Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What do our children learn at school?

Besides the usual academic stuff like language, science, and math, Caitlin's kindergarten exposes the kids to various other important subjects such as the environment, practical life lessons, music and movement, swmimming, cookery and theme-based stuff.

I'm glad that Caitlin is attending this kindergarten as she does enjoy most of the activities. Of course,there are days (many, in fact)when she says she does not want to go to school and prefers to stay at home to play. But most times, she is happy once she steps into the school grounds, participating in the action songs at assembly and getting chatty with me when I pick her up after school, relating what she did or what happened that day. She can be quite a 'gossipper' at times telling me who was naughty and got scolded, who cried, who was sick and threw up and what colour medicine she took, which girl has long hair and what hair accessories she had, what type of nail polish a classmate had.....

It is clear to me that her kindergarten attempts to be well-rounded in covering as many areas as possible in 'educating' the kids. How successful they are is a different thing since there are so many variables. Every teacher and the level of dedication and attention he/she gives is different, every child is different.

What is important is our involvement to complement and enhance what they have been taught at school. Her school tries to get parents involved by giving a simple homework every week based on the week's theme for parent and child to do together. Last week's theme was "My Family" and the kids learnt about family members and their duties. We had to paste our family photo in the homework book and Caitlin had to write how many members there are in our family and share what she learnt of the duties of each family member.

I was pretty disappointed when she told me teacher said daddy washes the car and goes to office while mummy cooks and washes. Maybe she was taught more but only remembered those few facts or maybe it's what she sees in her own family. After some prompting, she revealed that mummy also does go to the office while I added 'alternative' ideas to avoid the stereotyping. But what amused me most was when I asked her what her duty was and very innocently, she said, "Playing with toys".....

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