Preschooler Posts

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?

 

We Changed the Preschool of Our Kid : Here is Why

We changed the preschool of our kid before the first semester ends. We had to do that for few reasons. And here is why.

At the beginning of this year, we never had any idea to change our kid’s preschool before he completes the whole year. But we did! We changed his preschool and now he attends a new preschool. At first I was worried about taking this decision to change the preschool. But, with the help of my husband I took the decision. I took the challenge of changing the preschool and the kid started his new preschool from last week. (From 1st day of May).Now after few days, my kid is really happy at his new preschool, I can see the changes of his behavior for the good. So, I am happy that our decision to change the preschool is correct and timely.

As the change of preschool gave us positive results so far, I want to note down our experience in this blog post. Anyway this blog post is not to criticize the previous preschool. This post is with the whole purpose of sharing our experiences and how we identified the negative side of his preschool experiences through our son’s activities. Our experience may help another parent to take decision if they too have such troublesome period same as we experienced with our preschooler.

Here is our thoughts and experience of his previous preschool. Just want to mention that I am a Singapore resident and I am from Sri Lanka. As a first time mom, most of experiences   are new to me. Sometimes it is hard to find correct information, experiences and others’ ideas unless I find those through websites and forums.

It was same for us when it was time to select a preschool. At the time we selected Playgroup for our kid, we had 2 options. Both Playgroups are very near to our home. That time my first concern was to send the 2 years old kid to a place which he find other kids to play, learn social skills and other such life skills. Once we found 2 nearby Playgroups, I contacted some of my ex-colleagues and friends to get their experience with these playgroups and we decided on the one which is more near to our place and it was also recommended by my friends. Our decision was correct. Day by day my kid showed his improvements. Although we didn’t have any expectations for him to learn writing during the playgroup age, he also learned writing. We were really happy with the playgroup and each day my kid came out from the playgroup with arts and crafts he did at the playgroup.

We Changed the Preschool of Our Kid

These are some arts and crafts he did during the Playgroup year.I expected to see such arts and crafts from his preschool too 🙂

At the end of the Playgroup year, our kid was happy with activities such as singing, writing, reading, arts & crafts and he was really a smart kid for his age.

Then the preschool year! We had to apply for the preschools like around August of previous year (2016). When I reached the nearby preschool; I found that there were no vacancies left. So, at that moment our first concern was to find a preschool which has a vacancy for the kid and also near to our home. We were also planning a holiday in Sri Lanka. So we wanted to register the kid before we go for the holiday. I started visiting the other preschools and I wanted to register our consent. Anyway, the first preschool I visited could attract me. It was located in a peaceful environment and also less crowded. I talked with the principal. Everything sounded good and I registered the kid there. My first concern was the learning environment I could see at this preschool. Fewer kids in a peaceful environment sounded good for me to select the preschool.

So far so good! Our kid happily started his preschool in early January this year.

First weeks of Preschool

For my surprise, our kid didn’t cry at his preschool although I expected such. He happily adjusted to the preschool. Anyway at the end of the preschool sessions, I didn’t see anything he did during the classroom. Okay. It can be my fault to expect to see things he did during the class because I was used to such during the playgroup days. So, I made my mind and adjusted.

But, for some reasons at the end of January I started thinking that this preschool doesn’t continue the things he learned from Playgroup or doesn’t improve the knowledge in many skills. Anyway, these are my feelings and thoughts. Although it is a preschool, we know that the kid needs to slowly adjust to his next year kindergarten too. So, he needs to improve his skills day by day gradually. But nothing seems improving. Instead kid became more active and less concentrated in any activity he did.

Anyway, I thought that it is me expecting many things from the kid. Though my husband asked me to check for another preschool if this doesn’t fit for our kid, I wanted to give it a second try. I decided on trying homeschooling as we did before while continuing his preschool.

Things I did before the decision to change the Preschool

Here are some things I did to improve his skills and to improve his desire to learning before taking the decision to change the preschool.

As the kid loves colouring, I bought new colouring books and crayons. But he didn’t like those as before.

As the kid loves reading, I bought new books. But he didn’t love the books. Even he didn’t enjoy his library visits or the books we borrowed from the library.

He didn’t want to join the bedtime reading which he loved before.

Then I bought some workbooks for preschool age and started doing the books at home. We have really good experience with Gakken workbooks during the playgroup year and kid loved to do the mazes and other activities. So, I thought he would like his new books. But, he didn’t show much interest. I also didn’t want to force him because I believe he should learn with fun and happiness.

I went out most of the time for active play activities and pretend play activities thinking these activities will be helpful for him to calm down and improve his behavior problems. He was good at those indoor playgrounds we visited. But he also continued aggressive behavior after preschool.

As our experience with Apple Tree playgroup is really good, I thought of sending him to their enrichment class which they continue teaching Pingu’s English program.

Wow! My kid was really happy with Pingu English class which is just one day per week .He loves his teacher. His behavior is completely opposite after the Pingu class. He loves to show me the things he did during the class session. I noticed his complete change in behavior once a week after the enrichment class. He started repeating phonics sounds at home. But all these lasted until he attended the next preschool day. After preschool, again he was an aggressive kid at home. He even showed some bad manners which we didn’t want to accept.

Decision to Change the Preschool

This is the time that another new kid came to the preschool. He was bit different and he didn’t adjust to the preschool. I understand the concerns of his mom. I also understand how hard it was for the teachers. All teachers had to attend this new kid and day by day I noticed that teachers didn’t have time for other kids. When I went to fetch the kid I could see that new kid was walking around the class. Teachers were trying to control/adjust him and other kids were watching that. Okay. This is normal. Usually kids take long time to adjust to a preschool environment. But this kid was different and from February until end of April, he was not fully adjusted to the class room. I know how hard it was for the teachers.

