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