I’m a big fan of early learning for my child.
I began hoarding books when she was born, scouring pre-loved book depositories for bargains and ordering from Amazon.com the rest. Here’s one site where I get my second hand children’s books in the Philippines.
At seven months old, she attended her first Kindermusik class.
She came home so excited and despite her young age, will drum her hands whenever she hears us singing. Our baby really loved her Kindermusik classes. Here are some of the schedules for those who are curious about the classes.
Kindermusik classes are once a week, for an hour per time. It includes 15 minute free time and 45 minutes of continuous singing and parent/yaya participation.
I strongly recommend Kindermusik to any mother. I believe the class semester cost Php 18,500. We enrolled her to a monthly class that cost Php 3,500 (or Php 875 per class). If you can afford it, they’re well worth your time and money.
Afterwards, I enrolled my daughter to a pre-nursery class.
The pre-nursery kindergarten exposes children to reading at any early age. The earliest you can get in is 1 year old. Our baby started at 11 months old, the youngest possible age.
Classes is 5x a week, at 1.5 hours per day. The ratio of teacher to student is 1.5 teacher to 1 student. In my daughter’s class, there are 2 teachers and 1 assistant, so the program really focuses on your child.
I remembered her first day — there was some free time with music and toys, followed by some singing and book reading. The book on her first day was “Where is Spot?” Afterwards, the teacher will teach them about phonetics.
Since parents are not allowed to come in anymore after the first week to allow children to be more independent, we aren’t privy to what’s going on in her class. However, I do see a slight uptick on her need to read books every evening.
When we get home and after she bathes, there’s reading time. She will toddle and get a book from her bookshelf for me to read out loud.
So I guess early learning classes work. As a working mother, I cannot babysit my daughter full-time, and I don’t want to leave her with the maid all the time. It’s good to have some formal teaching environment for her to socialize properly and to hopefully absorb some good information from trained teachers.
Some mothers laugh at me and chide me from being a tiger mom. “What if your baby gets scared of school because you expose her to formal schooling so early?”
That’s the issue — I honestly believe that babies are very resilient and adaptable creatures. The schools I enroll them in are actually playschools, where they mostly do play and all teachers are hired to ensure that learning becomes fun for them.
There are no grades or pressure to do well. There’s no honor roll or competition among babies. Instead, all they have to do is show up while a bunch of adults entertain them.
In a way, early schools teach kids that learning is FUN.
Instead of scaring kids, I think early schools show them that teachers are friends and schools can be fun places. And if that doesn’t set a positive tone early in their education, I don’t know what else to do.
How about you? Will you enroll your kids to a playschool while they’re very young? At what age do you think they should start schooling?