Traditionally, children didn’t start going to school until kindergarten. That was around age five, or maybe four if they fit the criteria for when their next birthday would be. However, it has been proven that young kids should be starting school much earlier than that. Little ones are like sponges.
Think about what happens when you say something to a child. Either they repeat back to you what you just said, or they will remember it and bring it up later on. Even when they aren’t capable of using the potty or holding a fork, they should still be going to school. It’s the best way to start helping them along the journey that will be their life.
Staying Home vs. Going to School
Stay-at-home parents may want to keep their little ones at home as long as they can. Good parents will even take the steps necessary to help their children learn things like ABCs, shapes, colors, and numbers. Then, they are ready when it’s time to sign up for class. The only issue with this is, if they don’t go to daycare or have a lot of play dates, they are not getting the social interaction that is so necessary. By going to school they will form their own friendships. It is an essential attribute for the success of their lives. Kids will also build self-confidence.
When you get into a group of small children, you can tell which ones have siblings at home and which ones have been alone for most of their upbringing. They have no idea about sharing, and there are a lot of “mine”s being screamed when toys or other items they have interest in are introduced. Part of going to school and socialization includes the life lessons of compromising, taking turns, and sharing.
Manners and respect can be taught at home, but it’s something that comes naturally in the preschool environment. Lessons plans and objectives are based on the kids working together, listening to others, and acting civilly. All of these qualities are expected from kids that are entering kindergarten. Without proper early childhood education, some of them fall short.
The Word Gap
Back in 1995, there was research done on kids that came from poor families versus those that are more financially stable. One thing that was discovered was the fact that the kids that didn’t have as much money in their household also didn’t know as many words. It may not seem like a big deal, because they will pick them up later, right? Not necessarily. What a child knows by the age of three has a significant impact on their IQ. Parents that don’t spend time talking to their kids are having a direct effect on how much that child is going to succeed.
Those children that don’t have parents willing to help them out at home are going to get what they need to develop cognitively in a school setting. Not only will they learn from the curriculum that the teacher is presenting, but they will also absorb information from their peers.
High School Dropouts
Evidence suggests that kids that aren’t enrolled in some sort of pre-K program are more likely to drop out of high school. While the number of kids leaving school might not be as high as it once was, they are still doing it. It’s not to go work on the farm or help contribute to the family financially like it was a few decades ago. These kids are going out and turning into criminals.
A lot of high school dropouts end up in jail or prison at some point after leaving school. Not only does this wreak havoc in the community, but it’s also a problem for taxpayers. It costs money to house these inmates. It’s a lot less expensive to send the kids to school when they are younger than it is to pay for their food, medicine, and other needs while they sit behind bars.
In order to compete with the global economy in the future, the kids that are ages three and four today need to stay in line with other kids around the world right from the start. Early childhood education isn’t just crucial for the children and their families, but it’s imperative for the future of the entire globe. The school readiness skills to succeed throughout the rest of their years are going to be taught in these preschool settings. It gives them a much better chance. Educators, government, parents, and communities need to work together. The common goal being that these kids get the futures that they deserve. It all starts with early childhood education.
Author’s Bio: This article is written by Sven Olsson promoting Wellington College Bangkok, which is one of the best international schools in Bangkok.