skills.

2. Singing

Children can have great fun while singing. So, teachers as well as parents can teach children to sing songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “The Wheels on the Bus,” “The Ten Little Fingers,” etc. If the children of the entire class sing together, they will enjoy singing to a great extent.

3. Dancing

Kids will have a great time if they are asked to move and dance to music. Especially, when they dance along with other kids in their class, the relationship among them will get strengthened, thus improving their social skills.

4. Making Puppets

Making puppets is a fun-filled activity. Teachers of the kindergarten schools in Singapore should provide the required materials and teach this activity to children. They should ensure that children do not envy the other kids who make better puppets. The skills of all the kids may not be the same. So, they should encourage those kids who lag behind and help them so they are also at par with the other children.

5. Drama

Teachers can organize costumes and play areas for children and teach kids to use props and act like a doctor, a makeup technician, a business man and so on. If children are formed into groups and if they are made to act in several such plays, their social skills will improve to a great extent.

Communicating With Your Kid’s Playgroup Teacher

Do you remember how you felt when you had to work with your new boss for the first time? And when you were just getting used to his ways, working style and mannerism, you got another new boss to work with.

Your kid may undergo a similar kind of feeling when she needs to interact with her new playgroup teacher for the first time. It is even more worrying for you when your kid is getting enrolled in a playgroup in Singapore or in some other country. You may go through a few anxious moments just before the start if a new session. On the other hand, your kid’s teacher may be undergoing a similar kind of emotion.

She is responsible for a classroom full of small and young pupils and her responsibility extends towards catering to the unique personalities, capabilities and needs of the young ones.

Thus getting your little one enrolled in a good playgroup school can lead to various important queries. How quickly your little one can get used to her playgroup environment? Will she be quick enough to make new friends? Will your kid be well-understood by her teacher in the playgroup school?

When you strive towards maintaining and creating a clear and open communication channel with your child’s playgroup teacher, many of your concerns as a parent will reduce.

Start getting familiar with your child’s playgroup teacher

While choosing a playgroup for your precious one, you need to pay heed to certain important factors like location, philosophy of the playgroup, cost, the curriculum, cleanliness and the safety procedures that are followed within the school’s premise.

It is better if you could take out some time to meet your child’s teacher and also get an appointment for visiting the classroom. You can then observe how the teacher is interacting with the children in the classroom as well as converse with the teacher to query her about whatever doubts are in your mind.

What you should observe?

During your visit to the classroom, notice how the teacher is conducting the class and whether the kids present are responding to her questions quickly and with enthusiasm or not. When the children look happy and are found to respond to their teacher well, there are positive indications that the teacher’s style of managing a class will be good for your little one too.

During your interaction with a playgroup teacher, her answers will help you to assess whether she is creative and sensitive enough to respond to the various dilemmas that can pop up in the classroom on a daily basis.

Bilingual education and its advantages

Studies have shown that children who are taught in one or more languages develop their brains to a greater degree and improve the executive functioning of their brains. The way this works is that each language has different words for a particular object, so when a child who is exposed to a bilingual education has to think of a particular object, they utilize their memory and bring forth the apt word for the conversation being held in that language.

So not only do they use more of their brain function for remembering the names of objects in more than one language but also the retrieving of the correct word to best suit their need to convey the message is more complex than a person who is only educated or familiar with one language. Switching between two languages in the same conversation uses more brain functions. Eventually, children would have to learn to give due attention to some words and block out the words that have the same meaning in the other language. This enhances their faculties of decision making and to be able to handle more than one task at a time. In a way, their brains become more dexterous.

A study conducted by the Northwestern University shows that children that have grown up with a bilingual education have lesser anxiety, feelings of alienation or being isolated and better self esteem. There was a research conducted in 2009 by Agnes Melinda Kovacs and Jacques Mehler that highlights the difference in cognitive abilities between bilingual and monolingual infants (7 months old). In the tests, there was a cue — ringing of a bell or a visual cue which was followed by a reward on one side of a screen. However when the cue started signaling a reward on the opposite side of the screen, only the bilingual infants were able to adjust to the new reward.

