Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Let's delight in children while they're little

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

I couldn't agree more with an education group in Britain that wants formal schooling for children delayed until the age of 6 or 7.

The group of 130 experts says the current system robs children of their ability to play and puts too much emphasis on a formal curriculum. They want a reassessment of national policies on early education. About time. I was incredulous when I read of parents in Britain and the United States hothousing their children and bringing in tutors in a desperate bid to get them into the "right" preschool. Tutors at 3 years old. Utter madness. Children learn by doing. In effect, they are scientists and engineers and artists when left to their own devices. I loved hanging out with my girl when she was little and following her lead. We weren't sitting inside, learning French verbs, so she could be multilingual by 5. We were building sandcastles, or lying on the grass looking up at clouds and imagining what animals they might be. Her intellectual development doesn't seem to have been stunted because she wasn't in the right preschool at 3.

Children will take charge of their own education - provided policymakers and bureaucrats stay out of the way.

- Herald on Sunday

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