4 Year Old Boy in Structured Academic Program? Not on My Watch!

Question

Hello,

Our 4 year old son is attending a private school this fall which will have a more structured environment than his daycare.

He is a very hyperactive boy and I wondered if there were any "tips" you could provide us on preparing him for this structure change to help him be successful and feel more comfortable in the new environment.

Thank you for any tips or input you may provide.

Answer

Well, well, well, the problem is (a) most boys this age are somewhat hyperactive and (b) private schools, in order to elevate their test scores and "prove" that their curriculum is superior to the average bear, introduce academics in 4-year-old kindergarten. Research has shown that introducing academics at this age is generally counterproductive, but it doesn't matter what the research says...this is what parents want, so this is what private schools do. They do dumb things in order to satisfy parents' expectations and their need to have their children perform at high levels, which, in today's parent environment, somehow verifies that the parents in question are doing a good job. Heaven forbid that a parent would be raising a C student!!! Four year old boys don't need academic structure. They need socialization experiences and they need firm discipline, especially from their moms. They need to learn that women mean business. They need to understand interpersonal boundaries, which boys have problems with. They don't need to be learning math facts. PROOF: Kids in my generation - most of us - came to FIRST GRADE not knowing our ABCs. We sat in grossly overcrowded classrooms (my first grade was fifty kids and ONE teacher) where we got close to zero individual attention (the need for which is grossly overblown) and at the end of first grade were performing much higher in both reading and math than today's kids!!! My mom owned no flash cards, praise the Lord. Personally, but when I say what I'm about to say, I'm generally blowing smoke into the face of a hurricane, I'd keep your son out of school for another year and then put him in a traditional Montessori program for kindergarten and up through grade three or four. Or, homeschool in a relaxed manner. The need to have high achieving children is backfiring, big time. Read "Helping Your Child Succeed in School" and "Parenting by The Book" and "The Bible Parenting Code." Sincerely, John R.

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