The Importance Of Circle Time
Recently, we conducted a survey among our Publika and Verve parents regarding an extension of operation hours, after receiving recurring requests from a handful of parents.
Preschool isn't like work.
While we do have a daily schedule, we do not (and cannot) enforce that a child adheres to a certain punctuality for school. We always start off our school with social time, breakfast and class circle time.
Some parents have confessed that they do not see the benefits of social nor circle time and prefer their chid goes straight to 'starting lesson'.
However, the morning circle time may just be the most important ritual of a child's routine.
1. The Human Need to Socialise
During circle time, we sing anchor and thematic songs, dance or do simple exercises while singing, check attendance (call for a child and smile as every other child points out where named child is)... It is an important step to forging an identity in a group setting, planting the seeds for establishing friendships.
2. Psychological Anchor
The morning Circle time is an important anchor event for us to kickstart a day. The child subconsciously prepares to pay attention in the next period or two. Similarly, a ringing of a school bell, water break, breakout discussion, snack time are important wedge activities in between periods to provide a mental downtime.
Managing psychological anchors and mental downtimes are important steps to create a conducive environment for learning and fostering better attention.
We can certainly keep going, insist on back-to-back learning for the students, but it can backfire by killing the joy of learning in the long run.
3. Routine and its link to other life skills
An established routine provides a sense of security and helps a child to thrive. A child who is not accustomed to a routine of sorts may be confused in establishing other key life skills such as managing time, getting organised, prioritising tasks (what is important, what is not important), decision making, punctuality.
Going to preschool is more than gaining the academic foundation for primary school. Our child is gaining other important life skills, making friends and establishing her interests and passions.
Stripping these 'non-critical' time away from her school life may demotivate her interest in school itself.
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