It’s back to school again for most students. Time for another year of fruitful learning and making memories.
I remember to have skipped nursery school and started kindergarten when I was aged 6. My other classmates were one year younger than me, but I really did not feel alienated. I guess I developed academically (and emotionally) the same as my peers.
The Generation of Toddler School
Of course, I no longer recall what I did when I was still a toddler. I have no memories of being taught at that early stage of life on how to read, count or sing. Everything was learned by the time I started kindergarten.
Toddler learning programs has become the norm nowadays. Some tots as young as 18 months are already attending school. I’m really not sure about the curriculum, but I guess it involves on enhancing the mental, social and emotional aspect of the child.
However, the cringe worthy part is that it’s way too expensive. It’s a given fact the quality education comes with a hefty price tag. But for things that can be taught and learned at home, toddler school is something skippable for us parents who do not belong to the rich and famous.
Why We Skipped Toddler School
Olivia is almost 2 ½ years old. Her age is already qualified to attend toddler school (maybe even preschool also). We have contemplated last year if we’d let her go to school by the time she turns 2. Part of me wanted to because, first, most parents are doing it and second, I was afraid that our daughter might get left behind.
My mother said that she is still too young to go to school. Others advise that we should let her enjoy her “toddler-hood” at play.
Another thing, she is still not that independent yet. She can eat on her own at times, but most often, her yaya still feeds her when she’s not feeling like doing it on her own. (Actually, she eats faster when she’s the one feeding herself because there are less conversation and singing). Likewise, she can’t fully change clothes by herself yet. And, one more thing, she is not yet potty trained (yes, I know, she’s quite old enough to be introduced to her potty already; this is a mommy guilt on my part).
I know these can be changed once she goes to school, but I think we should be the one to train her to do those things first.
How Could We Get Her to Learn Without Being In Toddler School
School is not the only main source of learning for children. The most basic of things can be learned at home. Parents like us should be the one to provide the tools, environment, and the experience in filling up their growing brain.
The most important thing to impart to a child is emotional intelligence. Before she could attend school at the right time (and right age), we have to make her feel secure and loved. My husband is an expert in this department, while I should get more practice. Other members in the household are also showing her all the love.
She may not fully understand the concept of love yet, but she’s good at expressing this already by kissing and hugging those she knows are special to her.
She has no trouble interacting with adults. What she needs is more interaction with other children. One way we could do this is to constantly bring her to a playground and let her practice saying “hi” or “hello” to other kids. Playdate can also be an option.
We really should not put a pressure on her to read this early. We read her books, but sometimes, she gets ahead with the pages or becomes easily distracted. Maybe we, as parents, should be the one to improve our focus and patience in teaching our daughter to recognize the alphabet and numbers.
Right now, she could recognize numbers 1-6, and letters O and W, so I think that’s a good start.
We should also arrange more educational field trips other than the mall. Maybe, I should have also included that in my mid-year goals.
It’s Really Up to Us Parents
At the end of the day, the one who should be ready are the parents. To get my point across, how could a child interact with other kids if there’s nobody talking with her at home? When he/she gets to school, he/she will be labeled as shy or introvert. If he/she was not properly guided and disciplined at home, and becomes hyperactive at school, he/she would be labeled as having ADHD or whatever acronym terms there are in the child psychology dictionary.
Therefore, we should be the one to arm our kids before they could start whatever school they would attend. Attending toddler school or preschool is good but not really necessary. The foundation of all learning and values can be taught at home. And we, as parents, should rely on ourselves to help our kids shine out there, toddler school or no.