I had a conversation with the kids’ principal yesterday. Mr. White is a soft spoken, gentle spirited man with many years experience both in the classroom and administration. So when he said, “Do you know what I wish schools would do?” I was all ears. Something edgy? I thought. I love edgy! Some cool out-of-the-box approach?
I was all ears.
“I wish they’d start school later for kids,” he said. Okay. So it’s not some new edgy approach. But anymore, it is a RADICAL idea in education. So many people think infancy isn’t too soon to begin school.
Mr. White is convinced there would be a reduction in learning challenges if we held off school for kids until they are older.
It made me think about how if you “help” a butterfly out of its cocoon, it will die. The struggle is what helps with their first flight.
For children, their “cocoon” needs to be left intact for when they are ready for academics. Unlike the butterfly, a child’s cocoon time isn’t a time of struggle but rather a time to nurture and teach foundational skills. Like how to relate to others, play nice and have responsibilities such as emptying the dishwasher. It’s a time for them to discover who they are and the world around them.
I often remember the words of one of my dear mentors, Kathy Clement, “Relationships first. Skills second. Academics third.”
I consider it as sort of a Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for education. First things first!