Monday, January 17, 2011

SCHOOL: Weekly Report

Today, Teacher Joyce gave me a written report of Adam's progress in class last week.
The theme was "Myself" so he made a hand mirror, pasted hair/eyes/nose/mouth on a round vanguard "face" and learnt about things pertaining to the theme. He was able to follow actions made by teachers, and learned sharing of toys and equipment with other classmates.

I am honestly very impressed with the way the school's curriculum is run, if you ask me.
To be frank, I didn't have much expectations from them at first, being PCF-run and all, also because their fees are very cheap affordable!
But everytime I go to fetch Adam, the teacher will give me a low-down of what he ate/did that day and his general well-being.
This enables me to reinforce his learning at home.
They also keep all his art & craft and will give it to me at end of the term.

A little more about Sparkle Tots: The principal of the centre has a Degree in ECT, the staff are qualified with either CPT or DPT (cert/dip in Preschool teaching).
Also, at Kai's centre, the staff have been working there for years. The low staff turnover is important because children get attached to a caregiver and you wouldn't want your child to be in a school with high staff absenteeism and resignations.
So parents, if you are considering PAP/PCF childcare centres, you won't be making the wrong choice.

As a matter of fact, my good husband was the one who researched about Sparkle Tots and told me about it. I was initially looking at all other privately-run centres around our home and when we visited those bungalow ccc, the "teachers" spoke in broken English and most were foreigners from China or Philippines. No doubt these centres always do up fancy websites stating their mission, how they know every child is special, aim to develop an all-rounded person and all the fluff, but would you buy those stories and entrust your child to them?
I know I wouldn't.

The only downside about PCF is that the one near us is run as a ccc, so if you want purely nursery or kindy classes few hours per day (Kai is starting school proper next year in a church kindy), then some PCFs wont work for you because the kids there mostly go for Full day classes and their lessons continue after nap-time so if you kid goes for only half-day, he will be missing out the later parts of the lessons.
And me, not being a fan of too much classroom teaching, believe that children learn the most and best from home. Also influenced by my Psychologist brother, I do not want my child(ren) to be "institutionalised".
I let Kai attend classes, but I reinforce his learning at home according to what Teacher Joyce has taught by repetition, flash cards, asking him questions to test his awareness etc.

Anyway, back to the topic. Next week's theme is My School/ My friend :)

I leave you with some tips on preparing your preschooler for preschool:
- Bring your child to the class as often as you can before start of the school term. Let him/her mingle with the existing children and get used to the environment

- Talk to him often about his new school, teachers, friends. Get him mentally prepared, even if you think he doesn't understand.

- Take leave for the first few days to one week of school (if you are working). Accompany him at first, help him to settle in, then gradually over the week decrease your help and existance by leaving class earlier than you did the previous day. Gradually fade your existance from being with him/her, to just sitting in a corner of the room.

- When dropping him/her off at the gate, always say Good-bye and tell him/her what time you are coming to fetch him/her. This gives your child some closure and something to look forward to at the end of the school-day. It's better than sneaking away for fear of crying because it is worse if your child looks around and suddenly, you've disappeared and wonders where you have vanished to. It makes them feel abandoned and fearful of leaving your sight.

- That said, kids will be kids. Children cry - that's the universal law. It's OK to let your child cry initially when he/she is still not used to the new environment. As long as his/her behaviour has not changed drastically to be withdrawn, quieter than usual, not interested in learning, or throwing tantrums for attention, anything apart from the norm, then crying is quite normal.

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