Playschool woes

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!

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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?

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14 thoughts on “Playschool woes

  1. Heyy dont worry. You`re not being a hypocrite. Its imperative for children to interact socially with others of the same age. Its imperative for the child`s healthy mental and physical growth. You`re doing the right thing, my friend :):)
    I`m surprised that playschools have a choice with the curriculum! What is the world coming to?? πŸ™‚

    D:Thank you,Mishy for that reassurance. It helped a lot.
    Yes I got a jolt myself when I got to know about playschools following a certain curriculum. This is advancement,my friend :))

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  2. U dont really have to if u dont want to….but the issue is actually abt her starting school next year. U dont want her to be the odd one out who doesnt know whts going on or how to mingle…in short u dont want her to feel pressurized when she actually starts formal schooling. So testing the waters is what is actually happening right now πŸ™‚

    D:Thats a better way to look at it. Thanks heaps. See,this is why opinions of people like you matter.Experience talks for itself

    Dont worry…we all understand tht…and ur doubts….go easy on urself πŸ™‚

    D: I’m much at ease now πŸ˜€

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  3. if you don’t give your child the opportunities to develop herself, and if you don’t place some level of expectations, then it’s not quite right. putting pressure on her is different from giving her the right environment to develop.
    sending her to playschool, when she is almost 3 is no issue at all i feel. i sent O to a pre-nursery a month and a half short of her 3rd bday. the bigger question, since she is sept born, is to decide if she will be youngest or oldest in class, if and when she joins mainstream indian school. my sincere advice, always better to be older, they are more mature in handling stuff.

    D: Yes,Umm the sept-born issue bothers me too.Precisely why I am thinking of putting her in a playschool now for about a year and half which means by the end of next year only will I start with her admission process to a mainstream school.
    Lets c how it goes. have my fingers crossed :))

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  4. Deeps, This is every parent’s concern these days. So don’t worry, your doubts are genuine. Times are different so our thought process needs to change too.

    If Namnam is turning 3 only in Sep then I think she still is too young to go to school for long hours. How about you start with playgroups among your friend circle and leave the kids all by themselves for 1/2 hour just to see how Namnam copes without you. Also, whichever school you choose make it a point that they allow you to be there at least on the first day. You can hide for sometime and see how Namnam fares and if satisfied then go for that school.

    D:Sols,she does attend playgroups regularly with her other friends.In fact we have an expat mums and kids club here which organizes playgroups and other events on a regular basis and they have done a world of good to her.The only thing is I accompany her to all these places. As for leaving her with friends by herself,like I mentioned in my post,I’ve tried doing that 2-3 times and she has been quite receptive.Its the thought of sending her for longer hours that has me worked up with these doubts.
    I really liked your suggestion of sending her to a school which will allow me to go with her the first day and ensure she is happy there.Thanks a ton πŸ™‚

    With Peanut, I first tried Summer camp offered by the preschool and when I saw Peanut all happy, I chose that preschool for her.

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  5. I think it all depends on u , if u want to send her or not. Actually u see these days most schools wants certificates from these playschools or Montessori…i think its just a way to do business. Sometimes parents are left with no choice but to go with the situation. I think a child can get better guidance under her parents than being in all these.

    D:Yes I know what you’re saying,Nazish. In fact here too there are a couple of schools who are insisting on children having a prior playschool experience. In fact,today I even got to know that a lack of a playschool experience was ground to many an admissions being rejected!

    I think by all this one takes away the real childhood of kids. I know she wont study there but u see her mindset will always be that its a school…..so will never be able to enjoy as she enjoys playing with her parents or with someone else not being in that campus. I guess parents are left with less choice these days….but i would recommend u not b too much worried…and take things as it comes!!

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  6. Oh my! Is it time already for you. It would be for me too. Soon enough.And indeed I don’t think I will ever be ready either. But it is a good thing to let her go and interact on her own. Hugs to both you and Namnam.

    D:You’re right.I have to let her go and give enough opportunities to interact on her own.

    And thanks for this post, has told me a lot more than I knew. Will be very helpful next year, when it is my turn. It will be great Deeps, don’t you worry, she will amaze you with whatever she learns at school.

