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Choose best age for your child to start school

14 August 2014 [10:14] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

The first day of each educational year is a great day for both parents and new beginners as it opens an absolutely new page in the latter groups' life.

Elementary education for children in Azerbaijan starts at the age of six. But there are many who believe that there is no certain age for starting school. They argue that the issue depends on the will of parents and of course, mental and physical development of the children.

But what is really the best age for children to start school?

Parents who are doubtfull about their child's abilities can consult with a child psychologist to assess the mental capabilities of their children.

Some 139.214 first-graders are expected to go to school on September 15, reported the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan. The number of last year's first-graders exceeded 137.000.

Psychologist Chinara Guliyeva said that in order to determine a child's readiness for school, parents must take a number of tests.

"School readiness includes the ability to come into contact with peers, the ability to purposefully engage in some affair which requires the application of willpower, learning a poem and helping their parents," she stressed.

"Intellectual readiness is equally important - the child must be able to compare and summarize things and stories. For example, they should be able to compare the long and short rods or sticks," the psychologist noted.

The expert said that to understand if the age of six is a good age for starting school, it is necessary to test objectively capabilities of children at this age. She also gave some recommendations to parents to understand the state of their child at six.

How he/she looks at his/her peers' background? If he/she is ahead of his/her peers in mental development? Can a child stay alone for a while without his/her parents?

Parents also should pay attention to the distance between the school and their homes. A road to school should not be too long- no more than 20-30 minutes - otherwise the child would get tired even before reaching the school.

Primary school teacher, Aygun Aliyeva thinks that the age of six is the perfect age to start school.

She noted that a child should be very communicative at the age of six. According to her, he or she usually makes good relations with their peers.

"Modern education plays a key role in the first. It is carried out in the form of games and aims to develop the child's mental capabilities and logic," Aliyeva said.

However, Aliyeva also stressed that if a child counts the number very well, it doesn't mean that he/she is ready for starting school. Parents should watch if their child can concentrate on a subject for at least 15 minutes or not.

"If a child cannot pronounce all sounds correctly, make up a story of a picture and build a grammatically correct sentence, then he or she would be unprepared to start school," the teacher said.

Parents should also pay attention to their children's health as well as expand their general skills. This is a very stressful period for most children and that is why they should get well prepared for it earlier.

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