- 08-27-2011, 10:45 AM #25Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
- hong kong
This thread topic is very interesting. Recently relatives and family friends have been mentioned sending kids to 'school' starting 6 months, and that there are waiting lists! This info startled me as I have always thought children started school at 4/5 for kindergarten. My baby is not yet 3 months, and we are leaning towards living in HK in the coming years. Does everyone send their kids to school/activities so early? Is it necessary?
- 08-27-2011, 07:10 PM #26Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
If I were you, I would ask my friend more information by what is meant "school." There are no actual "schools" for children as young as 6 months in Hong Kong. The earliest I've ever seen children be able to start pre-nursery is 2-years-old, although I've heard that some go at 18 months. Is it possible that your friend is taking her child to a playgroup?
Some playgroups may really market the "school" aspects of what they do. i.e. "Your child will learn early math, reading and writing skills." The Pearl Report did a lengthy report on this phenomenon about 2 years ago, I think. At any rate, the only type of "schools" that probably exist for children as young as 6 months are actually playgroups where the child must be accompanied by a caregiver (parent, grandparent, helper etc.), the time spent in the playgroup is usually not over 2 hours/time and the content (of a good playgroup) covers a lot of areas--including fine motor skills (usually through an assisted art project), gross motor skills (through music and simple instruments as well as simple exercise) and cooperative play ("circle time"). It is even rarer to find a situation similar to daycare schools in Hong Kong as most people who need that type of service employ a helper.
So, my guess is that your friend is just sending her child to a playgroup but maybe she believes it's a "school"???
Children in Hong Kong can (but are not required to) attend pre-nursery school at 2-years-old and kindergarten around 3-years-old (kindergarten is not required in Hong Kong by law). The government subsidizes anyone who sends their child to kindergarten as long as the kindergarten falls within certain parameters (cost, not-for-profit) so in that way, the government encourages pre-primary education but does not require it. Children usually begin primary school when they are between 5-7-years-old with P1 as their first level. Before primary school many children do three years of kindergarten.
I started taking my eldest child to playgroups when he was about 18-months-old and I may start earlier with doing that with my daughter now that I've found a couple of playgroups I really like that have programs for children 8/10-months-old and up. The play is structured but very carefree and the interaction time between caregiver-child is really fun and useful, I think. I learned a lot about how to actually play with my child (new games, songs, methods, activities) through attending--it was like an education for me as well! I probably would take my youngest twice a week for a couple of hours as a mommy-daughter thing. Not necessary but fun and useful all the same :)“Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”
~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)
Mother of Two
JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK
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