Friday, February 14, 2014

Nursery schools: Is it necessary?

She's turning four this year. She's supposed to be in nursery school (or N2*), according to all Singaporean mothers, grandmothers and aunties I met.

Here she is, still not enrolled in any nursery. The one question that I encountered from all these people was, 'WHY?'.

I may not be an expert, but here's my two cents worth of reasoning as a mother.

I'm a stay at home mom or SAHM as they call it. I know of many SAHM who send their toddlers (yes, as young as 18 months old) and children to pre-nurseries and nurseries. It seem like a 'must-do' here. I am not against nurseries, but for me, I don't feel there's a need to hurry them off to a classroom yet.

Seriously, do you really think the teachers have time to monitor emotional outbursts of your child, whether it is due to real frustration or merely attention seeking? How do the teachers teach empathy to your child in a class environment? Even with a good 1:5 teacher-students ratio, I doubt the teachers are able to give full attention to all five of the children's needs. Just imagine yourself taking care of five children, all age 3 at the same time. How effective can you correct mistakes, impart knowledge and making sure all five understand at the same time?

Kids their age, need parents to teach them day-to-day, basic skills. Skills such as being cooperative, helpful and obedient. Learning to feel for others like empathy, sympathy and apologetic. Learning to express negative feelings such as frustration and anger. They need to learn to love others (besides their family members) and feeling secure and confident about themselves. When all the correct basics are mastered, good manners come automatically.

Once they're ready for their kindergartens, they should have all that the above mentioned, instilled deep in their minds and hearts. Then, the education of alphabets and numbers amongst others may begin.

In Singapore...
N1 = Nursery 1: For children aged 3.
N2 = Nursery 2: For children aged 4.
K1 = Kindergarten 1: For children aged 5.
K2 = Kindergarten 2: For children aged 6.

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