My First Skool launches home learning sessions for pre-schoolers and their parents

My First Skool's home learning programme is meant to complement its physical lessons. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Mr Benjamin Kwan thought reading to his son would see the three-year-old fall asleep rather than keep him engaged, but attending a home learning programme together taught him otherwise.

The 32-year-old co-founder of music education company TravelClef said that because he presents and talks to adults at work, it can be difficult for him to adjust when teaching his son Christian.

So he and his wife Melody Goh, 32, have been attending NTUC My First Skool's home learning programme for the past few months, which they say has helped them engage better with their son.

Speaking to the media over Zoom on Thursday (Oct 28), Ms Goh said: "I used to think you just had to read the words on the page as they are but it's more than that, you have to be way more animated and make it engaging for him."

Since its roll-out in January, about 22,000 pre-school children and their families across My First Skool's 145 centres have taken part in the programme.

It offers three types of content for families at home, and is meant to complement My First Skool's physical lessons and offer a hybrid model for parents amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the pre-school chain said.

The programme has live sessions on Saturday mornings, where teachers from the various centres conduct lessons on various topics, both academic and non-academic.

It also offers pre-recorded guided sessions, including lessons for parents and children to practise Chinese and Malay together, and a repository of other content.

My First Skool's general manager Thian Ai Ling said the decision to create the programme was made after a 2019 survey commissioned by the pre-school showed that over 60 per cent of parents wanted more engagement with their children's learning at home.

She added: "We realised that many parents want to engage with their children for long periods of time, but they may not have the skills or knowledge to do it, and they aren't really aware of what their children and our teachers do at school because they are busy working."

She said the programme hopes to help deepen relationships between parents and their children beyond superficial questions about daily activities.

She said: "Although we do have a parents' portal where we share photos and videos of what the kids are doing, it is not the same as watching and being side by side with your child as they are developing."

The programme is available to all parents at My First Skool at no extra cost.

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