    D:You’re welcome,GM.I’m glad I could be of help by way of this post.And thanks for the kind words. Hugs to you too πŸ™‚

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  7. I don’t think sending a child to playschool is putting pressure. Putting pressure is when one forces one child to do more and go beyond the expected. So relax :). But i’m sure you’ll ask this question to yourself many times in the future. It’s a thin line πŸ™‚

    D:”Putting pressure is when one forces one child to do more and go beyond the expected.”…well put…. I sincerely hope I dont do that to mine! Hugs πŸ™‚

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  8. It will much easier for her if she first goes to a playschool amd then to school where she will not be given as much attention as she gets at a playschool! You will be putting pressure on her if you send her directly to a school, this playschool will be a place where she gets to interact and enjoy time spent with a lot more kids of her age…

    D:Thanks,Sindhu for that advise. I wanted her also to get into a proper routine before she went to a mainstream school and that I felt will be possible if she went to a playschool first πŸ™‚

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  9. Deeps, i understand your dilemma very well….! But however much research you do….you r only going to end up confusing yourself. Talking to parents of children who have been to some playschools , or are going already, will really help. They will be able to give you a real picture.

    D: Yes I totally agree. I have been seeking opinions of my friends who have already passed through the phase and that has helped a lot.

    And no you will be not be subjecting Namya to any kind of injustice…….! the initial adjustment problem will ward off soon , and no later you would realise how much Namya will luk forward to go her “school” everyday. She will get used to a world away from home, without any familiar faces around…!! This will definitely help her get adjusted to the normal school life very easily. I don’t think, your going with her on the first day can be of real help, becoz sooner or later, you have to let go of her Deeps…..” the little birdie has to learn to fly “.

    D:Manisha,I am keen on playschools which would allow me to be with my daughter the first day,mainly for my sake.So that I can be sure she is happy and in good hands.

    Another very impt aspect is that, physically also it helps them to adjust well to the gruelling School routine. Initially children are susceptible to fall ill more often when they start attending schools. So when they start going to playschool, she might start catching cough and cold very easily…….! But by the time she will start her regular school….she will be more immune……!
    So if she starts attending play school now, the transition from playschool to regular school for her will be very smooth.

    And lastly, don’t work up yourself too much…..! let life take its own course……!! You could be easily discovering veru soon that you were worrying about nothing at all……! Life….it never ceases to surprise you…….!

    D:Thanks a ton,dear. Your tips do help a lot.And as I said if they come from a friend,even better πŸ™‚

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  10. Lolz if only people (read my husband) would take me seriously I would have opted to keep my son just in front of my eyes till he is ready to marry…but then we need to give them wings some say…
    So at one point or another we need to send them to some sort of school and even I was surprised about the varieties of play school available here and bcoz am not one of those who can linger and think of only one thing for a long time I opted for a school which is at a walking distance from my home so that I can reach there any time…lol
    All the best to Namnam…is she already choosing her bag, lunch box and all?? That’s the fun part for me…

    D:Thank you,Sakshi. She is yet to choose her bag and lunch box.thought will get them for her once we know when and where she will be going.But I already foresee some tough times ahead at the shopping mall though πŸ˜›

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  11. I am the same too !!

    D:really?then I guess you can gain a lot from the advises that have been given in here by so many πŸ™‚

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  12. You are no hypocrite.. We are all in the same boat.. all of us wanting the best for our child while letting them be them.. Poohi still has not started playschoo 😦 I could not find one near our house and here nurseries start from 3.5 years. So she is still at home – sill start school only in September. But I think it would have been good for her to go to school as she is so so interested in school now. She askes me EVERYDAY -‘Amme, Can I go to school, today’?

    D:How sweet,Poohi is really looking forward to going to school isnt she? My husband and I too have started briefing Namnam about going to school and she is quite upbeat about the prospect. Will have to see if she remains as enthusiastic even after she starts her session.Have my fingers crossed πŸ˜€

    You have so many different curriculum to choose from? Wow! Here we have to apply to schoold in the catchment area -so last year before we shifted to Leeds – I actually did a lot of research and found a house with 2 good schools near by..

    I think you will find playschools that make both of you comfortable.. which have an open door policy. Most playschools are good that way.. Am sure you will find a very good one πŸ™‚

    Take care and lots of hugs and ummas to little NamNam

    D:Thank you so much,Smits.ummas and hugs passed on πŸ™‚

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