Monday, 6 July 2015

Something close to my mommy heart : education pressure

I will be called old school, backward, get with the times or it's life, but I can't phathom the pressure,level, responsibilities, time, commitments and standards the kids of today face, starting at the mere age of 5.

I am no judge and definitely believe in what works for you and your child , but for us and our little moo, he is doing an extra year of playschool, no specific reason except to PLAY.
Playing is so important for so many factors of education.

"There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children’s development, and the value of an extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. - "

"Today’s kids sit more than ever. Babies spend hours confined in car seats and carriers rather than crawling, toddling, or being carried. As they get older their days are often heavily scheduled between educational activities and organized events. Children have 25 percent less time for free play than they did a generation ago, and that’s before factoring in distractions like TV or video games.
Left to their own devices, children move. They hold hands and whirl in a circle till they fall down laughing. They beg to take part in interesting tasks with adults. They want to face challenges and try again after making mistakes. They climb, dig, and run. When they’re tired they like to be rocked or snuggled. Stifling these full body needs actually impairs their ability to learn."

For sometime now I have been in education and surrounded by educators, tutors, parents, friends, and currently run my own tutoring business Minds Growing
Where did it all change, where did school begin at 5 and where did play fall away. Where did the days get so long and the learning requirements jump  3/4 years ahead.   Are kids all rounded?
Excellent read ....... Why kids can't sit still in class
Two  sisters, 4 years apart are learning the same work, but just different levels.
Going to computers and art in grade R, being in school concerts and rehearsels at age 5 and coming home with a small homework book in little grade R! Hello!
What happened to that big sandpit on 4 legs that once was in our Sub -a  classroom, where are the green sticks that we once counted with at our own pace, where are the elastic bands we played with, tied together and squished the colourful play dough at our desks?

"Studies have compared groups of children in New Zealand who started formal literacy lessons at ages 5 and 7. Their results show that the early introduction of formal learning approaches to literacy does not improve children’s reading development, and may be damaging. By the age of 11 there was no difference in reading ability level between the two groups, but the children who started at 5 
developed less positive attitudes to reading, and showed poorer text comprehension than those children who had started later. In a separate study of reading achievement in 15 year olds across 55 countries, researchers showed that there was no significant association between reading achievement 
and school entry age. - "

Where are the days when going home  to run to our sandpits/ Lego boxes to enjoy some fun before dad came home for dinner ? Now it's aftercare, therapy sessions, iPads, gaming, homework, tutors and more.

A passing mom at the mall the other day chatting to her friend in the Que, about her sons class and how every child is in some therapy or support group, Occupational therapy, extra reading, physio, extra lessons or remedial and how their 
little ones are struggling so with the demands. How their friends older kids have gotten involved in so much peer pressure, or how the next door kid is texting the other kid in class.

Sob, sob will my boy ever go to school TechFree? Will he ever love school the way I did and be a kid. Out of my control I guess, I pray so.

I am not one for homeschooling as I believe it's a special calling , but I so see why parents do!

Two OvercomingMom readers commented on a question I posted recently about what's with school today?

Here's what they had to say

Reader One :

Pressure to make sure they never let their child 'fall behind' from mom's and babes at 8 weeks to all the hundreds of toddler activities (not saying they are not beneficial), then school at 18 months but I believe toddlers need to play more than anything and interact and explore the lots of free 
time. Seems small children's days are filled with activities that will stimulate and educate them...when should they get a chance to just be. Many Grade R's have turned into mini grade ones...teaching children to read before school to give them an advantage...sending children to a whole host of me childhood seems to be reduced in years to only a few. On the other hand we have to evolve with our ever changing world and maybe if your kids don't attend all these activities they are left behind. I am happy and secure in letting my children play and develop at their own pace.
 Children should be learning through play more and the admin and assessment in school is robbing our kids of this to a certain degree. At the end of the day, we all do what we believe to be in our child's best interest. Those that don't do enough will be viewed as a bad parent and those that do too much be the same. Your child, your what works for you. Love anonymous x

Reader Two:

Pressure on kids

HI, I am the proud mom of two, a testosterone packed 7 year old son and a 2 year 9month old pink 
princess. What a blessing to have a blue and pink brain to walk the journey of parenthood with in this dynamic world of ours.
I feel the pressure on kids these days is way beyond expectation. Children are not given the opportunity to play and be their own little people in all the pressure placed on them by society. There seems to be a constant competitive battle to do things 110% consistently with comparisons being made continuously.  Why must a 3 year old know how to write their name by 3, and have to feel inadequate should they not be able too? Why can’t they just play creatively, using their individual imaginations in their pretend worlds and be their own little personality? Is there not plenty of time for formal education?
Despite these pressure of having to write their names and read, to list but a few, why are our youngsters entering the primary school journey needing so much extra intervention from the likes of OT’s, physios, speech and language therapists, academic support and the list goes on. Surely if we let our children be children for longer, we would not need to intervene so much. Let them explore and learn!
When I was growing up, we didn’t have such intervention, we got on and moved along at the required pace, and we got along just fine, well at least I would like to think so.
There is a tremendous amount of pressure on parents, especially moms, these days to produce this outstanding, well balanced little human, or should I say ‘cookie cutter’ little being, with constant comparisons and pressure to keep up and perform. Regardless of the amount of hours spent in the classroom, many hours are spent at home to continue where the work left off. Everything is against 
the clock!  Where is the holistic approach to raising children? For children this is daunting emotionally, why are so many sitting in play therapy, and going for educational psychologist assessments. Could it be that constant pressure to perform and outdo fellow peers.Where is it all stemming from?