I was interested to read that some professionals believe education should start at ages 6 or 7 especially as my tiny four year old started primary school last week.
Daughter one actually started primary school aged three and three months and I question whether this was too early. She only attended mornings but she was given homework every week and I had to sign a diary to say I had read the book with her and completed the tasks in her 'busy box'. I love the busy box. It's a small plastic container that holds little readable squares of card each printed with a letter or number. As a result, at 4 she can say the alphabet and count to 20. The school has one of the best results in the area with 98% pass rate in Maths and English.
So, imagine my dismay when we moved. I had to take daughter one out of my beloved chosen primary and she had to go to a less well performing school that only achieved 75%. I collected Daughter one from school that first day and asked, 'how was school?'
'It was fun!' she said, 'I want to go back every day!'
Of course this is the difference between the two schools. My preferred one is results driven and starts formal education at 3 so by the time the children start reception they are already a year ahead compared to most of their peers. This school focuses on structured play, we have homework but there is less of it and parents one have a term to do a project with her rather than a week. Play seems to be very important and Daughter one loves it. She said 'I could bang on the drums as loud as I wanted for as long as I wanted and nobody told me to stop.'
I'm glad she loves her new school. But I am thankful for the academic start she has had and although I want her to enjoy school I also want her to achieve. This is why I carry with the busy box and the reading books we had as homework at the old school in the hope I can prepare her academically for the years ahead.