Have you ever wondered what exactly do your children do in kindergarten all day? Well, this programme laid out all of the curriculum and the way classes is conducted by the teachers. We were divided into groups according to our child’s class and had to go through stations where we spent 15 minutes attending our children “classes” – We practice handwriting in creative class, made paper art in arts and crafts, played kompang in Music class, read Muqaddam via the Al-Baghdadi method, and were thought how to read using the latest “reading” technique.
Later we had to share our expectations with the teachers on the things that we hope our child would learn at the end of the year. The most interesting part about the programme is that we were literally put in the children’s shoe.
For example: you know how parents LOVE to make the children practice writing ALL THE TIME? To show the parents that this “simple” activity is not that easy for children 4-6 years old, we were given a sheet of paper with Japanese and Thai words and were made to copy it over and over again using our “non-writing hand” (i.e since I’m right handed I had to write using my left hand) By the 3rd line ¾ of the parents was whining in pain :p You see that is how our child feel, turns out that when they whine of tired hands, their hands are really tired as they are not fully trained yet. So please be sympathetic.
Instead of making your 4-5 year old write the alphabets, we were told to try “pre writing” instead. You don’t even have to buy the books as you can get it free online. Parents are also encouraged to use the creative play method instead of burdening their lil monsters with overly educational learning method. I have to say I find the programme to be 100% beneficial and I shall try to use it at home.
I totally understand the teacher’s frustration when they say most parents objective in sending their kids to schools is just so that they can read, write and count. A child’s accomplishment is measured by their test scores. It doesn’t matter when a kid can draw beautifully if their English/BM/Maths paper does not read 100%. A 6 year old who can’t read had to be sent to tuisyen classes because they’re considered slow. Sadly, their child's creativity is not important for them.
First of all I don’t believe in test and homework for kids under 7. Second: let kids be kids and not be chained to the study table ALL the time. Let’s be frank, some of the parents that is so obsessed about their kids knowing HOW to read don’t even read themselves. So WHAT is the point? Why not get the kids truly interested in learning and reading without ramming it all down their throats.
I’m a HUGE fan of creative play because that is how I LEARN. I need colors, shapes and music to learn. I know that I will do well in a class if I find the subject FUN so with that in mind I try and do the same for Ryan and the girls. I try not to be so "guru besar" at home but be as kiddy like and fun instead. The best teacher is Mummy and Daddy so you don't really need expensive classes to encouraged creative play. Just use whatever it is you have around you and loads and loads of imagination.
When we read books together I try to make it as fun as possible with funny voices and animal mask :)
I encouraged them to play with blocks to enhanced their creativity and it also improve a child's fine motor skill, recognizing colors & textures etc
Cooking together is an awesome way to teach a child to take instructions. For picky eaters it also encourages them to eat healthy and get them "interested" in food. They also learn about process.( i.e. Pizza does not fall from the sky, you need to prepare them in order to eat ;p )
Playing together (be it with siblings or friends) teaches them to SHARE. The hardest lesson to teach in my opinion. I'm turning 30 soon and I still hate to share, so you can imagine the difficulty in trying to reason this out with my 3 year old where most conversation sounds like this.
Me: Ryan bagi adik the block please
Ryan: No No No, Ryan punya
Me: Please share
Ryan : Nanak adik takle play Ryan punya
Me: (starting to be pissed off) Fine if you don't give it to her, mummy beli baru Ryan jangan play
Ryan : Ok mummy beli, Adik takle ambik Ryan punya
The kiddies play area :)
"beep beep" My little princesses who is 10x more lasak than my very lasak little boy.
Imagine that :p
Last week at Kidsportz after school, I was on leave on federal territory day so pergi dating with my handsome man.He ran around the playground (and even made new friends) for an hour and later we went clay colouring :)
A simple outing like this could be an awesome learning experience for mummy and baby. For example last Friday I learned that my lil boy has become an "expert" on ordering food on his own, after he went to the CB barista and ordered "milo ais sejuk satu" hahaha