Kindergarten is that time in a child’s life when development is so rapid that channelling it correctly becomes crucial for a bright future. This includes physical, emotional and intellectual development. Parents need to provide a conducive environment at home, encouraging and guiding the child to learn new skills and concepts, including social skills. At school, the child will further strengthen those skills and concepts, building a strong foundation upon which his or her future will be built.
At the ripe age of five, children are most open to learning. Their inquisitiveness and curiosity gives them the ability to grasp new concepts and skills with ease. Their gross motor skills and fine motor skills begin to truly develop at this age. Moreover, learning language beyond the elementary level also begins at this stage. In kindergarten, through various activities like playing, interacting with other children, singing, drawing and learning how to write and how to count, children become learners. They only require the right support.
Being the first year of formal education for a child, the focus will be on all-round development. Anything that they learn in school will need to be supplemented at home by engaging with the child and helping them apply their learning. However, care must be exercised while interacting with them.
Children’s imaginations are powerful at this stage, so dealing with them requires creativity on the parts of parents as well as teachers, taking care not to diffuse their innocent wonderment while providing them with appropriate explanations for things that they are curious about. Kindergarten is also the time when children start learning how to organise themselves and the spaces around them. Sorting out their books and colour pencils, keeping themselves clean, learning to ask the teacher when they need to use the bathroom, eating without their parents around, and all of those things that help them become independent.
The best kindergartens in Singapore will have programmes that are designed to encourage and reinforce the development of a child in the following areas:
Literacy and numeracy skills such as learning the alphabet, reading and counting objects
Communication skills such as development of language and interacting with other children
Social and emotional skills such as learning to cooperatively play with other children and being aware of feelings, both self and others’.
Learning new concepts
A good kindergarten programme will cover all the areas of development for a child â social, behavioural, emotional and intellectual.