But, the results?

One day, my kid suddenly changed his way of talking. He looked like very dictative.

For small requests was like’ DO THIS, STOP THIS, I TOLD YOU TO STOP, DON’T DO, GO THERE..etc etc

Eh, can you believe the changes of him and my mood? At first, I thought this can be my talking because my husband is the only other person stay at our home and he usually comes home at late night. So, if the kid follows someone, obviously it is me. I’ve read many articles and advices that says ‘Kids follow the parents

So, is that me talking like this? Though I know that I am not such rude, I decided to be more concentrate on my talking.

Okay. Now his talking is different and becoming rude. In few days he started to tap a table or chair and ordered me to ‘STOP, DO, GIVE etc. A different way of commanding! I got the idea. It was like a teacher, not like a mom! I simply talked with him.

I asked him gently, ‘Is that Amma (mommy) talks to you like this?’

He said. ‘No this is how teacher talks to …. (name of the new kid)’

I asked ‘when does the teacher talk like that to …..(name of the new kid)?’

Kid said, ‘When he does naughty things and when he takes teacher’s things, teacher says like that.’

Anyway, I am not such type of person to take actions just believing words of a preschooler. But I got some idea in mind and I totally understand the frustration of teachers in controlling and managing the class with the activities of the new kid.

But for us, our kid is important.

We decided to change the preschool and with the help of another mom I found the new preschool. It is another branch of the same preschool group, but they do lot of activities including field visits and other kid activities. The new preschool has good communication with parents. I registered the kid for the new preschool after talking more things with teacher, principal and even with the parent I know.

Mid of March I submitted my consent of withdrawing the kid from previous preschool. However, as we have to give the 1 month notice, kid had to continue the same preschool until end of April. April month was the toughest month for me as kid continued his aggressive behavior after the preschool hours. Even he started to refuse preschool in the morning. He didn’t have interest to go for school daily. But we had a hope with new preschool! I will write more on our experiences in another post.

We Changed the Preschool of Our Kid

Experience with New Preschool

Kid started his new preschool on May 2nd.Seems our   decision is right and kid is changing. It is a surprise how a kid can change fast with the change of the environment. He showed his changes immediately during the 1st week of new preschool. He is a happy kid after the preschool and he talks gently. He is friendly with new friends and at home he pretends like his teacher. Oh I started having some peace at home. 🙂

I am happy with what we did and I am glad I could notice the changes of my kid at the right time. At the same time I am happy that I am a Work at Home Mom and I don’t have regrets of leaving my highly paid Engineering job. Because after all, I believe preschool education is the foundation for kid’s entire life and we need to build strong foundation. If the foundation is not strong, the building will collapse one day!

Do you have such experiences with preschools or schools with your kids? Do you believe that all kids need equal attention of the teachers even though they are independent and don’t cry for everything? 🙂  Please share your thoughts. I will continue writing the experiences of our new preschool in another blog post! After all I am having peaceful time at home after 4 months of extremely troublesome days with our too active kid. 🙂

 Disclaimer : This is my true experience and thoughts which I want to share with other moms thinking it is helpful.I don’t have any intention to criticize the previous preschool 🙂

How to Select the Right Preschool?

Selecting the right preschool is one of the important tasks when the kids reach their preschool age. Although there are many preschools available, as parents we should have some idea on how to choose the right preschool depending on various facts. As my child reached preschool age and started preschool this year, we had the same doubts when selecting a preschool for him. Therefore I think it is good to share some of our experiences as these ideas may help you to select the right preschool for your kid too.

How to Select the Right Preschool

Image credits : rhmontessori.com

 

Consider the teaching method

As early education is really important for your kid, you also need to have some idea on different early education philosophies. Some common approaches are Montessori, play based and academic preschools which gives some hint on how the preschool activities are created. Anyway there are preschools which use combine philosophies, but there are preschools which use one approach such as Montessori Method. For example, Richmond Hill Montessori ,Plano,Texas carries their programs according to the Montessori approach. Therefore the classrooms of the preschool are equipped with Montessori materials to give better learning environment for the kids.

How to Select the Right Preschool

Image credits : rhmontessori.com

When you know these terms clearly, you can easily decide on the right preschool for your kid.

Do your research

If you ask your friends, colleagues and family members who have young kids, they will give you loads of ideas regarding the preschools. I also did the same at the time my son was attending playgroup classes. For me, selecting a preschool was a really new experience as I am from another country. However, the details and information I received from my friends and other parents of playgroup kids were really helpful to shortlist few preschools before we decide on one.

Visit the preschool before deciding

This is the next step I did before choosing a preschool for our kid. I shortlisted few preschools and then started visiting the schools. Although the preschool near my place was full, I also did not attract the place as it was too crowded with kids. I found a preschool which is in some distance to my home with a peaceful environment which I believe is essential for young kids to learn. These can be your personal choices. However, by visiting few preschools, you can easily select the right one which suits with your expectations.

How to Select the Right Preschool

Image credits : rhmontessori.com

When you talk with the teachers or principal, you can easily clear any doubts you have regarding the preschool. This is really important and you will also understand how the school communicates with parents.

Above are the steps I followed when we select the preschool for our kid. So far our experience is really good with the new preschool and my kid happily wakes up in the morning to go to the school. I hope these tips are helpful for you too. If you have any other ideas, please share those below, so that others can get the benefit!

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