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How to understand whether to send a child to kindergarten
How to understand whether to send a child to kindergarten

We analyzed the arguments of opponents and supporters of kindergartens, learned the opinion of scientists and considered other forms of raising kids.

How to understand whether to send a child to kindergarten
How to understand whether to send a child to kindergarten

More and more parents are giving preference to alternative types of preschool education. Lifehacker researched the history of kindergarten and found that an equally important issue is overlooked in the throes of choosing between forms of parenting.

When and why did the first kindergartens appear?

The first prototype of such an institution was created back in 1802 in Scotland. The founder of kindergartens, as we are used to seeing them, is the German teacher Friedrich Froebel. He also invented the very term "kindergarten" - kindergarten.

Froebel opened his first kindergarten in 1837. The first institution with a similar function in Russia began to accept babies in 1859. A kindergarten for children according to the Froebel system in Russia was organized in 1862 thanks to Sophia Lugebil, the wife of the famous writer Karl Lugebil.

It is no coincidence that preschool institutions appeared in the middle of the 19th century. They were supposed to ensure harmonious development for the baby, and for the mother - a fuller participation in the life of society. In practice, however, the partial release of women from maternal responsibilities was used to exploit women's labor.

The work of kindergartens itself was subordinated not to the development and socialization of children, but to the upbringing of the qualities necessary for the state. Strict discipline, the separation of children by age, the study of specific skills, and sometimes corporal punishment are the main principles of the functioning of the first such institutions. In some countries, they have not changed until now, so the camp of opponents of this institution is growing.

What are the pluses and minuses of kindergartens noted by their opponents and supporters?

Cons of kindergartens

1. They teach a regime and discipline that children do not need

Discipline by opponents of kindergarten is understood as compulsion to obey outdated rules that were useful when children worked in factories.

2. Do not help in socialization and do not teach teamwork

Supporters of abandoning kindergartens believe that play is a child's voluntary desire. And in the garden, games and classes are compulsory, moreover, they are often associated with fights, quarrels and conflicts.

3. Do not develop children

Adherents of alternative education believe that in a group of 20-30 people it is impossible to pay due attention to everyone.

4. Cause stress in the child

The kid finds himself in a new environment, as a rule, at an early age, which has a bad effect on his psychological development.

Pros of kindergartens

1. Allow parents to earn more

Often times, parents simply cannot afford an alternative to kindergarten for financial reasons. The family provides the child with everything necessary only when both mom and dad are working.

2. Helps to set boundaries

When parents spend all the time with their babies, growing up is painful. Delayed separation and over-caring for children is a consequence of the lack of boundaries between the life of the child and the parents.

3. Develop independence

The Federal Institute for Educational Development recommends that children from the age of three years be involved in independent work. The kindergarten helps this.

4. Give moms and dads the opportunity for self-realization

And we are talking here not only about the profession, but also about the time for leisure and rest. Being able to spend time without your baby reduces the risk of parental burnout.

What scientists say about the benefits or dangers of kindergartens

Opinions differ. A 2012 study by Elliott Tucker-Drob, Ph. D. at the University of Texas, suggests a positive impact of kindergarten on the mental development of toddlers. The psychologist examined 600 pairs of twins. The scientist tested children at two and five years old, studied the socio-economic status of their families and found out how the attendance of kindergarten affected the mental development of children.

The report states that poor home conditions affect the mental capacity of children who have not attended kindergarten much more than those who have attended kindergarten. In other words, the unfavorable environment at home becomes much less of a problem for the child if he goes to the garden. If the family is very poor, then even going to a bad kindergarten is better than being at home all the time.

Other scientists claim that by the third grade of school, all the advantages in academic knowledge for children who went to kindergarten disappear. No beneficial social effect has been found either.

There is no consensus among experts even about how much it costs to stay in kindergarten if the child has already gone there. Some studies say that keeping a toddler in an institution until the age of seven will have a positive impact on his school performance. Others, on the contrary, advocate an early end to the kindergarten.

