In Shanghai and some other parts of China, it is becoming increasingly common for children (and even sometimes the parents) to take tests before the kindergarten can admit them. The main reason for this, comes down to supply and demand. Quite simply, there isn’t enough kindergartens compared to the amount of children needing a place.
The lack of kindergartens is partly due to slow government approval of new kindergartens being built, combined with a ridiculous high amount of red tape for people who want to obtain a license. Then, combine that again with the large influxes of Chinese people from other places in China seeking a better life here, you’ve got a major problem!
Competition can therefore be fierce for kindergarten places, so fierce in fact, that there has even been protests by parents for not being able to secure a place in one!
Consequently, parents are preparing their children for these ‘entrance tests’ intellectually. They do these by sending their children to various places to increase their knowledge and development (like Can Cubs), spending more time at home teaching them and in some cases even hiring private tutors.
When it comes to resources for parents to use at home for better preparation before applying to a kindergarten, I have come across a useful book titled ‘Puzzles For Young Children - Preparing Little Ones for Gifted and Talented Tests & private school admission’.
The aim of the book is get your child intellectually ready for kindergarten, whilst at the same time having fun and being kept busy. The book is broken down into ’10 major reasoning types’. Each chapter provides lots of colourful creatively drawn puzzles or tasks for the child to complete. It’s easy to tell that the book has had some serious time put into writing and designing it. It isn’t like the regular churned out book by yet another big
I have two qualms however. The first is on page 181 which features a snippet on the topic of ‘space’. To say the least, that topic is a little controversial in this day and age and best to be avoided altogether.
The second is the fact there seems to be little too much ‘ego’ in the page presentation of each ‘puzzle’. After each puzzle, there is ‘inspiration’ snippet with a person’s name and the title of the ‘artwork’ (which often doesn’t seem to relate to it). The book is designed and intended for children, not to be displayed in a modern art gallery for 50 something year olds to admire! Yes the pictures are nice, but leave off the plaque. Contributors should be kept in the credit section of the book.
Nevertheless, the rest of the book really does get a thumbs up from me and would make a great admission to your child’s library! Take the ego out of it and ignore the space topic, and it’s a buy! Click here to buy from amazon. The publishers website - Central Park Tutors - is also worth a visit, as it also has a informative blog that could provide you with some useful information, so be sure to check it out also.
If your child doesn't 'pass' their kindergarten admission exam, don't worry, it doesn't mean your child isn't smart, remember children develop at different paces, and besides kindergarten and school isn't for everyone! If you're able, why not homeschool?