Parents are very quick to put their child in a higher class, because they feel that their child is smart enough to be promoted. But what they fail to realize is that even though their child might be academically ready to go to another class, they might not be socially ready.
Each age group interacts with each other differently; for example, toddlers and two years seem to play near each other, but not together. In the three year old class, the students are playing together and learning how to enter a group of students that has already began playing. These students might have a difficult time asking to join in.
However, in the pre-kindergarten class, this type of playing might not be accepted, a student must ask to join in an already established game, otherwise the other students might tell the child that they can’t play.
Imagine a student that has been moved from the 3 year old class to the pre-kindergarten class. The student might not know how to join a group of playing children. They might feel unwanted, and unsure on how to handle the situation.
A parent must look at every aspect of their child’s development before they change their child from one classroom to another. They should consider the child’s social development as well, and ask themselves if their child is mature enough to enter a community that is quite different from the one that they are in.
They might want to see if their child understands how to enter a play group, understand what sharing is, and is able to sit in circle time with students that are discussing topics that they might not fully understand or be interested in. They must consider if their child would be comfortable with their current peers or withdrawn and a loner?
We want children to feel comfortable in their environment and they can’t do that if they are put in an environment too soon and not able to develop at their own pace.
I do understand that each child is different and may be ready sooner for the next level of class, but parents need to make it more about the whole child. Just because a child knows all of their letters, colors and numbers, doesn’t mean that they are socially ready to me moved up. Each classroom gets them ready for the next, if they miss any part of that stage of the development, they might have a difficult time in their next class.
Teachers should also step up and let the parents know whether a child is ready to move forward. They can do this by keeping an up-to –date assessments so that the parents can see the areas that need to be improved.