At what age do you think your child should really start schooling? Less than 2 years, 3-4 years or perhaps 5 years?
Well, some parents in our busy world today take their children as young as three months or even less to some form of schools especially crèches, while others may decide to wait until about age 2/3 years before enrolling their little ones in school.
To decide on what is best for a child at a certain age, it is advisable to understand the child’s developmental needs and see if the choice will help the child or do otherwise.
Sadly, many parents who enroll their children into schools at an early age will have limited opportunity to bond with their children. The parent to child bonding is a necessary aspect of a child’s emotional development. They are also not able to monitor the child’s progress as he/she attains age expected developmental milestones. Such children may eventually learn to sit, crawl, walk and talk in school in the absence of the parent. These schools usually have other children to be attended to as well. Therefore your child may not get adequate attention and care.
Parents are the ones that can truly give proper care and attention to their children especially at such a tender age.
You need to closely study and monitor your child;
Discover what he/she enjoys eating or drinking
Study his/her toileting pattern
Be familiar with his/her sleep-wake pattern
Monitor his/her language and motor development
If parents are fully involved in their child’s overall development, then such a child is being prepared for school.
Here are some important skills preschoolers can learn from home:
Basic Social Skills: build up your child’s social skills by modelling and practicing with him/her how to relate well with other kids. Watch how your child relates with his/her peers. Encourage good behaviours with praises and other forms of motivation and discourage bad behaviours as well.
Virtues: Home is the first place a child learns virtues. After all, “Charity begins at home”, Preschoolers can learn to be polite, to share and to forgive, by watching their parents. When parents instill virtues in their child, it would be easier for such a child to relate with other children when they start schooling.
Independence: A child should have some level of independence before starting school, the child should be able to engage in certain activities with little or no assistance such as eating, drinking and choose what toys to play with without depending on the parents.
Communication: Your child should be able to indicate through signs and short sentences what he wants, or at least one word. It makes it easier for such a child to cope in a school where there are other children to attend to.
Potty-training: It is advisable that a child should be potty trained before starting school. That way, the child will go through the potty training stage with the help of loving parents rather than impatient nannies.
It is important that your child is ready before starting school so as to avoid social and emotional difficulties while in school. With the above tips in place, you can be sure that they are ready to make friends and learn academic subjects with little or no difficulty.
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