Culturally it is important that children are taught in both English and Chinese in child care centres in Singapore given the nation’s history, culture and demographics. There are also economic implications with Singapore being a hub for both Western and Eastern economies and trade. Adults who have had a bilingual education have more opportunities for employment. Chinese is the most spoken language in the world with around 1 billion speakers. There is a voracious growth in people learning the language outside of China as a consequence of China’s waxing global presence and economy.

In summary, it is wise for child care centres in Singapore to retain and develop their bilingual teaching module for the overall benefit of children enrolled in them.

Let Children Be Children As They Learn Something New

Kids of today have it quite rough because of excessive competition. Adults may gripe about this but the fact remains that getting by in life requires a decent amount of social skills, specialised education and general knowledge. Without these basics, people find themselves at the short end of the rung. For as long as children are children, it is wise to retain their innocence. Education does help them along the line without extensively draining them. At a Singapore playgroup, children learn how to mix about with their peers. During this time, they are also exposed to learning simple forms of speech like nursery rhymes, creating something with their bare hands and playing.

A child needs adult supervision at all times, especially at the playgroup. If a carer happens to turn away for a split second, anything can happen. As kids learn something new like creating a collage for instance, it keeps them occupied. It gets their creative juices in full spring with help from the educators. When they take this back home with pride in their step, parents preen with joy. It may not look perfect in the lounge, but a little one’s effort must be appreciated and shown off to everyone. Learning how to use their brains in being creative is not really a difficult choice for children. Their natural curiosity gets them to draw pictures of their favourite cartoon character, a story unfolding at home or something interesting in the neighbourhood. A child will always be a child and use her/his talents that need encouragement.

Children love to make use of their hands and teachers at the Singapore playgroup know this very well. They encourage children to use their knowledge of the little math that they know and bake cookies or cupcakes. In using simple calculations for the ingredients, kids learn how to balance the equations, so to speak. When there is something interesting to do, kids never get distracted. Get them to beat the eggs or cream the butter with their hands instead of a gadget, and the results will amaze you. Infusing a sense of pride and fun in the playgroup gets everyone involved. After baking something and putting fancy designs on the top, children can dive into the goodies. When they know that, you can bet that they will keep on at the job! The bonding experience between every member in the classroom or playgroup makes for a fun, learning experience. The little one, who cried a couple of days before, will jump to go to play-school.

Is A Playgroup Necessary For Your Child?

The question in the minds of most parents is whether a playgroup is a requisite in a child’s life. It is a necessity in today’s world, otherwise your child will miss out while other kids grow and prosper. In fact, quite a number of schools insist on a playgroup and kindergarten experience prior to joining regular school. A playgroup in Singapore is a safe place where a child spends a couple of hours with the peer group. A playgroup offers a learning experience with a number of activities and sharing is one of them. During this time, children get to express their talents, in singing, recitation, drawing, colouring, acting and anything that is appealing.

A child, in a group of others, most often enjoys the fun. That being said, however, if your little one does not like the place that s/he is going to and expresses her or his displeasure all the time, you need to check out the place. While the child is in the company of carers, she or he is taught social niceties without being overly strict but firm. If a child is being bullied by a carer or by another child, report this immediately. Nothing should deter a parent from speaking out, because every child is precious.

At a playgroup in Singapore, children enjoy practicing their new skills, they learn to play with others. There are structures in place where kids improve their social skills and help them prepare themselves for school. Children from the age group of 18 – 30 months are admitted at the playgroup. Babies, in general, do not enjoy large groups and the smaller the group, the better it is for the child. During this time, children get the opportunity to watch other children playing. Invariably when they see this, they imitate the others and, in the bargain, make friends.

