A child starts learning from the time they are in their mother’s womb. By the time the baby is born, they already know to recognize voices. They have, very subtly, picked up the finer nuances of grammar and language from listening to their mother speak. In fact, the mother’s womb is the child’s first school.
As the child grows older, he learns by example. He watches the adults around him and starts imitating them. The child’s first teachers are none other than his own parents.
Formal education – School
Experts suggest that the ideal age for a child to start school is around 2.5 years. By this time, most children are able to express themselves a little bit and, maybe, even take care of themselves to a certain extent – like washing their own hands etc.
There are some places that accept children only if they are potty trained! Other schools assist the parents during this potty training phase as well.
Preschools expect children to be a little bit independent. At the very least, they should have spent some time away from their parents. This will help in preparing the children to stay away from their parents while in school.
Most parents are concerned with the kind of attention their children will get in school. Children are used to being the center of attention at home and parents are afraid that it will be difficult for their children to adjust to school as there are more children!
Some of the points to keep in mind while looking for a preschool for your child:
- Teacher-child ratio
- Method of teaching
Most preschools have “circle time”, that requires children to participate in a group. As a parent, you need to decide if your child is comfortable enough to work with other children in a group. A good way to find out is to take your child to the park or to other play areas so they can mingle with children of their own age.
Keep in mind, however, that the age at which your child starts school all depends on how ready your child is. A school is a place for your child to interact with other children. It is not all about playing. Your child also should be able to sit still and pay attention while listening to stories and singing songs. This might not be possible for a child who is below the age of 3 years.
But then again, all children are different and at the end of the day, a parent knows what is best for their child!