PTA went wrong. 4 year old judged heavily on academics while nothing is being taught

My daughter is 4 and goes to a "inquiry based learning" preschool. Needless to say she doesn't come home with any homework. Neither do the parents get any emails or suggestions about what to work at home with the child. There are no textbooks either. I don't have a problem with it because I consider this is the age to play and that's how it is. Their topics are about "Recycling" and "Baby growth in womb". (with photos of many stages of baby growing in the womb) and showing ultrasound photos of the babies. I considered all this to be part of the modern liberal approach to teaching. However the PTA didn't go like that There were a lot of COMPLAINTS about How she didn't know to find the number 25 from blocks How she didn't read or learn to read words How she doesn't recognize January from July. All this without even a single instance of teaching A to Z. Or phonics. There is no mention of phonics anywhere in the curriculum. They are not asking parents to teach them anything. Year round we get emails every week. No materials are given to parents. Nothing. There are kids who the parents work with at home , presuming using their own materials, or who go to enrichment centers like kumon, and who do a good work in school. But is this really how it should be? They also showcase children's skills (which they didn't gain from school) in their newsletters. Like how a kid is writing till 50. (They aren't teaching or even attempting to teach any of this) Its like there are exams, but nothing is being taught. Is this normal? I am very new to Singapore and this is also my first child. After all of this, I was sent home saying, I better hurry up because Singapore has an aggressive education system. (While they are doing ABSOLUTELY nothing about it) I spoke to some other parents. Some of them who got negative feedback, just liked to believe that their kid is just backward and the other kids are "brilliant" These kids are 4 years old, and these kind of notions about the kids will scar them for life. And this is supposed to be a holistic teaching place which charges me 2000$ per month. Please help. Is this normal?

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This is totally not normal. For that kind of price, totally not worth your effort sending her to school and getting judged as such. Pls consider changing schools. Honestly, as academic as you think SG may be, the education landscape is beginning to change. Academics isn’t completely everything. A child needs to be developed holistically. Every aspect of their lives are important. It shouldn’t be one over all others. And since you are a paying parent, you have a right to ask the teachers what is being taught in school before they judge your daughter as such and if there are any materials to support that lesson taught. And even if so, tell them that’s what preschool is for – for my child to be taught. Otherwise, it doesn’t warrant me paying so much for my child to learn nothing. I sent my child to a PCF Sparkletots near my place. Totally not a “premium” preschool and I did not send her for any other enrichment outside of school. She started from N2 to K2. At the end of 3 years, she can read, write, spell, count, recognize letters, words, & nos.

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It sounds like you're facing a challenging situation with your daughter's preschool education. The approach of the school, focusing on inquiry-based learning and exploration rather than traditional academics at such a young age, is in line with modern educational philosophies. However, it seems there is a disconnect between the school's approach and the expectations of some parents, particularly regarding early academic skills. It's important to remember that every child develops at their own pace, and early childhood is a time for play, exploration, and developing social and emotional skills. While some children may excel in academic areas early on, it's not uncommon for others to develop these skills later. It might be helpful to have a conversation with the school to better understand their approach and how they support children's development. Additionally, seeking guidance from early childhood education experts or other parents who share similar concerns could provide valuable insights and support.Moreover,you can ask for more.

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I think you need to change schools. This is absolutely not the way that 4-year-olds are meant to be learning. I chose to send my daughter to a school where they in fact did not teach how to read and write kids till they were 5, focusing on learning experiences and concept development. But we still saw samples of what they were doing, we got narrative reports from the teachers telling us about attitude to learning, socialization, etc. Singapore may be academic-focused but they have excellent pre-schools where you certainly would know what the kids are learning/doing in the class. there is obviously a clear lack of communication and structure at the school -- and any school that complains about a 4-year old not knowing how to recognize number 25 is a bad fit in my opinion.

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Not normal at all. Are the Teachers from this school actually early childhood trained? Do they have a degree? What your describing sounds very hipster and total opposite of my daughters experience in school. She is 3 and they do phonics, reading, mandarin, math, writing. While they have play based learning as they are montessori school, they are academic focused. Some preschools I like in singapore include Etonhouse Pink tower montessori Brighton montessori Leap school house Julia Gabriel Odyssey

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5y ago

Hi! May I know which preschool is your daughter going to? Are the enrichment lessons already included in sch fees or add-ons offered by the school?

I supposed your kid is enrolled at Etonhouse whom is well known of emphasizing on Inquriry-based learning, and they could be charging you a lot because it’s a private preschool. To be honest, my kid was in MFS (my first skool) and she doesn’t learn a single thing too, no materials or artwork was handed out because the Teachers didn’t do anything. I got so mad with this and many issues that arose from their school and terminated her schooling last month.

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I feel you, and can understand your frustration, perhaps even anxiety. it's not normal for preschools to be like that. I found a site that may help, perhaps have a look and see what other schools there are that are better suited for your child?

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No this is not normal.You might take help from some AI sources like for academic help.

Is she from e-bridge who emphasized a lot on inquiry-based learning methodology??

VIP Member

Not normal at all. I suggest to switch schools