Thursday, March 20th, 2014
This article from Forbes, like many, frames the debate around the question of when kid should start school. Too Much Too Soon: Why Children Should Spend More Time Playing And Start School Later
The polar opposing sides argue for earlier or later start ages. The issue is framed around relative value of play versus “early intervention” so to speak.
It’s the wrong question. There’s plenty of kids who would benefit from starting school experiences at five or four and younger. The issue isn’t so much when, as it is giving people the freedom to choose and most importantly, understanding that play is a tool for brain development. Children’s play is the outgrowth of what’s called “private play” (internal and external fantasy play). The next stage of play, including playing with others, is central to developing the executive function of problem-solving. In children’s play, kids get to try things out, solutions to problems, and experiment with the physical and social world.
Don’t choose one over the other. Create different opprtunities in early childhood education with the right balance of acrtivities.
Recess should be renamed and re-imagined at that age. At any age.