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Hello, is my 3 year old ready to start school this year? At what age should a kid go to formal school? Should it be preschool, kindergarten, grade 1, and then on from then. So is 3 years onward the right age or well before that? I don’t want her to miss out on early opportunities to learn.
What do I do to make the transition to formal school easier for both of us? I’m excited about all the fun she will have and the new friends he’ll make. At the same time, I feel a little sad that my baby is venturing out into the big world without me.
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Here in the Philippines, the child can officially enter the school at age of 5. But prior to that, we can enroll them in preschools that are practically play-based so no grading system is required by the government other than an assessment that is not quantitative but is focused on whether the child was able to meet the milestone he is supposed to do at his age.
Starting school and starting to teach a child is different not only in my country but everywhere else. While there is a certain age required for a child to enter school, you can always teach your kids at home as early as you can imagine. When I say teaching, I am not only pertaining to the ABCs, 123s, and all that he can eventually learn in school. I am referring to life skills such as putting away toys after each use, eating healthy food, washing his own hands properly, toilet training, not talking to strangers, and everything else that you think is important for him to know.
The best way to prepare your kid to start schooling is by teaching him the basics. With this, you are not only teaching him what to expect in the big school, but you are also teaching him life skills.
In my part of Australia, our pre-school begins at 3yrs of age but it is only recommended for attending 2-3 mornings a week. This is a way to get the kids ready for a structured day without the parent present for short periods of time. At 3, the amount of time your little one attends really is up to you and based on how ready you feel they are to start this new world.
Usually, 3 to 4 years are considered good age to start schooling. My personal experience has taught me that decision of introducing your child to a school community does not solely depend on age. We know that every child develops language and social skills at his/her own pace. Similarly, health and development of a child play an important role in deciding appropriate time for schooling.
My son had IUGR (Intrauterine growth retardation) and his birth weight was less than 4 lbs. Luckily, his development was not delayed, but due to low birth weight his immune system was weak and he frequently fell ill. I decided to put him in a formal school at 4 years. Meanwhile, I consulted an early childhood care and education expert (ECCE) and worked on a life skill based homeschooling plan. By the time he was 4, I enrolled him into a kindergarten and everything went great from there onwards.
My daughter was a healthy and talkative girl. I started her school at 3 year. I was a working mom, so she was used to stay without me for few hours. We watched happy kindergarten videos to help her develop a positive concept of school. Role play activities and taking her to the open days of her brother’s school also helped in getting her familiar with school environment. For her, transition from home to playgroup was very easy rather joyful.
Observe your daughter, see how ready she is for school and decide accordingly. Wish a very best of luck for both of you.
Three years old is a great time to transition your child to preschool. Kids at this age are ready to play with friends, learn, and spend time away from their parents. Sometimes, it is the parent who has the bigger challenge in transitioning away from their child. I remember being upset as my 3-year-old youngest daughter cried as I dropped her off at preschool. I would call the center to see how she was going and was told over and over that she stopped crying the minute that I walked out the door and was happily playing with friends and enjoying the activities and interaction with the staff. Kindergarten expects children to know how to follow rules, separate successfully from their parents, and get along with others. As a preschooler, your son will learn all of these necessary tools for kindergarten readiness plus much more.
The best way to prepare your 3 year old for preschool is by talking about what the day will entail and providing the opportunity for your child to spend short periods of time away from you. Take a tour of the school with your child to help both of you to become familiar with the routine, teachers, and layout prior to the first day of school.
Wishing you both success in this next important step in your child's development.