This June period, we decided to let Little E attend the June 2015 Holiday Programme organised by Wee Care @ Tanglin. We got to know of this prestigious kindergarten from a friend of mine (YL) who currently works there as a designer.
I was intrigued and impressed by YL’s Facebook posts on what she does for the playroom in the school. In a nutshell, she creates and designs a children’s wonderland in the playroom that changes its theme on a weekly basis.
In Wee Care’s holiday programme, the playroom changes daily, based on the story that was told to the children each day. Each week, Wee Care introduces great books by awesome authors such as Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tom Lichtenheld, Tammy Jones, etc. to their students. During this June Holiday Programme, we were introduced to a groundbreaking series of local fairy tales with a twist by Epigram Books.
Written by famous personalities like Adrian Pang, Glen Goei and KF Seetoh, these storybooks are essentially classic tales re-woven with a strong Singaporean theme. We have all heard of Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Little Red Riding Hood… But I’d like to recommend you to meet the freshest characters found in these interesting and wacky books: Hansel and Girl Girl, Goh Bee Lock and the Three Boars, and Little Red in the Hood. These wacky tales got me laughing out loud as familiar stories are turned upside down and given local angles that are witty, heartwarming or plain bizarre.
On Monday, we were introduced to “Goh Bee Lock”, Singapore’s very own Goldilocks, and the three boars! The playroom was transformed accordingly into a busy marketplace, with seemingly real local food samples for the children to engage in pretend-play. Today, we were introduced to the hilarious tale of Little Red who lives in the ‘hood’, with a grandmother who is a kickboxing expert!
The playroom was entirely different today. It depicted high rise flats, with roads and expressways, local playgrounds, supermarket, etc. that are typically found in the local HDB scene.
Even the corners of the playroom were appropriately linked to the storyline of Little Red in the ‘Hood’. In the local tale written by Glen Gooi, Little Red’s grandmother needed visual correction so that she will not launch her punches on the wrong person ever again! Hence, there was a mini optical room with vision charts and spectacle frames in one of the corners. The Art and Craft table always has 2 crafts for the children to choose. Little E chose to make Little Red’s kickboxing Grandma Rambo as a keepsake.
The children were given 30 min to play-pretend in the big and spacious playroom. Little E was roaming about, trying out anything and everything, all by herself. I was completely forgotten by her during this time, as I sat in a hidden corner, occasionally taking pictures of her and her classmates, who were all immersed in their make-believe scenarios.
The children also played some games led by the teachers after the 30 min playtime in the playroom was up. They were then asked to form a line to walk to the washroom to have their hands washed, before they enter the classroom for their snacks.
After they finished their snacks, the teachers went around to apply a generous amount of sunscreen on the children, and prompted them to take out their hats, because it was time to play in the rooftop garden!!
Little E was lost in happiness somewhere in the rooftop garden, that had lots of mobile cars, playground equipment, and ample space for them to run about.
As the tots were engrossed in their grassy wonderland, I was kept busy chatting with 2 other SAHMs who were like me, there to accompany their kids. While most of the children in the Holiday Programme were already attending Wee Care Kindergarten on a regular basis, there were a few who were like us, in the “parent-accompanied toddlers” category.
For children to be enrolled into the drop-off programme at Wee Care, they have to be evaluated by the teachers to be independent enough, before they can be admitted into their Bright Starts programme.
As such, children are admitted only through the completion of their Parent-Toddler Playgroup Programme, or a parent-accompanied Holiday Programme (such as this June Holiday Programme), to enable parents and children to get to know the Wee Care teachers and the school environment prior to starting school, so as to reduce the impact of separation anxiety. Such an admission criteria & procedure is unique to Wee Care Kindergarten, and is commended for the emphasis they put in to minimising separation anxiety that are bound to be experienced by all young children.
We were very proud of Little E for her display of courage and self-confidence during the 2 days we were there at Wee Care’s June Holiday Programme! As a result, she was evaluated to be appropriate for admission into the Bright Starts I programme, commencing this end of the month in Term 3 of their academic calendar!
At the end of 3 hours, Little E was still happy as a clam. We returned home feeling thankful and joyful, and exhausted in a good way. We both napped like babies through the lazy afternoon…
It was daunting to realise Little E will start school (for 2 days a week, 3 hrs a day) soon! Her current schedule will have to be juggled a little… Due to her other activities (such as bible study, GKGW course, music, Sparkanauts, Sunday school) throughout the week, Little E is exposed to many different socialising opportunities, her learning capacities have widened considerably as well. Hence, we were confident that Little E appeared ready for school, and lo and behold! a school like Wee Care Kindy is God’s gift to us! Nonetheless, we wonder if Little E is still too young to start going to school… by herself…
Besides, what we are already doing now is probably enough, or perhaps, more than enough for our inquisitive explorer…? We will only know when the time comes…