The Straits Times
Published on Dec 04, 2012

Focus pre-schoolers on social skills, not grades


AS A pre-school teacher for many years, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's comment to "let your children have their childhood" really resonated with me ("'It's good for young children to play'"; Aug 27).

I agree with Mr Lee that children in pre-school should be taught through play and interesting activities.

Children of this age are like delicate little flowers that need tender care - if handled too roughly, they can be crushed.

In pre-school, children should not be burdened with academics. Overtasking can turn the children off. Parents and teachers should keep this in mind for the sake of the growth and development of a child. They will then grow up well-rounded.

During the pre-school years, children need to develop the following skills, which become important in their future academic life:

- Social skills,

- Physical growth and development of large motor coordination skills and small muscle coordination skills,

- Intellectual development, and

- Emotional development.

S. Farida Ahmed (Ms)