By Yinka Ogunde
Welcome to series 3.
Today I want to share briefly what I call. THE AGE FACTOR.
I love sharing true stories to illustrate the point.
Ayo, my nephew is a big boy. By the time he was in Year 5, he was much taller than any other boy in his class and he could easily pass for a JSS2 boy. Add this to the fact that he was also very brilliant.
All his friends were leaving for secondary school from Year 5.
His parents had a discussion with the Headteacher of his school, my dear friend Yinka Somoye. She advised caution. “Despite his height and brilliance, please let him do Year 6”. Looking back, nearly 9 years later, that was simply the best decision for the family and for the young boy.
By the time he got into secondary school, he was a much more confident young boy who could hold his own space in the midst of challenges. He was better organized and emotionally he was better prepared to face Secondary school.
He finished from that school as the Head boy and the best graduating student whilst also securing a scholarship to one of the best A-Level colleges in Africa.
We want to trace a lot of these back to his maturity at the Entry point.
EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IS CRITICAL
This is a decision you will need to look at as a family. Even though you may save the money for a year, the child may not be as ready as you think.
I got into Secondary School, even though I did Pry 6 back then at barely 10. I was the youngest in my class. Yes, I was tall but I can tell you, the fear and dread of those who were two/three years older was the beginning of wisdom. Decades later, they still gleefully terrorize me and remind me of my timid little beginnings before I got the hang of things. .. (hope you guys read this)
This was even back then.
Now we have a more complicated world
Prepare your child ahead.
Talk to their teachers in the primary school.
Let them share with you how you can help get them ready for secondary school life.
They can even give you insight into the kind of schools that will be right for your child.
I wish you well in your search.
Tomorrow I will also try to write on…BEYOND THE BUILDING.