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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the formal school age for children and whether or not they should begin education before the age of 7.

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IELTS Essay: Formal School Age

Some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age. Others think they should begin after 7 years of age.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Many feel that children ought to commence formal schooling from a very young age while others feel classes should start after the age of 7. In my opinion, though there are social benefits to early schooling, many of these can be replicated outside the classroom and there are emotional advantages to attending school later.

There are legitimate reasons for young children to enter school related to socializing. This can be best illustrated by the case of home-schooled children who often have underdeveloped social skills that can persist into adulthood. In contrast, children who are active members of a social group from a young age are far more likely to develop outgoing, positive ways of engaging with others. As they progress through normal childhood developmental stages and become less egocentric, the presence of other children, and teachers to some extent, has enormous benefits. However, parents can reproduce these advantages by ensuring their children have time to socialize with neighborhood friends.

Furthermore, entering school after the age of 7 can serve as a long-term boon for emotional health. When students begin formal schooling, they necessarily feel stressed not only from competition with other children but also due to the burden of homework and grades. If children remain home longer, they will form stronger familial bonds that will encourage healthy relationships later in life. Research has shown that the early years are essential in dictating how a child will develop interpersonally. A child who received adequate love and attention is considerably more likely to feel secure and establish healthy relationships with friends and family in adulthood. Academics can always be strengthened later but this is not always true for unseen emotional work.

In conclusion, despite the social benefits of schooling for young children, the emotional ramifications of remaining home in a supportive environment are more important. School administrators should consider this question carefully.

Analysis

1. Many feel that children ought to commence formal schooling from a very young age while others feel classes should start after the age of 7. 2. In my opinion, though there are social benefits to early schooling, many of these can be replicated outside the classroom and there are emotional advantages to attending school later.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. There are legitimate reasons for young children to enter school related to socializing. 2. This can be best illustrated by the case of home-schooled children who often have underdeveloped social skills that can persist into adulthood. 3. In contrast, children who are active members of a social group from a young age are far more likely to develop outgoing, positive ways of engaging with others. 4. As they progress through normal childhood developmental stages and become less egocentric, the presence of other children, and teachers to some extent, has enormous benefits. 5. However, parents can reproduce these advantages by ensuring their children have time to socialize with neighborhood friends.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Finish development.

1. Furthermore, entering school after the age of 7 can serve as a long-term boon for emotional health. 2. When students begin formal schooling, they necessarily feel stressed not only from competition with other children but also due to the burden of homework and grades. 3. If children remain home longer, they will form stronger familial bonds that will encourage healthy relationships later in life. 4. Research has shown that the early years are essential in dictating how a child will develop interpersonally. 5. A child who received adequate love and attention is considerably more likely to feel secure and establish healthy relationships with friends and family in adulthood. 6. Academics can always be strengthened later but this is not always true for unseen emotional work.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.
  6. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, despite the social benefits of schooling for young children, the emotional ramifications of remaining home in a supportive environment are more important. 2. School administrators should consider this question carefully.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many feel that children ought to commence formal schooling from a very young age while others feel classes should start after the age of 7. In my opinion, though there are social benefits to early schooling, many of these can be replicated outside the classroom and there are emotional advantages to attending school later.

There are legitimate reasons for young children to enter school related to socializing. This can be best illustrated by the case of home-schooled children who often have underdeveloped social skills that can persist into adulthood. In contrast, children who are active members of a social group from a young age are far more likely to develop outgoing, positive ways of engaging with others. As they progress through normal childhood developmental stages and become less egocentric, the presence of other children, and teachers to some extent, has enormous benefits. However, parents can reproduce these advantages by ensuring their children have time to socialize with neighborhood friends.

Furthermore, entering school after the age of 7 can serve as a long-term boon for emotional health. When students begin formal schooling, they necessarily feel stressed not only from competition with other children but also due to the burden of homework and grades. If children remain home longer, they will form stronger familial bonds that will encourage healthy relationships later in life. Research has shown that the early years are essential in dictating how a child will develop interpersonally. A child who received adequate love and attention is considerably more likely to feel secure and establish healthy relationships with friends and family in adulthood. Academics can always be strengthened later but this is not always true for unseen emotional work.

In conclusion, despite the social benefits of schooling for young children, the emotional ramifications of remaining home in a supportive environment are more important. School administrators should consider this question carefully.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

