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Which Age to Start Formal Schooling?
09-06-2006, 03:06 PM
Post: #1
Which Age to Start Formal Schooling?

I'm looking into this, and haven't formed an opinion yet, but would be interested what others think. Here is what I understand so far, but I'm not sure of some of it:

- at some point in the past, England changed the school starting age to 4, while Denmark (or was it Norway?) changed it to 6. The observable results have been that English kids outperform till about 8, then the Danes overtake.
- many Asian countries, Singapore the best example, fell into the belief that the younger kids started, the more they would learn. This led to kids starting formal schooling (definition? But I think it means learning to spell in a chair and desk setting, learning math tables etc) at ages as young as two. As a country, Singapore is discovering that the ultimate educational potential of its children has suffered in some way, and is now instigating social policy to limit the amount of formal education of kids, and now has institutionalised "creativity" education (is that an oxymoron?)

The suggestion seems to be, and has been voiced in some circles, that kids need simple play and stimulation for the first few years, possibly the 6 the Danes use, then formal education can begin once the imigination and creativity centres are developed. That formal education before these centres of the brain are developed, actually inhibit their development, so end up actually destroying potential, not enhancing it (suggestion being that they are formed and ready to go after age 5).

I'm leaning to later not sooner formal education, but wondered if anyone else had put any thought into this?
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09-06-2006, 04:59 PM
Post: #2
Which Age to Start Formal Schooling?
I kind of agree with the Danes not starting until 6, because many 4 year olds are not emotionally ready to start school. However, I also feel that children need some sort of school type environment before that, in order for them to learn to interact with other kids, even if not to commence "formal education". Not all children have siblings and many parents probably don't even take their children to play groups.

It's my understanding, though, that the reception class in our schooling system does just that.
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10-06-2006, 06:05 AM
Post: #3
Which Age to Start Formal Schooling?
Being a daycare teacher and director for the past 14 years, we've gone through some different approaches. What I feel best is that they be allowed to play and have intermittant (sp?) 'school' type activities woven into thier day. The attention span of young children is very limited. I have the older 3's/younger 4's and while we have circle time and reading time where everyone sits for about 15-30 mins., I do most of my projects or worksheets on a 'come and go' basis. I let them get the learning centers going and I call each one (or sometimes 2) over at a time and they do the worksheet or project and I have more one to one contact. Also, through the learning centers they have a chance to act out situations. I have a dress-up center, a homeliving center with kitchen stuff, a book nook, a huge bucket of Matchbox cars, and some general toys. I have special toys that we do on certain days like file folder games, and scrambled eggs where they match Easter eggs and put them together and put them in an egg carton, puzzles, train sets, colored paper clip sort...and they learn things like sharing and waiting their turn and how to care for the toys so we'll have them and responsibility b/c they have to clean up their messes...so even when they are playing they are learning and I have a great poem at work I will post here. That's my side/opinion Gatubela...hope it helps and makes sense.:wink_kiss

I guess I'm Cornish...:unsure:
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13-06-2006, 04:05 PM
Post: #4
Which Age to Start Formal Schooling?
My friend works as a nursery manager and has seen many a happy fun loving child saddened by having to go to prep school at the age of two and be sat at a desk for formal learning!

Studies have shown that the scandinavian countries, which start their kids later in formal education (before then it's all play learning...outdoors stuff) have turned out far more balanced 10 year olds ... they have found that scandinavian kids not only know as much as our kids who start earlier (usually around the age of 4) but more importantly are less stressed...more and more kids over here are suffering from stress from very young ages as they have to sit so many exams now....SAT's etc...the result is a greater lack of disipline in our school than those in Norway etc and eventually lower grades!

my freind has been to Finland to learn from them and vice versa...the Fins were surprised at what was expected of our young children and likewise my mate was amazed at how well rounded the scandinavian children were...

[Image: animated_shark184f200.gif] [Image: AniDive.gif][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="5"]Eeek! [/SIZE][/FONT][Image: yachtsink.gif] [SIZE="5"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Don't panic...I'll save you...oh dear![/FONT] [/SIZE]
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14-06-2006, 09:02 AM
Post: #5
Which Age to Start Formal Schooling?
I would of said around the age of 15 is a good age.

I'm not perfect, but im so close it scares me
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