What should be the best age to start Nursery, JrKg, SrKg, class 1 in India?
By Madhurie Singh, November 07, 2014
One of the most common worries and confusion in the parents’ mind is about the right age for school admission.
India has several boards, two international boards, two national boards, many state boards and a few pre-school specific curriculum too!
I am not surprised it you are confused when each board has a different age criteria for admission into class 1 and below.
If you have not read my previous article on
do read it. Its my favorite too. 🙂
Let’s try to understand what should be the right age for admission in class 1 and then we will work backwards.
Ideally, a child has a lot of milestone to cross slowly yet steadily before he/she will be able to hold a pencil and scribble down joyously./
Milestones are the pointers that tell the parents, teachers and doctors that the child is growing normally mentally and physically.
- 2 months – social smile (Although they smile from day 7 now a days!)
- 4 months – holding neck (This is also happening sooner as soon as 1 month !)
- 8 months – sitting without support (Babies are now sitting before 6th month!)
- 12 months – standing (My own kids were standing in the 8th month!)
Read about average
Now go to the age 2 year and check the things your baby must be able to do.
- The Baby takes interest in pictures in a picture book
- The Baby is able to say what he wants
- The Baby begins to repeat words others say
- The Baby is able to point to some parts of his body
So this is the right age to start a playschool where there is only simple indoor games and outdoor sports that involves running, chasing, catching, playing with ball, hiding and seeking. Did you see anywhere even an average child can pick up a pencil and start writing?? So obviously lets not expect the 2 year old BABIES to start writing A B C or 1 2 3 …. Playschools that are even trying to make babies of 2 year old age to start holding the pencil (crayons will be a different thing and allowed).
The 2-3 age is perfect to repeat words by pointing pictures on picture books. So you may start with words that are starting to sound the alphabetical order Apple, Boy, Cat etc . Let the baby hear you loud and clear each sound. Do not be fast and unclear or inaudible.
This is also the age when you will be able to notice if the child is not able to hear properly or see properly as he/she is not responding to what you are saying. Don’t panic, switch off the TV in the background and try again. Still, no response, check with the doctor asap. Delay in hearing properly may lead to your child hearing unclear words and sound. Later it gets imprinted into his brain and will be very difficult to undo.
This age of 2-3 is perfect for oral teaching and learning. Story telling, reading loudly with fingers pointing the pictures and words, singing, reciting rhymes are the best way of teaching the babies. Does it happen in your child’s playschool? Great!
Thus 2 year to 3 year is the right age for Playschool.
Now let’s move to the next age group, 3 year to 4 year is the age when you will these:
- The Baby is able to throw a ball overhand (not sidearm or underhand :)yet! But if he/she is doing it, you have a prodigy at home)
- The Baby can answer simple questions like “What is you name?”
- The Baby helps put things away pretty easily. So make him/her put away the toys in the right place
- The Baby can name one color
Hence 3 year to 4 year also the right age to go to Nursery or Playschool 2.
When the child is in between 4 year and 5 year, he/she can achieve these milestones easily.
- The Baby is able to pedal a tricycle
- The Baby can name pictures in books or magazines
- The Baby can write on paper using pencils that are normal size
- The Baby can memorize with repetition words, alphabets and names of the objects with more than 2 syllables
And this is the right age to introduce pencils to the babies. In my opinion that best thing is to start with a color pencil, preferably a thick crayon stick with the paper cover on it.
Let the child hold it on his/her own and scribble on a sheet of paper. Watch your child. The pressure applied on the paper, the distance he is holding the crayon and how close is his/her face when coloring or writing on a paper. If the pressure is too much, start giving the right pencil as mentioned in the above article “Choosing the right pencil“.
If the child is literally keeping his/her face on the paper, then you better get his eye sight checked right away. It’s cute to see them lying on the book, but not good for the eyes. I did a mistake of realizing it a bit late but please don’t repeat my mistake with your child. (My children’s eye sight has improved by a few points so I am happy that one day there is a chance they will be off the specs too. Ensure constant wearing and cleaning of the specs.)
Do you think, now this child is ready for the Jr Kg (Junior Kindergarten) or L Kg (Lower Kindergarten)?
I think so too. Hence if a child is expected to write something on the paper, he/she must be able to do it more than just scribbling. Alphabets and number may be introduced to the children in this age with more successful result now in this class. Introducing right things at the right age, leads to less stress and more success. So if you want to be happy, don’t rush to introduce things your baby is not able to just because he/she has not reached that age. If you are one who feel pride in double promotion concept still after reading this, ouch!
When the child is in between 5 year and 6 year, he/she can achieve these milestones easily:
- The Baby can button some of his clothing
- The Baby names at least three coloring
- The Baby can walk down stairs alternating his feet
- The Baby can jump with his feet apart
This age group is best suitable for Sr Kg (Senior Kindergarten) or U Kg (Upper Kindergarten).
The child can start to effectively use his/her fingers to not just button the shirt or hooks , provided, you have taught the child to do so. This is also the age when the child can use the pencils with more control and start to write on a paper with right pressure applied on the paper. These children also can learn to paint inside an outline of a shape. The children can learn words that are three letter or four letter , can name colors, shapes, size. The concept is clearer of these parameters. They baby can run on the road, climb down the stairs with no fear any longer. They also can play sports outdoor with balls, catch objects and also throw with controlled aim.
When the child is in between 6 year and 7 year, he/she can achieve these milestones easily:
- The Baby can start to eat on his/her own in the absence of the parents
- The Baby can understand instructions given to a group of children
- The Baby can make friends and also starts to be possessive about friends, parents, relative etc
- The Baby can learn 4 to 5 letter words easily
- The Baby can count and write addition of numbers and subtraction of numbers
- The Baby can understand about different emotions and behaviors
This age does sound more matured than the previous ones.
So can we say 6 year is the right age to start class 1 in India?
Do you still have any confusion?
I bet you will.
Most CBSE schools start in the April month, whereas most ICSE and State board schools start in the month of June.
Hence to ensure that your child is in the age bracket as mentioned above before seeking admission in any school, click this form “Consult Expert Form“. This form has the easy calculations done for the April session and for the June session schools age of your child, hence tell you if you should apply to class Jr Kg or SrKg or class 1.
I applaud the efforts and decision of the RTE to ensure the age 6 years for class 1 is the youngest age acceptable by all schools in Pune.
As a side effect and long term result of the increase in the admission age criteria of the children by 6 months, the country will also have at least 6 months, more to place those passing out of the graduation courses after 2 years when this rule will be implemented.