ought to should

commence start

formal schooling real school

social benefits advantages for communicating with others

early schooling first years of school

replicated outside the classroom reproduced not in school

emotional advantages benefits for one’s emotions

attending going to

legitimate reasons good causes

enter school go to class

socializing interacting with others

best illustrated by the case of clearest example of this is

home-schooled children kids who learn at home

underdeveloped not grown

persist continue

adulthood as you get older, no longer a child

in contrast however

active members participants

social group peer groups

far more likely much greater chance

outgoing friendly

positive ways good methods

engaging with others talking to people

progress improving

normal childhood developmental stages how kids grow up cognitively

egocentric caring only about yourself

presence being around them

enormous benefits big advantages

reproduce replicate

ensuring making sure

neighborhood friends kids living nearby

furthermore also

serve as a long-term boon help in the future

emotional health how you feel

necessarily definitely

stressed anxious

competition competing with others

burden extra weight to carry

remain stay the same

form stronger familial bonds get along with family better

encourage healthy relationships form good bonds

later in life as they get older

research has shown that studies indicate

dictating determining

interpersonally between people

received adequate love got enough care

attention looking after

considerably more likely much better chance

secure confident

establish healthy relationships have good bonds

academics learning in school

strengthened made stronger

unseen emotional work not immediately obvious mental health growith

ramifications implications

supportive environment loving family

school administrators people in charge of schools

consider think about

carefully with care, not recklessly

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ɔːt tuː 
kəˈmɛns 
ˈfɔːməl ˈskuːlɪŋ 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
ˈɜːli ˈskuːlɪŋ
ˈrɛplɪkeɪtɪd ˌaʊtˈsaɪd ðə ˈklɑːsrʊm 
ɪˈməʊʃənl ədˈvɑːntɪʤɪz 
əˈtɛndɪŋ 
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt ˈriːznz 
ˈɛntə skuːl 
ˈsəʊʃəlaɪzɪŋ
bɛst ˈɪləstreɪtɪd baɪ ðə keɪs ɒv 
həʊm-skuːld ˈʧɪldrən 
ˌʌndədɪˈvɛləpt 
pəˈsɪst 
əˈdʌlthʊd
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
ˈæktɪv ˈmɛmbəz 
ˈsəʊʃəl gruːp 
fɑː mɔː ˈlaɪkli 
aʊtˈgəʊɪŋ
ˈpɒzətɪv weɪz 
ɪnˈgeɪʤɪŋ wɪð ˈʌðəz
ˈprəʊgrəs 
ˈnɔːməl ˈʧaɪldhʊd dɪˌvɛləpˈmɛntl ˈsteɪʤɪz 
ˌɛgəʊˈsɛntrɪk
ˈprɛzns 
ɪˈnɔːməs ˈbɛnɪfɪts
ˌriːprəˈdjuːs 
ɪnˈʃʊərɪŋ 
ˈneɪbəhʊd frɛndz
ˈfɜːðəˈmɔː
sɜːv æz ə ˈlɒŋtɜːm buːn 
ɪˈməʊʃənl hɛlθ
ˈnɛsɪsərɪli 
strɛst 
ˌkɒmpɪˈtɪʃən 
ˈbɜːdn 
rɪˈmeɪn 
fɔːm ˈstrɒŋgə fəmiliəl bɒndz
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ ˈhɛlθi rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪps 
ˈleɪtər ɪn laɪf
rɪˈsɜːʧ hæz ʃəʊn ðæt 
dɪkˈteɪtɪŋ 
ˌɪntəˈpɜːsən(ə)li
rɪˈsiːvd ˈædɪkwɪt lʌv 
əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n 
kənˈsɪdərəbli mɔː ˈlaɪkli 
sɪˈkjʊə 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃ ˈhɛlθi rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪps 
ˌækəˈdɛmɪks 
ˈstrɛŋθənd 
ʌnˈsiːn ɪˈməʊʃənl wɜːk
ˌræmɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz 
səˈpɔːtɪv ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt 
skuːl ədˈmɪnɪstreɪtəz 
kənˈsɪdə 
ˈkeəfli

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many feel that children ought to commence formal schooling from a very young age while others feel classes should start after the age of 7. In my opinion, though there are social benefits to early schooling, many of these can be replicated outside the classroom and there are emotional advantages to attending school later.

There are legitimate reasons for young children to enter school related to socializing. This can be best illustrated by the case of home-schooled children who often have underdeveloped social skills that can persist into adulthood. In contrast, children who are active members of a social group from a young age are far more likely to develop outgoing, positive ways of engaging with others. As they progress through normal childhood developmental stages and become less egocentric, the presence of other children, and teachers to some extent, has enormous benefits. However, parents can reproduce these advantages by ensuring their children have time to socialize with neighborhood friends.

Furthermore, entering school after the age of 7 can serve as a long-term boon for emotional health. When students begin formal schooling, they necessarily feel stressed not only from competition with other children but also due to the burden of homework and grades. If children remain home longer, they will form stronger familial bonds that will encourage healthy relationships later in life. Research has shown that the early years are essential in dictating how a child will develop interpersonally. A child who received adequate love and attention is considerably more likely to feel secure and establish healthy relationships with friends and family in adulthood. Academics can always be strengthened later but this is not always true for unseen emotional work.

In conclusion, despite the social benefits of schooling for young children, the emotional ramifications of remaining home in a supportive environment are more important. School administrators should consider this question carefully.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/08/how-help-kids-like-school-better-loneliness/619881/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

School

  1. Did you like your school when you were a child?
  2. What did you learn about?
  3. Did you have a favorite teacher?
  4. Are there many rules in schools in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Many students find it difficult to focus or pay attention at school nowadays.

What are the reasons for this?

What can be done to solve this problem?


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