FALLING BEHIND FROM THE START
Numerous studies and research has shown that 85 percent of a person’s brain is developed by the time they are 5 years old and their ability to learn and absorb information is at its peak until age 12. As with physical development, cognitive milestones represent important steps forward in a child’s development. The best time to learn, absorb and retain information is when the child is young.
If you speak to a child in 4 different languages, by the time they are 4-5 years old, they will be fluent in all 4 languages. Each language has a structure, noun, pronouns, conjunctions, and proper method of constructing a sentence and having a dialogue. A child can learn all of that effortlessly by just listening to it. Furthermore, they also learn how to use devices, play with toys, use hand and facial gestures, and hundreds of things regularly. On the other hand, if someone comes and speaks 4 foreign languages to us, there is absolutely no way we will be able to fluently speak all of them in a few years.
So, according to scientific theories and research and our own experience, it is evident that the best time to learn is at a young age. With that being said, what does the school system teach children at this crucial and critical stage of their lives?
What is the curriculum for a Kindergarten or Grade 1?
· More colouring
· Watching cartoons
· Did I mention coloring?
At the most important stage of their life, they are not being taught anything. Furthermore, how much homework do these children bring home? How many books do you see in their bag? How many assignments or projects are they given? So, they barely do anything in class and then they come home and have nothing to do, so they gravitate towards playing, television, social media or video games. They do this routinely for years until they enter higher grades and now that has become a habit. What is the number one complaint we hear from parents with kids in high school? My kid is always on social media or they are always playing video games! Well…of course they are! They have been conditioned to that and have created a habit, so what else should they do? The absence of actual academic concepts in the earlier stages also slows their brain down, creates a very slow start and cripples them in their future educational endeavours. Yes, there are benefits of coloring, patterns, and other fun activities; however, actual education should also be inputted into the curriculum.
Imagine starting a race and you were told to take it easy, enjoy, have fun and take lots of breaks and then suddenly told that you have to now finish the cross line in one minute. The children are given a weak start and then expected to show strength and excellence in the latter years to get into a post-secondary institution. How would that work…?