Elementary education is, perhaps, the most important part of a person’s educational development. A child’s elementary educational experience will play a critical role in how they will view education and learning as they grow older.
Whether it’s arithmetic, writing, reading, or even just the basics of tapping into their creativity, high-quality elementary education can provide the building blocks from which your child can build their emotional, intellectual and social intelligence. Unlike universities or high schools, “prestigious” elementary schools are rare and, in most cases, unnecessary.
All it takes for good, high-quality elementary education is a rote mastery of the government’s recommended curriculum, a focus on building values and an emphasis on providing for the emotional well-being of the children.
In the Philippines, elementary education can be received online or in traditional classrooms, although the former is now fast becoming more desirable because of its accessibility and ease of use. Regardless of how a child receives their elementary education, however, the benefits are clear. Thankfully, elementary education is compulsory for up to a certain number of years in almost all countries in the world, ensuring that our world’s children will have the foundations of a holistic adult who will have a positive impact on society.
Setting Up Lifelong Educational Habits
Compulsory education is the term used to describe an education system that is mandatory and required by law to be taken by people. In most countries, this is enforced by the government and education is mandatory up to a certain grade. In the Philippines, compulsory education is from the ages of 4 to 18, with many public and private schools offering high-quality education that teaches children basic educational courses.
The Philippine educational curriculum was designed specifically to create a holistic knowledge base for children so that they can pursue any type of secondary or tertiary education they choose to. In the elementary or primary levels, subjects like Filipino, English, Science, Social studies and Mathematics are compulsory, whereas subjects like music, arts, health and wellness and physical education are optional (although most schools offer them anyway). Private schools have the option of expanding on this curriculum, with many schools offering religious subjects that teach specific ethics and values.
All of these are essential in creating life-long learning habits and a love for schooling that are essential in driving children to further their studies. It is in elementary school that they are introduced to subjects that they can hopefully fall in love with and be fascinated by.
The Building Blocks of Social Interaction
Although kindergarten and pre-elementary education are often cited as being a child’s first introduction to socialization, it is at the elementary level that children start building the foundations of how they will interact with people in the future.
Often, many elementary schools will incorporate social aspects to all subjects like group work, encouraging students to express themselves, and other pedagogic techniques. These are all designed to foster good social behaviours that they can carry with them throughout their lives. By encouraging children to understand non-verbal cues from both their teachers and their fellow students, they may learn what proper socialization is at a young age.
This is also a great opportunity for educators to spot and correct anti-social behaviour. Sometimes, anti-social behaviour is an acquired habit, although, in general, scientists aren’t sure of its exact origins. Regardless, educators can -and should-correct these behaviours as soon as they’re spotted. Anti-social behaviours, after all, are a social issue: children who experience these behaviours deserve better and should be encouraged to develop proper social skills and habits.
To further encourage social interactions at the elementary level, most schools will hold sports fests or arts festivals to help children interact with an even broader number of their peers and not just the ones in their immediate vicinities.
The Right Time and Place to Nurture
A person’s brain is the most elastic during the developmental ages of 4 to 20. During this time, children are forming neural pathways that will determine how they’ll learn, interact with people, and how to manage their emotions. The elementary education years are the best time to nurture children’s intellectual pursuits and their positive emotional development.
But other than reading, writing and doing math, this is the time for educators to teach children character building, fostering critical thinking, encouraging them to form logical arguments and healthy communication skills. This is not to say that finishing high school doesn’t matter; just as that degree is valuable to getting into a good college, elementary education is valuable to a flourishing academic life, and ultimately, an ideal functioning member of society.
To say that elementary education is important is an understatement: this is where children develop their physical and emotional health, social skills, behavioural aspects, cognitive functions and even their cultural identity.
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