Preschool Posts

A Guide to Starting School

Starting school is one of the most important steps for any child, but the good thing is that there are things you can do to ensure they are a little more comfortable as they start the new journey in life.

With new baseline assessments in primary schools by 2022 -2023 according to Tradewind, as well as all the old variables, there is a lot to prep for.

With September fast approaching, we have made a list of tips that will go a long way in helping your kid on his/her first day at school as they get to know the new routine.

Before school starts

Get organized: Ensure that you have everything needed in time for your first day. You should also make an effort on including them in the decision-making process – even if it is just choosing a backpack – so they can get excited about school. Show them where the label is on the clothes so they can see it for themselves.

Back To School with Bright Star Kids Name Labels

Talk about the things they can expect: You should try explaining the school rules to them, routines, and schedules so they can have a rough idea of what to expect. Give them assurance that the teacher is there to help them, and the end of the day you will be there to talk to them. You can even share a little experience of your own at school.

Become familiar with the school : Take them for a walk around the school so they get to see it when it is empty with no people around. Let them see the playground, gates, and where they are going to be on the first day.

On the first day

Guide to Starting School

Proper preparation: Make sure everything is ready the day before because this will give you enough time the next day to enjoy instead of having to rush to get out of the door. Take that time to take a photo so they can have a memory of their first day. Having the memory of their photos will also be great for you because you can always go back and see how your kid was on their first day of school. Keeping memories through photos is great.

Dealing with separation anxiety: You should give the young one assurance that you will be there to pick them in a couple of hours and hear how their day went, and also they should know that teachers are there to help if they need it.

Talk to the teacher if you have concerns about the kid settling in or you know of a problem at home that can have an effect on their behavior. Teachers are professionals who have the necessary skills needed to deal with all type of children starting out in school. They will call you in case of any problem. This means you can relax and enjoy your day without having to worry.

Home time: Ensure you aren’t late when picking the kids up. You should not make the child anxious because you have not yet arrived, and they will also be very happy to tell you how their day was. Create some time to talk with them more about their day at school.

Settling in

Ensure they have plenty of rest: School is a big step for them and changes the routine of the child. Make sure you are strict with betimes because you don’t want them to be tired and feeling grumpy the next day when in class.

Stay organized: The first couple of weeks can be hectic, so you should try your best to prepare everything you can the day before, especially at night. Kids do not have the sense of urgency as adults, making it even more important to get them up in time and prepare them without having to rush or panic around the house. Things will be smoother this way.

 

How To Find A Good Preschool For Your Little One

Finding the right preschool for your child is downright terrifying. The choices are overwhelming, the deadlines tight, and the pressure to get it right is immense. So, we’ve put together a couple of steps to finding the best facility for your child to help you be prepared.

How To Find A Good Preschool For Your Little One

1. Start researching early

Aim to tour at least one school before your child is due to start preschool. Visit as many schools as you can within that year, and if you can’t get an appointment at one, be persistent.

2. Attend fairs

This is a great way to find preschool programs. Fairs offer the opportunity to ask other parents about facilities and programs. To find a Guardian preschool near you, click here.

3. Book a tour

Once you’ve found a preschool you’re interested in, attend an open house to hear about the admission process and submit your application forms and fees. Sometimes you can bring your little one along to tour while classes are in session and spend time in a class.

4. Discuss how often and how long you want your child to go

Typically, children go to preschool for two years, between about 2.5 and 5 years of age. Preschools often run half-day programs for about four hours a day on weekdays. Others offer full day programs.

Also check these suggestions for 10 Best Baby Car Seat Covers before you invest in a good one.

How to select the right preschool

5. Signs to look for in a well-run preschool

While touring a preschool to decide which one is best for your child, look out for these signs that the school is well run:

  • Home-to-school connections – those schools that involve families often have the strongest programs. It helps teachers to feel supported and everyone can work together for the child’s development.
  • Structure – a quality school will have a structure and will follow a solid model, along with guidelines for dealing with challenging behaviours and situations.
  • Discipline policies – policies ought to emphasise positive approaches to instilling new skills.

6. Red flags to be aware of

There are also red flags you should look out for that may mean the preschool is not well run, including:

  • Programs that only focus on reactive strategies, like consequences or punishment for bad behaviour
  • No research-based and consistent curriculum
  • Teachers who are not adequately trained or passionate about what they do
  • No enough space for children to play or engage in gross motor activities, cramped classroom, dirty and disorganised spaces

7. Potty training policies

Not all preschools require your child to be potty trained before they attend. If your preferred school does, figure out what approach will work best to get your child using the potty before school starts.

