Is your playgroup child moving on kindergarten soon? We give you 5 easy tactics to help facilitate their transition to kindergarten from playgroup in Singapore.
Going to a kindergarten in Singapore is a big step for many kids, even those who went through playgroup, as it marks the start of formal schooling for them.
For some children, moving from playgroup to kindergarten may mean no more Mummy or Daddy in class with them and this can be rather unnerving.
Apart from that, the hours at school may become longer, resulting in your child being overtired because he is not used to it. To top it all off, the curriculum may switch from a fun play-based learning to a more structured curriculum in Kindergarten.
All of this may all be overwhelming and difficult for your little one to adapt. However, they can be conquered effectively if you start early.
Here, we share five transition strategies that you can use to prepare your child for moving from a playgroup to kindergarten in Singapore.
1. Ensure that your child has the necessary preschool skills
According to getreadytoread.org, parents should take the year before kindergarten to equip their child with the necessary preschool skills that they need in kindergarten. This does not necessarily mean that your child must be familiar with the ABCs or count from 1 to 10. It may just mean that they are able to recognise the letters in their name or retell a story. With these simple preschool skills, they are able to start their kindergarten year strong.
Popular Children’s Publisher Scholastics provides parents with a checklist of skills that students need upon entering kindergarten. Some of these include being able to follow directions, clean up after themselves, speak in complete sentences and more.
While some playgroups in Singapore already prepare their students with these skills, you can continue to find opportunities for your child to practice them at home.
2. Talk to your child about the differences between attending playgroup and kindergarten in Singapore
Start preempting your child three to six months before the transition. Make sure to inform them of all the different changes. Are they changing schools, meeting new friends or going to a full day kindergarten instead of a usual half day playgroup? Take time to explain clearly to your child about these changes. Preparing them mentally for this change can enable your child to cope better.
3. Visit the kindergarten before school starts
Find time to bring your child to the new school before school starts formally. Introduce him to his new teachers and have him check out the surroundings of the premises. Some schools may offer trial days and this can allow your child to experience kindergarten. This also gives you a chance to troubleshoot any problem areas that you foresee your child facing when he transitions over.
4. Roleplay and reenact activities done in kindergarten at home
If you have an idea of what your child will do in kindergarten, it may be beneficial to carry out some of these activities at home prior to starting school.
For example, some children may not have the experience of completing worksheets or sitting down to listen to the teacher for an extended period of time in a play-based playgroup. It can also be something simple like reading aloud to your child every day.
Recreating these opportunities for your child at home may help them adapt to classroom expectations in kindergarten better.
5. Adjusting routines for the transition
Making sure that your child is well rested is key to helping them focus and enjoy school. If the kindergarten hours are longer than playgroup hours, do ensure that they have a good night’s sleep.
Many children happen to drop their naps when they transition to kindergarten. However, it might still take some time for them to adjust to longer waking hours. It is recommended that three- to four-year-olds get about 12 hours of sleep each night. This may mean that you have to put them to bed by seven p.m. if you are getting them ready for school at eight in the morning.
Remember, a successful transition is possible if you start as early as a year before. Prepare your child for a strong year in Kindergarten!
For a dose of inspiration on preparing your child for Kindergarten, check out the following video:
Written by Neltje Fu