1st week in Preschool

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1st week in Preschool

Postby happypoppy » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:01 pm

Hi,

Would appreciate some valuable advice from experienced Mummies/ preschool teachers. This is the 1st week of playgroup for my lil toddler (1+ year old). The 1st day was expectedly not that great with him crying intermittently for Mummy. Day 2 was slightly better with less crying but could tell he wasn’t happy (no happy smile which is unusual for my usually happy baby). Day 3 was worst off than Day 2. He started fussing the minute we turned into the school’s driveway and burst into tears when I handed him over to his teacher. Thereafter, I lingered around at the premises observing him (w/o his realization of course) for quite a while before leaving and I noticed that while he wasn’t crying like the rest of the kids, he looked lost and poignantly unhappy. :cry: Hence, Im wondering if there’s any way that I could make this transition from home to school less painful (for him) and heartbreaking (for me) .


- Will it help if I put him on half-day till he gets accustom to the preschool routine? Had it been a mistake to put him on full day at the onset?

- My little one had nightmares after the 2nd day at school. Understand from the teacher that this is quite normal as some of the other parents had also commented encountering similar experiences with their kiddos. Hmmmm……… is this true or has the whole school experience been a tad overly traumatic for my little one. Feeling quite guilty for making him so unhappy.

- I tried introducing to him beforehand what school will be like through both books as well as real life experience (brought him to pick his cousin up from school). How fun school can be with new things to explore, new friends to befriend etc. is there more that I could have done?

- How would an experience preschool teacher handle kids exhibiting separation anxiety as compared to an inexperience teacher? In my kiddo’s playgroup, essentially what the teachers do is to carry the bawling kid to sooth him and blowing bubbles to distract them. However with the no of bawling babies surpassing the no of teachers, Im wondering if there could have been a more effective way of soothing the babies. Is the school doing enough to ease the kids into school?

- This question is probably subjective but how long will it take a child to settle happily into the preschool environment?

Would appreciate if mummies could share your views on the above as I really hope my lil one can be happy and enjoy the whole schooling experience.

happypoppy
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Postby meiah » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:05 pm

Hi happypoppy,

my gal also started playgroup this week, those 3 hour per day kindergarten type. but for these 3 days, classes only last 1.5 hours. She's 22 mths and thankfully she did not cry. It seems she's quite happy at school. She rode on mini bikes, sat on swings, and even had a birthday party gift pack.

Different children adapt differently. Some will have separation anxiety and it will take a while for them to get used to school. You will need to have lots of patience and nerves of steel.

My gal's sch took in few pupils her age and more of the other ones. First 3 days, the older K1 and K2 pupils were not around, giving the teachers time and space to handle the little ones. Cos usually, if one kid cry, others will follow, so they will need more staff to help ease the little ones. They will sooth and distract the kids if needed. To their credit, no one cried during her session.

To prepare my gal, she attended those weekend gym lessons together with me. We went to "school" for 1 hour for 1 term. Initially, she was clingy and afraid. After a few lessons, she was more confident and boldly left me behind and held hands with her teacher. She had fun jumping around and she looked forward to it. In fact this morning, when she refused to wake up, all it takes is for daddy to say "go school" and she sat up immediately and cried for her uniform!!

I also did not take her to sch. My mil did. My gal is more clingy to me, so when my mil send her, she just walk in and ignore her grandmother. My two older sons are also the same when they attended pre-school.

You also need to remain positive when you send your child to preschool. If he can sense your distress, he will also not want to go. Half-day or full-day is your choice. There's nothing wrong with full-day. Give him a kiss cheerfully when you drop him off and when you pick your child up from sch, praise, hug, kiss him and what-not.

Stay positive. Your boy will adapt. Most kid settled within a month. Don't worry. :)

meiah
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:00 pm

meiah wrote:Hi happypoppy,

my gal also started playgroup this week, those 3 hour per day kindergarten type. but for these 3 days, classes only last 1.5 hours. She's 22 mths and thankfully she did not cry. It seems she's quite happy at school. She rode on mini bikes, sat on swings, and even had a birthday party gift pack.

Different children adapt differently. Some will have separation anxiety and it will take a while for them to get used to school. You will need to have lots of patience and nerves of steel.

