In India, parents start planning for school admissions even before they beget babies! Yes. some schools ask parents to register for admission while the mom is pregnant. With such a rush for a place in the right school, infants are bundled off to play school even at the age of 2. But is this right- sending children to school even before they outgrow their infancy?
What is the right age for your child to start school, then? Let us discuss.
The right age to start school
A Stanford University study reveals that kids performed better when they were enrolled in Kindergarten at 6 years. Its results showed that kids had better self-control and test scores by the age of 7-11.
Our ancestors were probably right. Yes, ancient wisdom dictated school enrollment to be at 6 years. Until then, the home was the right environ for learning basic life skills. This approach is correct indeed for the brain development begins at birth, peaks at 3 and prunes itself to become adult-like at 6 years. By the age of 6, the child’s brain has developed definite cognitive abilities to understand the language of instruction and imbibe what is taught.
By the 1990s, pre-schooling ad steeped into India with several private pre-schools cropping up and enrolling kids at the age of 3. Today every child in an Indian home begins pre-school at 3 years. India also has the largest early childhood programmes in the world with 1.3 million government-funded anganwadis. All these facts point out to the kid starting his school/playschool experience at the age of 3.
Teaching methodologies for pre-school education
Kindergarten involves guided learning through a play-way method of singing, dancing and games for the preschooler. This term was coined by Friedrich Froebel and has become immensely popular in India s the standard system of pre-schooling with Lower and Upper Kindergarten classes.
Maria Montessori evolved this approach which is based on the natural eagerness of the child to learn. This methodology encourages children to learn by themselves while the teacher facilitates this process. This approach allows the child to learn at his/her own pace understanding his/her physical and emotional levels.
The Waldorf methodology introduced by Rudolf Steiner focuses on the imagination of the child which is encouraged with hands-on activities.
Whatever be the methodology of early education, it forms the basis for actual schooling at 6 years. PPlayschools focus on the process of getting the child ready to adapt to the system of formal education. They act as a stepping stone to actual schooling. Playschools go even the extra mile in teaching children personal hygiene like toilet training and social skills like interacting with other children to get them ready for school.
Actual schooling from class 1 begins at 6 years and from then on, the child follows a curriculum of study like State Board, CBSE, ICSE etc. The child is tested for his basic cognitive abilities and then enrolled into the curriculum. It is not mandatory that the child should have followed a Kindergarten, Montessori or Waldorf system. Even homeschoolers can enroll directly in class 1 provided the child qualifies in the entrance tests for class 1. This is possible with the help of practice question papers available from Letspractise.
Children can practise basic Maths numbers and English words etc. using these practise tests and gear up for school in no time.
Getting children ready for proper schooling is a challenging task. Give your children a good start by enrolling them at age 6. Get them ready for school by enrolling them in pre-school or letting them enjoy homeschooling. Build a strong base with practise tests from Letspractise for a bright future for your child at school.