We went to a preschool to learn life lessons. It sounds odd but we did it.
Back to basics, because society can mess with you.
If you open your eyes and mind big enough, you’ll find that there’s plenty to learn from everyday life.
Everyday life meaning work, the supermarket, and if you’re a parent, the preschool you just dropped your kid off at.
That is exactly what we did — except we didn’t drop our kid off there.
When we visited the My First Skool (MFS) campus at Bishan, we realised there were many life lessons we could learn at the preschool.
We also realised that the children were more woke than us about a lot of things.
What things? These things.
It’s super trendy now to jump on the “no plastic straw” bandwagon, but why not do more than plastic straws? Why not transform old materials into new stuff?
At My First Skool, recycling and upcycling are highly encouraged, which is why there are corners where children can contribute boxes and plastic bottles from home.
The old materials are then used to create things like musical instruments or cardboard animals during arts and crafts lessons.
This way, the value of not being wasteful and protecting the earth would be instilled in the children from young.
Translation to adult life: Even if you didn’t start as a kid, you can start now. Always recycle and upcycle things if possible. Or even better, just use recyclable bags/utensils from now on.
The next time you dabao food from the hawker centre, bring a nice little Tingkat or reusable container. These things help to keep the food warm as well.
Healthy eating should be cultivated from young. It’s been drilled into our heads that we should eat more greens, lean protein, and brown rice since we were little, but who actually follows it?
It’s only when we’re older and suffering from the effects of junk food eating that we realise how important it is to eat healthily.
Translation to adult life: When we eat better, we feel better. And when we feel better, we perform better. Simple.
See, the kids above look happy eating healthy food. They even finished their vegetables. So can you.
Learning from people outside of the school
Of course, it’s not always a teacher-to-student learning arrangement at MFS.
Once in a while, the centre invites working professionals over to have talks or hold demonstrations. So far, they’ve had guests of various occupations like bakers and policemen.
To play things up, the centre also brings the children out to meet the guests, such as to the dental clinic to observe first-hand what a dentist does. It helps the children understand the work of a dentist more, which in turn, makes them less scared of going to the dentist.
More than just book-learning, “real life” experiences like this make the lessons more immersive and fun. And since kids learn fast, lessons out of the classroom help build a better foundation for them.
Translation to adult life: Reach out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. Instead, learn new things from people who are better at the things you’re unsure of.
(We’re aware that the statement above sounds like something from a fortune cookie. But hey, it’s true.)
Interacting with kids of different ages
As part of the daily curriculum, MFS runs a multi-age sharing session every morning before classes start.
Children of different ages get to share with everyone what they’ve learned, or something new they discovered outside of school.
Besides giving a voice to each child, this also allows them to interact with peers from other classes. Moreover, it helps them be more understanding of children from different backgrounds and ages.
Translation to adult life: This interaction with people of different ages is extremely applicable to work life — and especially so if you work in a bureaucratic environment.
There are people of different rankings in the office, but we shouldn’t let it be a barrier when it comes to communication.
In fact, we should make it a point to communicate with different coworkers because it’s a great way to gain new perspectives, such as which ingredients are nicer at the cai png stall.
All photos by Jiahui Wee.
Established in 1977, My First Skool is the preschool arm of the NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) First Campus Co-operative.
They now run 140 preschools across every estate in Singapore with over 2,200 dedicated early childhood educators.
Find out more about My First Skool here.
This sponsored post in collaboration with My First Skool makes Mothership.sg’s writers reminisce about our childhood days.