A social child will enjoy the playgroup experience, whilst a shy child may need to be taught how to get along with other kids. At some of the playgroups, parents also get to make friends with other parents. In fact, it is a win-win solution where kids and their parents make friends for life. Looking at all the advantages that a playgroup brings to the table, it is an ideal choice to consider for your child. Aside from it being a great deal of fun for the kids, it is an opportunity for parents to bond and even offer babysitting services!

The Must-Have Attributes of a Good Nursery

Parents looking for a nursery for their child should try visiting many places in the area as this can enhance the chances of finding one that meets the needs of your little one. If you are looking for the best nursery in Singapore or any other place, the first impression that you get is very important. Is the atmosphere of the nursery friendly? Are the toys and room clean? Do the kids look engaged and happy? This guide will let you know the must-have attributes of a good nursery.

Caring and professional staff

Professional and friendly staff is the main attribute that you should look for in a nursery. Since teachers at nurseries handle kids of varying age groups, great politeness and patience is a must-have quality. Observe the teachers when they are dealing with the kids or teaching them to evaluate them properly. Randomly visit the nursery for this purpose. Find out about their qualification and experience in the profession. If you find them dealing with the kids rudely or shouting at them, then it’s not the right nursery for your little one.

Good reputation

Child nurseries that have a good reputation in the vicinity are generally great choices to consider because earning that reputation is only possible by offering good services. However, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. You should make a decision only after a personal visit and assessment of the nursery based on all the attributes discussed here.

Appropriate licensing

Even if you are completely satisfied with the nursery you have selected for your kid, don’€™t forget to check the licensing and credentials to ensure they have approval from the governmental authorities. If you sense that they hesitate to show their license, stay away from such places.

Efficient policies

The child care nursery should have efficient policies, which are clearly established for everything related to your kid’€™s care from timings and safety policies to sickness policies and handling emergencies. Find out if there’€™s any open-door policy so that parents can drop in children unannounced as this is a great flexibility.

When looking for the best nursery, as a parent, it’€™s your responsibility to see beyond the attractive infrastructure into the key attributes of a good nursery. You shouldn’€™t miss out on assessing even the best nursery in Singapore , based on the factors discussed above and after a thorough practical research.

Here Comes A New Way For Kids In A New Day

Each generation has different needs as practically every child born has different advantages. But the one thing common between them is the ability to learn through educational aspects. Its why nursery was created, the sole area that kids of any ages can start learning early.

Even if parents are always around, its important to prepare these little tykes before they face the real music. That’s the reason why prenursery Singapore is an avid area of the community. It is where all the necessary provisions are provided by teachers, just check below.

They are structured and combined with themed based curriculum. This is basically vital knowing that they are handling such curious and fresh minds. Their system of teaching will let anyone explore and discover an elaborated concept of subject, plus the materials as well.

Their main goal is to teach children with a wide concept which will generally improve their set of skills and continuously do it for their own good. Through this type of system, the kids will then make it a habit in doing it from time to time. And whats really great about is it practices them to apply in in real life situations even with just a mere age.

Now, anyone would be wondering how will they do it and how these kids will eventually do it overtime when its even hard in getting them to focus. Well, that is never a problem in this center because while children are learning, they will also be playing. There will be all sorts of activities and fun games to take part that is infused with knowledge based materials.

They will teach mathematics in a fun learning foundation which it will always be hand son, an easier way to teach and learn concepts of equations. Quizzes, tests, group dynamics and everything in between will be their everyday go to setting especially with this subject. Every new lessons thats needed to be tackled, they will cover it through these things.

They also have a literacy program and they focus on reading, listening, writing and even speaking. It incorporate levels of multi modal and sensorial approaches. And this is appropriately reached through music, art and craft, rhyming, and even social interaction.

These things are introduced to them mixing it with the finest education. This is the easier way for the kids to learn all of these things. And so, for those who is willing to take this one, rest assured that everything is provided.