You read that right – putting my child in playgroup in Singapore was the best decision I’ve ever made. Coming to that decision, though, involved many sleepless nights and self-doubt.
As a work-from-home mother, I had the privilege of being there for his every waking moment. Fulfilling as it was, the chores were left undone, I couldn’t put him down for naps regularly and had to wolf down cold remnants of my son’s meal. Juggling all those tasks meant that I rarely brought him out to socialise with peers of his age.
No longer a newborn, his waking hours lengthened and when I was working in the day, he was left to his own devices. I was there physically but I couldn’t devote my full attention to him.
After a deep discussion with my husband, I decided to enrol him in a full-day playgroup. I trawled through websites to find the best preschool in Singapore and visited a few preschools.
Settling for the best preschool choice in Singapore
Eventually, I enrolled him in MindChamps PreSchool, which consistently came up in my search for the best playgroup in Singapore. During my centre visit, I was amazed by the spacious rooms and small class ratio.
More importantly, its uniquely developed curriculum was developed over two decades of research and development in Education, Neuroscience, Psychology and Theatre. What attracted me the most was the fact that enrichment programmes are included in the school fees, so that no child will be excluded from receiving an all-rounded preschool learning experience.
The teachers at MindChamps PreSchool also undergo compulsory training of up to 200 hours. It puts my mind at ease to know that the teachers are continuously upgrading themselves in addition to their existing teacher training.
Learning through an enquiry exploration
Separation anxiety on the first day of school was real, but it was me that felt it more strongly. Thankfully, he settled in more quickly than I’d expected. Within a week, he was able to adapt to the full-day routine in the playgroup in Singapore.
As opposed to traditional one-directional rote learning where children absorb information from the teacher, MindChamps PreSchool uses the Enquiry Teaching and Learning™ approach where the child is actively involved in the learning process. This method encourages children to ask questions that will lead to an enquiry exploration. Instead of teaching, the teacher takes on the role of a facilitator – he/she will observe the interests of the children during the exploration process and plan their lessons and activities around the topic.
A unique S.M.I.L.E.S.™ Environment
The school environment is engaging and secure, and its bright and spacious classrooms are a conducive space for young toddlers. My son is kept engaged as a result of the “S.M.I.L.E.S.™ environment”, where all activities and lessons are designed to develop the children’s Sensory, Motor, Intellectual, Linguistic, Emotional and Social skills.
He tells me that his favourite is “cooking class”, or Gourmet Moments™”, where he gets to learn how to prepare healthy dishes while working on maths concepts and social skills.
Updates on lessons and reflections on the playgroup journey
I receive regular updates and photographs of my son through the MindChamps app and it is reassuring to know what he is doing in class each week. It serves as a digital portfolio of his growth and learning for memories’ sake as well.
I started off being unsure and conflicted about sending him to school that early, but I’m now truly satisfied with my decision to send my child to what I feel is the best playgroup in Singapore.
He has been attending the school for close to a year, and there is not a day that he refuses to go to school
He even asks if the school is open on Sundays!
Written by Jamie Koh