Is Your Child Ready for School?
When Should a Child Start School?
Depending upon where you live, children start school around the age of 5. For many decades, 5 has been the magic number and children eagerly look forward to September and taking their first steps through brick and mortar learning facilities that will become their new home.
Is your child ready for school? Think about your child, their tendencies and your circumstances before deciding to jump on the starting school bandwagon and chances are you will make the right decision.
In the last ten years however, more and more parents have been sending their children to pre-school, many of which are run by licensed teachers and others that double as a day care.
Are these kids smarter? Are they getting an advantage by starting school at 2 rather than 5? The answer really depends on your life circumstances and your child’s personality.
The primary goal of pre-school programs that commence prior to elementary education is socialization. In many states teachers, licensed or not, are not allowed to offer curriculums o meet your child’s level or that exceed that of the kindergarten mandates.
Essentially, even if they know their ABC’s, can write their name or count to 200 – they will have to learn it all over again in kindergarten. This is especially true of state funded programs.
The options of pre-schools are numerous. From church schools to Montessori there is certainly something for every type of parent. It is important to consider however, how much your child is enjoying school.
Some kids thrive immediately at the age of 2 or 3 while others feel naked and vulnerable in a school setting.
Remember that one cross word by a teacher or teacher’s aide or one explosive run in with the class bully can forever leave an impression on your child if they are not emotionally equipped for the dog eat dog world that is preschool.
SO many parents enroll their child in school early, even if they stay home, just to keep up with other parents and ensure that their child is getting the same opportunities.
Yet consider that if you are a stay at home parent, your child is getting quite a familial education at home as well that includes bonding and closeness; the building blocks of life.
This can’t be duplicated later on and many child psychologists believe that certain ingrained behaviors become concrete by the age of 5. Knowing that it is YOUR influence molding your child other than someone else can be comforting.
Another thing to consider before throwing your child to the wolves so to speak is the research. Conclusively, children who attend pre-school do not end up more gifted than those that didn’t. Why? Because children will learn concepts when they are ready to learn them and not a day before.
Curriculums are based on common neurological aptitude at certain age levels. Case and point – there are thousands (probably millions) of kids who know their ABC’s by the age of 2, but still cannot pronounce them correctly or have a true understanding of what the letters purpose is.
A clinical study at the University of Michigan that involved 586 students concluded that children who did not attend preschool were not hindered in elementary school.
Further, it assessed that while it may have taken a child 8 months to learn to count cheerios at the age of 3, they learn the tasks in just a few days at the age of 5.
Other aspects of child development that supports starting school later in life show that children who spend the bulk of their time away from their parents were more easily frustrated and less able to use their words to support their emotional needs.
On the flip side, school does offer a valid social platform that can boost confidence in children at an early age. While some parents may indulge in academic activities at home, others do not have the patience for it and they may not be stimulating their child enough in that area.
School can help them learn that the world is not about them and that other people do matter. When toddlers are outside of their family they have to engage in a “pecking order” and be part of a group rather than the automatic leader.
For obvious reasons this can help them to mature more quickly and become adept at handling social situations, including arbitrating with classmates. The kid who hasn’t been in school may be less likely to stand their ground in the midst of a larger group.
When toddlers are outside of their family they have to engage in a “pecking order” and be part of a group rather than the automatic leader. For obvious reasons this can help them to mature more quickly and become adept at handling social situations, including arbitrating with classmates.
The kid who hasn’t been in school may be less likely to stand their ground in the midst of a larger group.
Starting school should be given individual consideration. Parents need to realize that they know their child best and that often, they know if their child is ready or not. It is a big step to send your child to school and parents do it with the hopes that they will excel in this competitive world.
Yet, it is vital to realize that your children will learn the entire required educational stimulus in their own time whether you enroll them at 2 or wait until they are 4.
But they will never get a second change to stay home, sleep in, be lazy and have their emotional and developmental needs met by the love that only mom and dad can bring.
Think about your child, their tendencies and your circumstances before deciding to jump on the starting school bandwagon and chances are you will make the right decision.
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