The age at which kids are being introduced to curriculum-based learning is decreasing. Dr Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist, VIMHANS, sheds light on the correct age for a child to start going to a playschool:
What is the suitable age for a child to begin pre-schooling?
No child should be sent to playschool before three years. Children below that age can suffer from intense separation anxiety. The lesser the ages at which kids are sent to playschools, the more the separation anxiety. This is becoming rampant and has a long time implication as they grow mistrust for school. Children should be separated from home only when they are ready.
For a two- or three-year-old, what should be the duration of a pre-primary class?
The duration should be built on slowly. First two months, they should be taken to the pre-school only for half-an-hour, then 45 minutes and so on. The maximum amount of time they spend there should be one-and-a-half hours a day. Long hours can get traumatic for some children as they feel they are in a cage. Playschools should understand an individual child's temperament. Small playschools don't know how to handle children.
What should be the right ambience of a playschool?
It should be spacious for the child freely but not so big that he/she feels intimidated. It should be well-lit with natural light and airy, should have an open ground, optimum number of toys, colour materials, water and medical aid. They should also have a counsellor for children.
Does a two-year-old have the ability to grasp what is taught in a playschool?
It depends on the child's age and cognitive capacity. However, two-year-olds are too young for the kind of burden that is put on them. Children are unfairly pushed into this because the society has become narcissistic and parents want super smart kids.