Several people I talk to are flabbergasted when I tell them that Raviv started going to school when he was only 1.5 years old. It’s either they say that he was too young, or that it might backfire as Raviv might get tired of school very early. They have valid points, but I don’t regret sending Raviv to school “that early”. In fact, as I read and research more about early childhood education, the more happy I feel that I sent Raviv to school “that early”. Many studies show that the most critical stage in a person’s development is in the first three years of life when 75% of the brain is developed.
Like constructing a house, brains are built upon a strong foundation. This starts before birth, and is very important during the first three years of life. Brain cells are “raw” materials — much like lumber is a raw material in building a house, and a child’s experiences and interactions help build the structure, put in the wiring, and paint the walls.
An infant’s repeated exposure to words clearly helps her brain build the neural connections that will enable her to learn more words later on. Language can be learned a multitude of ways, like casual conversation, songs, rhymes, reading, music, story telling and much more. Early stimulation sets the stage for how children will learn and interact with others throughout life.
[…]In the brain, the neurons are there at birth, as well as some synapses. As the neurons mature, more and more synapses are made.
[…]The brain eliminates connections that are seldom or never used, which is a normal part of brain development.
[…]If a child receives little stimulation early on, the synapses will not develop, and the brain will make fewer connections.
– snippets lifted from THIS ARTICLE
Lifted from infographicsarchive.com
I am just happy that in those critical years of Raviv’s life, we helped him develop his synapses, and one of them is through sending him to school. I normally don’t like to dwell on the thought that Raviv is “advance” for his age, yet I can’t help but be impressed by the things he knows: he learned to read quickly, he can recite all the planets in the Solar System (in order from the Sun, and we don’t know how he learned that!) and he knows a thing or two about each planet, he knows all the seven continents and some countries in each continent (he loves looking at maps & globes, as in he studies them!), and he is always curious about his surroundings (“Why does the moon seem to follow us?”)
Whether he is really inteligent or average, I am just happy that he has such a positive attitude towards learning.
So in my opinion, when exactly should toddlers or kids go to school? My frank answer is ANY TIME and AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.
This was applicable to my family, and may not be applicable to yours. It worked for us, but it may not work for you. Let me explain first why it worked for us, before you rush to enroll your kid to the nearest toddler school in your subdivision.
- Randy and I are both busy and working. Sending Raviv to school was a good option for us because it’s better than say, leaving him with his nanny. The 2.5 hours he spends at school with a trained teacher teaching developmentally-appropriate “lessons” are more fruitful and beneficial than say, leaving him to spend time with his nanny who could either be texting, watching “It’s Showtime”, or gossipping. Or worse, by leaving him with the iPad or TV, kasehodang “educational” ‘yung apps o ‘yung TV program.
- Homeschooling is not our thing. I believe in homeschooling, and I have a high respect for parents who homeschool their kids. Super high respect, especially because I can’t imagine myself having the patience to do it. While I believe in the plethora of benefits of homeschooling, I don’t believe in shoving it into the throats of reluctant parents, either. If it’s not your thing, you may just get grumpy, lose your patience, or won’t have the diligence to read about all of that literature. You may be doing more harm than good.
- Raviv doesn’t have a playmate. Did you know that several researches have proven that a child’s emotional, social, motor and cognitive learning is facilitated and intensified through playing? And that there is a strong correlation between play and brain development, motor skills, and social abilities? While a child is playing catch in the playground, his muscles become stronger, he learns how to interact with other kids, he learns new words from the other kids, he has fun playing with other kids, the outdoors stimulate his senses, and so much more! Even when he is “bullied” by other kids, it actually helps him develop his emotional readiness. We did not want Raviv to miss out on the “power of play”, and sending him to school with lots of other playmates helped a lot.
If only his cousins were nearby and they could play everyday!
- A fantastic toddler school is near us. You know, if the school isn’t really good, forget about sending your child to that school. Seriously. May do more harm than good! I did not regret sending Raviv to his toddler school because it has a nurturing, stimulating, and safe environment.
– It had a big, spacious playground. I can’t imagine Raviv wanting to go to a school that just looks like a box, or a toy store. He has a playroom in our house, so what he needs is a safe playground with plenty of space to move around. Moreover, the playground gets him excited to go to school. And remember that toddlers benefit a lot more through supervised play.
– The teachers were kind, good, and experienced. Remember that teachers are our child’s second parents. Especially because they are still our babies. They have to be patient, they have to be sincere…and they have to pronounce words correctly. LOL!
– The school expected kids to be kids. I once heard a parent say that instead of enrolling his kid to a certain toddler school, he prefers to enrol his kid to this pang-alta “big school”. He said something like, “Five thousand na lang ang idadagdag, _______ na ang anak ko. So dun na ako.” Months after, the same dad started complaining: start of school was too early for his daughter, his daughter was expected to be toilet-trained already, his daughter did not want to go to school and felt pressured, his daughter’s emotional needs were not recognized by the teacher, time for play was very limited, etc. That’s the thing with big schools—big schools are not just physically big, but they’re primarily created for big kids. I also remember that when Randy and I were choosing between two toddler schools, Randy dumped the other school right away because he did not like the road going to that school. He did not like that there were lots of tambays and pila ng tricycle outside the school vicinity. Because in contrast, the scenery of the road to Rainbow School was very refreshing: rolling hills, green grass, and road lined with pili trees. I think it’s also important that you don’t cringe at the thought of sending your child to school.
That’s our family situation, and I believe we made the right decision in sending our toddler boy to school “that young”. Now if you are a stay-at-home mom who has the diligence and patience to dedicate much time and effort to educate your child at home, then you may not need to send your child to school this early. However, you have to keep in mind that aside from your nurturing ways, your baby also needs to move a lot and be with other kids to develop the other areas in his life.
Moreover, remember that sending your child to even the most fantastic school in the world is not enough—you still have to be involved. Allow me to pat ourselves on the back, because Randy and I are just that. Raviv sees that I meticulously prepare his clothes, his baon and everything in his schoolbag.
I just love preparing Raviv’s OOTD & schoolbag everyday. 🙂
When he gets home, we always ask about his day, we learn the songs they sing at school, we ask about his classmates and befriend their parents, we attend Parent Teacher Conferences and their school programmes, etc. In short, we don’t leave everything to his school. We want to show him that school and home are not different worlds, and that Nanay & Tatay support and trust his teachers.
Raviv and his classmates two years ago. I can name almost all of them!
Raviv and his classmates last year. I volunteered to do the storytelling.
Tomorrow, Raviv is going to his new school in Sta. Rosa City after being with Rainbow for three years. I am optimistic that he will benefit a lot from his new school, not just in terms of academics but also in terms of fostering friendships, disciplining himself, exploring his talents, strengthening his body, and many more.
Raviv had a taste of his new toddler school/preschool last summer during Gymboree Sta. Rosa’s Summer Kinder Camp, and he loved everything about it: the teachers, the playfloor, the activities, the songs, and more!
Raviv’s former classmates from Rainbow School also visit Gymboree Sta. Rosa every once in a while and have loads of fun, too!
Investing in your child’s education must be a top priority. Let’s not choose our child’s school simply because of proximity or hype, or because we don’t want to give up our luxuries to afford quality education for our kids.
Lifted from infographicsarchive.com
Tell me what you think!
Powered by Facebook Comments