I still remember my first day of school, even though it was more years ago than I care to admit. I remember it being an overload of sensory experience. The colors, sights, smells and sounds were almost overwhelming. I was too busy being fascinated to be afraid.
I remember going to the office and they told me which room to go to. I had a fear that I wouldn’t find it, a fear that I took with me on every starting day all the way through high school. When I finally found my room, the teacher was about 90-years-old. She walked with a cane. She asked me my name and I announced proudly: “Walter Alan Crocker.”
She screwed her face up and said: “That’s much to long for me to remember.” She sent me down the hall to another room. I felt rejected on my very first day of kindergarten. Would things have been different if I was even a year older? I recently read where some parents are keeping their kids out of kindergarten for an extra year so they will be the largest kid in class. It may be better for them mentally as well.
According to the Healthy Planet Magazine:
“Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development described the stages of brain development as progressing from a sensori-motor stage of learning about the world through the senses, where learning is still founded on sensory input but the child’s burgeoning abilities with language and fantasy increasingly serve as the foundation upon which the child’s pre-logical mental capacities are developed.”
My psychologist friend in New York uses the theory of brain development to treat older people with dementia by having them relearn the critical pathways that were established when they were developing.
Later research has shored up Piaget’s earlier work by establishing that a child’s most important developing years are from birth to age seven. This cognitive system of education is called the Waldorf education system after one of the later researchers. But not all school systems and public school teachers use this system.
It may be better for your child’s early education and development to find a school that utilizes these principles or at least a public school teacher that is familiar with the theory. I’m sure that 90-year-old Mrs. Crabby with the short memory wasn’t.
Some parents choose to home school their children so their heads won’t be filled with the “liberal ideas” that public schools are supposed to teach. But if you attempt to do this and aren’t familiar with the theories of early childhood development, you may be doing your child more harm than good.