My gal's sch took in few pupils her age and more of the other ones. First 3 days, the older K1 and K2 pupils were not around, giving the teachers time and space to handle the little ones. Cos usually, if one kid cry, others will follow, so they will need more staff to help ease the little ones. They will sooth and distract the kids if needed. To their credit, no one cried during her session.

To prepare my gal, she attended those weekend gym lessons together with me. We went to "school" for 1 hour for 1 term. Initially, she was clingy and afraid. After a few lessons, she was more confident and boldly left me behind and held hands with her teacher. She had fun jumping around and she looked forward to it. In fact this morning, when she refused to wake up, all it takes is for daddy to say "go school" and she sat up immediately and cried for her uniform!!

I also did not take her to sch. My mil did. My gal is more clingy to me, so when my mil send her, she just walk in and ignore her grandmother. My two older sons are also the same when they attended pre-school.

You also need to remain positive when you send your child to preschool. If he can sense your distress, he will also not want to go. Half-day or full-day is your choice. There's nothing wrong with full-day. Give him a kiss cheerfully when you drop him off and when you pick your child up from sch, praise, hug, kiss him and what-not.

Stay positive. Your boy will adapt. Most kid settled within a month. Don't worry. :)


Excellent advice. Thank you meiah!

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Postby EstherTan » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:03 pm

My girl started her preschool yesterday, she's in for 3 full days in a week.

I grappled quite long with the halfday/ full day decision (and was kinda :whut: :whut: by my SIL when she found out we were going in for the full day program instead of half day. She probably thoguht I was nuts). What kind of clinched it for me was that I decided she needed the structure of a timetable, more interaction with people her age (she's the only child). The other plus was that the school has an outdoor playground and indoor trampoline (which she enjoys doing) and actually has less kids in the afternoon, which means more time with the teachers.

We (still doing) brought her in earlier so that we could spend the first 10 - 15 minutes there with her and we spent yesterday (first day) playing with the toys that were there and getting her to say 'Hi' to the teachers and to the kids that were already there. We gradually sneaked out when her attention wasn't on us.

I haven't gotten to the stage where I can say an outright 'Bye' to her yet (tried it today, she said 'noooooooooo' and attached herself to my leg) as she's going through the phase where she's become very sticky but we're going to try and work it in and get it used to the idea. The teachers were quite helpful (and experienced) and help to distract her when she asks for me (with breakfast, friends and toys). The kids actually sit together to eat and I think that helps for the younger kids who get to sit with the jiejies and korkors.

Maybe you can try going in to get her earlier (if time permits) the first few days? If the teacher feedback is that she's doing OK then you can try leaving for slightly longer hours. I'm not sure how the timetable is like for your preschool, but ours has naptime till 330pm, so we went to get her at 4pm (I wanted her to get used to sleeping there)

She's generally quite excited about meeting her friends and playing (keeps asking about korkor and didi and jiejie on the walk to school) and we eased her in by meeting up with friends (that had kids) quite frequently and going house visiting the past 2 weeks. Her initial response would be very shy (and hide behind my legs) but after a few times ran into the houses and greeted people.


I heard from friends that having other caregivers other than Moms help to ease the departure as the strong 'attachments' are usually with Mothers. Is that true for you guys?

To be frank I think the adults have more issues with kids going to school than parents, and I was feeling quite anxious about it myself. But because granny and ah yi followed along for the first day and were getting very uptight and kanchiong about it, there wasn't any allowance for me to fret and I think that helped DD to ease into class.

Hope this helps!
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

EstherTan
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Postby fav_giraffe » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:44 pm

I also grappled with the issue of half day/fully day for my 3 year old son... He was on half day children care for a year and when my dd arrived in Aug last year, we decided to put him in full day from Dec onwards.

The principal of the cc advise us for the first few days, to fetch him early. First day- immediately after his nap. Second day onwards- half an hour later each day for a stretch of 3 to 4 days. Surprisingly my ds could nap from day 2 onwards and he seem to adapt quite fast. I was the one that could not let go...feeling so guilty consicious about leaving him in cc for such long hours. :cry:

The only issue that i have to deal with is that he seem to more prone to falling sick when he is on full day.. maybe because the children are sleeping together and the longer hours. Hope that his immunity will get better over time.

