Attending preschool may come across as just a place for play and socialising, but it is a big deal for children. For one, children are separated from their parents and comfort zone for the first time. It’s also the place where they build their self esteem, learn the importance of their name and make friends. Find out more about preschool in Singapore at https://ourfirststeps.com.sg/yishun/.
Research on preschool education has shown that children who attend school at an early age usually have fewer behavioural problems, improved social skills and better grades down the road. Many also form healthy personalities due to the self confidence gained through learning in preschool. Simply put, the right preschool education sets the foundation for a child’s lifelong progress. This kick-starts the child’s learning attitude, basic foundation in language, ability to socialise and many more.
While there are different preschool teaching methodologies out there, such as the Montessori and Waldorf curriculum, any good and reliable preschool should possess these features:
- Provide opportunities for learning
- Teaching and learning is through play
- Children are put on a path of lifelong learning
- Provides opportunities to develop social skills
- Exposure to different situations to enhance communication skills
- Development in language and mathematical skills
- Children should be prepared for the curriculum of a structured school by the end of preschool
Here are some good examples of how the above are demonstrated:
- Interactions and learning is often in a big group. This is to emphasise cognitive development of the child.
- Children are allowed to interact freely with one another in a supervised environment. Social interaction is highly important and should come as one of the most important features of preschool education.
- Activities like playing with mud, practising free colouring and stacking blocks are part of the curriculum with an aim of developing motor skills among children.
- Children learn to identify and label their own belongings like their bag and water bottle.
- Oral activities like storytelling, singing songs and poem recitation are commonplace and help in improving the oratory skills of children.
- Children learn to speak in groups and develop the confidence of speaking in front of others
- Children are toilet trained.
- Children learn the importance of time management through play time, assembly time, circle time and fun time.
- The ABCs are taught as a basic for children to recognise their alphabets and learn to recognise an alphabet by listening to the sound.
- Colouring with crayons and writing on the blackboard with chalk are ways to help children develop pre writing skills.
For all those to take place, the preschool should possess these basic facilities at least:
- Colourful classrooms
- Organised and hygienic environment
- Trained teachers
- Plenty of block building games, toys and stationery
- Flash cards to identify colours, letters, vegetables and animals
- Clean toilets
- Drawing boards
What students can take away from preschool
These little tasks as described above can go a long way in shaping a child. Here are some benefits:
1. Social and emotional development
Young children need to feel cared for and secure with a caregiver in order to learn. A high quality preschool program should be able to help children nurture warm relationships among their peers and other adults outside of the family. Children thrive when the care between home and school is consistent.
In preschool, they learn social skills and emotional self control, like how to manage anger. Most good teachers don’t automatically step in to resolve conflict; they allow children to work out their problems and intervene only when necessary. They also point out any wrongful behaviour without shaming the child.
In order for children to grow their self worth and sense of competency, they need to learn how to take care of themselves and others. Little ways like asking children to help out in real tasks can greatly help in their sense of accomplishment and responsibility. Children should also be given the opportunity to help others, like showing a newcomer where the toys are kept or pouring the water for someone who’s still learning.
Throughout preschool, much of children’s learning will happen in the company of their peers. A good preschool program will introduce children to the appropriate behaviours needed to function successfully in a social environment. For example, during circle time, children wait for their turn to talk.
3. Language and cognitive skills
Between 3 to 5, a child’s vocabulary grows up to 2,500 words, and his/her sentences become longer too. Through conversations with teachers, children get to stretch their language skills by asking questions or learning new words. Their cognitive skills are further stretched through a wide range of engaging activities that require them to ask questions, think out of the box and solve problems. Through this process, not everything has to be logical too. For example, their explanation for why rocks sink could be because it’s cooler — and that’s completely fine.
First Steps Preschool @ Yishun
6 Yishun Industrial Street 1 #01-07/08