Young Parents team
An expert from Learning Vision answers your questions on preschool.
My three-year-old is an only child. Is full-day childcare better for him than staying with the maid?
The greatest advantage of enrolling your child in childcare as opposed to maid care is that in childcare programmes, your child benefits from having other children to interact with and to learn from, as well as the nurturance of trained and qualified childcare teachers.
In your child’s case, the childcare option (whether it’s a full day or half day) is certainly more ideal in helping your child overcome his shyness. In group care settings, your child will have the opportunity to learn to play with other children, make friends, and practice social skills like sharing, taking turns, negotiating, problem solving and so on. The exposure to interacting with others outside the home environment will certainly help boost his confidence, and eventually overcome his shyness.
My K1 daughter doesn’t have homework, but a neighbour’s child in another kindergarten has lots. Should I ask my child’s teacher to give her worksheets?
Homework comes in different forms, usually meant to reinforce drills and mastery of a particular skill. This practice is not favoured by most parents and educators today as it is deemed as developmentally inappropriate for young children.
The long-term benefits of such practices are also very minimal, while the detrimental impact of enforcing a “drilled education” can result in long-term negative effects on a child’s development and growth.
Most preschool programmes in Singapore no longer implement the practice of giving homework to children. As parents and educators, it is important for us to reflect on the objective of homework, and whether it serves to help promote better learning outcomes for children. In place of homework, there are many other reinforcement activities that parents can engage their child in at home, such as reading with the child, extending classroom learning through Internet surfing, doing simple craft activities and so on.
How can I be more involved in my child’s preschool education?
Different preschools offer parental involvement activities on different levels. As a parent, you can certainly take the initiative to become more involved. Find opportunities to speak to the school or the class teacher whenever possible to learn more about what your child is doing and learning in school.
With this knowledge, you can structure your own extended learning activities at home with your child. For example, if you know that the class is learning about buses, you can extend your child’s learning at home by talking about buses, reading books about buses or looking out for buses when you and your child are out on the road, to initiate a discussion on the topic.
You can also participate in school events like excursions, celebrations or even volunteer yourself by helping out with the many activities that the school is involved in. I’m sure most preschool programmes will welcome and support your initiative and enthusiasm in wanting to be involved in your child’s learning.
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