8. Adult-to-child ratios

It is recommended that preschool classroom groups should not be any bigger than 20, with an adult-to-child ratio no greater than 1:10. Talk to the preschool about these ratios and try to observe the numbers when you take a tour.

9. Trends

The preschool you choose should offer things that are important to the community, such as using eco-friendly practices or offering organic food.

10. Trust your gut

Finally, when it comes to narrowing down the options, trust your gut. You know what your child needs, and you want to ensure he or she is treated with respect and in a way that aligns with your family values.

Take note of these steps as these will ensure that you find the best facility for your little one.

Paper Plate Toucan Craft with my Preschooler

I always love arts and crafts with my kid. We enjoy our time together in such activities when we don’t play outside or when we don’t read books together. Last week was preschool holiday for our kid. On his last day to school term, teacher gave a pack of crafty material to each child asking to make a bird.

The material pack included paper plates, bottle caps and papers to use for making a bird. It sounded interesting for us.

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

Paper Plate Toucan

However we had a busy week last few days and it was the last minute that I came up with this idea of creating a toucan using paper plates. I found this idea while searching for paper plate crafts images on Google and loved the idea.(Actually my kid selected the toucan from the different paper plate bird crafts I showed to him)

So, here is how we made this paper plate bird.

Materials:

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

Paper plates

Colouring pencils/crayon

Colour papers

Glue

Pair of scissors

How we made this Toucan paper plate craft:

Simply we placed the paper plates as in below picture. Cut plates into halves and shapes that make a toucan.

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

I asked my kid to colour the plates. He used his own imaginations and coloured the plates.

Finally we used glue to stick the paper plates together.

Paper Plate Toucan craft with my preschooler

Paper Plate Toucan

Our toucan is live now! My kid loved it and he was happy to take it with him to preschool on the first day of new preschool term!

 

 

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the Teachers!

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the great teachers around the world. In Singapore, today is celebrated as Teacher’s day and it is considered as a school holiday. So, yesterday there were celebrations in schools including my kid’s preschool.

In anyone’s life, teachers play an important role same as parents. Without our teachers we may not in this position today. They taught us both academic and social lessons considering us as their own kids. So, through this post I want to remind all my lovely teachers I met during my school days, later and even at present.

Thank you all dear teachers for your efforts! Happy Teacher’s Day!

Happy Teacher’s Day

Teacher’s Day at the preschool

As always, for me it is like going back to school as I always enjoy each and every moment of my kid’s preschool life. Yesterday they had teacher’s day celebrations. As gratitude towards his teachers, I prepared the below greeting cards with him.

I bought these Teacher’s Day greeting cards from a book shop. However I also wanted to make these personalize with some touch of my kid. That also helped for me to give some idea about teacher’s day to my kid. He learned the importance of paying gratitude to his teachers while personalizing this card with me.

Simply I asked him to draw his teachers on the cards. At the same time he wrote his name while I wrote the message to teachers.

Happy Teacher’s Day

This is how my kid drew his teacher 🙂

To all my kid’s teachers,

Thank you for being such a caring Teacher.Happy Teacher’s day!

Yesterday morning, my kid was so happy to give the cards to his teachers saying ‘Happy Teacher’s day!’ That was a lovely moment which could bring tears to my eyes. Hope he will grow up as a responsible kid with all the support he gets from his lovely teachers!

Preschool Field Trip to the Singapore Zoo

Kids easily learn through activities and observation. This is why field trips and outdoor explorations are important specially for early learners. At home we always encourage our kid to experience active learning as we know the benefits of such.My kid was lucky to join with his Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo and it was a fantastic opportunity for him as an early learner!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

My little explorer is learning to read the map!

Last week we had a fun day at the Singapore zoo. That was my kid’s first ever school field trip. His preschool teachers organized a field trip to the Singapore zoo. This is why we like the new preschool.Now our kid’s preschool days are full of different activities and experiences which also improves his social skills.

My kid has visited the Singapore zoo 3 times during the last year as family trips. However a preschool field trip is a great way to spend his day with teachers and friends.So we decided to join our kid to visit the zoo again. And of course, I visited the zoo again for the 5th or 6th time! 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Little explorers are walking to see the animals in the Singapore zoo!

