Harvard Study Shows the Dangers of Early School Enrollment

Many parents remain in a state of confusion that when is the right time for their child to start their school. But there are a great number of people who use their child’s individual characteristics to judge the school’s readiness while other’s philosophical beliefs lead them to delay their child’s school entry.

A lot of researches always suggested that kids should start their school in later years but the latest research has now found that they should probably start their entire school career later.

Expectations of children’s behavior:

As the times have passed, the expectations related to children’s behavior have changed but the children themselves haven’t. One of the generations of children is attending school at their youngest ages and is increasingly required to learn the academic content. This is the content that is well above their mental capability.

According to a report, It has been researched that in 1998, around 31% of teachers expected kids to learn to read in kindergarten whereas; in 2010 almost 80% of the teachers expected the same. Currently, children are expected to be able to read in kindergarten and to become proficient readers after that.

The research has proved that pushing early literacy is doing more harm to the children then any good. The report states that when the education experiences of children are not geared to their development level or are not in tune with their learning needs and cultures, it brings great harm to them. This includes feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and confusion.

Not recognizing schooling as the problem:

When children do not read by a contrived endpoint, they are labeled with a reading delay and prescribed various interventions to help them come up to that level. Children who are not attentive to the teacher during the class are often regarded to have the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder known as ADHD.

According to a report, 11% of children ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That number has been found to have increased 42% from 2003 -2004 to 2011-2012. The majority of these children have been placed on medication.

The latest findings by the Harvard Medical School have confirmed that not the children who are failing. The schools expect them to comply with a standardized test-driven curriculum that is too much for the children to handle.

Researchers proved that children who begin school at an early age have greater chances of getting an ADHD diagnosis than the children who are older in their grade.

The study concludes that the findings suggest that the possibility those greater numbers of children are being over-diagnosed and over-treated for ADHD because they are younger compared to their older classmates in the elementary school.

The study’s lead researcher at Harvard, Timothy Layton, concludes: “Our findings suggest the possibility that large numbers of kids are being over-diagnosed and over-treated for ADHD because they happen to be relatively immature compared to their older classmates in the early years of elementary school.”

Parents need to be empowered:

The universal government preschool programs gain traction; therefore, delaying school can be increasingly difficult for parents. But the parents need to be empowered to challenge the government schooling motives and mandates, and to opt-out if they want.

With the changing schooling system, more harm is being caused to children’s mental health because of which many of them are unable to meet the unrealistic academic and behavioral expectations at a young age. Moreover, when they don’t meet the expectations, children are regarded as having a disorder which often exists with the school context. Parents should realize the harm that is being caused to their children and should opt-out of this forced schooling system.