There’s some new evidence that maybe kids shouldn’t start school until they’re seven
While school is a big part of childhood, some new research has emerged that suggests we should give kids another year to, well, be kids. Stanford University studied tens of thousands of surveys taken by Danish parents, and found that kids who start school a year later (seven years old, versus Denmark’s typical six) had lower levels of hyperactivity and inattention, which is strongly linked to higher levels of academic achievement.
A press release for the study presents some pretty convincing evidence. Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Thomas Dee explained:
In Demark, children start school the calendar year that they turn six years old, so the birthday cutoff is December 31st. Researchers compared student data for children born a few days before and after that date (meaning they were about the same age, but started school a year apart). The findings were consistent. Those who started later had significantly better mental health when it came tohyperactivity and inattention.
This was true for students who were seven years old, as well as students who were eleven, meaning the benefits of this year difference stayed with them for some time. One could argue that starting school a year later gets students off on a much better foot, and this allows them to thrive all the way through their educational career.
This new research comes during a time when more and more parents and schools are pushing back the starting age, which means this study just confirms what we were kind of already feeling in our bones: education is super important, but there’s no need to jump the gun.
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