However, Singapore zoo is always an exciting place to visit. It looks natural and attractive. With preschool kids, I really had a great time.

For my kid, it was an exciting day. He packed his bag with field trip essentials including snacks, hat and raincoat before he went to the bed. On the day of the field trip, he woke up early and was really excited. The bus ride with his preschool friends was an unforgettable experience for him. 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

My kid is watching dinosaurs with his friend

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Exploring the dinosaur statue

Other than watching the animals around the zoo, teachers planned to watch some animal shows during the field trip. It was exciting for the kids. But after the first animal show, my kid showed signs of tiredness. Light snacks were always helpful for me to keep him active. 🙂

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

These animal themed trams are fun to see!

A tram ride around the zoo was exciting. He could watch his most favourite animal, the Lion!He also loved to see elephants!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

We also watched the Elephant show at the Singapore Zoo!

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Preschool Field trip to the Singapore Zoo

Curious to see the exhibits!

Other than watching animals and their behavior, kids also learned to share and to spend the time together. At the end of the day, kids looked tired but still talkative and playful!

Do you like such field trips?

 

Happy National Day Singapore!

Happy National Day Singapore! Today is 52nd birthday of Singapore. The country is in a big celebration. Everywhere it is red and white national flags and bunting flags!

National-day-singapore

Happy National Day Singapore!

National-day-singapore

National day decorations everywhere

And preschool kids too had a National day celebration yesterday starting from singing the national anthem. As a resident of Singapore, I always admire these celebrations which always create a peaceful community for every people regardless of the race and religion.

National-day-singapore

Some of the artworks found along the walking path

Yesterday my kid went to preschool with red and white dress code representing the colours of the Singapore National flag. On the way to preschool, I also captured some of the decorations done for National day celebrations.

National-day-singapore

Ready for the National Day Celebration at the preschool.(Wearing red and white to represent the national flag colours)

After the Racial Harmony Day celebrations,this is another opportunity for the kids to learn about the country,national day,living in peace and harmony and lot more which will be really helpful for them to grow as responsible citizens.

National-day-singapore

National day celebrations at the preschool

Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!

Do Preschoolers Need Tuition?

Do preschoolers need tuition? This can be a scary question for any parent who has little kids. For us our little kids are still babies. That is why we don’t think of extra tuition for preschoolers.

However there are different ideas and thoughts about tuition for preschoolers. In few months ago I also was in the opinion that preschoolers do not want any tuition. At the time I was introduced for an extra English enrichment course, I refused it straight away. But after few months later I wanted the help of that enrichment course and I started sending the kid to learn English and phonics. This was due to our experience with his first preschool.

Do preschoolers need tuition?

 

Yes, I am a mom who believes in freedom for childhood. I always find opportunities for our kid to play actively and improve his self-confidence. However at the same time we also want him to train for future. We don’t want to see him struggling with pressure and stress once he is grown up or during his school years. This is where we need a balance between his studies and play activities from his early childhood. I believe in such pattern which he will slowly train to face the stressful future and he will know how to balance his life with lot of work load. It is true that we can’t expect a future with totally leisure activities. There will be a lot of hard work for him in office, family or with society. If the kid can get some pressure during his school days, he will know how to balance his life without failing. This is where I always want him to engage in both academic and extra activities as a kid.

 

Our Experience with extra enrichment class

Do preschoolers need tuition

Although my kid had learning experience during his playgroup year which included play activities, arts and crafts and basic pre-writing skills, his first months of preschool was not for our expectations. We found his behavior changes. He was more on play than onto other skills such as arts and crafts, reading and writing. I could find he was losing his interest on even holding a pencil.

I know experiences of some of my friends who have similar age kids. Now they worry about their kids who don’t have pencil control or they don’t have interest on reading or writing. Considering such I am happy that my kid has interest on reading, writing and drawing same as his interest for playing. But, all these because of the extra activities we did at home or thanks to the English enrichment class we sent him during the past few months. Till we find the new preschool, we sent him to an English program.

But now, his new preschool experience is really good and we see a balanced educational environment which includes different activities including play and at the same time writing or academic skills. So we don’t have worries about any extra lessons for him. However kid enjoys his English program. So we continue sending him once a week.

Do preschoolers need tuition?

