Our journey of early education for our kids Atticus and Alexis were a unique one. Over three years, we've ventured through three different local preschools in Singapore, each with its own charm and character. Thought I can share what we've learned along the way.
My First Skool at West Gate (2021)
Our journey began in 2021 with My First Skool at West Gate. With school fees hovering around $700 before subsidies, this preschool focused on the fundamentals of early childhood development. Their curriculum was geared towards nurturing essential skills like language development, motor skills, and social interactions. It was a well-rounded approach that we hoped would lay a solid foundation for them.
Honestly I wasn't impress with this one. As a concerned parent, I often communicate with the teachers. Asking them how Atticus doing in school and stuff. I was often assured he's doing great. But several occasions when the teachers describe the conversations they had with Atticus. It sounded entirely different from the Boy I speak to at home. It was like there was a mix up with the other classmates.
Mulberry at Punggol Northshore (2022)
In 2022, we found ourselves back in our Punggol home and opted for Mulberry at Punggol Northshore for both Atticus and Alexis. It was a time when most preschools were fully subscribed, but fortune smiled upon us as Mulberry was newly opened and accepting fresh students. This preschool brought a unique twist to early education.
Mulberry seemed to emphasize location-specific learning. Atticus was introduced to nature-based activities and opportunities to connect with the local community. The focus on socialization and peer interaction continued, helping him build strong relationships and learn from his peers.
My wife Kai Lin Wong and I liked the school. The place was uniquely designed, made for the curious. With an indoor treehouse and slide that lands the kids at the pantry. Various themes about insects and animals around the school. There was a tank of stick insects to intrigue the little ones. The teachers were caring and well aware of every students quirky personalities and behaviors. Very attentive in fact. But also very expensive. The school fees were at $1700 before subsidies. So when we enlist both Atticus and Alexis in, that's a whopping $3400! 😥
Nurturestars in Choa Chu Kang (2023)
Fast forward to 2023, and we found ourselves relocating to Choa Chu Kang. This time, we enrolled Atticus and Alexis into Nurture Stars at Safra. As luck would have it, this preschool was newly opened, just when government-subsidized schools like My First Skool around the area were fully subscribed.
Nurture Stars seemed to center its curriculum on community engagement and inclusivity. It helped the kids understand and connect with our new neighborhood, promoting acceptance and diversity. School fees are affordable at $900 before subsidies. And the kids love this one most. Largely influenced by the Park beside where they take their morning walks.
In this journey through different preschools, we've witnessed the remarkable adaptability of young children. The kids ability to embrace new environments and routines with enthusiasm has been truly heartwarming. It was reassuring to see how easily they embraced change, a quality that would serve them well in the future.
But beyond these preschools, there's a wish deep in my heart. I hope they don't conform too much to society's fears and norms as they get older.
Preschools play a role in shaping a child's social and emotional development, but as parents, we know the importance of fostering critical thinking, open communication, and empathy at home. Children are influenced by their surroundings, but it's our values and guidance that will help them navigate the world and make their own choices.