At Nania_Kindy and Home

Today I am going to talk about kindergarten and home. The children spend most of their time at home and at kindergarten. Nania is their second home. It is set up like a home. There is a kitchen, laundry with ironing board and baby (dolls) corner. The children are class brothers and sisters. Teachers are class mothers. Both homes are important to the children. It goes without saying it is important how the two places relate to each other. The more they communicate and work in accord with each other the more the children will gain from their education at the kindergarten and at home.

At Nania, the children learn to manage things themselves. They are expected to change by themselves, fold their clothes and keep them in their bags, set tables, wash their dishes after meals, hang the laundry, fold the napkins. Being full of will children are very happy to do their own things by themselves as well as help the teachers. They need guidance and instruction to begin with but soon after they want to do things by themselves and feel proud of themselves for that.

I notice many families have live in housemaids. For some their main responsibility is to take care of the children. I have some concern about how the maids play their role as care givers. I notice they tend to offer the children too much help, for example changing clothes for them, feeding them, carrying their bags, etc. I suppose partly to demonstrate their care and work to the parents. What does this situation, where the child is expected to do everything by him/herself in one place and there is a maid or a parent doing everything for him/her at another, teaches the child.

It mainly creates confusion. At home, the child learns care is demonstrated by the care giver (mummy or kakak) doing things for them. It can lead to the misconstruction when things are not done for them they feel uncared for. Coming to kindergarten, children also expect and demand teachers to do things for them as happens at home. Alas, the children have to unlearn this before they can learn to take care of themselves and feel good about it.

Young children learn through repetition, doing the same thing again and again in a consistent way. We are most comfortable when we know what to expect. Young children cannot know what to expect unless there is a regular pattern. Keeping a consistent daily, weekly and yearly rhythm is the foundation of a learning environment. Learning cannot take place if children are uncomfortable and unsettled. Repetition, e.g. singing the same song, within a regular rhythm, e.g. daily ringtime, allows the child to pick up the song quickly. The same applies for attitudes and behavior. When we change the way we do things often, young children tend to become lost, confused and loose interest in what they are suppose to do. They cannot focus.

The start of the day establishes the keynote for the rest of the day. When the child wakes up and when he/she arrives at the kindergarten are important factors to the rest of his/her day. Adults might not feel so lost when we are not in time for work or appointments but small children are. When late, at Nania, the child feels out of place and is hesitant to join in on-going group activity. During the recent Lantern festival, parents may have noticed that late children were hesitant to join the presentation circle. To give him/her a good start get the child to bed and up regularly on time.

It is good that kindergarten and home communicate and work together to remove inconsistencies and contradictions between what is expected of the child in kindergarten and at home. Also to include what is practiced in one is also part of the child’s life in the other. At Nania we say grace before and after each meal. If interested, I am sure the children will be happy to show you what to do together.


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