Now, back to the topic! Do preschoolers need tuition? The answer can be both yes and no. As per my opinion this really depends on your experience with your kid. Remember, few months ago I didn’t want to send the kid to extra classes. However when we found the kid doesn’t do well in his preschool, we started sending him for an extra enrichment program. Thanks to this extra English class he could improve his writing, reading and listening skills and he could easily adjust to his new preschool. If I didn’t pay attention on his writing and reading skills during the first few months of the preschool, he may have difficulties in adjusting to the new preschool as the lesson schedule is different from the previous. So, it is always depending on your actual experiences and situations.

Also as I know nothing about Chinese language, I think of having some extra support for the kid to learn Chinese as one of his subjects in the preschool is Chinese language.I know they will study Chinese even in the Primary school. So it is better to give him extra support now than waiting for another few years till he loses his interest.

Some reasons for sending kids for tuition

Do preschoolers need tuition?

Do preschoolers need tuition?

If you consider giving some extra support for your preschooler, here are some reasons to consider as per my opinion.

If the kid is always playful and lose his interest on other skills such as drawing, arts and even writing, an extra support can be helpful for him to improve his skills. As a work from home mom I adjust my working schedule and find time to spend with my kid. So I know how he does at the school. If you are working full time and no much time for kids, having extra support can be beneficial. That will help the kids to face the future challenges.

However, I don’t want to send my kid for private tuition which need hours of travelling after his preschool. The English class I send him is less than 5 minutes walking distance which makes him so cheerful .He is always eager to attend the class. If I decide on having Chinese class for him I will find a center near to our home or I will contact a home tutor agency in Singapore such as SmileTutor to find a home tutor for him. I would like to introduce a home tutor for my kid for 1 – 1.5 hours than sending him for 2-3 hours group class which can make him tired.As a reliable home tuition agency in Singapore, SmileTutor provides recommendations of home tutors which is easier for parents to make the decision.So,I will use such service to find a suitable tutor for him.

Anyway, these are my thoughts. Although I also a mom who refused extra classes for my kid, I found that his extra class could help the kid to keep his knowledge up to standards till he change the previous preschool.

However don’t forget to listen to your kid. If the kid doesn’t enjoy any extra class, it is better not to send him. Don’t overload the kids with so many homework, activities and worksheets. Instead find a suitable teacher who can teach the kid in a way he improves interest on studies.

Do preschoolers need tuition? What is your idea?Please share your thoughts and experiences.

 

 

Happy Racial Harmony Day!

Today Singapore celebrates the Racial Harmony Day. So, there was a celebration in kid’s preschool too. As part of the celebration kids were asked to wear their traditional costumes to the preschool. It was a beautiful day with kids wearing different colourful traditional dresses showing their ethnic groups.

Racial Harmony Day

Indian traditional artwork display at the Racial Harmony Day booth

What is Racial Harmony Day?

In Singapore July 21st is the Racial Harmony Day to commemorate the race riots which took place on 21st July 1964.Now Racial Harmony Day is celebrated annually and specially in schools this is a day to spread the message about living in peace and harmony regardless the race and religion. As a multi-cultural society, Singapore is one of the best places to learn about other ethnic groups, culture and their traditional events.

It is good to see that teachers help young kids to learn about racial harmony from their small age so they will grow with learning the importance of maintaining the racial harmony in future once they grow up and in any place they live.

Racial Harmony Day at the Preschool

Racial Harmony Day

Kid dressed up with a Batik Sarong and shirt to show his Sri Lankan traditional dress to his friends and teachers.Oh he also wanted to take his monkey soft toy with him which I didn’t want to refuse 🙂

As part of the celebrations today our kid was so happy to go to school with his traditional dress. In our recent Sri Lanka holiday I bought him a Batik Sarong and Shirt which is one of the traditional dresses for Sri Lankan boys.

Racial Harmony Day Activities for the kids at the Preschool

Racial Harmony Day

Traditional costume fashion parade was one of the best events of the day!

The celebrations included singing of racial harmony songs together with some other activities. After the singing and dancing session, kids were gathered to the booth where there were displays of traditional costumes and cultural items related to different countries.

Racial Harmony Day

Displays of different traditional costumes and items

Racial Harmony Day

Five stones game which is a traditional Malay game

Racial Harmony Day

Myanmar traditional puppet display

 

Kids also enjoyed colouring traditional artwork pages and having henna art works on their hands.

Racial Harmony Day

Colouring activities for the kids

Racial Harmony Day

Sanu is happy with this Henna artwork on his hand!

