Posts filed under ‘preschool’

More on Selective Mutism..

I received a comment from a concerned mom. Let me share it with all of you…

Mommy Wheng says:

Hi! I have a son who’s eight. He has selective mutism. He didn’t talk last year in school and still not talking in school right now. I’ve been reaching out to others with same problem. I feel so alone with the battle. How’s Angelo?

Hello Mommy Wheng!

Thanks for dropping by to my blog. It must be really tough for a mother to see his son not talk in school and seeing him so talkative and jolly at home.

We all struggle to make Angelo talk in school. He has not spoken a word throughout his Kindergarten years and now, he’s still not talking in my preparatory class.

Recently, his mother brought him to a developmental pediatrician and she was referred to a child psychiatrist. The child psychiatrist gave our school some guidelines on how to help Angelo overcome his anxiety. Some of these things were:

1. Angelo should be in small class setting. Fortunately, our preparatory class has only six kids.

2. We are not supposed to force him to talk. So, right now, we just take it as it is. We even asked his classmates not to talk about Angelo’s problem. Most of the time, I alter my teaching style to suit his needs and to assess him on a specific learning task.

3. We encourage his classmates to go to their house to play with him. And last week I started to do some home visitation too.

4. We made it a point to make the school as cozy as a home.

These guidelines proved to be very helpful since Angelo’s tantrums has lessened significantly and we observed that he is starting to control his fine motor skills (writing, coloring, etc).

In addition, Angelo now joins us when we sing our action songs. When he usually just sit through it last year. But of course, he only does the action part.

I know these may sound so trivial but for Angelo it is such a big feat since he was also diagnosed to have a mild attention deficit disorder.

I suggest that you consult a developmental pediatrician first, so that she could give you an idea on what to do next. It is very crucial that you work hand in hand with your child’s teacher. I know it may really take some work on her part but I think (and hope) that she will take this as a great challenge.

I understand your frustration about being alone in this battle since this problem is not that common. If you want, I can give you the contact number of Angelo’s mom so you could talk to her about it.

Please keep me posted on your son’s progress. I know that with proper help and a little patience on your part, your son will grow up to be a happy and smart boy.


August 17, 2008 at 4:22 am 3 comments

What to look in choosing a preschool for your child?

Izo, one of my preparatory pupils always come to class with incomplete set of crayons and always turn in assignments with silly crayons scribblings. When I ask him what happened to his work, he would always complain to me that Paula ransacked his bag again.

Paula is Izo’s 3-year-old little sister. Like any kid her age, Paula is beginning to show interest in going to school. So what does a parent like you should do if your kid shows interest in going to a preschool? Well, then you better start scouting for a good learning center for your child.

Now, picking a preschool for your little angel should not be taken lightly. Preschool years are very critical to a child’s development so it is crucial that you put a careful eye in choosing the right school for your child.

Below, is my personal 10-point checklist for choosing a good preschool. You might find some of these things in this list kinda trivial. But believe me, it does matter.

  1. Is the school near your house? – Going to school the first time can be very scary for your child. Don’t add up to his anxiety by subjecting him to a long and tedious trip to school. A small preschool in your community may be an ideal place for your child. It gives him the feeling of being near you plus you can easily go to him in case of emergency.
  2. Does the school resembles a home? -Transitioning from a house setting to a school setting should be done gradually. If you enter the school and you feel like you are at home there, then I think you found what I’m referring to.
  3. Is the class size small? – I think this one doesn’t need any explanation at all. A small class size would mean the teacher can give more attention to her pupils and thus to your child. Class size would also give you an idea on the type of curriculum that the school has. Big class size tends to adopt the traditional method of teaching while a small class size usually uses a more flexible and individualized mode of instruction.
  4. Does the school provide initial assessment before admitting your child to school? – Though some schools give admission test as an income generating scheme, this should not be taken so lightly as well. If the school does not provide any type of assessment process, this may tell you how much they put importance your child’s level of learning. A good initial assessment may take about a day or two half days or even a week. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know your child as well. Asking the school about their assessment process is also advisable so that you’ll know what to expect from your quarterly conference.
  5. Is the school interested in your child’s family history and likes and dislikes? – If the teacher or the school staff ask you about the child’s family history, don’t be offended. This would only mean that the school is really keen in getting to know your child and puts importance on his needs.
  6. Is the school safe and clean? – Of course, everyone wants the best for their little angels. Try to go around the classroom and observe how they manage their classrooms. Always remember to check on their comfort room, kitchen and their playrooms.
  7. Does the school have a good teaching staff? – Asking about the educational and professional experiences of the school staff is your right. The school must know that you put value on the credentials of the teachers. It is your right to know if the school staff has a strong professional experience in handling your child.
  8. Does the school have a good disciplinary method? – It is important that you understand the school’s system of disciplining pupils. The rule of thumb is: If you’re not comfortable with their process of disciplining pupils, don’t put your child in there. These things should not be overlooked for in the future it might leave some traumatic experiences in your child.
  9. Does the school allow you to observe classes prior to enrollment? – Every year, I advertise the school at least six months before the start of the school year so I could provide ample time for would-be clients to observe our class. I do this because it gives the parents an idea about our schools method of instruction and furthermore, it serves as an orientation to the parents. Ask the school if you can observe the classes during the school year. Of course, this means that you should start scouting for a school at least 6 months prior to school opening.
  10. Is the school accredited or recognized by the government? – Simple reason: Schools accredited by the government follow a certain standard to be registered. So, enrolling your child to a government-accredited school would give you the security that your child will be learning at least the minimum required competencies for his age.

November 1, 2007 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

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