Hi all...I was going to shut down the computer without writing tonight, having just finished my Day Plan for school tomorrow and having fiddled and fluffed about for much of the evening enjoying various bits n pieces found via Facebook...then I decided to see what I could do in ten minutes, just to say I'd written something...so here it is.
I've been feeling a bit annoyed about the latest push by the government to get children into school even earlier than they are currently starting. Now they can start so long as they are four years old by the end of January in the year in which they intend to commence. That is to be changed to make it okay to be three and a half...I think I have it right. Well really. Kids need time to grow and develop as part of a family and a community before they are thrown into a classroom environment. Are we going to be expecting them to be sitting at desks and concentrating to learn what we think they need to learn at such a tender age. And how much adult support is there going to be to achieve such an end? Are ratios of teachers and teacher aides to children going to be increased to ensure children receive the attention they will require. Think help with toileting, blowing and wiping noses, tying shoe laces, opening drink bottles and food packets and so on.
It makes me so mad. I think it is a mad attempt to steal children away from their parents at an earlier and earlier age. I chose to home school my own children and did so before I went to university to become a teacher. I am so glad that I gave them that time and the opportunity to develop free thought. I'm not saying my kids have no problems or that they are perfect...or that I'm a perfect or superior parent in any way, but for me it felt important to have them with me and to allow them time to explore and learn as they felt interested to do so. This felt like a more natural and healthy way to learn and both of them followed their interests.
The answers to these issues are never easy and I don't purport to have all the answers, but if they want three and half years olds in schools then I think they ought to have the parents accompanying them. Yes I do. Because kids need their parents...well that's it. My ten minutes is up. Bit of a rant this evening...and I will be getting along to an event to oppose the introduction of said adjustments to laws. No doubt there will be hundreds, if not thousands of fellow early childhood educators there too as we say together, "NO!!"
What do you think?