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Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:25 pm
by flyonthewall

What do we think?

I'm not sure it's the school leaving age but the whole education system and the way we view children and families in society as a whole.

I looked at this earlier article:
and noted one of the comments after it from a reader: "The British seem to think that the answer to their decaying society is getting both parents in every family to work longer hours for more money."

Get the kids in school early so the parents get back to work....this seems to be the general ethos. It seems that despite every politician using 'Families' as a warm and fuzzy buzzword, we still haven't learned how to truly value family life in this country.

That's my soapbox moment for the day!

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:44 pm
by Annpan
Haven't read the articles yet but.... I plan on home-educating E for at least a while.

Kids go to school too young IMO. Up here in Scotland every 3 year old has a nursery place, I think they are still babies at 3 and need to learn about the word, culture, relationships and society through their family. I think parents should spend more time with their kids and stop being so concerned about having all the stuff.

I'll read the articles later - this is a subject close to my heart.

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:16 pm
by Nomada
flyonthewall wrote:"The British seem to think that the answer to their decaying society is getting both parents in every family to work longer hours for more money."
How true. I'm gonna have to stop reading internet news forums because some fo the attitudes of people towards other people and owrk and so on are so depressing. People are so wrapped up with the idea of money status and things that all the important stuff (like kids and family and being able to enjoy your time) are being forgotten about. Just look at the forum discussion on flexible working for parents on the BBC news website to see some of what I'm on about. When I first left home I lived with two French Algerian girls and they were shocked by the UK's anti-child/ family attitude. I think they were right. Even these teachers thought the kids just need more time to be kids.

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:07 pm
by Fizzy Izzy
Yes - having done volunteer work in primary schools in the past, some of the kids are simply not ready to learn formally at the age of four. This means that they fall behind with reading etc. and thus begin a cycle of feeling like a failure which follows them through their school career. If you waited a couple of years most of these children would be ready to learn and avoid this problem.

On the flip side, it is a sad fact of our society that in many families it really is necessary for both parents to work in order to afford a mortgage...

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:03 pm
by growingthings
My 3YO actively goes every afternoon to our local nursery for her free placements, and as she has slow speech development she is really benefiting from it.

I'm slightly concerned that when she moves onto reception that I'll think that she is too young to start formal learning and then I might ahve to rethink what we do with her.

I went to our local Steiner school, where the 3R's as it were are not actively broached until around 6-7 years, when everyone was 'ready' to learn, and very quickly caught up with the children from the state school.

I'm undecided for lots of reasons, esp as I can see it from both angles.

Lorna x

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:28 pm
by JulieSherris
Here in Ireland, the kids start anywhere between the ages of 4 & 6 - most irish children start at nearly 6... my granddaughter however, started last September & she was 5 in January.
She gets a teased a bit by the other kiddies for being the youngest & is often called a baby, because she's also the smallest - but she holds her own & the teacher is aware, so is keeping an eye out - although she thinks that all the time Leah is able to deal with teasing in her own way, then so be it. There are just 10 children in Leah's class - & so far, since September, she's been top of the class in all of the subjects - yay! :cheers:

I think it depends on the child - some are quite social little creatures at an early age - others need to be coaxed - again, it's a case of 'how long is a piece of string'......

Thank goodness I'm a grandmother now, & all this school stuff is behind me!! :mrgreen:

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:47 am
by becks77
As has been mentioned I think it really depends on each child, my eldest screamed the place down continually every morning for a week so we went away and tried a little later, she loved it , when she was ready to leave us for a short time. My other 2 girls went to a more structured nursery and got on well right from the word go at 3, they quite obviously loved it and were very happy.
Each child is different and each situation is different this is what the gov. and their plans and places do not take into account, they provide for the masses but the "thinking families" are expected to "fit in " when it may not be what is wanted or indeed needed, or appropriate.
Also gov. are very keen for us all to fit in and so limit information, at the time we were unaware it was an option to start DD at school later or indeed home ed was an option. Once you're in the system its very hard to get out and do what is right for your own situation.
DD2 and DD3 are now (and will be) at different secondary schools to DD1 as the other establishment suits them and their requirements better and so far touch wood are doing really well.
IMO each child is an individual and should be allowed the option of being that, I really wish we had done home ed,
very best wishes to those who are doing and considering it.
Better stop before I upset someone, sorry rant over.

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:57 am
by jim
Having put 38 years into Primary Education I'd like to pontificate a little:-

* The "Education" which has been offered under the guise of the Nationalist Curriculum for the last 25 years is a load of spherical objects which fails children completely, reflecting little but petit bourgeoise prejudice and party political dogma.
* Statutory Attainment Tests serve no Educational purpose, put children under un-necessary stress, obstruct teachers in their task of education, provide parents with information of dubious value and exist merely to allow Ministers to get up on their hind legs in Parliament waving pieces of paper and telling everyone that they are in possession of the "FIGURES".
* Children are exposed to formal, academic work FAR too early, long before they are developmentally prepared. This results in frustration, disillusion and feelings of inadequacy.