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Postby happypoppy » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:34 am

Hi Mummies,

Thanks so much for all the replies and encouragement. This is DS 2nd week at playgroup and although he hasn’t quite “settled in” (as in he’s still crying every morning when we have to part ways) yet, I have noted some small improvement (eg. doesn’t cry as much, shows a willingness to participate in some of the activities) along the way. However, it’s evident that his favourite time of the day is when I go and pick him up. On the way home, he’ll chatter non-stop in the car, a marked difference from the going to school leg where he’ll be all teary-eyed and grouchy.

Hmmmm… it’s probably still early days but I really hopeful he’ll adjust soon enough and start to enjoy going to school. As with all mummies, it really pains me to see cutie crying so piteously every morning. …. sigh…..

happypoppy
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Postby mrswongtuition » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:15 pm

I think it's impt to convince your baby that you'll be back to pick him up at the end of the lesson.

We usually tell my boy that he's a big boy & going to school without us. We'll pick him up after school. Sometimes he'll still throw tantrums and we promise him to get my mum to pick him up after school. He's very close to my mum and always looks forward to seeing her. So that helps to calm him down and he doesn't cry.

Now he's taking schoolbus to school. At first he only showed a sad face but now he looks forward to going up the bus cos at the end of the lesson, the bus will bring him to my mum's place! And my mum makes special effort to be there when the bus arrives even though she has to work. Helped to assure him alot and he's very happy now.

mrswongtuition
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Postby idunnoleh » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:35 pm

After visiting childcare center several times for the past few years. I think I did may a good decision of not sending my kids to childcare center. Till now I never see one childcare center with teachers with LOVE. All chin chin cai cai, bath not clean, eat not full, sick bo chap. Worst is u can usually see a few older kids UNHAPPY. Kids usually are happy when I c them unhappy I feel sad...

Encourage to give birth but there isnt any good childcare around wats the point. All the lessons are never followed, teachers are never enough and I did see so many foreign teachers that do not understand the young kids language like pong pong keke :celebrate:

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Postby Augmum » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:17 pm

idunnoleh wrote:After visiting childcare center several times for the past few years. I think I did may a good decision of not sending my kids to childcare center. Till now I never see one childcare center with teachers with LOVE. All chin chin cai cai, bath not clean, eat not full, sick bo chap. Worst is u can usually see a few older kids UNHAPPY. Kids usually are happy when I c them unhappy I feel sad...

Encourage to give birth but there isnt any good childcare around wats the point. All the lessons are never followed, teachers are never enough and I did see so many foreign teachers that do not understand the young kids language like pong pong keke :celebrate:


i would say that it all depends, really depends on which preschool/childcare centre and who are the teachers taking care of them.

as for my gal, she had a very wonderful chinese teacher while she was in K2 at halifax. (others are good also, but this one was exceptionally wondrful)
she cared for the children, taught them with all her dedication, most impt with love and hugs everyday.
she often asked the kids whether they wanna to be her godsons or goddaughters.
when it was time to leave at the end of the day, the sight of seeing both of them hugged together and waving goodeye was so emotional and touching. (as if like mother and daughter).

when we visited the centre before the registration, every child there was full of smiles and laughter, happily involved in their activities and interactive with one another,
so u could really see that they indeed enjoyed being in the sch.

even after 2 yrs leaving K2, my gal still went back to visit the teachers and principal there during her sch holidays.......

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Postby fristrom » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:16 am

idunnoleh wrote:After visiting childcare center several times for the past few years. I think I did may a good decision of not sending my kids to childcare center. Till now I never see one childcare center with teachers with LOVE. All chin chin cai cai, bath not clean, eat not full, sick bo chap. Worst is u can usually see a few older kids UNHAPPY. Kids usually are happy when I c them unhappy I feel sad...



Guess I am lucky. My child has been in childcare since 18months. At 4+, she is a well-behaved, confident and happy girl. That I have largely her childcare to thank. In particular, I noticed how "different" my child and her classmate behave when compare to my friends' kids.

The major issue for my child as she was constantly sick when she was 3 to 3.75. She was absent from school for almost a month last year. The teacher actually called up and asked whether the school can help. Anyway, maybe she has picked up all the germs she needs to pickup from childcare, for the last few months, she has been in good health (fingers crossed...)

At home, life is relaxed and the child can basically do anything at anytime they like, which is something they don't get at school. If I am the child, I would be unhappy too...

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