Most of us wait until our children have to attend school by entering kindergarten at five or six years of age. But is this what’s best for our little ones? Of course, this is the latest that kids should start their educational experience. But have you ever considered whether it’d be better for them to start learning sooner? Nowadays, we often fluctuate drastically in our views and concerns. On the one hand, we want to ensure that our little ones know everything that they need to. That they don’t start school behind the crowd. After all, we don’t want them to struggle! But on the other hand, we don’t want to be pushy parents. We don’t want to put so much pressure on our children’s shoulders from a young age that they begin to associate formal education with negative experiences. So, what to do? Well, it’s always good to expand your child’s mind in as many ways as possible on a casual basis. Here are a few things to help them with before their first big day at kindergarten to ease them into the learning experience without burdening them with pressure and lofty expectations.
One of the major beneficial parts of schooling for kids is the social aspect of the situation. For the first time, they are likely to be completely surrounded by other children their own age. Sure, they might have siblings at home. But they are likely to spend the majority of their time in your company and under your close observing eye. The social aspect of school allows them to develop their social skills, learning how to communicate with other children and act in a socially acceptable manner. However, suddenly being placed in a class of around twenty other schoolkids can be overwhelming. So let them test the waters on a smaller scale beforehand. Arrange for them to have playdates with cousins or your friends’ children. Alternatively, take them along to hobby clubs where they can engage with others who have similar interests to themselves. Alternatively, enroll them in a daycare academy. This is very similar to a school environment, but you can drop them in for shorter days. Take a look at csawis.com for more information. By the time the big day comes around, they’ll be raring to meet more new faces.
Reading and Writing
Children will be taught to read and write at school. But why not get them used to the experience earlier down the line. The majority of kids love being read to. So make the activity a fun bonding experience between you and them. Reading is a relaxing activity, so why not make a habit of reading to them once they’re tucked into bed before they go to sleep. Sit next to them and run your finger across each word as you say it so that they can begin to associate different sounds with the matching symbol on the page. You can also invest in activity books where kids join the dots to create letters, giving them a headstart with the writing process. Before you know it, they’ll be able to write their own name!
As you can see, it’s always beneficial to get your child engaged with the benefits of schooling early. However, don’t make it a forced experience. Make it fun! This way they’ll associate learning with positivity and enjoyment. They’ll be grabbing their bookbag on the first day of school excited for the experience!
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.