Welcome to the Friday Friendship Feature, #6–School Readiness
School Readiness Impacts Kids and Families
The topic of School Readiness is an important topic for all families. School Readiness impacts homeschooling families as well as traditional schooling families. I have felt passionate about this topic ever since I began researching the topic before our boys started school. I still have not changed my mind about the importance of a child being READY to learn if you want optimal learning.
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Friday Friendship Feature–Time to Share!
When I came across this article on the Homestead Blog Hop this week, I knew that this was the post I wanted to share with my readers. For one, it’s almost time for school to begin again for a new year–hard to believe for me since it feels like our summer just began! Another reason is because I believe that many families can lessen their stress load if they could grasp the concept of school readiness in their children.
Children are not little machines who can be processed like cars on an assembly line. They are individuals, and need to be treated and taught as such. Just with our three boys, we have extreme variations in their personalities. temperments, readiness levels, and talents. You simply cannot expect all children to learn all things at the same rate, time, and sequence.
The article I am linking includes a very simple test that can help you to assess what stage your early learners fall into, and better judge if they are ready for formal schooling. This is just one little screening tool, but if they don’t pass it, there’s no point in trying to force formal learning into an unready mind.
School Readiness Affects How Children Learn
Do not get me wrong! Children learn from the moment they are born! They learn every day, and should have unlimited opportunities to explore, study, examine, and check into the world around them, particularly out of doors in Nature. What I am referring to as delaying if need by, is the FORMAL pencil and paper/workbook book work. And screen time. Children will learn if you don’t stop them from it; it’s just natural. But there comes a time when they need the discipline of more formal study. I hope that this article will just be one step in questioning when is the right time to begin that for YOUR CHILD.
Resources for Learning about Child School Readiness
Before we go to the article, let me share what has helped me to shape my views on early learning, school readiness, and formal education. The books by Dr. Raymond Moore, pioneer of the modern homeschool movement, probably has impacted me the most. I highly recommend his books for every parent, whether they homeschool or not. If you do not homeschool, you can still delay formal education, if you know your information, and are creative. You can talk with your district and explain your reasons for the delay, and ask for accommodations. Be sure to know the research studies, for there are many that show the benefits of delayed formal schooling.
Some of my favorites are:
Better Late than Early, Dr. Raymond Moore
School Can Wait, Dr Raymond Moore
Education, EG White
Schooled, Scott Ritsema DVD Series
UNDoctrinated, Scott Ritsema DVD Series
Classroom of the Remnant, Joshua White DVD Series
Don’t limit yourself to these titles! Current research is booming with up-to-date studies on delaying formal education.
Here’s an Excerpt from the Friday Friendship Feature Article, entitled, Easy Logic Test to Determine Math Readiness. The test is interesting and helpful, but the whole article goes more into the concepts of Better Late Than Early, which Dr. Raymond Moore promotes, versus Better Early Than Late. I think if you read the article, you will see a balance, and you may find that they can actually work together to create an optimal learning environment for your child.
There are two schools of thought in teaching young children: “Better Early Than Late” and “Better Late Than Early.” I fall into both camps for different subjects.
I agree with all those people who, knowing their preschoolers can memorize anything, take advantage of this window (that closes around age 7 or 8) to help their child memorize Bible verses, the abcs, multiplication tables, helping verbs, the presidents’ song, timelines, and any other pertinent life facts you want them to learn.
When my husband was little he inadvertently memorized commercials (and can win all jingle contests at parties). When I was that age we went to church three times a week and so, without trying to, I memorized hymns (for which I am forever grateful!). At age four, like all children, my son was memorizing a favorite video, but I didn’t want him memorizing The Three Little Pigs! So we began attending a chapter of Classical Conversations, and I’m so glad we did. He (we) learned a lot. Their timeline song is amazing! It has been so helpful in his school work for all these years (he is now entering 8th grade).
Beginning Classical Conversations with your 4-6 year old is an example of Better Early than Late. So is teaching him to read, do skip counting, or memorize addition, subtraction, or multiplication songs.
I know of one homeschool company that is very vocal in saying it is ridiculous to memorize songs or the multiplication tables when the child doesn’t know what it really means. I disagree. We learn many things by rote before we can understand what they mean: Bible verses, nursery rhymes, the states, hymns, abc’s, helping verbs, the presidents, months of the year, days of the week, spelling from commercials like the old Oscar Meyer b-o-l-o-g-n-a, foreign words, books of the Bible, Christmas Carols, science songs about our skeleton, theology, and “facts” from children’s television. I had to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution and Bill of Rights in middle school, but I had no idea what they really meant. Thank you “School House Rock” for your grammar and history songs between cartoons! I didn’t understand it then, but I get it now! As an adult, those songs are really helpful! (Check them out on YouTube.)
The idea of Better Early Than Late is to learn as much as you can while the window of easy memorization (that God gave our brains to learn language) is open. Missionaries who took their children to foreign countries 150 years ago discovered the ability of their children to learn the native language easily and began writing about it. Maria Montessori recognized the value of Better Early Than Late training 120 years ago when low-income city women left their two to seven year old children with her instead of leaving them to play in the streets while they were at work, thus beginning our preschools. Ms. Montessori taught the children life skills such as dusting, sweeping, gardening, table setting, dressing themselves, unbuttoning, boot lacing, counting, reading, classifying, simple gymnastics, and also taught them songs. This early pre-school day-care filled a huge need for children of working mothers, who were otherwise left alone and uncared for.
On the other hand, there is a really good reason that 35 of our 50 states do not require children to attend preschool or Kindergarten. A mother at home with her child can easily teach her child these same life skills, and children at home during these formative years do just as well or, in many cases, better than their peers.http://www.thriveononeincome.com/easy-logic-test-to-determine-math-readiness/
Please check out the entire article by clicking the link below.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.
This sometimes is a heated argument, so don’t get offended, just read it with an open mind.
Don’t miss a single Friday Friendship Feature! It’s where I share a great read that I’ve found during the past week. Maybe someday I’ll find yours!!