Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 25.04.2018 | Name days: Līksma, Bārbala

Psychologist: six-year-old children are not ready for school

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«It is wrong to believe that the sooner a child starts going to school, the better their academic results will be. Reforms are performed aggressively, without asking pedagogues or other specialists for their opinion. We lack a comprehensive analysis of the current situation that would be based on studies, not international ratings,» says certified clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Jolanta Lamstere.

It should be said that some residents have signed a petition posted on against sending six-year-old children to school.

«I can say from experience that children of such a young age are not ready for school. There is no need for them to go to school because the pre-school education programme is already on a good enough level. The teaching process is performed using toys, which are most appropriate for children of this age. In addition, they are provided with healthy sleep, fresh are, and warm food several times a day. The argument used by Education and Science Ministry that children enter their school days unprepared is incorrect. Where is proof of this? If only the child’s academic progress is evaluated, it provides a rather skewed view,» comments the psychologist.

It can lead to serious personality development disorders

The psychologist says a too early intellectualization of the child can lead to serious personality development disorders. The ability to read and write does not define one’s readiness for school.

«A child’s emotional maturity plays an important role as well – the ability to manage and understand personal and other people’s emotions, the ability to communicate, to tell about oneself, form proper sentences, etc. It is also important to consider the child’s vocabulary and motor functions. Truth be told, there should be time for games in primary schools as well. There should be more playgrounds at education institutions. It is also important to ensure that children have the option to go outside more often,» she says.

At the same time, adding that entering a big school with older children, sixth-graders often experience stress, because there are many people in school corridors during breaks. The idea proposed by authors of the reform – reforming and adapting schools – does sound like a good idea at first, but it is no more than that. Even Education and Science Ministry’s reference towards how many European countries make children go to school from the age of six is not exactly correct, says the specialist.

She shares her experience: «I have been to many European schools, and I can say that the education process of those six-year-old children is only formally called ‘school’, but the concept is the same as what we have at our pre-school education facilities. Even our children start undergoing teaching at the age of five.»

From mental overload to physical problems

When asked what consequences could there be from sending a six-year-old to school, Lamstere mentions: «It can result in mental and intellectual overload. A child simply cannot sit still at such a young age. Children want to learn about the world around them, but they do not have the patience to concentrate on just one activity for a long time. Mentally exhausted children sooner or later will require assistance from a specialist, and school psychologists’ capacity is limited. This means it is not possible to help everyone. This creates additional worries and expenses for parents.»

The specialist also says overload and nervousness often results in physical problems for children – it can cause enuresis, develop a fingernail-biting habit and nervous tic, weakened immune system and chronic diseases. If children are unable to handle increased stress, any one of those symptoms may appear. So let’s not subject our children to undue stress, shall we?

Academic success will not be better if children are sent to school at an early age

It is wrong to believe that sending children to school at an early age they will become smarter and will study better. Readiness for school is developed gradually. It is affected by a child’s individual development dynamic, parents and pre-school education before the age of seven. For some individuals, it takes longer to prepare for school life. And it should not be demanded from children who are even younger, she says.

Education reform like communism

«I am getting the impression that the new education reform, including the sixth-graders reform, is being realized in a storm. Merely declaring that we will change the way we think is not enough to change a thing. It will not happen overnight just because such a decision was made,» Lamstere says.

She continues: «This is why I often see the tension that arises for teachers from the chaotic approach chosen for the reform’s introduction process and declaration of a new way of thinking. This only serves to any positive values we have now. School is where old and new values can meet through cooperation of teachers from different generations in providing children with a great deal of knowledge, competences and life experiences.»

The specialist also adds that the reform does not mention what children need. «I am getting the impression that the reform is being realized in a rushed manner, which does not include meeting any criteria. We have to think about what our children need and rely more on teachers’ professionalism, as well as perform serious research about the load children are subjected to in school, and based on that we should evaluate the real resources that have been providing our children with valuable information and teaching experience until now. I think a school’s main function is providing children with high-quality knowledge,» says the specialist.


Leave a reply

Saeima speaker in Tallinn: EU and NATO cooperation in defence should be enhanced

Close cooperation between European Union and NATO in defence is now more important than ever. This is especially true for cyber security and hybrid-thread prevention, said Latvian Saeima’s speaker Ināra Mūrniece during a meeting of EU member states parliaments in Tallinn on Tuesday, 24 April.

Ministry avoids going against supporting parties; Ventspils City Council’s violations reported to court

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has no influence at all, and sometimes it seems it has no desire to exercise its rights and perform its duties. This situation most likely appeared because the institution is led by a minister who represents a specific political party.

Warfare in Ukraine escalates, soldiers wounded

In the Donbas War that continues for the fifth year in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, Russian hybrid forces have this week conducted a total of 44 attacks, wounding five soldiers, the Ukrainian military reports.

Demand for mortgage loans grew 53% in March

Increased demand for mortgage loans with state guarantees was observed in Latvia in March. Nearly every other loan application filed last month was intended for housing purchase using Altum guarantee. The largest amount of interest came from families with children, as reported by Citadele Bank.

