At ECC I teach kids of all ages. The youngest can barely walk; some can’t even speak Japanese yet, while the oldest are already thinking about what career paths they might want to take. It is amazing to see the difference a year can make, and to see how similar behavioural patterns emerge throughout each school year. I have goo’ed and gah’ed over the adorable, tiny little ones, and I have had in-depth discussions with the older kids on topics as wide-ranging as the cuteness of Kyary Pamyu-Pamyu, whether or not it’s normal to believe in ghosts, and just how much gore is too much gore in Attack on Titan.
I have thought long and hard about this; I have assessed the pros and cons of each age group, and come to the conclusion that there is indeed a sweet spot – an age that is the perfect age; right in the middle – 8 years old. Here are eight reasons why this is true, for me at least:
- Their brains are big enough to absorb and remember a lot of what you are teaching them
- They are (usually) old enough to have gotten over the tears
- They have already been in school long enough that they know they have to respect your authority and listen to what you say
- They understand and respond to such teaching methods as guilt trips and bribery far better than younger kids
- They are interested in playing games, and imaginative enough to invent their own
- They are not quite at the age of being ‘too cool for school’
- They respond to the threat of being kicked out class because they aren’t quite at the age where getting out of studying seems like a good thing.
- They are still happy to get hugs (well, the girls at least)
Bonus: (Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7-8-9!)
So, what do you think of my list? What do you think the best age is? And what magical method can I use when I eventually have my own kids, to fast-forward through the snotty age, and pause right before they get cynical?