In the next few months,Namnam will be turning 3.I have already begun the hunt for good playschools for her.And from the endless discussions that I have had with my other mommy friends,I realize what a major task zeroing in on one is!
My friends,who have children Namnam’s age and I were in consensus when we realized we wanted to send our kids to an institution which could provide them with a friendly atmosphere,which could tap their capabilities in the best way possible and where they could have fun in those few hours that they would be there for.Mind you,this is playschool that I’m talking about here.God save me,what will happen when I start the search for a proper school about a year down the line!
When I look back,I cant remember an instance where my parents have told me they had shutterbugs thinking about which nursery to put me or my brother in.Leave aside having to ponder about playschools.Here I am not only having sleepless nights about choosing the best playschool for her but I’m also trying to see sense in choosing which curriculum is better for her-British,US or an Australian one? At first I found it ridiculous that a playschool would be following a particular curriculum.Now how does it matter how the children played or interacted with each other?Is there a British way of playing or do kids play any differently in the US,Australia or any other part of the world?
I can understand when a school follows a certain format in the primary or higher secondary level.But a playschool?It was then that I got to know that it was in its approach towards children that each playschool differed from the other.They had set guidelines based on a particular curriculum for their educational programmes.
I never thought I would be putting Namnam in a nursery.She was learning all that she would be in a playschool from home itself.And I could ensure that she recited nursery rhymes,identified letters of the alphabet,numbers,shapes and objects.At the same time learn basic etiquettes like saying ‘Thank You’ and ‘Sorry’.
R & I would resort to telling stories to her in our own ways.I’d be reliant on reading them to her from the books,whereas R would be more adept at making stories out of anything from her tricycle to her teddy bears to her crayon pencils to bangles to pillows.By doing this,we felt she was not only getting to know about the moral and message in the stories,she was also getting to work on her imagination.
I knew of families where children were sent to playschools as early as 12months.In our case since I was at home I didnt feel it was necessary for Namnam to go to one that soon.Plus I was not ready to send her away so soon.I wanted her to spend as much time as possible with me(Hail,the selfish mommy club!right Solilo?)
Today I’m making up my mind to send her to a playschool mainly so she gets a chance to mingle in a multi-cultural environment.And she does not feel left out when she starts her school next year amongst other children who already would have got a playschool exposure.
Is she ready to stay away from home for a few hours?I think she is.There have been days when I’ve left her at her friends’ house and come away and she has managed very well.The question,rather,should be,’am I ready to send her away for a few hours?’.That I shall never be.So I’ll cut that out!What has me concerned is a different thought.
I echo every other mom who says she does not want to put any sort of pressure on her child.But am I not doing just that by sending my child to a playschool just so she does not feel out of place or perform in any way less than her peers?Am I not being a hypocrite?