Sometimes, it’s very hard to understand what to look for in a pre-school for your kids. We understand the pain of deciding whether a 5:1 student teacher ratio actually will impact your childs development as opposed to a 3:1 ratio. However, we do know that you want a school that allows your child to grow in terms of abilities and skills? And you definitely want a school that doesn’t force anything on your child, or put your child under undue pressure.
You want a pre-school where you child will love to learn! But how can you make this out from one visit? In todays world of near-crazy competitiveness, it is very critical for you to understand what you’re signing your child up for before you take admission in a pre-school.
Well here’s our Pre-school MUST HAVE list.
Do understand that this isn’t a complete list – there are many other factors to consider as well – like safety and security, the teachers competence etc, but these are some of lesser known factors to consider.
- Do they have a classroom that is child led?
What is your image of a typical classroom? Neat rows of chairs facing a blackboard? This may look neat and impressive, but it isn’t what you should look for. If you step into any typical pre-school classroom in India, you’ll probably find this sort of classroom. There may be pretty charts and pictures on the walls, and lots of books and toys put away in corners, but the main interaction area will still be functional and boring. In such a classroom, children are forced to sit and listen to the teacher without any engaging or interesting way to learn, and this kills their interest in learning!
A good child-led environment is one that provides children the opportunity to interact naturally, and to satisfy their natural curiosity through that interaction. Look for a classroom in which the main area for interaction is a free area filled with interesting items – books, toys, wall graphics etc, and children should be able to spend the maximum time learning through these mediums.
Interaction areas are better for children to learn in than desks and chairs
- Do they play enough?
Look for a pre-school that encourages children to play. The teacher should encourage children to draw on their own resources to spend time – whether children want to sing, dance, play, run or scribble should be up to them – within an overall structure and curriculum. Children should be encouraged to investigate and draw on their own curiosity, use their imaginations and generally express themselves.
This doesn’t mean that the teacher does nothing. The teacher’s role should be to assist each individual child to be the best they can be in each activity that they do. Also, overall, the pre-school curriculum should definitely be structured in a manner that gets each child to actually progress in the development of their skills.
Look for a pre-school where children take the lead in many activities without too much instruction or correction from teachers. For eg: scribble time or story time where children get to express themselves without any other briefs or boundaries
Structured Play helps children express themselves
- Do they understand children’s learning patterns?
This is a very important check. You may have noticed over time, about your own child, that he/she learns best in a specific manner. Some children are auditory learners and learn best through listening. Some are kinesthetic and learn best through doing, some learn best through writing, and so on.
Your child’s pre-school should be able to identify your child’s learning patterns and tailor activities to suit. Even more important, they should be able provide activities that are unique to your child’s personality or character! A child with lots of energy and enthusiasm needs to be able to have a lot of physical activity while learning, otherwise he/she will become bored or restless and quickly be termed as ‘difficult’ or ‘naughty’.
Do check if your child’s pre-school is primed to actually help your child learn.
Every child is a unique blend of interests, aptitudes and skills. At Wunderbar Kids, we understand this, and celebrate each child’s uniqueness!