Mini and Mighty: Preschoolers Learning Loving Values
It’s every Christian mother’s heartbeat: the desire that their children grow up in favour with God and Man. The formative preschool years are essential in establishing children in the ways of Jesus and giving them a strong foundation in character.
Be inspired by what is possible from preschoolers, raised in Christian preschools like Zion Bishan Kindergarten in partnership with parents.
Learning about Healing Relationships
Feby, mother of Gywneth (5), is happy that her daughter is thriving in an environment that practises loving kindness. She has loving friends and learns forgiveness through the close collaboration between parents and teachers.
Once, Gwyneth was accidentally hurt by a rambunctious classmate. But she was taught to reframe her interpretation of hurt and to be more understanding when there was no intent of malice. Forgiveness takes time. With the encouragement and help from teachers, the two little ones are now good friends again.
Her mother says, “I am so glad that children are learning how to increase their circle of friends and get along with others who might be different from themselves. Being able to get along with others and be confident is extremely important to us. I am glad that these values are caught in Zion Bishan Kindergarten.”
Embracing Grace and Gratitude
Parents of Katerina Jimenez, Nicole and Juan, see God’s goodness expressed in their lives when they found a preschool which uphold values they themselves subscribe to.
They explained: “We wanted a preschool where the children learn to be grateful, and so, counter our culture of entitlement. The children at Zion Bishan Kindergarten say grace before meals. Also, we wanted a school where there was discipline and a sense of belonging. Through Aunty June’s bible stories the children are taught respect for authority and devotion to God. They begin to have a relationship with Him.”
In a loving environment, Katerina is able to express her care for others and receive help. “When her classmates fall down, she helps them up and consoles them. She picks some flowers or gives someone a little stone. There are no bullies in this kind of environment,” says Juan, who was originally from Panama.
Sensitising Children to Little Sins in the Heart
For Alyssa, learning to share with her sibling and waiting for her turn to play with toys was formerly a big struggle. Now it is less so because her mother, Ruth Quek, has explained how meeting one’s desires does not justify hurting others.
Now Alyssa prays, “Please help me to love my brother, and not think only about myself. Please help me share.” So she has begun to learn how to recognise when her natural self-centred desires start and to be more self-regulating.
Catching this value of sharing is not just accidental. Compassion, being kind to one another, is reinforced in her Christian preschool. The children learn that God first loved humans so we can love others too. Now in her family, they pray for fighting to stop in Ukraine, for less conflict and for peace to come.
“In a Christian preschool, what is different is an unconditional love that will nurture the child beyond just teaching them to be a morally good person. We need to understand that Christian preschool education is a meaningful ministry and provides a strong foundation in faith that will bear the fruits of the spirit in HIS time”, says Ruth.
Indeed, Zion Bishan Kindergarten cherishes partnership with parents in their children’s learning journey. “Parents play a critical role in children’s learning and development. Partnership with parents is important to nurture the whole child and is critical in developing consistency between the home and the preschool learning environment during this important window in a child’s life,” Mrs Serene Chang, Principal of Zion Bishan Kindergarten.
Empathy and Compassion
Little Alyssa immediately turns to God to heal her mother’s finger when she heard that it was hurt in the kitchen. Mini but mighty values of compassion have become a reality through the culture in school. Alyssa has learnt to turn to God on behalf of others.