Choosing the RIGHT Preschool Program
"Monthly fees for a Brain-based Phonics or Math Program can start as low as $81. Why overpay?"
By today’s standards, maximizing the potential of your child rests in the hands of both parents and educational professionals. However, in the many preschool programs out there, which has the best phonics training? How do you get the best numeracy training?
To help parents understand some of the right ingredients in a quality preschool program, I have interviewed Senior Teacher Mr Bram T. from Stamford Education Group.
WRITTEN BY SHERALYN TAY
Sheralyn Tay has written for various publishers including MediaCorp & TODAY Papers. Her representative works on education include “Expats want the right school too”.
Sheralyn: Why is the right preschool so important for young children?
Bram: The best period for brain and skills development is between ages 0 to 6. The right preschool changes your child’s life by maximizing development of these skills.
Sheralyn: How do you choose the right preschool?
Bram: One that maximizes the child’s potential and equips the child with life skills.
Sheralyn: Are you saying that there are preschools that do not do so?
Bram: Some preschools focus on caretaking. Some enrichment schools do not have higher level programs. Either way, their approach might only be good to get the child half-ready for P1 and certainly not beyond.
Sheralyn: So how does Stamford conduct classes differently?
Bram: Our students are grouped by their proficiency, not age. Being proficiency-based means that our school tailors the curriculum for every child and the child has to achieve the required proficiency before he or she can move on. Our results show that this approach works very well in helping our students spend more time on their areas of weakness, while accelerating their overall progress.
Also, because our programming team consists of members coaching higher learning courses, we develop our young students’ skills beyond Primary 1. For
example, while most Montessori preschools only use number rods to teach addition, our forward-looking program uses the same number rods to develop the child’s intuition in Bar Modeling and problem solving.
Sheralyn: I know that Stamford has a big reputation in Mathematics. So, how different is Stamford’s Phonics program?
Bram: Most preschools are usually restricted to teaching phonics through third party systems, such as Letterland and Jolly.
At Stamford, we have our own Phonics System that boasts so much more. We use Montessori Alphabets to teach word formations. We introduce the Stamford ZooPhonics to early learners. Most importantly, we deliver critical phonics skills through brain development activities that are fun and improve subject retention.
Also, while most other phonics programs will not include Speech Correction and Speed Reading, these are important components of the Stamford Literacy Program. Our trainers guide children towards an international speaking standard by correcting common enunciation mistakes of “tree” and “three”, “formerly” and “formally”.
Sheralyn: I am impressed with the quality of Stamford’s programs. Do your brain training programs work for every child?
Bram: Of course! While the extent and timeframe required to achieve various skills are hard to quantify, a good preschool must always ensure that targeted learning skills can and would be achieved for every child.
At Stamford, we track and showcase the learning results of hundreds of students on our website. Keep in mind that this is not just 10 superstars, but rather, hundreds of students that demonstrate good phonics, arithmetic and brain development results. This shows the strength of our programs.
Sheralyn: That really convinces me. What are the market rates for a good program? Is it true that the more expensive programs are generally better?
Bram: I do not think so. Pricing seems to depend more on branding, franchise rules than educational quality and I am definitely not a “big brand, big money” believer.
Stamford Education provides limited free slots for the public to try any of its preschool programs for a month. Fees for a once per week brain-based program in Phonics or Math can start as low as $81 per month. So there is really no need to spend big money on top quality brain development programs.
Sheralyn: I am surprised. For so much quality, I expected a much more expensive rate. Bram, any parting advice for our readers?
Bram: Once again, every child lives through 0 to 6 only once. You miss your child’s best brain development period and it will never come back. Choose the right preschool programs for your child to maximize their skills and life options!
Mr Bram T. is currently the Senior Trainer at Stamford Education.
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Article contributed by Stamford Education