Readiness is all
To quote Stephen Leacock's My Discovery of England (1922): "The American professor deals with his students according to his lights. It is his business to chase them along over a prescribed ground at a prescribed pace like a flock of sheep. They all go humping together over the hurdles with the professor chasing them with a set of 'tests' and 'recitations', 'marks' and 'attendances', the whole apparatus obviously copied from the time-clock of the business man's factory. This process is called 'showing results'. The pace set is necessarily that of the slowest and thus results in what I have heard Mr Edward Beatty describe as the 'convoy system' of education."
School should begin when children are ready. There should be no penalty for late starters. No significant advantage need be gained by starting earlier: the readiness is all. Pupils should progress in each learning area as they become ready. No one should be taken to the next stage until he or she is equipped for it. No one should be held back because others have not yet covered the ground. Date of birth or day of year should not be material: the ripeness is all.
Independent training consultant,