My daughter has a little friend who is a couple of months older. As of late, he passed the two and a half year marker and is therefor
doomed deemed 'school-aged' ever since, in Belgium, children attend kindergarten at approximately that age.
Where there was once a happy, healthy, carefree boy, running around, playing and doing whatever he liked, now, there will be some forcing, some coercion, some sitting still and shutting up and listen to what I say.
We are lucky that schools are not available here, unless some considerate effort is made by either one of the child's parents. It has led us to unschooling and the other kids at the plantation to at least some degree of freedom, greater than what they'd get in kindergarten in Belgium.
Hopefully, my daughter's little friend will only be confined to his chair a couple hours a week. Maybe he'll even like it and his mother will go at it playfully.
But where do we get the notion of a child being ready for school at two and a half years old. From one day to the next. All of a sudden they wake up to a packed lunch and are sent off to a poorly ventilated room where they have to sit down most of the time with 42 other toddlers.
Yet they were thriving before this. They learned, they played, they laughed and talked and sang. What makes us break this organic cycle for something so artificial? What makes people think this experience would actually benefit their child.
I understand that some parents have to go out and work, and need some form of secondary care, but to take the leap from that idea to the idea that your child will do better, learn more, develop only through this system, it is taking it a leap too far.
As long as they are thriving, don't change a thing. Let them discover the world at their own pace.
Visit Science@home if you are interested in participating in next month's Teach/Learn carnival. Please take the time to visit the other participants and see what they have to say:
- 5 Places to Teach the 5 Senses - Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has some great suggestions for places to go and use all five senses when playing with your kids. (@Y_C_Monkey)
- Don't look now, but... you're being watched - Sarah from Untenured Teacher is asking about what we really want kids to learn in the classroom, and how are we unconsciously teaching them?
- Make Your Own Abacus - Staci at Teaching Money to Kids has an amazing activity to make your own abacus, which you can eat when you've finished.
- Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival – Kids and Learning - Marita from Stuff With Thing and her daughter have been travelling around the city in different ways and working out how to walk to Queensland. (@leechbabe)
- How to Study Like a Black Belt - The Original SuperParent can tell you how to study like a black belt, with great tips for focusing and getting the most out of your learning. (@superparents_au)
- Learning is a Journey - Deb at Science@home invites you think of learning in a different way and join your children on their journey. (@ScienceMum)
- Art for little kids - Katepickle at Picklebums encourages us to let go of our adult expectations and just enjoy the creative process with our small children. (@katepickle)
- Learning As We Walk - The Planning Queen walks to school with you and learns all sorts of things on the way. (@PlanningQueen)
- B-I-N-G-O is the name of the game - AmandaB from HomeAge shows her own learning in action - the maths game didn't quite work, but she's worked out how to modify it for next time.
- What's In a Reflection - Miss Carly at Early Childhood Resources has a beautiful story about babies learning all the time, even when they are only a few months old. (@ECresources)
- Developing Brains: Laying the Pathways to Learning - Christie from Childhood 101 talks about the importance of sensory learning for early brain development and has lots of ideas for play that engages the five senses. (@Childhood101)
- The Magical Threshold Of School-Age - Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting wonders why we have a point that we call school age and how children are not ready one day but ready the next. (@mamapoekie)
- Why you should help your child follow their passions - CatWay at Adventures with Kids helps her son learn about dinosaurs. (@adventureskids)