Why I decided to start Nursery for my daughters at 4+

posted in: Early Education | 26

Recently I saw a video of a kid being taught counting & being shouted on & slapped by someone because she was unable to match up to her expectations of connecting the number names to written numbers. This kid looked hardly 3 – 4 years old, must be a student in nursery at max – hardly a year or less older than my daughters. I watched the video for few seconds & then I couldn’t see it anymore. I found myself crying. I cried and cried till I slept off crying. And then I got up & I cried a little more. I did not cry because the kid was being yelled at or hit – while of course that too is wrong at all levels. There is no justification to hitting a kid – EVER

 

What is happening to parents these days? Why such unrealistic expectations from kids? When I was a teacher, one thing that I learned – a valuable lesson for life that helped me even as a mother was – If a student or kid is unable to learn something that you are teaching them, it does not reflect the kid’s capabilities, but it reflects our incompetence as a teacher or a parent. It’s our responsibility to make learning fun for kids or else we have to be OK with the fact that kids will learn when they will!

 

And I don’t even completely blame parents for this. The competition is so fierce since such tender age that everyone wants their child to be the best. In comparison to other kids, every parent wants their kid to be better at some or the other thing. This is also fault of our education system. There are certain reasons why there are certain minimum age criteria when it comes to Nursery admissions. But a lot of schools bypass those rules & take students who are few months underage just because they don’t loose on one year money of that kid. And a lot of parents also happily send their under-aged kids to formal schools or nursery just to feel accomplished that one responsibility is off their shoulder.

 

Well, I decided otherwise. Whenever someone asks for my opinion as an Early Education Expert about Nursery admissions for their kid who might be a month or two short of the criteria my advise is ALWAYS to wait out a year rather than start early. For my own twin daughters we decided that they will start their Pre-Nursery the coming year when they will be 3.5 years of age and thus Nursery at the age of 4.5. Delayed schooling has a lot of benefits. To name a few –

  • The phase of hyperactivity & tantrums usually starts to phase out by the time kids are between 3 – 4. This means kids will be less bothered by each other if they start schooling at an appropriate or delayed age.
  • Kids are emotionally more prepared to handle long duration separation from home & parents.
  • At younger age kids benefit & develop social skills more from play based learning as compared to instruction based learning, thus early formal school means we are taking away the privilege from kids of constructive play.
  • Children at younger age are not meant to understand the dynamics teams & groups & are more likely to end up fightine more often.
  • Kids between the age of 3 – 4 are still having regular naps in afternoon thus a regular formal school for them can become a cause of less sleep & thus slower mental & physical growth.

 

But just Delayed Schooling doesn’t solve the problem in hand. The problem of unrealistic expectations & the pressure on kids. SO what will I do about it? Does writing my feelings out here is end to my responsibility? NO

 

So I have decided to write a new series about how to introduce different concepts to kids in a way that learning is fun for the kids & teaching becomes less stressful for parents too. I hope I do justice to what I want to achieve here!

 

 

 

 

 

Suggested Reading – A lot of kids start going to Playschool at a very early age – at an age when they can not even tell someone if something is bothering them. Are our kids safe that ways? if not what can we as parents do. Read my article – Is your child safe in the daycare? by clicking HERE

 

26 Responses

  1. So true..I have no clue why parents want to start with the formal education of their kids so early. My son will be 3 soon and has recently started play group. And guess what , he is the eldest of all. The youngest child enrolled there is 1.5 yr old. I am not judging anyone here but I guess it’s the competitive world which is not letting the parents as well as the child in peace.

  2. somewhat agree with your perspective here – the competition is fierce – no doubt!

  3. We saw the movie Hindi Medium and were appalled by the scenario of school these days. I think the competition makes the situation so bad.

  4. I didn’t enroll my daughter in a play group . She went to school after she completed 4 years. I don’t know why parents are in a hurry to start formal education so soon. Also you have rightly mentioned that it’s not only the parents , but more importantly the schools which enroll kids at the tender age of 1.5 – 2 years just to make money. I agree that delayed schooling alone doesn’t solve the issue of having unrealistic expectations . Parents need to choose school, age at which the child starts schooling according to the needs of the child and not to compete with others .

  5. Isha Batra

    Very well written and I completely resonate with your thoughts. We are all in a hurry to have children and then equally hurry to send them to play schools or nursery. I feel every child inevitably has to study and gain knowledge but when we push them at such tender ages we do more harm than good. Glad that things are changing and more parents like us decide to do what is best for the child rather than just follow things blindly. Thank you for your insights which might help new parents like me to make better decisions for our children.

  6. I could relate to this post as My son in 2.5 and I have not yet started sending him to play group or any other school. I wish him to start a bit late. But, trust me people are already behind me like anything. And I get so much judgemental comments everyday. Still I am happy with my thoughts.