Most businesses in Latvia still not ready for data protection regulation

The majority of businesses in Latvia are still not ready for EU General Data Protection Regulation, which is due to come to force on 25 May, says KPMG lawyer and certified data protection specialist Sanita Pētersone.

Finnish prisoners found radicalising towards Islamic and far-right extremism

In prisons in Southern Finland, a study of radicalisation of inmates has been conducted and has identified dozens of inmates, who are moving into either radical Islam or into far-right violent extremism.

Ušakovs invites colleagues from Russia to attend centenary festivities in Riga

Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs has invited mayors from 56 cities to attend festivities organized for Latvia’s centenary. This includes mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as confirmed by Ušakovs’ press-secretary Laila Ivāna.

Estonian President sees no return from e-governance

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed with Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the Baltic country's experience in providing public e-services to the population.

Norway interested in developing cooperation with Latvia in tourism industry

«Latvia welcomes successful regional and economic cooperation with Norway. Our countries have common values and goals – developing Baltic and Nordic countries as a wealthy and secure European region,» said Latvia’s Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens during his meeting with Norwegian State Secretary for Trade, Industry and Fisheries Roy Angelvik.

Finland not to continue its basic income scheme

The basic income scheme in Finland that has been tested in the Nordic country since 2017, will not be continued as the Finnish government has decided to look into other schemes for reforming the Finnish social security system

MEP: New Unity may be in the government with other parties that have similar goals

After Saeima elections, New Unity will cooperate with parties prepared to work with the association to accomplish specific goals, says leader of New Unity and member of the European Parliament Krišjānis Kariņš.

Canada experiences tragic attack on pedestrians in Toronto

In the Canadian city of Toronto, a driver has been driving onto pedestrians taking the lives of 10 people and injuring 15 more.

Latvian residents spend an average of EUR 81 on cosmetics every year

Latvian residents spend an average of EUR 81 on cosmetics every year, which is one of the lowest indexes in Europe. Compared to other Baltic States, Latvian residents spend less money on cosmetics, according to data compiled by Latvian Cosmetic Manufacturers Association.

Armenian Prime Minister Sargsyan resigns unexpectedly

The Prime Minister of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, has unexpectedly stepped down from office after ten days of protests in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

Baltic Express: Europe has already invented the bicycle; we just have to adopt it

13 March marked a historic event for Ventspils railway hub – for the first time in the history of Latvia’s railway a private cargo carrier – Baltic Express – delivered wagons to Ventspils 1st station and private infrastructure’s railway terminal. Why is this event so important and what is the future for Latvia’s cargo railway system? – Baltic Express chairman Māris Bremze told

Reduction of employees in state administration went the smoothest in finance sector

Measures to reduce the number of employees in state administration last year went the smoothest for the State Revenue Service and the entire finance sector, said Latvia’s State Chancellery’s Director Jānis Citskovskis.

Alleged Paris terrorist Abdeslam convicted of attempted murder

The lone Paris attacks' suspect Salah Abdeslam has been found guilty of attempted terrorist murder of police, when taking part in a shootout with police in the Belgian capital Brussels in March 2016.

Rail Baltica’s infrastructure management model to be studied by British company

On 8 November 2017, RB RAIL joint Baltic company announced the winner in the tender for the study of Rail Balica’s infrastructure management model. The winner was British design, engineering and project management consulting company: Atkins and SNC-Lavalin Group.

Harmony and UGF have their sponsors, whereas Sudraba’s party relies on donations

Since the beginning of the week, Latvia’s political parties have received more than half a million euros in donations and membership fees. According to the database of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, pockets fill up the fastest for political parties in power in the country and Riga.

Chemical weapons investigators have taken samples in Doma, Syria

In Syria, the scene, where according to the UK, U.S. and France, an attack with chemical weapons was conducted earlier in April, has after delays been visited by inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, who have managed to collect samples.

Estonia and Finland to share patient data over innovative «secure» data highway

The Estonian-developed international data exchange technology X-road, said to be hacker-proof is to be the basis for a new Estonia-Finland system of linked doctor prescription registers that would make prescriptions issued in one country available in pharmacies in the other.

Prime minister: Linužs’ dealings with offshore business warrants an investigation

Latvia’s Transport Minister Uldis Augulis refused to comment on information reported by De Facto programme one week ago – that Rail Baltica organized Andris Linužs had signed a deal with an offshore company based in Seychelles and used by influential businessmen from St. Petersburg. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, on the other hand, told the programme that «deals associated with state security had been recorded in the past and represent a matter that warrants an investigation».

Afghanistan hit by tragic terror attack

In Kabul, Afghanistan, a suicide bomber has killed not less than 57 people and injured 119 more as the attack with explosives targeted a queue of people outside a voter registration centre, Afghan officials have stated.

Armenia mass protests continue as opposition leader Pashinyan detained

In Armenia, mass protests against ex-President Serzh Sargsyan being elected as Prime Minister, have continued over the weekend marking over a week of protests in the capital Yerevan.

Weather in Latvia to be cold; air temperature to rise at week’s end

This week will be slightly colder for Latvia. Rain is expected in almost all regions every day. It will start getting warmer on Saturday and Sunday, when daytime air temperature is expected to rise again, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.