What should be happening? Start with where the children are:-
* The basis of all learning is play. The business of children is play. The business of the Educator is to take play situations and make them into effective learning situations suited to the needs of the child.
* Children are active learners, children actively learn by playing, learning situations need to reflect this.
* Children need to feel accepted and valued, adults joining in their play reinforces their feeling of self-worth which in turn reinforces their learning.
* Learning is a life-long process and everyone children encounter is a potential Educator. Learning how to learn will be consolidated by learning how play with concrete examples and imaginative play, which will lead on to playing with concepts.

How should VERY young children be educated?
* Parents are the first Eduactors. Cuddling reinforces feelings of self-worth. Talking builds linguistic ability. Telling stories builds a sense of narrative and gives cultural reference points. Reading to children shows how books work - the pages turn this way, the text goes left to right, text is anchored to illustration. Counting the stairs on the way to bed sets down a firm numerate foundation.
* Helping builds social awareness (parent pretending to enjoy the grey pastry that results will reinforce feelings of self-worth)
* Playing with construction toys (eg Lego Mechanno etc.) -in a size appropriate to the childs development - will begin to show how physical processes work.
* Other children are Educators. Socialisation begins with accommodating to others. Learning is shared. Imagination is developed.
* Imaginative play should be encouraged at all times. All good scientists, engineers, mathematicians, musicians and artists PLAY imaginatively.

This should continue throughout a childs development at levels appropriate to their understanding, NOT at ages or stages decreed by politicians and the bourgeoise press.

Sorry, but once I start riding my hobbyhorse I can become embarrassing,

Love and Peace

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:11 am
by Rosendula
This is a subject I feel strongly about but won't reply too fully in until I've read all the replies already given. In short, like Annpan, I am home-educating my LO (3rd birthday in a couple of weeks), and intend to continue home-eding when she reaches 'school age'. I have 2 teenagers, and one of my biggest mistakes in life was sending them to school. I could go on and on about it, but I'm busy blowing imaginery bubbles through a pretend bubble wand made out of stickle bricks. :cheers:

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:32 am
by Annpan
Clearly we'd have the whole education system sorted out in an afternoon. :lol:

I agree with everything that Jim has said.

The way that I now see it (and I have read a lot of 'anti-school' literature/propaganda) The way our 'education system' works is fundamentally flawed. Over academic, over tested and over stocked. The best of the best teachers are still going to fail a handful of children in the class, because the system puts them under so much stress and how could you possibly teach 30 children to the best of your ability?

I was failed by the school system and I refuse to let that happen to my child/children, so I shall not be sending E to school until I feel that she is old enough to make that decision for herself (around age 5 or 6 perhaps) then I will go by what we decide together.

The stories of children crying when going to school, 5 year olds feigning illness to be kept at home, etc - Am I the only one who thinks this is obviously wrong?
When we have babies, we are told over and over to follow your instincts... and yet the day the September after your child's 4th birthday the rules change and you hand your child over to 'the system' for several hours a day, despite what your instincts, and the instincts of the crying child are telling you.

I have friends and family who are grossly opposed to the thought of home education, but most simply don't understand what it entails - They think I am flakey, and I want my child to end up socially inapt, and I am over protective.... I think it is sad that most parent don't realise there is an option.

Their are children who fit neatly into the system from a young age, but I think that we are (as a society) painfully removing childhood from our children. Not when they become mini-adults at 9 or 10 but when they are barely off the breast at 3 or 4.

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:25 pm
by snapdragon
jim wrote:..................
Sorry, but once I start riding my hobbyhorse I can become embarrassing,

Love and Peace
:cheers: Don't sit on the fence now Jim :wink:

My take is Yes
four is way too early for formal learning, nursery/kindergaten style language, social and number skills up to six-going-on-seven can be taught and encouraged through play without the dreaded tests.

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:43 am
by jim
Dear Snapdragon,

Thanks for the advice, riding a hobbyhorse whilst sitting on the fence does sound like it involves a certain amount of physical pain,

Love and Peace

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:48 am
by snapdragon
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:39 pm
by Fizzy Izzy
I agree with what has been said about play-based learning for young children - and parents as primary educators. I was sent to school at the normal time, but my Mum still did wonderful activities with us at home and really cared about our learning. My current feeling is that my children will not go to school at four - similarly to Annpan - but possibly when they are older.

I know I've mentioned this on another education based thread that we've had: I am a teacher and I know first hand that it is impossible to meet the needs of 30 children at once.

Re: Should Kids Start School Later?

Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:27 pm
by linzibean
Well, I'm just going into primary education and Jim is on the ball. Here in Wales the foundation phase is going some way to making education up to 7 more play based, informal hands on stuff, but a serious number of teaching staff are opposed to the changes, seeing it as just another fad. They won't commit to the full, play led scheme of work and so a hodge podge of activities (too many still worksheet based) ensues that really doesn't benefit anyone.

What I would like to see is some kind of scheme that helps parents learn how to play with their kids - the number of children I've seen who can't interact with others, with poor speech, behavioural difficulties and no interest in reading or writing (I'm talking up to 11 year olds here) because their parents don't give a rats ass about them and see it as the job of the school to bring their kids up. It drives me insane!! Why have children if you can't be bothered to interact with them on even a basic level?

Don't even get me started on the whole drive to get both parents working as soon as possible - I've had serious flack from "friends" and relatives because I intend to take an extended break from work when I have children to spend as much time as possible when they are growing up. Apprently, this makes me an enemy to the advances in equal rights for women and "only" a housewife! Pah!

There, rant over ;)