Choosing a kindergarten? Here’s what to look out for

Children having fun at the SOS Kindergarten. Photo by SOS Children’s Villages. File.

If you are in the process of selecting a good kindergarten for your child, there are a number of things to be considered. Bear in mind that the school will either give a child a firm foundation, or ruin it. There are some things parents should take note of when choosing the right kindergarten for the little one;

What’s taught and how. It is your responsibility as a parent to know what the teachers impart. Kindergarten students need to learn more than the alphabet and numbers. Children also learn best through practice, for instance; touching, observing, and experimenting, so there should be plenty of art materials, objects to count, and anything necessary for them to practice. Talk to teachers and know if the child will benefit.

Accessibility. This includes the distance to the school from home. As a parent, you wouldn’t want your child to take long hours on the road. If the school is far, the child will need to wake up a bit early to make it on time, this might disorganise their sleeping time. It is, therefore, advised to get a school near home so that your child doesn’t worry about when to be picked from school.

Cost. You will need to find a school that fits your budget. Don’t take your child to a very expensive school that you can’t afford, there are schools with good standards but fair prices.

Other extras offered. Apart from formal school learning, you will want to consider other special offerings, like sports, swimming, music and musical instruments. Your child’s brain needs to be boosted.

Your child’s needs matter. Get schools that will improve your child, for example, if your child is a slow learner, you need a school that will train her so that she is not left behind. However, it is important for teachers to support a child’s talent as well, be it singing, dancing, and playing music instruments, among others. Every child needs care and support.

Teacher-student relationship is vital. Your three or four-year-old child needs to be surrounded by loving people since they are meeting new people, and a new environment away from home. You need a teacher who is very engaged in the child’s life. Teachers should be able to speak about a child’s strengths and weaknesses and be well informed of their background, interests, emotional and academic achievements.

Child safety. Let the school staff show you around the facility and the school grounds, and carefully explain security measures in place to ensure teachers are rightly supervising children, both indoors and outdoors.

Find a good fit. To find the best learning environment, parents need to know how a child learns best, for example, particular learning style, and challenges, or social needs like the level of contact with peers and practical matters including scheduling, extracurricular activities, among others.

However, before kids start school, encourage them to share; let them know what they should expect, how their day will be and the kind of activities they will be taking part in. Make sure that you will be there to help the kid through the transition. Take note that some children might segregate themselves due to fear of gatherings, so get a solution to that

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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