The young remember most deeply…. When we are old and failing, it is the memories of childhood which can be summoned most clearly. – Dan Simmons
My children had the opportunity to watch Narnia 3 again recently, I couldn’t help but noticed how excited they were. They’ve read all the books in the Narnia series, so they really enjoy the movies too. My children are quite imaginative and adventurous, so stories like Narnia are among their favourites. I smiled to myself afterwards for I know how they would discuss the movie and the books at length and possibly imagine themselves in Narnia. They would also act it out during their next walk or play in the garden! This is how children ought to be like, all innocent and curious, not unlike my own childhood years several decades ago. I don’t know about you, but I often feel that the children of today are growing up too fast. Way too fast for my liking. I don’t blame the children, it is us the adults in the societies that we live in today who are responsible.
One might argue that it’s wonderful for children to be exposed to a lot of ‘adult’ stuff at an early age, they are more mature compared to their peers who are just ‘playing’. For example, a young child who is hooked on Ipad is considered more advanced than the one who enjoys playing outside. So is the one with a smart phone and a cupboard full of designer clothes, absolutely more sophisticated compared to those who are not exposed to them. Or that little girl who’s like a mini Barbie compared to the one who is not even aware of her appearance. Childhood is such a brief period in a person’s life compared to adulthood, why rush it? There will be plenty of time to be real-time adults, where you will be exposed to all sorts you sometimes long to be children once again. I believe that a happy childhood with plenty of adventurous play and imagination is crucial in a person’s emotional development. Children must be given the chance to be children for longer, so that they grow up into more wholesome adults.
But this is rather impossible when even formal learning at schools begins at such an early age these days. My 3 year old for instance is expected to attend full-time schooling by next autumn, I find this absurd. But that’s amazing one would say, she would be such a clever girl, already at school at 4 years old! Yes, if you have a one track mind and tend to follow the masses, that’s what you would believe. But having home-educated my children for a decade now, I know differently. Yes, it’s hard sometimes to go against the current, to do things differently from the rest of the society around you. People who do not understand just label you as a weirdo. But you have to carry out what you believe is right for you. I am grateful to have been able to home-educate my children; I let them develop at their own pace where they play, explore, read and learn naturally. I only teach them to read properly between 5-6 years of age, with hardly any effort at all. They would’ve been exposed to plenty of books by this age, and this would encourage them to learn to read at their own will.
The rest is history as they say, for once you have a passion for reading, the world is your oyster. I then start to teach them formally at the age of 7 right up to 12, throughout their primary school years. The one to one education they receive at home is very effective for them, they become more confident in themselves and their way of learning. And this enables them to attain a place among the best secondary schools available to them. This is how we’ve chosen to raise our children, I cannot stress how important it is to us that they have the best childhood possible. We want them to be able to look back and remember their happy formative years; carefree, innocent, curious, full of life, adventure and laughter. When adulthood eventually comes their way and life is filled with responsibilities and challenges, we pray they would be able to handle it well, for faith and love will keep them strong…
- Childhood is Too Precious to Ignore (thelightinsideofme.wordpress.com)
- Childhood: The Hurried, Harried Child (ionglobaltrends.com)
- Preschool for kids: Is early childhood education necessary? | Babble (babble.com)