Your child’s education does not begin with kindergarten or first grade. It begins at birth.

One of the misconceptions about school is that five- and six-year-olds all begin at square one.  They don’t.

Regardless of the claims of politicians and education theorists, public schools cannot be all things to all children.  For one thing, children are not all alike. For another, schools and teachers differ as much as  children do. Parents who imagine that sending their children to school is the only contribution they need to make towards their education are badly mistaken.

Some kindergartners have been loved and nurtured from birth. Some have been read to and talked to and played with, coming to school with large vocabularies and confidence in their ability to learn.  Others have been allowed to tumble up with little interaction with adults. Some have been malnourished, neglected, or abused.  Many children come to school already handicapped by meager vocabularies, suspicion, fear,  anger, and dishonesty.

Parents who desire their children to graduate from high school as competent young adults possessed of a store of knowledge, skills, compassion and some notion of civic responsibility must set the stage for this result before they ever go near a public school. Then they must be alert to what is going on at the school, in the halls and on the playground as well as in the classroom.

The articles in the BIRTH TO 5 category at the American English Doctor offer suggestions for how even busy parents can provide their children with experiences at home that will benefit them when they begin school.