Whatever happened to childhood and the freedom to run, play, create, climb trees, drink out of garden hoses, play cowboys and Indians without being politically incorrect, take things apart to see how they work and fantasize without being shamed by adults?
Lots of free play time is critical for the development of these squirming, high-energy children. Yet in recent years government has begun forcing them into rigid formal school settings that can be well beyond their developmental capability. Play-based kindergartens, and now even preschools, have been replaced largely by daily drilling literacy and math skills into young children and giving or preparing for tests.
Statists who want to gain control of children at an early age are legislating changes to move even lower the age of compulsory enrollment. Iowa recently lowered its compulsory schooling age to 4 for children enrolled in a government preschool program.
Now a new study by Harvard Medical School researchers confirms that children are being pushed into rigid school settings too early. Their report discloses that when starting school, the youngest children have a much greater likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD than the older children in the grade.
In states with a Sept. 1 cutoff, a child born on Aug. 31 will be nearly a full year younger on the first day of school than a classmate born on Sept. 1. Lead researcher Timothy Layton noted that the younger child might have a harder time sitting still and concentrating for long periods of time in class. He concludes:
“Our findings suggest the possibility that large numbers of kids are being over-diagnosed and over-treated for ADHD because they happen to be relatively immature compared to their older classmates in the early years of elementary school.”
The report notes that the rate of ADHD diagnoses among children has risen dramatically over the past 20 years with more than 5 percent being treated for ADHD in 2016 alone.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately one-third of ADHD diagnoses occur in children under 6.
Veteran teachers report dramatic changes in the social and physical development of children over the past several generations. Today’s youngsters cry easily, fall out of chairs frequently, run into walls and other children, and are less attentive. Others will repeatedly strike themselves in rhythmic patterns or rock their bodies back and forth.
Teachers are being pressured to spend more class time on academic readiness and testing and to submit detailed documentation on students and lessons. The increasing demand that students must be academically prepared for kindergarten means they are required to sit for long periods of time without moving around – an attention killer because the brain goes to sleep.
The years prior to the age of 7 are critical in the development of strong bodies and minds. If young children are not engaged in active free play, especially outdoors, they are more likely to exhibit problems with social interactions, paying attention, problem-solving, anxiety, controlling their emotions and clumsiness.
In their efforts to persuade lawmakers to expand pre-K programs quickly, education bureaucrats toss out fake claims that 85 percent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years.
These big-government thinkers contend that if children are not reached in that “window of opportunity,” they will never learn to read. They threaten that intervention will be more difficult and expensive and less effective. They use flawed studies as evidence that early schooling results in lower student dropout and less youth incarceration.
Pediatricians disagree with these progressive arguments, confirming there is no narrow window for learning to read because the brain continues to develop and remodel and refine until age 25 or beyond.
Compare U.S. education philosophy with that of Finland where students score at or near the top on international tests, far outperforming U.S. students. Finnish students do not attend formal school until age 7. Many students attend non-compulsory “pre-primary” school at age 6, and prior to age 6, there is day-care or parental care.
The reality is that progressives want children removed from parental influences as early as possible. Government schools have become indoctrination centers for the political and social change of Marxism. Achieving their goal of the transformation of America is what counts. As Vladimir Lenin famously stated, “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”
The government education system is responsible for creating many psychological problems among our children and then attempts to fix the problems through forced medication and social and emotional learning.
Parents must challenge these government schooling motives and mandates and take back their parental rights. A good place to begin is to opt their kids out of early government schooling or, for that matter, government schooling at any age.