Since I was a child, I’ve always enjoyed school. I loved the process of completing the checklist of school supplies, cutting and pasting my names on each one, and helping my mother place plastic cover on each of my books and notebooks. It was a joy for me to organize my things in my bag, write down notes at school, and do homework before my mother gets home every day.
A huge part of my perspective changed when I became a teacher. I noticed that beginning pre-elementary, many pupils are exposed to assessments that require high, if not perfect, scores. The opposite is usually frowned upon. Awards and medals at the end of the school year are also looked forward to. I understand that these are rewards for excellent performance, but I can’t deny that these are parts of the educational system that I wish were different.
Now that I am about to become a parent, these concerns ring louder than before. Do I want to expose my child to getting high scores and competition at an early age? Will I send her to school just because she’s already school-age? What do I really want her to learn?
Are you also thinking twice about sending your toddler to school, Mama? What are some considerations we need to look into before we send our child to school? We hope this article will be helpful to you!
It’s one thing to prepare your child by buying a school bag and tons of school supplies, it’s another thing to observe if he or she is ready for one year of routine and new responsibilities. I had a Kindergarten pupil before who leaves the classroom the same way he enters. He won’t talk nor mingle with his classmates. He would sit still when the rest are singing and playing. He would usually show signs of not wanting to participate. There could be a lot of factors that affect his behavior at school, but I think his lack of readiness is topmost.
Our kids are not the only ones we should prepare for school. It is also important to ask ourselves how ready we are to support them in their schooling. Lessons learned in school must be reinforced and processed at home. The younger our child is, the more dependent they are still on us parents. How much time are we willing to give our toddler to review the day’s lessons? The answer will greatly affect our decision in sending them to school.
As teachers, my husband and I have talked about the many things we want our child to learn early on. We want her to be self-sustaining: knowing how to pick her clothes and wear her own socks and shoes at an early age. We also want her to know how to listen in times of emergency. For example, what would she do if she gets locked inside the house? We are after our child learning life skills, and not necessarily test-taking skills, at a very young age. While test-taking skills are also important, we don’t see them as a priority.
I used to do private writing lessons for an eight-year-old whose mom also enrolled her in a reading class when she was a toddler. It was such a breeze learning with her because she can already write complete and grammatically correct sentences. More than that, she can connect ideas very well! Later on, she was also enrolled in private piano and drawing classes that helped her get more excited about the stories we write in class.
If you want your child to develop socialization and communication, then maybe it would be best to have him or her mingle with cousins, playmates, and neighbors. Play is very important at an early age! Just make sure you or a guardian is present to monitor your child’s time with others. There are a lot of ways we can help our child learn even if we delay formal schooling. Like in everything else, it’s important to pause, slow down, and not give in to the outside pressure. We won’t encourage you to enroll your kids right away if you think it’s not needed yet. You got this, Mama!