Do children need schooling before kindergarten?
The days of waiting until children are five years old to send them to school are over for many. A new trend is underway that has children from one to five years old attending schools that will teach them the ABCs and basics of math before school has officially begun.
You can’t blame parents for wanting their kids to have the advantage.
When boomers reigned, jobs were so plentiful they often didn’t need university degrees to obtain them. They got a job in the mailroom and climbed the corporate ranks.
That scenario is pure fantasy for young adults today. You’d be hard-pressed to find a young journalist without a university degree in the average newsroom, for example. In fact, they often have more than one degree.
Because the level of competition has intensified for each generation, parents want their children to get a leg up at an earlier age than ever before. These young, upwardly mobile babies are driving a host of new industries, all aimed at setting kids up for a successful future — depending on how you define success, of course.
* Gallery: How to raise an upwardly mobile baby
Natacha Beim, a teacher and businesswoman from Argentina, started the Core Education and Fine Arts schools (CEFA) in 1998 in British Columbia, where she oversees 12 franchised schools. The schools have been such a hit with parents she is opening an average of one school per month these days, and will be giving a TEDx talk in the new year.
Instead of offering daycare, she aims to offer a fun eight-hour day educational approach that prepares the babies and toddlers for elementary school. She says she has also devised a method to teach a child to read in two months. Ms. Beim, who worked in the French school system as an elementary school teacher, saw that in Canada, toddlers were interested in reading and writing, but weren’t being encouraged to learn until much later.
“I saw how much children enjoy [reading], and it’s hard to say, ‘let’s do way less.’ To me, the level of understanding and maturity offered to children in other programs in other countries was so much higher. You are affecting the children by not giving them more. That’s when I decided to open CEFA.
“I didn’t agree with the way that we teach our children in Canada. In the French school system, the early years are so important it’s left to the best teachers.”