How to choose enrichment classes for babies and toddlers

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — July 10, 2019
  • Which is the best enrichment programme?
    1 / 8 Which is the best enrichment programme?

    You want to give your little one a solid foundation in learning, so she will excel once she enters primary school. Have a discussion with your husband about this issue. It’s important that both of you are on the same page.

    For example, he may find that it’s too soon to send a one-year-old to an enrichment centre. He may also be worried about the expenses.

    If you have both agreed to take this step, here’s how you can identify what’s likely to be the right programme for your young child.

    Related: Check out Young Parents’ Listings for all your preschool and enrichment needs

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  • Make independent choices
    2 / 8 Make independent choices

    There are trends in education. For example, nobody thought about brain-training classes for toddlers a few years ago. But now, these classes are quite common in many countries.

    Although popular, these programmes may not necessarily be good for children or provide positive results.

    Try to make your own decision without being unduly influenced by others.

    Related: Mandarin lessons for babies and toddlers: Are Singapore parents too kiasu?

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  • Keep your options open
    3 / 8 Keep your options open

    You want to lay a strong academic foundation for your little one. But remember that there’s more to content such as English and Chinese.

    For example, your tot may enjoy music and movement, swimming or singing. These activities add to her life in different ways.

    So don’t just focus on activities that might directly boost her attainments when she enters the formal school system.

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  • Check it out
    4 / 8 Check it out

    No matter how much you’ve read on the Internet or on publicity fliers, visit each enrichment centre before enrolling your toddler.

    Approach parents and ask them about their kids’ learning experience.

    You may also want to ask the teachers for evidence of how effective their classes are.

    Related: Two Singapore mums share how to beat the maze of kids’ enrichment classes

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  • Observe a class
    5 / 8 Observe a class

    The teachers should be willing to let you sit in one of their classes, even if only for 10 minutes.

    Note how the classes are conducted, how the children react and reflect on how your kid would fit in there.

    If you think that she might not be comfortable in that learning context, look elsewhere. After all, there is no one particular class that suits every child.

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  • Don't overload your tot
    6 / 8 Don't overload your tot

    You toddler may appear to have endless energy and enthusiasm, but she can get tired, bored and overstimulated.

    Try not to sign her up for more than one class a week, no matter how interesting the programmes appear to be.

    This gives you a chance to see how she copes with the classes. You’ll also have enough time to carry out any related follow-up activities at home.

    Related: Baby cries at enrichment class: What to do

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  • Monitor her progress
    7 / 8 Monitor her progress

    Even after you’ve signed her up, keep a close watch once she starts classes. She should be enthusiastic about going to the class each week and talk excitedly about it when she leaves.

    You should also see signs of progress in her learning. She has to enjoy the activities.

    Stop taking her there if you feel the experience isn’t positive anymore.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: 40 enrichment classes in Singapore for babies, preschoolers and school kids

     

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  • 8 / 8

    Check out these enrichment centres which provide classes for babies and toddlers:

    Swimming: Aquaducks is a child-oriented specialist swim school for infants and preschoolers. Click here for more details.

    Mandarin: Chengzhu (pictured above) develops your child’s ability to speak, read and write confidently in Mandarin thanks to a full immersion environment. It caters to babies as young as six months old, through to kids in upper primary. Click here for more details.

    Gym: The Little Gym of Singapore hones your child’s motor skills in a safe, non-competitive environment and offers recreational gymnastics as well as sports skills classes. Its programmes are designed by child development experts from the United States and are suitable for kids from four months old to six years old.  Click here for more details.

     

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