Here is an article published by the University of Cambridge which discusses the advantages of starting formal schooling later and delaying literacy lessons until the age of 7. We tend to agree and that is why our preschool programs include children age 5 and 6.
Studies have compared groups of children in New Zealand who started formal literacy lessons at ages 5 and 7. Their results show that the early introduction of formal learning approaches to literacy does not improve children’s reading development, and may be damaging. By the age of 11 there was no difference in reading ability level between the two groups, but the children who started at 5 developed less positive attitudes to reading, and showed poorer text comprehension than those children who had started later. In a separate study of reading achievement in 15 year olds across 55 countries, researchers showed that there was no significant association between reading achievement and school entry age.
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The space we inhabit on a daily basis leaves a deep impression upon our psyches. How calm or busy this environment is can say much about our inner lives though for most of us we don’t even notice it. One of the most significant differences of a Waldorf classroom is the quality contained within the space. Parents remark on it consistently.
In this article from the New York Times Jan Hoffman reports on a new study about the effects of busy walls on a child’s ability to focus and concentrate on their work.
Imagine a kindergarten classroom. Picture the vividly colored scalloped borders on the walls, the dancing letters, maybe some charming cartoon barnyard animals holding up “Welcome to School!” signs.
That bright, cheery look has become a familiar sight in classrooms across the country, one that has only grown over the last few decades, fed by the proliferation of educational supply stores. But to what effect?
A new study looked at whether such classrooms encourage, or actually distract from, learning. The study, one of the first to examine how the look of these walls affects young students, found that when kindergartners were taught in a highly decorated classroom, they were more distracted, their gazes more likely to wander off task, and their test scores lower than when they were taught in a room that was comparatively spartan.
The researchers, from Carnegie Mellon University, did not conclude that kindergartners, who spend most of the day in one room, should be taught in an austere environment. But they urged educators to establish standards.
Read the full article here >
“You will not be good teachers if you focus only
on what you do and not upon who you are.”
― Rudolf Steiner
As parents our role in our child’s lives is to provide a structure in which they can feel confident and secure about their place in the world. It is up to us to create an environment in which our children see us as a loving-authority. We have all become frustrated with our children from time to time, however when we are impatient or short tempered with our children we are failing to provide them with the security they need to develop fully. The path of parenting is one of growth.
Experience the transformative power of
staying calm, conscious and connected with your children,
guiding them to become more present, resourceful and heart-centered adults.
In my own parenting journey I have been asked to investigate my reactive emotions countless times. My path has called upon me to transform my preexisting parenting patterns and investigate my own inner life. When I looked deeper into these patterns I often saw they were not rooted in the present moment but rather a result of previous experiences not fully processed. I needed to examine my reactions with awareness and loving kindness for myself so that I could be calm and present for my children.
In short – I worked on myself.
Our children are born with a heart that instinctively knows what is right and that instinct requires us to meet them with our hearts if they are to recognize us as authorities, guides and pathfinders. The more confident and centred you feel in your parenting abilities, the more you will enjoy your role and your time with your kids.
In strengthening my sacred connection to myself, my children naturally fell in line with where I was at emotionally.
We can only be this guide for our children when we have authority over ourselves and our own inner lives. It is through ongoing striving to improve our inner-authority that we as parents learn to set ourselves aside and be “present,” listening with our hearts to what our children are bringing and to what they need. When you develop your own strength of will and nurture a heart and spirit connection to your parenting life, you will discover you are more proactive and less reactive. From there our own reactions come from a place of calm clarity and we are able to give our children what they need most from us: a parent who reliably holds the role of a consistent, loving guide in their lives.
The Fallacies of Early Literacy
Our schools and educators have misled us to believe that children who cannot read by the age of 6 or 7 will struggle in school however the truth is that we create their struggles in school by pushing them to read before they are ready. Children who are under 7 are not yet fully grounded in their own bodies they have not yet anchored their physical space and are not ready to enter the logical processes of reading before their 7th birthday. Continue reading Raising A Reader