- Published on Saturday, 23 October 2010 13:49
On a public forum, someone recently asked the question: "At what age should my child start school?" Many parents wonder about this: Is their child ready? Is early school needed? If so, for what reasons? Is school needed for proper brain development and if yes, at what age should they enroll?
Here's the response I gave:
It depends on the child and your situation. Some parents really enjoy keeping kids home and teaching them there before sending them off to be in school for the remainder of their youth. Other parents need to work and so entering a child in preschool (or Childcare) becomes a 'need' for them.
I have three children of my own. I've worked with kids for 23+ years (ages birth - 13) and was a nanny for 16+ years. Some children do great at home until they enter elementary school while others really need the social setting of preschool or even Childcare. More over, many kids need the reading instruction and play time if they are not receiving that at home.
My eldest son wanted to attend school as early as possible. He LOVED making friends and learning. I had taught him a lot at home but he wanted a teacher and friends. He's in grade 6 now but is given the work of the grade 8 students. He still loves to learn and was reading by age two (at home with me). For him, early school was simply about the social environment and making some buddies.
My daughter is the same - she wants to attend school NOW (age three). We tried to enroll her in preschool but the school turned her down (they can only accept Special Needs children at this time). So we'll continue working with her at home and sending her to a friend for Childcare 2-3 mornings each week (just so she gets the social interaction that she is craving).
Our 2-year-old is also very social and will most likely want to attend school early. If it's possible, he'll go. If not, we'll keep him home and teach him here, just as we've done with the other two.
Every family situation is different. Some parents want to send a child to school early because there isn't enough food at home, and at school, the child can eat for free.
Do what's best for your family and your child. If you are always putting their needs first, you can't go wrong! ;-)
ABOUT the Author:
Shara Lawrence-Weiss is the owner of Mommy Perks, Personal Child Stories, Early Childhood News and Resources and Kids Perks. She has a background in education, early childhood, nanny work, published freelance, marketing and special needs.