Racial Harmony Day

And finally,it is time to go home! 🙂

Isn’t this a wise and nice way to teach kids about racial Harmony? They will grow up with these positive attitudes and will be responsible adults in future!

Happy Racial Harmony Day!!

Learning Experience with Pingu’s English Program

Few months ago if you asked me ‘Does your preschooler need any extra support than his preschool sessions?’ I would have said a big ‘NO’! Because I believe my kid needs to learn without much stress and much force. Therefore for me it’s enough for sending him for daily preschool!

But? Now I send him for Pingu’s English program once a week. Isn’t it an extra class or tuition or enrichment program for preschooler? Yes, it is. This is because our decisions are changed lately. From the beginning of this year, we started sending our kid to Pingu’s English program. So, here is our story and the experience.

Pingu’s English Review

How we found Pingu’s English?

Last year our kid attended Apple Tree playgroup and his changes were really amazing. He improved in many skills including arts & crafts and social skills. At the same time, though we didn’t expect from him he also learned to write during the playgroup year. That was something we never expected from the playgroup age kid. But he did as the playgroup was based on Pingu’s English Level 1.At the end of Playgroup year; he completed the Pingu’s English Level 1 including the activity books.

Though the teachers introduced the Pingu’s English level 2 for the next year as an extra class, we decided not to send the kid thinking preschool is enough for him. But our first preschool experience was not up to our satisfaction! That was the time I reminded the Pingu’s English program again.

I contacted Apple Tree and registered the kid for the Pingu’s English program. Here is our experience as we are happy with the outcome!

Our Experience with Pingu’s English 

Experience with Pingu’s English

Not a beautiful photo of him,but this is how he attends the classes each week.He is really excited! 🙂

Our kid is very happy to attend the class each week and he loves talking with me the things he learned during the day. He improved his writing skills and at the same time he also learns phonics. Teacher gives him 1-2 pages homework each week and it is a good way to revise and to prepare him for the next session. As the program includes playful moments, my kid is happy to attend the classes saying he also wants to play with Pingu and the friends.

Pingu’s English Review

A page from his Pingu’s English activity book (Level 2)

Other than the child’s interest in attending the Pingu’s English class, I am also happy with the teacher parent communication. After each session, the teacher explains the things he learned during the session including the homework to do. That time is always helpful to talk with the teacher about any matters we have regarding the kid’s performances.

Overall we are happy with the Pingu’s English. As our new preschool experience is good, I asked the child if he needs to stop the Pingu’s English. But, it was a Big No!! 🙂 He says he wants to attend the Pingu’s class, play with Pingu and learn from the teacher. It seems he likes his teacher so much!! 🙂

Our New Preschool Experience

It’s another new preschool term. We had one month break and back to the daily schedule. If you follow this blog you know that Sanu changed his preschool in last May. So, during the month of May we had different experiences than the first few months of the year!

Our New Preschool Experience

He is a cheerful kid in the morning!

The new preschool is really active and busy with different activities. It is really a good environment for my kid. We are so happy that my kid started changing his behavior just in the first week. He is back with his love for reading. He plays happily including pretend play of his teacher. He talks softly and he even talks about good manners. At the same time, he also loves colouring activities and writing which will be helpful for him to prepare for his future classes.

Our New Preschool Experience

At home,he plays happily.In previous months he was different after the preschool hours which could make me headache! 🙂

With such changes, I am really happy because I am the one who started talking about previous preschool and our kid’s behavior changes. So it seems our decision to change the preschool could make the kid happy and cheerful.

Our New Preschool Experience

Just after the Mothers Day Celebrations

Other than the learning environment, the new preschool is also busy with extra activities which we really admire. During this one month (Month of May) our kid could join with few extra activities including Mother’s Day celebrations and Class concert. I am happy that Sanu participated with items in the class concert making me proud. He was not afraid of the audience at all and did his job well. I am happy because this is his first experience in front of a large audience and also it is his new school. In an environment which everything is new, kid could adapt for the changes well.

Overall, he is a happy kid and he does well in the preschool. He also loves his teachers and pretends like his teacher at home giving me some clues on what he learned during the day. The best thing I like is that we have good teacher-parent communication on what they learn during the preschool which is helpful for us to have some idea about how he is performing.

Just after one month of attending to the new preschool,Sanu is a happy kid same as he was during the Playgroup days.That is what we want.I hope I will have more success stories to share about him in coming days!

How about you?Do you have any experience with changing school/preschool of your kids?

 

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