Play-way all the way
Australia was now our new home.After the initial engaging phase of settling down was over ,it was time for our daughter to begin her new innings as a learner . It was time to prepare her for her new beginning . Although we had a slight inkling about the schools here . They were very similar to what the style and pattern was in America as we had witnessed some there . ‘Play-way is the method’,our daughters young educator told us,on the very first day of the orientation.Here in Australia Kindergarten,is termed as kinder or ‘kindy’.Children of 3 and 4 years old spend a number of days in the week ,my dd was a couple of days per week, mostly playing and learning till they were prepared for school in their fifth year when it became compulsory.
Our initial attempts to push her off to school were literally that pushing her ‘off’. Our drill as parents as directed to us was to
- sign the attendance register
- put the children’s stuff in their respective lockers inside the room
- take the kid to get their hand washed
- ensure they had their sunscreens and hats on as they had to be’Sunsmart’
Although we had as parents had candid conversations with them educators on how to prepare our kids on pre-school and received some materials to work on them as well.One fever and a week-break later my daughter finally said the unthinkable,’Are we going to my kindy today?”Well that was music to my ears.Now was it avoidable when all that a irrepressible little girl ever wanted,got.She was no more a round peg in a square hole.
Their were so much to do for the children.Well a few things which my daughter loved doing was
- painting on the canvas
- playing with lego
- building blocks
- playing with play dough
- playing in the sand pit
- jumping on the trampoline
- playing with soccer ball
- playing on the see-saw
- listening to story by Michel
- and not to forget sleeping
Well its not that only children got to have all the fun even the parents were from time to invited.Harmony day was a celebration at the kindy of an assorted bunch of people over cold tea and warm conversations and unique palates.It strikes me here schools are like a community where everybody knew and were cordial towards each other. What took my breath away as a mother was the adorable mother’s day celebration.You never know what your children can achieve under proper guidance and a holistic approach towards education.Even though I was no longer assisting in her writing lessons,from time to time I became involved in a few tasks some of which were like –
- when she came home one day with Bouncy the kangaroo so that she could have some adventures with it.
- Their were many activities going on at her kindy which I felt so proud on seeing like when they put up a ‘stegosaurus’ (heard the word the very first time.)
- started having breakfast Tuesdays
- one day had a world dance class
- made presents for mothers day and not to forget the amazing performances and other activities like pampering,making cookies,making paper flower bouquets
- going on excursions
- baking banana bread
- the list is endless
The education it seems is centred around the building of self-esteem of the children by appropriating them with privileges as well. For instance one day dd came home with a VIP TAG around her neck and the next day she was to present her favorite toy or book so that others could know her likes.Parents were regularly encouraged to participate by spending time with the kids like reading stories ,baking a cake or doing any other activities that they liked.That entailed that although my daughter was loosing out on reading ,memorising and writing lessons.Well i know what my daughter gained
- co-operating with others
- patience to live away from home
- Joy which to me is the most important of them all
One day when I went to pick up my daughter
Me:How was your day honey?
DD:Good but Michel is sick and did not come so we really missed her.
Now that is the kind of relation I would like my child to have with her teacher and not one based on fear only.Well I am not really critical of any kind of education system neither am I making any comparative analysis.To each his own.Although I am aware of many parents being content with the academic onslaught upon tiny minds as they believe that it is preparing them and well equipping them with the ever growing demands of the world.However for my child I would like that which lets her grow at her pace as for career whatever that makes her happy and that which she was ‘born’ to do. She owes me no apology. I would put her future plans at rest for the time being while she was more busy being and becoming herself.
(This is part 2 of 2 parts in the blog ‘Pre-Schools-A World apart’.This is also a part in the series Manic Monday.)
To read Pre-Schools-A World apart 1.Click here.