Baby Charley just celebrated her first birthday last year, and it was a blast! We officially have a toddler in the family, and the house has never been the same. Toys are everywhere, and there has been nonstop gibberish and babbling in the house. Despite all these, we're happy just having her around the house.
However, after Baby Charley's first birthday, people have been overwhelming us with questions like,
When is she gonna have a brother/sister?
Are you planning on travelling together?
Yet, the most intriguing question we had was, "Which playschool are you enrolling her?"
Playschool? Seriously? I haven't really thought much about that since Baby Charley has just turned one. No matter how bibo she looks and how likot she is, in my eyes, she's still a baby. My, she can't even call me properly. Sometimes it's mommy or mama, but often it's Baba or Oi!
What exactly do kids do in a playschool?
Playschool or playgroup offers class that caters to (very) young students. There are playschools that offer classes to students as young as 6 months, while many give classes to kids who are at least 2 year old. Class sizes are usually small with a 2:15 teacher:student ratio, and classes are held twice or thrice a week depending on the preferred schedule of the parents.
Lessons are integrated with art, music, and games - lots of them! Often, kids are given ample time for social interaction, so there'll be lots of singing, dancing, games, and play time with other students, which I think prepare the kids to a room-full of more kids when they enter Pre-K.
What I think about it
Most big schools require their incoming PRe-K students to attend at least 6 months of playschool, so mommies have no choice but to enrol their toddlers in one. The question here now is at what age should our babies be to be enrolled in a playschool.
This one depends on the age requirement of the big school you're eyeing for your little one. Since AC requires their incoming Pre-k to be 3.8 - 4.7 year old, we have to enrol Baby Charley in a playschool by 2017 (she'll be 2 years old, then).
I honestly feel she's too young by then. Will she be potty trained na? Can she sit still during the whole class? Will she be bullying other kids there? and most importantly, How much is this gonna cost us?
Playschools aren't cheap, that's for sure. Most range from Php 40,000 - Php120,000 - and all the kids do are sing and get dirty! Right now, we're scouting for good and affordable playschools for Baby Charley - some place that will not bring our family in poverty level. :D
Are babies too young for playschool?
Redshirting ("to hold back") our babies for another year is a common practice in the country. Many parents feel that the older the kids are when they enter school is more beneficial since it means that their kids are more mature and hopefully much smarter than the younger ones.
However, there are some studies like Too Young to Leave the Nest, and articles like When Should Kids Start Kindergarten and Youngest Kid, Smartest kid? that explain the benefits of attending the school early. However, there are no recent studies here in our country about this.
I believe that a child's readiness to school can be observed by parents at home. If we think that our child has the readiness, the necessary skills, and the appropriate maturity to enter school, then why not? However, it is still more important that we provide them all the love and nurturing they can get at home.