What are the alternatives to regular kindergarten

The education system is developing, and today alternative methods of educating preschoolers are gaining popularity. Here is some of them.

Home education

From the first days of life, a child grows up in comfortable conditions for himself, in compliance with a favorable regime, without stress and overload. Therefore, many parents do not dare to change the existing system and leave the kids at home right up to school. There is no qualitative research that talks about the benefits or harms of parenting at home.

Children's clubs

An upbringing format that has gained popularity all over the world, including our country. In such a club, children are left for several hours under the supervision of professional teachers. While the baby plays and learns the world, parents will get a long-awaited respite. Kids clubs are especially popular in regions where they have become an alternative to more expensive babysitting services.

Family kindergartens

An alternative to government institutions that appeared in the Scandinavian countries. In particular, family gardens are popular in Finland. There, municipalities allow mothers to raise other people's children at home, while their number is limited to four. With this option, a home environment is created, the guys adapt more easily and subsequently call the teacher their aunt or even their second mother. Parents pay municipalities to attend the kindergarten, while the authorities buy toys, equip playgrounds and pay teachers' salaries. In Russia, a program to create such gardens was launched in 2007 in Moscow.

Grandmothers and grandfathers

There is no exact statistics on how many children in Russia and other countries are raised by grandparents. For some, this upbringing format is absolutely normal and accepted by default. And someone, on the contrary, does not even close relatives to their children. Scientists insist that grandparents harm the health of the younger generation: they pamper sweets, allow them to mess around and even increase the risk of developing cancer when they smoke in front of children. But on the elderly people themselves, caring for grandchildren has a beneficial effect - it prolongs life by an average of five years!

How kindergartens are changing

Changes are taking place in the kindergartens themselves. For example, in the United States, much attention is now paid to academic education, early acquaintance of children with science. There are even public organizations that help to adapt in kindergarten. In Finland, the game is in first place. There are simply no sedentary classes there, which is spelled out in a special preschool education program. As a result, Finnish schoolchildren are consistently in the top 10 according to the results of the international educational tests PISA.

And in Sweden, gender-neutral kindergartens have opened, where children are not called "he" or "she", but are addressed to all babies in the middle gender. The toys are not color-coded "for boys" and "for girls", and all classes are held together.

Innovative kindergartens are also opening in Russia: with a theater, a library and a speleo camera.

Is the form of education so important?

While parents are pondering what choices to make in an environment of constant change, a more important problem is ripe.

Preschool education standards around the world require academic knowledge, as officials understand that without them the state has no chance of economic success. Therefore, the burden of creative development, primarily of playing with children, falls on parents, no matter what format of upbringing they choose.

Children play less and less in sandboxes and more and more work on tests and assignments. Even when the little ones play themselves, this process takes place according to the scripts of cartoons and video games. Surely you observed how the child did not know what to do if they took all the gadgets from him and turned off the TV. Experts talk about a real crisis of play culture and a slowdown in the mental development of children.

It seems that with home education, the baby and the parents will play and develop together for days on end. Indeed, modern parents spend on average twice as much time with their children as they did 50 years ago. But it is too early to judge the quality of this time.

In 2010, a medical report was released, which spoke of an increase in the incidence of rickets for the first time in many decades. Among the reasons - a lack of sun and vitamin D due to the large amount of time inside the walls of the house, which kids spend in front of electronic devices. In Russia, for example, 17 percent of children under three years old use smartphones, and children from four to seven years old watch TV for two hours every day.

Meanwhile, playing not in the virtual, but in the real world is the most important condition for the development of a baby. Scientists have created a whole theory in which there will be a place for both comparison with animals (animals that play are better adapted to life), and treatment with games (invented by Freud), and the connection between games and IQ level (the creator of the test himself spoke about this). Moreover, as many years of observations of indigenous children in different parts of the world show, a child does not necessarily need whole toy cabinets for successful development.

Therefore, in the near future, mothers and fathers will have to solve a much more difficult task - how to instill imagination in the baby. And whether or not to lead a child to kindergarten is still everyone's personal choice.

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