By: Krystle Crossman
Many home-school parents are jumping on the “delayed academics” wagon. Schools are starting earlier and earlier with standardized testing. There are some pre-school children that are being tested. It is pushing them into academics far before many of them are ready. Delayed academics is when there is little to no formal schooling before age 8.
When a parent decides to delay academics they stress the importance of play and being a kid before the formal education starts. This is not to say that the child is left to their own devices until they are 8 or so. They still learn many things that will be helpful to them later on in life. They are given chores and responsibilities. They volunteer their time with their parents. They are allowed time to play and be children. They are also given the opportunity to get used to being at home with their parents as their teachers.
There are different ways that parents go about delayed academics. Some do not let their children have any contact with formal academics until a certain age because they feel that play and development of motor skills is far more important, even if the child is curious about learning. The other parents will allow academics once their child shows an interest. They want the child to learn at their own pace and will let them determine that pace.
There are some great advantages to delaying academics. The children that start schooling later in life learn about family values, relationships, and community service. These things are thought to be great foundations for academics. Children still do well in reading and math even if they start later and some are even more successful than those who begin at a very early age.
One of the problems with delayed academics is that developmental issues may not be noticed as early as they would be normally. For example, vision problems may not be caught until later when the child struggles to read words on a page. Learning disabilities such as dyslexia are also not found until later as well.