Nursery Education – What’s It For?

A four year old is not half an eight year old!

Here’s an article from the telegraph in UK which really highlights just how confused educators really are about what early learning should be aiming to achieve, and how.

Telegraph – Nurseries Comparison – Public & Private

This really highlights something i have written about extensively in this blog earlier. What’s happening in the UK public school nursery classes (run by people with a ‘school’ mindset’) is the misguided belief that if you start children early on all that school STUFF they will get it quicker and easier and that will give a head start for the individual child and/ or the country.

There’s just no evidence to support this. In fact, i believe that there are thousands of children whose academic futures are being permanently damaged through these misguided approaches. nobody should be surprised when many of these children arrive at ‘school proper’ apathetic, convinced it’s not for them, disinclined to learn and to all intents and purposes unteachable. I believe it’s a tragedy and unnecessary if we pay due regard to what cognitive scientists know about the development of a child’s brain.

It’s easy to get lured in to those temptations to teach some serious STUFF early. As educators we have to resist those temptations for the longer term sake of the children in our care.

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2 Responses

  1. We homeschooled our four children, and not one of them learned to read before age 7 — one was 8. As teenagers and adults, they are all voracious readers and skilled writers.

    We eat every meal together around the table and talk about EVERYTHING. We analyze the day’s news, the movie last night, the favorite comic strip. We all have hobbies, interests, and passions.

    Presently, we are watching our 1-year-old granddaughter, and, following the precendent we set with the four children, we take her for stroller rides and walks around the property; we look at picture books for the 30-second time span she devotes to it; we pet the kitties; we hug her and kiss her and play tag; we just love her and embrace her into the day.

    It has always amazed me that people will send their young children to pre-schools to learn about making chocolate chip cookies and shopping at the grocery store. Just integrating them into one’s life and day provides the “education” that a young child needs.

    It is refreshing to read your research and analysis, which is, ultimately, common sense — something missing in our education system today.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You put across your position most eloquently. I would be interested to know whether you would always have home schooled regardless of whatever changes schools might have made?
      Or, if schools had really made the transition to providing learning environments that were sensitive to the learning needs of each individual child, that were more humane, would you have reconsidered?
      What is your response to those who worry that children lose out on social interaction when home schooled?

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