Many parents look at the wrong criteria when choosing an early learning program for their child, and this can lead to issues as the child develops a dislike for learning. If your child is soon to be reaching the age when they will enter an early learning program, here are a few mistakes to avoid when searching for the right school.
- Focusing on the Facilities More Than the System of Learning – A school might have attractive grounds and a lovely swimming pool, but the signs of any good learning institution is what goes on in the classroom. While it is important for a school to have many facilities, the first place to look is at their curriculum, and just as importantly, how that curriculum is delivered.
- Long Traveling Distance – It is important that your child does not spend longer than 30 minutes in the car when travelling to and from school, and while there might be the perfect school an hour’s drive away, the time spent travelling will put unnecessary strain on your child. There is a great kindergarten in Bangkok that is not far from the suburbs and with Skytrain, travelling times are minimal when compared to travelling on the roads.
- Making an Impulsive Choice – You should never make a commitment without first spending some time at the school during opening hours, when you can see for yourself how the children spend their time. A school may have a wonderful website that seems perfect, yet without paying the schoo a visit, you can never be sure that the children actually enjoy learning, and if a child develops a dislike for school and learning in general, this could cause serious issues late in their life.
- Focusing on Academic Learning – It is a sad fact that many Asian parents see learning as a race, and the sooner a child can learn to read, write and do arithmetic, the better, when in fact, a young child should not be introduced to academic learning until the age of 7 years. Of course, there is a place for traditional classroom instruction, and after a few years of developing creativity, imagination and essential social skills, the child is ready for academic learning, which should begin when they enter the first years of formal education and not before.
- Failing to Consider Safety & Security – While it might sound appealing to have an open door policy, in this day and age every school should have a very strict access policy, and only parents or authorised carers should be able to gain access. CCTV should be everywhere and the children should have both indoor and outdoor soft areas where they can safely play and explore their surroundings.
It makes sense to take your time when looking at suitable kindergarten programs, and after making a shortlist of those you think might be suitable, you should book a tour of each school, which will give you the opportunity to see how the kids interact with the program, and only then can you make an informed decision.