At what age should a child start school? - Dr. Gordon Neufeld

well it's a good question this important

question because it's a question that

often is not asked it's a question of

developmental readiness and that is

always from a developmental perspective

readiness is everything and that's not

being considered the idea is is the

earlier the better the more is the

better and that's not the way it is and

development there are ages and stages

and certain things that need to happen

and there's really three things that you

look for in developmental readiness can

the child hold on to you when apart are

they deeply enough attached that they

can preserve that sense of connection

ideally by five years of age a child

should have given you as heart there

should be a deep sense of emotional

connection by that time when we study

attachment there are at least four

different ways of holding on when

physically apart that would seem to be

an age that would indicate the child can

handle more and more separation but if a

child replaces you in a part can't hold

on to you on your part you know that

they're not ready to handle the

separation involved the second sign is

is whether they are they're able to hold

onto themselves when interacting with

peers can they handle social interaction

if a child goes to school or plays with

peers and comes home with somebody

else's favorite color somebody else's

laugh taste some clothes then obviously

there hasn't been enough individuality

to develop we forget this part children

need enough separateness to be able to

endure and hold onto themselves when

with that when with others that's even

true for us as adults and so that's

important thirdly children need to be

ready to be able to learn from teachers

are not attached to it comes when we

look at these things it becomes quite

obvious that that children were meant to

be taught by those that they're attached

to meant to stay inside the village of

attachment until there's some fruit of

that attachment process and part of the

fruit part of the growing edge has

become the learning edges that are

necessary to benefit from school

curiosity when facing the unknown

sadness when facing disappointment

because that allows us to learn from our

mistakes and mixed feelings when feeling

when there is inner conflict inside this

doesn't even begin to develop between

until five six seven years of age

these are absolutely required for a

child to benefit from school

if this isn't there a child is not ready

and that's why even so many adolescents

are not benefitting from school there

are so many there that are falling

through the cracks and they can only

learn from those that they're attached

to so those are the three indicators of

developmental readiness that would

totally transform our understanding of

when to child send a child to school