When should a child start school? – Right Age to Start School

By SchoolMyKids Expert|3 - 4 mins| March 23, 2020

Research Suggests You Should Send Your Kid To School Later Than You’d Think. In most parts of the world, parenting is a collaborative effort. We exchange information and tips with family, friends and sometimes professionals to understand our options on how to deal with children. It is rightly said that a parents are only born with the birth of their child; that means, your role as a father or mother only begins with the birth of your first child. We learn parenting on-the-job and sometimes it can be quite terrifying if you start thinking about all the things you might do wrong. If you’re trying to figure out the right age to start school for your child, worry not, for help is here!

In some countries, governments have laid out clear cut rules regarding the minimum age for children to start school, while others have rules making formal education mandatory beyond a certain age. While this kind of clarity proves to be beneficial for anxious parents in specific countries, it also serves to add to the confusion and anxiety among parents from countries where the law is not clear on this front.

It is in the very nature of the job (parenting) to turn a person into a ball of stress and worry, so rest assured, you’re not alone. Everybody tends to have advice for parents, and most of the time, the mass of contradictory advice serves only to worsen the parents’ peace of mind. Often, this is exactly the case with deciding the best age to start school for children. While it’s important to respect the opinions of our elders, it is also necessary for us to keep up with the times. That’s why scientific research is your best friend when you must take a call on when to send your child to school or preschool.

According to many sources, the latest definitive research on this subject has found that children who start school at age 6 tend to do significantly better than children who started school at age 5 or below. In this study, which was conducted by Stanford University, researchers Thomas Dee and Hans Henrik Sievertsen found that the children who started school at 6 years of age showed better test scores as well as better self-control by the ages of 7 and 11, as compared to children who started school at age 5.

Information like this tends to be clear, precise and much more accurate than the generic old wives’ tales, but it is very important for parents to remember that each child is unique. Therefore, such general studies may be true most of the time, but your child may have different needs than those of his or her peers. It is definitely a good idea to rely on scientific research as compared to the word-of-mouth wisdom you will receive from every direction because although experience beats theory, the experience-based advice here differs from case to case since every case is unique.

It is generally agreed within the scientific community today that the best time to start school is when your child is about six years old. However, this only refers to formal education and is not inclusive of child care services or activity groups like crèches, day care and playgroups. It is entirely understandable that working parents cannot pay full attention to their little ones throughout the day and that sometimes necessitates babysitting or enrolling for day care and the likes.

The right age to start school may be 6 years, but there’s no need for you to get anxious over this. It does not mean that you will be forced to either quit work or hire nannies for six years. Social interactions and play time with peers happens to be an invaluable source of learning soft skills for children in their early childhood. This is a critical stage in a child’s mental development and a healthy amount of constructive and supervised social interaction can prove to be extremely beneficial for the child’s emotional development, too. 

You can read How to Choose the Best School for Your Child? 9 Tips for Choosing the right School


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SchoolMyKids Expert

Last Updated: Mon Mar 23 2020

This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the above blog/article text are the personal views of the author, and not necessarily reflect the views of SchoolMyKids. Any omission or errors are the author's and we do not assume any liability or responsibility for them.
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