Parents are very quick to put their children in a different class because they feel that they are smart enough to be in the higher class. 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 prepared.
Each age group in my observation plays differently. I see the toddlers playing near each other but not necessarily together. Then there are the two-year-olds. They tend to play together once they hit the older two’s stage but still have difficulty sharing, which most students experience. Still, as they get older, they tend to understand sharing a little more and concentrate on who had the item first.
In the three-year-old class, the students learn how to enter a group of students that has already started playing. It’s difficult for them to ask at times, “can I play,” and might join in without asking, and sometimes it is okay with the other students.
However, in the pre-kindergarten class, this type of social interaction is not accepted. Students must ask to join in an already established game. Otherwise, the other students might tell them that they cannot play.
Imagine a student that has been moved from the 3-year-old class to the pre-kindergarten class but doesn’t understand the social cues for that age group; this can be very frustrating to them.
A parent must look at every aspect of the child’s development before making the change. They should consider the child’s social development and ask themselves if their child is mature enough to enter a new community.
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 cannot develop at their own pace. A parent might want to see if their child understands how to enter a playgroup, understand what sharing is, and sit in circle time with students discussing topics that they might not fully understand. Is their child comfortable with their current peers or withdrawn and a loner?
I understand that each child is different and maybe ready sooner for the next level of class, but parents need to make it more about the whole child, rather than whether or not their child knows all of their letters, colors, shapes, and numbers.
Each classroom gets them ready for the next, and if they miss any part of that stage of the development, they might not be prepared to be skipped to the next class.
Teachers should also step up and let the parents know. Teachers can do this by keeping up–to–date assessments so that the parents can see the areas that needs improvement.