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Matching the right preschool Program for your child in Malaysia

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Jan 31, 2019, 08:09 AM

This article outlines some steps that will help you to make a decision from a wide range of preschool programs available here in Malaysia.

Asking the right questions will help ensure that the preschool you select will be one where your young one will thrive. It is vital to take preschool seriously because this is where your child starts his or her first journey towards education.

At ages 3 to 5 years old, children become more aware of their surroundings and make sense out of numbers, shapes and letters.

In preschool, your child will gain cognition of others and eventually develop his or her social learning skills through interaction with other children. Henceforth, a number of considerations are available to take into account when selecting a suitable place for them.

Moreover since the rules and regulations of preschools work differently in various preschools, it is important for parents to go through this checklist before identifying the place they would want their child to be when (s)he is not with them.

SIGNS THAT PARENTS SHOULD LOOK FOR

 

LOCATION

Parents need to deduce whether the school where they want to enrol their child is conveniently located for them and for the family’s needs, that is, whether the school is near to their home or their workplace and whether they plan to drive to school or the school is within walking distance. It is imperative to consider that Malaysia’s cities are not always pedestrian-friendly and the sidewalks are limited.

STAFF

A qualified and experienced staff is expected for a proper upbringing of its students. Staff should display a warm and positive attitude towards the children since the use of positive guidance techniques. Also, child supervision should be considered the principal factor where children are kept happy, busy and engaged.

PRESCHOOL

Activities should be designed to inspire a child’s curiosity and wonder, that is, the inclusion of a large proportion of hands-on activities, providing physical facilities, an appropriate program structure, significant parental involvement and most importantly safety and cleanliness.

TEACHING METHODS

Parents, you need to identify which curricular approach you prefer, that is, whether it is play-based Program or Academic Program which can be child-centered or teacher- directed.

PLAY-BASED PROGRAM

This type of program emphasises on efficient learning through playing. Children under this program are encouraged to do their own learning and are given freedom and independence to  do what they like. Consequently, children are encouraged to be more creative  and motivated to learn and acquire confidence.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM

This program emphasises on the traditional approach of teaching children specific skills and where the teachers follow a set of syllabus and a schedule. There will be time for Physical Education classes, recess, and other classes in their weekly schedule unlike the Play-Based program which has a more freestyle approach. This teaching style and method is similar to those in primary and secondary school which helps the young ones to prepare for their future schooling life.

STYLES OF PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS

There are various kindergartens in Malaysia whereby each centre are unique in their own way. To kick start the most suitable start for education and learning for their child, parents need to understand the different preschool curriculum and the environment provided by the institution. 

Some of the the popular names in childhood education adopted in Malaysia are:

Montessori  Program Malaysia

This program is child-centered. It allows the child to explore and learn in his or her own pace. The teachers duty is to guide towards the children who will choose their own learning activities from a number of alternatives in a prepared environment. The Montessori education promotes independence and encourages individualism whereby children are motivated by the need for self-development. The requisite for mixed-age classrooms which are typically for 2 to 6 years old and moreover allows younger children to learn from older ones. Additionally, children are given time of undisturbed working time so that they have the opportunity to work through their tasks and are also taught to respect and be responsible for the materials they use.

Reggio Emilia Program Malaysia

This program directs children to learn through their personal experiences of touching, moving, listening and observing. Children are provided with the opportunity to have some control over the direction of their learning. Moreover, they are encouraged to build up and explore relationships they have with other children and with the material items in their surroundings.

Waldorf  Program Malaysia

It is child-centered program. Children work collaboratively in several activities such as painting, baking, singing and other group activities. These group activities engages the five senses allowing children to learn and understand about the world around them and how things are done. Therefore, the program is warm, nurturing and provides the students with a home-like environment which consequently help the children adjust to the classroom. Natural materials are strictly utilised in the classroom which accordingly instil an appreciation for nature and the surrounding world for the children. This program also contributes towards the development of the whole child by placing emphasis on his or her creative development and character education, rather than on the development of academic skills. Furthermore, the same teacher stays with the same group of students across academic years which shown to be beneficial for child development.

Overall, it is important to meet up with the principal of the preschool to understand further on the syllabus, curriculum and activities provided. Also, make sure you bring your child to a few preschools that you have shortlisted and see which one (s)he prefers.

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