“O that’s a shame!” was the response to my first child’s birth date.
It was on the first of September you see. The cut off date by which the system decides a child is of suitable age to start their education – or rather start school which is another matter all together.
Her birth date would mean that she would always be the eldest in the class. But also meant that she would have to ‘wait’ a whole year longer to begin this educating process than my friend’s child who was born in August. He was always the youngest. And instead of ‘waiting’ as everyone put it, was never ready for the stages he was propelled towards.
I was thrilled we had our child at home another year. It meant she was more mature, more confident, more able to cope with the dross schools throws at kids. In the end of course we decided it wasn’t worth the dross and home educated and continued with the learning kind of life we’d given her before. In other words gave our kids activities appropriate to their ability, needs and interests with no relation to scores.
Tests and scores never had anything to do with it our children’s education. As they shouldn’t. But sadly, it seems scores are more important than needs which then requires all kinds of crazy strategies just so kids can be made to fit…see this article from the BBC News:
It is a massive problem and fault with the system.
There is a huge gap between the development of a child like mine who had a whole extra year to mature and build confidence and understanding, and a child like my friend’s who was that year younger.
But maybe if we educated differently, looked at education differently and took the emphasis off results and educated for personal development’s sake – without testing – the problem wouldn’t arise. For it is only a problem in school with the ridiculous way they test and score kids throughout their lives.
In the home education community, where children are educated as individuals, some never being tested at all even though they may be keeping a parallel with the work their school peers are doing, the problem doesn’t exist. Children are educated to their needs and ability at the time – not their age.
Ironically, what usually happens is they all end up at the same place academically at roughly the same age as school kids anyway – without the stress of having been constantly measured by all those tests and scores throughout their education.
Which just goes to show how little we need them.
And another good reason to home educate!