  7. I totally agree with you that we shouldn’t force our little kids to go to school in such a tender age in which they are just hardly started doing things of their own. My son is also two yrs old and I am not even thinking of sending him play school yet. I want him to grow a little more in the atmosphere of their own family and friends.

  8. So true, whenever a child is not able to learn something, it reflects our incompetence as a parent or a teacher. Completely agree with you. We need to change our method of teaching as per the suitability of the child.

  9. Your kids are lucky to have a sensible mother like you! I believe children should not go to school until they are old enough to withstand the coughs and colds etc that they are exposed to in school. If the mothers are enthusiastic and sensible enough, there is nothing like staying at home till 6. Of course I sent off my girls to school only at 3 and they have turned out none the worse for it!

  10. The series you are planning to write is absolutely essential. I did not watch more than a few seconds of the video you talk of when it came on social media. But the thought was the same – how have we reached this stage? And how much pressure can a small child be expected to carry on her shoulders… a horrible rat race has been forced upon them at an age when they need to be have a peaceful loving journey

    Godyears.net

  11. So true.
    I am aghast at the unrealistic expectations parents carry.
    Such a beautiful post.
    Love
    P.

  12. When did we reach such low for the innocent children.
    What a shocking but true video
    A much needed post
    Thank you
    P.

  13. You have rightly suggested that putting kids in preschool at appropriate age works well and even I have done the same for my kiddo. After reading your post, I do feel that my kiddo is now more capable to cope staying away from home and parents for more time without being too cranky.

  14. Ok I am quite intrigued with this series as I was contemplating if I should get Haniya admitted to a playgroup

    • The Dreamer Mum

      Playgroup is absolutely fine. Just make sure that the playschool is not academic oriented as these days even some playschools introduce writing, counting etc to kids at the age they are not prepared. If it’s oriented towards gaining general awareness & environmental knowledge, then don’t hesitate.

  15. Not a parent and don’t really have anything to add to the topic, but it was an interesting read. I defnitely gained some insight into a topic I don’t think about specially since I was in class 1 at age 5+ and that never caused any problem. what is important, i guess, is understanding your own child and decide when they are ready for school

    • The Dreamer Mum

      Exactly. It is also very important for parents to understand that there is no shame & accepting the fact that their child is not ready for the next level & letting them be in same class for a year more… specially in pre primary classes. Parents make it a big deal fearing the label of failure or not up to mark & the child suffers for all the years to come.

  16. A tough decision for many working parents .I sent my daughter for a playschool when she was 2.5 years old .It was for one hour .No studying ,just playing and art.It worked out great.
    A lot depends on the child and facilities.

  17. As a parent of a 5 year old I always feel worried that the avg age of entry of kids to school is getting reduced almost every year. You have highlighted a genuine reason which needs to be shared with parents and schools and play schools also. Great write up.

  18. I know that video. And believe me I share the same feelings about that episode. But coming to the subject at hand – schooling today is becoming a mess of a system. Whether I or you can change through decisions such as delayed entry to school, I don’t know.. But yes we can surely change parenting by being more compassionate than competitive.

  19. I somewhat agree with you, but as every situation and kid is different so is the way one’s family handles. today the concept of playschools is amazing, as I have experienced with my little one. Play school she went to at the age of 2 only meant to mingling with other kids and started making friendly conversations – NO STUDY at all. NO BOOKS only visual learning of surroundings, even in Nursery the learning part was only for ABCs and nothing else. And I enjoyed the transformation in her from a shy few words kid at home to a total chatter box now.

    I appreciate your perspective too on the topic.

    • The Dreamer Mum

      I totally agree to you. And this article is not about playschool. Here I am talking about formal school or Nursery as we call it where the academics start.

  20. I am so with you on this one. My daughter will turn 3 this December and we are enrolling her in nursery in jun 2018. My mom who has a rich experience in teaching and as a coordinator is teaching her the concepts st home plus mom runs a day care at home so social skills are being well developed too

  21. I am a Home maker so sending the child to school was never a compulsion unless the right age had reached. I sent my children after 3 years only when nursery admissions had started for them.

  22. aseemrastogi2

    While I completely understand your points about not sending a child early to school, I guess the competition and the extreme pressure in today’s times gets quite difficult to manage and in the end, the children are the ones who suffer. Guess, the most important thing is to move out of a system of learning by rote which we Indians have faced since almost forever. The problem this leads to is that after learning and studying everything, we are not sure how to apply that learning to our regular day to day jobs most of the time.

  23. I saw the video too and later it was discovered that it was s fake video.
    Although parents shouldn’t be harsh on kids and schooling must begin at 4 before that a kid must be taught in home the basic discipline

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