Are ADHD rates rising because we send children to school at younger ages?
Every parent knows the difference a year makes in the development and maturity of a young child. A one-year-old is barely walking while a two-year-old gleefully sprints away from you. A four-year-old is always moving, always imagining, always asking why, while a five-year-old may start to sit and listen for longer stretches.
Growing Expectations vs. Human Behavior
Children haven’t changed, but our expectations of their behavior have. In just one generation, children are going to school at younger and younger ages, and are spending more time in school than ever before. They are increasingly required to learn academic content at an early age that may be well above their developmental capability.
In 1998, 31 percent of teachers expected children to learn to read in kindergarten. In 2010, 80 percent of teachers expected this. Now, children are expected to read in kindergarten and to become proficient readers soon after, despite research showing that pushing early literacy can do more harm than good.
In their report Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose education professor Nancy Carlsson-Paige and her colleagues warn about the hazards of early reading instruction. They write,
When children have educational experiences that are not geared to their developmental level or in tune with their learning needs and cultures, it can cause them great harm, including feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and confusion.
Kerry McDonald is the author of Liberty to Learn: Why Children Need Self-Directed Education, a free eBook published by FEE.
Needing help for your home schooling journey: https://hef.org.nz/2011/
Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:
Information on getting started: https://hef.org.nz/
Information on getting an exemption: https://hef.org.nz/
This link is motivational: http://hef.org.
Exemption Form online: https://hef.org.nz/