The question of when is the best time to send a child to school is difficult, and you can’t answer it right away. It’s not even a matter of age, but of skills, psychological maturity and health. Sometimes six-year-olds cope with the school load better than seven-year-olds, but more often, a different picture is observed – children who were sent to first grade after their seventh birthday study better.
When to send a child to school – determined by health
The physical maturity of a preschooler is assessed by a pediatrician, and psychological, by a psychologist. However, this general assessment cannot predict further developments. For example, if disorders are discovered at a scheduled appointment with a neurologist, there may be problems with perseverance, attention, self-control, which, by the way, can be noticed before visiting a doctor. In this case, it is necessary to strictly follow all the recommendations received from the medical institution, especially if the child is already seven years old and there is no way to delay entering school.
The only way out of the situation will be to obtain and submit to the principal of the school a medical certificate about the inability to attend classes. Then it is possible to design home education in which the child will receive knowledge at home, and take tests within the walls of the school. Thus, the decision depends not only on the number of years and skills, but also on the state of health.
At what age to send a child to school – we determine by skills
Below is a list of what a future first grader should be able to do. He must perform all the above skills on his own, since the school is not a kindergarten – not every teacher is ready to help the student get dressed, since this is not part of her duties. In addition, the lack of skills can significantly impair adaptation, since ridicule from peers or psychological underestimation of self-esteem is possible if the child is among more developed children. Required skills:
- dressing and undressing, unbuttoning and fastening buttons, tying a hat, laces
- manage coordination of movements, perform physical movements such as running, jumping, playing with the ball
- solve simple age-appropriate puzzles, glue applications from large parts
- hold pen and pencil correctly
- draw, recognize geometric shapes
- know the primary colors
- pronounce all sounds clearly, divide words into syllables
- retell heard or read a short story of 5 – 10 sentences
- distinguish left, right, navigate well on a sheet of paper (upper right corner, center, horizontal, vertical)
- count to ten, know the entire alphabet, distinguish between letters and numbers
- recognize the first and last sound of a word
- follow instructions exactly as requested
- pick up rhymes for words, recite short poems
Also note the laterality, that is, the dominance of the right or left side to control objects. If it is not established, consult a doctor.
At what age to send a child to school – we determine by behavior
Each child is individual and in this respect the teacher plays an important role, his task is to understand, to find an approach to the first grader. Of course, the student must also understand the teacher, first of all, as a person who deserves respect. It is important that the child meets the following points:
- a preschooler easily gets used to a new environment and people without parents
- feel good among peers
- does not show aggression, resolves disputes without fights, knows how to work in a team
- does not suffer from bad habits – sucking fingers, biting objects
- recognizes adult authority
- stays alone for 15 – 20 minutes without falling into a panic
- shows favorable behavior – praises others, provides assistance, follows the norms.
When is the best time to postpone admission to first grade?
Parents do not like to admit that their child is lagging behind in something, unable to adapt. However, in case of reasonable doubt, it is recommended to consult a specialist. The medical staff will identify the cause of the deficiency and correct it before visiting the school. The main factors indicating that the child is not ready for the first grade are:
- several skills are missing from our first list above
- speech disorder – poor pronunciation, unable to formulate sentences
- does not concentrate, does not remember sentences, is inattentive, distracts others
- Difficulty orienting in space and time
- lack of hygiene habits, self-care skills
- no interest in school, acquiring new knowledge, seeks only games
- difficulty remembering information about yourself, your family, immediate environment (address, age, names)
- refuses to do a task
- suffers from increased fatigue, fear of school
- obvious neurological, intellectual impairment
The process of adapting a child to school can be difficult, and for a healthy, well-prepared first grader, it is important that the child’s relatives give up pressure and do not instill a fear of failure.
Recommended: how to choose a school for a first grader
The main role of parents is to ensure a calm environment at home, to cultivate a responsible attitude to lessons, and to enjoy the acquired knowledge. The final answer to the question “at what age to send to school” is formed. A young student should be ready for changes in his life in all respects, then it is worth thinking about the first class.