Thursday, July 26, 2012

play group or not..thats the question

often there are many questions in parents' life when their baby becomes a toddler "when to send our child to playgroup? is playgroup really required? should we directly send the child to nursery?"

main point # playschool is not "required". it is optional. there is nothing good or bad about it. there is nothing useful or useless about it.

there are many reasons why parents go for playgroups at the age of 2 years. of course, reasons are different in different cases:
  • living in nuclear family doesnt give any exposure to social skills and parents feel its better to send the child to school to mingle with kids than to stay at home with a maid.
  • with both parents working, parents do not have any option but to go for early schooling + day care
  • parents who opt for mainstream school for nursery may find admissions easy if the child has attended playgroup before nursery.
  • if friends' and neighbors' kids go to a certain playgroup and are doing good, then the parents do not want to take any chance and put the child in school to keep abreast with others.
  • home environment is very unhealthy and parents feel its better to keep the child away from home for at least few hours.
  • parents feel, the earlier the school, more will be the development
  • the child is very active and restless at home and parents feel that going to a structured environment for couple of hours will do him good
there can be many more reasons, but these are most commonly prevalent ones.

dont go by what others say. think, judge, evaluate your situation, preferences, ideologies and then take the decision. playgroup is generally any child's first experience of an outside structured world. if that experience is good, it gives a confident start to education. if that experience is bad, it gives a nervous start to education.

so, even when you take the decision, you need to be very careful and watchful about the child's on-going day-to-day experiences there. since a playgroup child is not very verbal about his needs, wishes, thoughts, ideas, fears, you may find it very difficult to note his experiences unless you are sensitively tuned in to his first world of education-cum-socialization.

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