Starting your child in school at the right time allows them to thrive throughout their school career and into their adult lives, providing benefits for the whole community and nation. So how do parents equip themselves to get it right?
It used to be as simple as celebrating a birthday. If a child met the minimum age requirement they were sent to school. Today the decision is more complex.
Children that are not yet developmentally ready for formal schooling at the correct school-going age often benefit from an extra year in pre-school, ensuring that they meet developmental goals and are emotionally ready to face formal schooling. A confident child ensures that the young generation develop leaders instead of followers. It is important to communicate with child-care professionals, teachers or specialists should you be in doubt regarding your child entering formal schooling. A focus should be placed on the child’s life skills, emotional stability, assertiveness, self-image and self-confidence.
Age can be a contributing factor, but it really comes down to maturity, exposure to stimuli, life-experiences and an understanding of foundational concepts rather than chronological age.
Parents should ask:
- Can my child control their emotions?
- Can they control their behaviour?
- Are they independent?
- Can they follow directions?
- Can they adapt to new and unexpected events?
While research may show that boys are maturing a little slower in these early years we should not pigeon hole boys and girls, but rather take each child as they are, where some girls will need extra time and some boys will need extra time.
School readiness guidelines:
Are we in a rush? School is not a race and successful learning is more than just being able to cope.
Constant communication. Parents have the expertise in their child’s personality and the pre-school teacher has the expertise in the child’s maturity, work together to make the best decision.
There is nothing wrong. Holding a child back because of their maturity does not reflect on your abilities as a parent or say that there is something 'wrong' with your child.
Err on the side of caution. If in doubt, a bonus year allows extra time to consolidate and mature, with everything to gain from this year and nothing to lose.
That’s the WHAT and WHY. For the HOW, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.