At what age should children start school? Is it better for them to wait until Kindergarten at age 5 or 6, or will it help them to start their education with some type of Preschool when they are 3 or 4?
Parents, teachers, researchers, and other educators have different opinions on this topic and the debate has been raging for many years. The main question seems to be whether starting the formal learning process at a younger age is actually more harmful than helpful to the kids.
Some children have a difficult time adjusting to a classroom setting when they start school in Kindergarten. It is believed by some that if they had been exposed to the more relaxed setting of Preschool, they would have been able to conform to the structured environment more easily.
Another opinion is that in some cases, parents of teenagers believe that their children lost interest in learning as they grew older because they were pushed into school too early. Other parents feel that if kids start school early, they develop a lifelong love of learning because of the encouraging atmosphere in Preschool.
Additionally, many teachers and parents are convinced that children younger than 6 simply do not have the mental development to grasp the concepts learned in school.
In some states, Kindergarten is mandatory when a child reaches 5 years of age, and many schools offer children something called “4-K.” This is a combination Preschool/Kindergarten type class where children start learning basic educational concepts such as shapes, colors, numbers, alphabet, and social skills such as sharing, communication, and interacting with other people.
For many parents, the decision to send their children to Preschool is made as a childcare option. It simply makes more sense financially and for convenience as opposed to a private baby sitter.
There are good points to be made for both sides of the argument. In the end however, it really depends solely on the child how they will be affected. The educational curriculum within schools varies by state. However, it seems as if our kids are learning more in earlier grades than we did. The schools teach them more advanced skills faster than we learned them, so isn’t it better if we give our kids a head start?
What’s your opinion?