Are you thinking of having your child placed in a preschool for the very first time? Perhaps you are frustrated at the never-ending choices of schools out there and is having a quick break to nurse your headache? Lost as to what to do? Read on to find out how you may just solve that dilemma.
Hi parents, my name is Ms Chelsea and I am one of the teaching staff here at Rain Tree Montessori Schoolhouse. Having been in the early childhood industry for some time, I have interacted with families who pose a common query when it comes to enrolling a child into school.
That is, how do I know which school is right for my child?
If you are wondering something similar, know that you are not alone. These questions are not just posed by first time mummies or daddies but by families who have experienced the enrollment process and have preschool going children as well.
So here is my take.
Firstly, research, research and do more research! There are many preschools in Singapore (or even in your neighborhood) each with their own unique curriculum and learning approaches. At Rain Tree Montessori Schoolhouse for example, we offer a Montessori approach to learning concepts. We believe that children are curious minded individuals who learn best when they are given space and time to reach their potentials at their own paces.
There are so many options and it may be overwhelming, but I find it helps to determine what is important for you in a school. Is it the learning environment, classroom child to teacher ratio, outdoor space, languages offered, specific dietary accommodations or travel distance perhaps? Understanding the factors that are important to you will help streamline that mountain of school choices quickly.
Once you have identified a possible school (or schools, heh) for your child, arrange for an appointment to tour the school. Sure, some may accept walk-ins, but I will not count on that option given the Covid-19 pandemic and that places must adhere to safety measures. To avoid disappointment or minimize inconvenience, it is best to contact the school beforehand and let them know of your interest.
If you can, bring your child along for the school visit! Observing how your child interacts with the materials, learning environment, the staff, or students. This can be a powerful indicator of their preferences, comfort levels and how your child may be like should they become part of the school. Remember, your child’s opinions matter too.
Prior to the school visit, it will also be good to identify and outline your expectations. You can have them typed in your phone or just keep them ready in the back of your mind. Whichever method you choose, do come prepared and communicate your expectations with the school. This is crucial as it helps you determine if the learning environment aligns with what you envision for your child.
If you need to, do not be afraid, ask all the questions you want. Most places – well I can only speak for us at Rain Tree Montessori Schoolhouse at least – will be happy to try and answer them as best as they can. After all, at the end of the day, we want the best for the child. A key step to this is through two-way communication and mutual comprehension.
After the visit, take time to consider your options. If you believe you have found the right school and want to proceed with registration, great! If you did not manage to find one, continue looking and do not give up. There is a light at the end of every tunnel, and you will be able to find one eventually.
Hope this helps. Thanks for reading and stay safe!