Here is a very interesting article posted by a mommy friend and, co-incidently, editor of our new book. This article, School-starting Age: The Evidence, takes a look at a study by Cambridge University which identifies the potential risks of starting formal schooling at the age of three or four, including learning about letters and numbers. A later start does NOT compromise their abilities in literacy or numeracy, and in fact starting too early can foster a negative attitude towards reading.
Children need more opportunity for free-flowing, spontaneous play – where there are no written guidelines or outcomes. They need open space and a chance to use their developing minds creatively, rather than in parrot-fashion.
So what should our pre-schoolers be doing? Nursery schools should be encouraged to allow free play time with a variety of random objects that are multi-purpose. In this way, two play sessions will never be the same. Children will not be bored, and their self-confidence and creativity will soar as they are given a chance to explore the nooks and crannies of their imaginations. One particular study quoted in the article states that “an extended period of high-quality, play-based pre-school education was of particular advantage to children from disadvantaged households”.
If you would like to read more about the value of free-play opportunities and true play experiences, why not order a copy of our book Playvolution: The Ultimate Guide to Developing Valuable Experiences Through Play?