During the 2 weeks after Raya holiday, I was busy checking out for kindy in my living area and also have been puzzling what kind of kindy should I send Terry to. At the same time also busy asking around some pre-schooler's mummies on opinion and suggestion. Luckily my mum was working in 3 kindergarten before, at least she gave me some idea about kindergarten, teachers and students. So, from there roughly I know what should I look into, but not so into details on academic, cause she is not a teacher.
Roughly I have visited and enquired on 5-6 kindergarten including the famous one like Beaconhouse, Fungates and Q-Dees. I went checking out on what is the study system for an age 4 kids, the facilities and the environment of the school. So far, my measurement for a kindy I want are basically like these,
- Have a systematic learning method or programme
(Montessori method or own school learning program and see what they focus on)
- Less writing work for an age 4
(I don't expect him to do well in academic yet for the first year and mainly want him to have fun while learning and with minimum writing involve. First year of school is let him gets well with the schooling environment and mixing with people, which is not pushing him to read and write well. He got more to handle down in 15-20 years coming. In some school, I know there are many writing work to do and also homework to bring back. Think about this, if the kid cannot hold the pencil well yet, who going to do the homework, is us parent. I asked this question to one of the kindy principal and she speechless. I understand we are kiasu now to make sure our kid can do well in all areas, but I know pushing a kid goes beyond our expectation is not the right way to develop them. So I can say I'm pretty relax in first year schooling. As long as all area goes a balance way. Of cause the learning and study cannot fully depends on school and teachers, we need to do our part too.)
- Good interaction between teachers, students and parents
(Whereby we follow closely what is our child progress in school, not twice or thrice a year during report card day, but as frequent as possible for teacher and parent's talk)
- Shoe take off in the school
(For the purpose of cleaniness, kids wearing shoe into the class will directly bringing in lots of germs. They sit and play on the floor, touching here and there then they may put their hands into the mouth or eat with hands and etc..thus they may get sick easily)
- Airy environment
(Not fully air-con environment and good ventilation. Poor air circulation in a confined area also can makes one sick easily)
- Small scale school
(Teachers and students know everyone well and can mix with different age friends. Unlike big school, seldom got chance mix everyone together)
After bringing back some brocherus, discuss with some mommies and asking hubby which he preferred (he asked me to decide), finally I enrolled him into a Montessori school. This taska was recommended by my ex-colleague and later known from my church sister, whom her son also study there. With their opinion and heard some good recommendation, it actually support my decision to registered Terry in. Most important, this taska met 80% of what I want.
- It is a school focus on Montessori teaching and development of a child from the base and basic. As they proceed their learning will be on track with primary standard too, with still using the Montessori tools but in more an advance one later. I strongly believe the develop them from foundation on all area is very important. Although some may think that those Montessori method are extra thing, but what I see the foundation of shaping them and teaching them step by step is the right way. Another thing I like about it is the time table is very friendly enough. Knowing that Monday is the boring day of the week start, the class activity of the day comes more a relax one and not focus on the book. Everyday there will be reading program on sets English storybook.
- Writing work only at school with all guidance by teacher. From basic to diffcult, learning on English, Mandrin and Counting just like regular kindy too. Homework only comes on Friday. I'm still pretty fine with this. Even they not give any, I will also buy some books for him to write or colour on free time.
- Parents will get a weekly progress report and giving back us what they have done (worksheet, art work and etc). Report on what they have learn and what is their weakness area. If any of that mention and need attention, we parent can take immediate action to follow up and strengthen them.
- No shoe are allow inside the school, which I think is the best and clean.
- Many windows in the classroom with fan and air-con. AC turn on in the mid morning or when the weather is hot. The school is quite well maintained and clean, although the building outside and the playground equipment looks a bit old.
- The school building is a double story house. It is pretty small enough with the right amount of students in each class. Each class have an average 20-22 students with teachers and sufficient helpers.
As I slowly find out kindy years school fee and make comparison with other, it doesn't comes cheap at all. Anyway, I strike to give a balance one to Terry. The one I took is RM290/ month and the yearly school fee after sum up all others is around RM4350. Another thing I like about this school is no uniform needed, which I seldom see in other kindy.
It is 2 months aways before his school starts. I should slowly start to prepare him and brain wash him about going to school. He actually got the idea already, know what is teacher and school about. When asking him about it sometime he says want, sometime don't want, depends on his mood, but not sure on the actual day how he does. I got to prepare to change my SAHM schedule, prepare to teach him more things as possible before school starts like buy some pre-schooler books and practise go to bed earlier.
Can't wait for his schooling days to start, in fact I think I will get myself stress up on the night before of worrying this and that. But somehow he has grown up now and need to learn to be independant. What an exciting year to look forward!