In Singapore, enrichment classes for kids can take up a lot of their time on weekends and even weekdays after schooling hours.
While this phenomenon is very common in the country, some starting from as young as preschool age, are we being overzealous in enrolling our kids into such classes?
How do we know if they are really necessary?
Enrichment classes for toddlers
At such a young age, early learning programmes could be used as opportunities for social interaction and exposure, which are not strictly necessary, but good to have. Observe your toddler to see if they are enjoying the enrichment classes to decide if you would like to continue with the same.
Enrichment classes for kids in preschool
Now that your kids have a longer concentration span and the ability to indicate their likes and dislikes, you may wish to provide them with exposure to a wide range of activities. They then have the opportunity to discover interests and talents in these areas.
Some signs that you can continue with enrichment classes for kids in preschool can include:
If your preschooler treats the enrichment classes as a form of entertainment or enjoyment, you may wish to continue with them, even if they are not critical needs.
Interest and/or talent
Some children display obvious talent or interests in a certain area and in this situation, you may need to provide the environment to develop these.
Enrichment classes for primary students
Primary school students in Singapore start their day very early and may not end until later in the day. The necessity for enrichment classes for primary students can include enjoyment, interest and obvious talents in these areas but it also depends on a more complex set of considerations, such as the following.
There is a need for support
If your kids do not understand what is being taught or has problems keeping up in school, there may be a need to choose enrichment classes that runs at an appropriate pace and comfort level to get them back on track.
There is a need for challenges
Some kids are more advanced than others and learning at the same pace as their peers might be too slow for them, eventually resulting in a lack of interest. In this case, enrichment classes for primary students set at a suitably challenging level can be the key to getting them interested again.
There is a need to relax
Enrichment classes for primary students do not necessarily have to be school taught subjects. They can also be relaxing activities that help them find balance between schoolwork and sanity, for primary students who are finding it hard to cope.
The ultimate decision
It is easy to develop a fear of missing out in Singapore, where the enrichment culture is very strong,. But while enrichment classes can nurture any obvious talents or interests and support specific needs, they should be provided as necessary and in a balanced manner.
Support each of your kids in the manner that nurtures them and you will find them flourishing in due time, whether they go for a whole host of enrichment classes, or not.