Easing Your Kids into Their Formative School Years

teacher with her students

Children need more guidance during their formative years because this is the time when they discover and learn about the world around them. The formative years last until they turn eight years old and are old enough to stand on their feet, which is when they’re in their second or third grade of elementary.

The educational system is similar no matter where you are in the world. It begins by entering nursery or preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, and then college. This means that fids will be receiving most of their guidance from schools. from a young age until early adulthood

Students can’t skip grades unless they’re accelerated into a program because the educational institution follows a hierarchy. After they graduate elementary, they have to go through middle school and high school first before applying for college. The uniformity of this process gives it structure.

However, before you start thinking about your kids’ future and what universities they should apply to, you must focus on helping them in the present first. The ages three to eight are essential because this is when children develop their personalities, differences, and worldviews. That’s why it’s called the formative years.

As a parent, you’ll need to help your children be eased into receiving their education instead of just pushing them off the deep end and hoping they can rise to the surface on their own. You have to provide them with the tools and resources they need to make that happen, which often begins in preschool.

During Preschool

Entering your kids in preschool jump-starts their educational journey. During this stage, they’ll start learning about how to interact with other children in social settings. They will also learn more through play and fun activities because these approaches make it easier for children to understand complex ideas.

The biggest advantage of going to preschool is that the kids will slowly be introduced to the concept of schooling. This is also a time wherein they’ll spend their days outside the bounds of their homes and away from their parents, which means they will learn to become independent over time.

Most preschool programs are only done twice or thrice a week for a few hours. This may not look like much time to an adult, but to a 3-year-old, this can be such a long time to spend apart from their parents, which is why they tend to cry or lash out on the first few weeks.

During Kindergarten

children clapping together

Once kids graduate from preschool, they’ll be entering kindergarten immediately. But unlike the previous stage, kindergarten tends to be held for a full school day, five days a week, which can be considered too drastic for children who were used to spending less than 10 hours a week at school.

Additionally, kindergarten is already considered as the first year of schooling because kids who graduate from it head into their first grade of elementary school. At this stage, children will be learning about basic arithmetic, reading, writing, and telling time, which means they’ll have much less time for playing or napping.

Of course, going through kindergarten is vital because this is when your kids will be prepared to become first graders. They’ll be taught how to count and differ shapes or colors from one another. They’ll experience being graded and learn about the concept of scores, quizzes, seat work, and other activities.

This is how it’s been done traditionally, so it’s understandable that not enough people questioned why kids have to go to school at such an early age. But as a parent, you should consider your children’s individual abilities and skills before simply enrolling them in kindergarten because it’s the norm.

What You Should Change: Before Kindergarten

Although it may not be how you were raised, you should consider enrolling your kids in a pre-kindergarten class. This way, they’ll be much more prepared to deal with the changes in kindergarten because they were given enough time to adjust to their new realities.

In pre-kindergarten, kids will also begin learning about how to count, read, and write. But unlike in kindergarten, they’ll be eased into formal education by integrating these lessons into more interactive and visually stimulating activities. They won’t be forced to just sit through hours of lessons all day.

Pre-kindergarten is also held five days a week, which is longer than preschool, but it is only a few hours a day, making it shorter than kindergarten itself. This way, your children will be eased into the habit of attending school daily without tiring themselves out from having to listen to class the entire day.

It’s essential to consider your kids’ strengths and weaknesses when making decisions that can affect them. You don’t have to enroll your kids in kindergarten when they’re not ready just because it’s how you were taught. It’s okay to introduce some changes into your parenting style, especially if they can benefit your kids in the long run.

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